wears the trousers magazine

incoming: jenny owen youngs
March 2, 2010, 5:13 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , ,

Jenny Owen Youngs
Last Person EP

[Nettwerk; March 2]

Nearly three months after the video for the title track appeared on YouTube, this new six-song digital-only EP from Jenny Owen Youngs sneaked out into the world today. With previously unreleased material including four tracks from last year’s Transmitter Failure [review] recorded live “in the Basement” and a “re-think” of another album track, ‘Dissolve’, it’s one that fans will want to snap up.

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incoming: melissa etheridge
March 2, 2010, 10:45 am
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Melissa Etheridge
Fearless Love

[Island; April 26]

For her tenth studio album, Melissa Etheridge is working with a concept. As she explained in a recent interview with Spinner, “There are only two vibrations in the world and you’re either making a love choice or a fear choice.” Ditching the working title of ‘Songs Of Fear & Love’ because her daughter Bailey thought it was “too many words”, suggesting Fearless Love as an alternative. Produced by John Shanks, this is Melissa’s most rock-oriented album in years. “I wanted to make a record that’s a hundred miles an hour all the time,” she told Rolling Stone back in October. “There’s a couple of ballads on it, but the majority of it is just really slamming.” The title track is available now as a digital single. Watch the video below.

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free music friday: alessi’s ark
February 26, 2010, 10:07 am
Filed under: free music friday, mp3 | Tags: , , , , ,

Alessi’s Ark
‘Hands In The Sink’

Not a track from her upcoming EP, Soul Proprietor (due April 5), but a wee little taster for the forthcoming 21-track compilation from Communion, the popular club night turned music community formed by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, Cherbourg’s Kevin Jones and producer Ian Grimble in 2006, ‘Hands In The Sink’ is a soft acoustic ditty about the humble joys of domesticity from Alessi Laurent-Marke. It’s slight but charming, and slots in nicely with other featured tracks from the likes of Peggy Sue, Johnny Flynn, Jeremy Warmsley and Broadcast 2000, to name but a few. The compilation, out Monday, also features tracks from a couple of ladies who are new to our ears: Elena Tonra and Rachel Sermanni – check them out. MP3 after the jump.

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incoming: bettye lavette
February 26, 2010, 9:42 am
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , ,

Bettye LaVette
Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

[Anti-; May 25, not final artwork]

Inspired by the reaction to her cover of The Who’s ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ at a performing arts awards show in 2008, Bettye LaVette began to compile a new record comprising wholly of covers of songs by British rock acts, from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd and beyond. Interpretations is the result; thirteen songs given a raw, soulful makeover that illustrates, as the label puts it, “the inexorable ties between British rock ‘n’ roll and the American blues and R&B, which when combined, catalysed popular music”. Bettye previously covered Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s ‘Talking Old Soldiers’ on 2007’s The Scene Of The Crime, and here takes on ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’. Says Elton himself, “Bettye LaVette has always been a wonderful singer – I have been a huge fan for many years…I am truly touched by her picking these songs and can only hope that this album brings more attention to this incredible artist.”

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incoming: carrie newcomer

Carrie Newcomer
Before & After

[Rounder; March 15]

With a rack of studio albums, a live release and a retrospective already under her belt, Carrie Newcomer ought to be more familiar to us than she is. Perhaps Before & After, her tenth solo effort, will be the album to change that. She describes it as “unguarded and naked”, claiming to have “peeled back another musical and emotional layer” by “endeavoring to be fearlessly uncluttered and subtle”. Mary Chapin Carpenter duets on the title track, with a second duet, ‘Do No Harm’, featuring Darwin Song Project participator Krista Detor.

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incoming: judith owen
February 25, 2010, 5:07 pm
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Judith Owen
The Beautiful Damage Collection

[Courgette / ADA Global; March 1]

While the sleeve of last year’s Mopping Up Karma [review] made Judith Owen look like Joanna Newsom’s housekeeper, the cover of The Beautiful Damage Collection could double as an Oil Of Olay ad. As the appellation of ‘Collection’ indicates, it’s a retrospective of sorts; three new recordings, including covers of Arthur Hamilton’s ‘Cry Me A River’ and Henry Purcell’s ‘When I Am Laid’ (aka ‘Dido’s Lament’), join handpicked selections from Judith’s six previous albums re-recorded with legendary arranger, Robert Kirby. Sadly, Kirby passed away in October last year; in his memory, Judith will be performing his orchestrated songs at The Purcell Room in London tomorrow [tickets] for what promises to be a very entertaining evening. Guests include Judith’s husband Harry Shearer (‘Spinal Tap’, ‘The Simpsons’), Claire Martin, Danny Thompson and Ian Shaw. The title of the album was inspired by Judith’s collaborative show with Ruby Wax, Live At The Priory, which used Judith’s songs and comedy to explore Ruby’s road to recovery from depression. Watch the Jamie Lee Curtis-directed video for ‘Here’ below.

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brandi carlile announces UK show
February 24, 2010, 9:31 am
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , ,

Three bits of Brandi Carlile news today. Most excitingly, Brandi returns to the UK for the first time since the release of her third album Give Up The Ghost [review] late last year with a (so far) one-off date at Manchester’s Club Academy on April 28. Tickets are £11 plus booking fees and are on sale here. A full European tour is expected to be announced in the not too distant future. The second bit of news is that non-US residents are finally able to buy Brandi’s recent XOBC EP, released in the US for Valentine’s Day. The five-song EP includes a riotous cover of The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ and can be purchased through iTunes.

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