It appears that three is most definitely the magic number for everybody’s favourite Swedish popstar, Robyn. Having been bombarded with countless editions of her career rejuvenating 2005 self-titled album and multiple re-released singles, the patience of her stalwart fans will be rewarded with not one, not even two, but three new albums set for release in the next twelve months. And we thought Laura Marling was being ambitious!
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: anna claxton, sacrifice, teenagersintokyo
With the celebrated release of their 2008 self-titled EP, teenagersintokyo have positioned themselves as one of the bands to watch in 2010 having sold out venues across the UK, bumped bottoms with the likes of CSS, The Slits and Gossip during some coveted live support slots, and, most recently, topped the Hype Machine chart with The Horrors remix of forthcoming single ‘Peter Pan’ (out next week through Backyard Recordings). Somehow the Aussie quintet have also found time to record their debut album, Sacrifice, due on June 1.
Filed under: album, review | Tags: anna claxton, holly miranda, the jealous girlfriends, the magician's private library
The Magician’s Private Library ••••½
Early reviews of The Magician’s Private Library appear to heavily feature the words ‘Cat’ and ‘Power’ amidst claims that this debut solo effort doesn’t properly showcase the talent of its creator (and erstwhile singer of The Jealous Girlfriends) Holly Miranda, thanks to the over-zealous production skills of TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek. And while Miranda does sometimes portray a similar vocal style to Chan Marshall, such parallels are entirely moot; The Magician’s Private Library is simply incomparable, providing a unique listening experience that makes perfect sense when pictured as having sprung from the inner sanctum of someone rifling through the bookshelves of illusionists, dreamers and believers in the supernatural.
Filed under: live, review | Tags: 6 day riot, anna claxton, flaming june, tamara schlesinger
6 Day Riot + Flaming June
The Portland Arms, Cambridge ••••
February 16, 2010
Flaming June are named after Frederic Lord Leighton’s painting of a sleeping woman, which seems only too appropriate on this evening’s evidence. In stark contrast to their passionate frontwoman Louise Hamilton, the pipe player and backing vocalist to her left, who may be aiming for the whimsical air sometimes associated with this breed of folk music, looks rather bored. Hamilton’s red hair, red dress and red acoustic guitar make a bold statement centre-stage, but despite their musical competence the rest of the band’s lack of enthusiasm creates a nervous, amateurish atmosphere around their early ’90s-inspired acoustic-indie sound. The result only confirms they have yet to really develop from the Bury St Edmunds-based quartet who formed after Louise’s obvious ambition caused her to seek musicians to back her in a local songwriting competition some time last summer. Judging by tonight’s performance, perhaps she’d be better off if she hadn’t.
Scanners are a London-based quartet for whom a storm is brewing. Or at least that’s how it sounds. Most notable for Sarah Daly’s brooding utterances, the sound of Scanners is impulsive, dramatic and completely immediate in its effect. “I’ve been waiting for the dark to come”, Daly croons on ‘Salvation’ as if taking part in some kind of hypnotic séance-like experiment, the repetitive but memorable backing track manifesting like a ghost at a Wedding Present gig. “I’ll take you to my grave,” the searing message continues, conveyed through moaning vocals amid an equally haunting melodic synth crescendo that sneaks up on the listener with spine-chilling success. Seemingly with a more definite agenda than on their debut album Violence Is Golden, ‘Salvation’ finds Scanners taking a darker, more urgent approach to a previously tamer formula. Expect more of the same on their forthcoming album Submarine, produced by Stephen Hague of New Order fame, out early next year. Exciting stuff indeed. MP3 after the jump.
Filed under: free music friday, mp3 | Tags: anna claxton, miss the occupier
Miss The Occupier
‘The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things’
Hailing from Glasgow, Miss The Occupier are a nice example of what’s going on up in Scotland the noo. With riot grrl Roz Davies at the helm, the trio appear hellbent on claiming back the best bits of female-fronted guitar-based music that was so rich in the early ‘90s. Not for them the kiddy-pleasing musings of fellow Glaswegians Bis; there is something moody and dangerous about Miss The Occupier’s edgy slacker-pop that translates a moody energy, ensuring justifiable comparisons with The Breeders or Throwing Muses. Sharing its name with a JT Leroy novel, ‘The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things’ has been knocking around for a while in the band’s live sets, building to a raucous cacophony in almost orchestral fashion, the melody held captive for a moment by the driving beat and guitars. Not yet available to buy, grab this freebie to find out why those north of the border have already begun to give Miss The Occupier their full attention. Finally, the girls seem to be stepping forward in a time where Scottish music seems to have been dominated by big ginger beards and bigger tattooed forearms. About time too. MP3 after the jump.
Filed under: album, mp3, review, video | Tags: 2009, anna claxton, fiona apple, maja ivarsson, music, the sounds
Crossing The Rubicon •••½
Original Signal / Universal
As any Fiona Apple fan should know, to “cross the Rubicon” (a river in northern Italy) is to pass the point of no return. Does this then mean that The Sounds consider that they can’t get any better than their third album of the same name? Or are the Swedish five-piece making a reference to the phrase’s original association with Caesar, who made a confirmed act of war through his movement across this 29 kilometre long stretch of water more than 2000 years ago? Perhaps a subtle political statement, but probably more likely a declaration of their intent to launch their own new assault on the music-buying public. In a good way, of course.