wears the trousers magazine

cat power, beth orton, gossip join lilith fair 2010 lineup

Lilith Fair organisers today announced a second wave of artists who have signed on to take part in this year’s revival of the all-female travelling festival. These include Cat Power, Beth Orton, Sia, Gossip, Norah Jones, Rosie Thomas, Frazey Ford of The Be Good Tanyas, Lissie, Missy Higgins, ’80s rockers Heart and the legendary Loretta Lynn. UK pop acts Kate Nash, La Roux and Marina & The Diamonds will also perform at select dates, which have yet to be announced.

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #25-1

part onepart twopart three

Here’s the fourth and final part of our albums of the decade countdown, 25 albums so fantastic they should have sold millions (and, lo, some of them did!)…

* * *


Shannon Wright
Maps Of Tacit

[Touch & Go / Quarterstick, 2000]

Distilling everything that was good about her former band Crowsdell and her first album flightsafety, and stripping them of their twee chirpiness and indie-pop sensibilities, Shannon Wright created her finest, and darkest, work in Maps Of Tacit. A multilayered tour de force, the guitar is aggressive without being brash and the creepy, stirring piano swirls with all the innocence and foreboding of a decaying calliope; the overall effect is both intricate and cinematic. Together with some creative use of sampled sounds, dense poetic lyrics and Wright’s alternately silky and caustic vocals, it all adds up to a delightfully chilling labour of love.

Terry Mulcahy

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cat power may ditch the dirty delta blues on next album
December 7, 2009, 2:34 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , ,

Speaking to Australian newspaper Courier-Mail ahead of her December/January band tour down under, Chan Marshall of Cat Power has revealed an interesting little snippet of info about her next studio album. Her first collection of original material since 2006’s The Greatest has no release date as yet and is still very early on in its genesis, but Chan says she is working on the songs alone for the time being and not with the Dirty Delta Blues band who have graced all three of her releases over the past few years. “I’m at a point where my heart tells me, ‘Chan, you haven’t played piano or guitar for four or five years,’ and I do have guilt about that,” she told the paper. “People ask me, ‘When are you going to play by yourself?’ I have problems with strange yearnings and guilt.” She also added, “I’m also frightened because some of them are sad again and I feel really nervous about that.”

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marianne faithfull: easy come, easy go (2008)


Marianne Faithfull
Easy Come, Easy Go ••••

From Soho street corner to the Salzburg Festival, with more than 20 albums behind her and acting roles encompassing Ophelia and the Devil, Empress Maria Theresa and, most recently, an elderly masturbatrix, Marianne Faithfull’s progression from Andrew Loog Oldham-tailored ready-made muse to respected elder stateswoman of rock remains one of contemporary music’s most singular and surprising trajectories. It’s a compelling survivor’s story, no doubt about it. But the more sensational aspects of Faithfull’s rockstar myth (stoked by her own highly self-regarding autobiographies) have arguably had the effect of obscuring her creative output, which, while not exactly consistent in terms of quality, has at least been of consistent interest and ambition since the release of her watershed ‘comeback’ album Broken English in 1979.

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EPs of the year: readers poll results (part III of V)

EPs of the year: #15–11


Mara Carlyle
Ancient & Modern EP

Released: June 2008

Eclectic is a horrible word, ungainly in its pronunciation and far too often shoehorned into reviews, and certainly unsuited to a talent like Mara Carlyle. Ancient & Modern is variegated. It’s a mosaic of iridescent splendour, a miscellany of wonder. Co-produced with Emilíana Torrini and Hot Chip cohort Dan Carey, the EP runs the gamut of history in the fashion we’ve come to expect of Carlyle, from 16th Century secular madrigals to modern urban pop reworkings via the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In a word, it’s magical [full review].

iTunes £1.99



Basia Bulat
In The Night EP
Rough Trade

Released: February 2008

Basia Bulat’s 2007 debut Oh, My Darling may have missed out on this year’s Polaris Prize – the Canadian equivalent of the Mercury – but we bloody loved it. This follow-up EP rejigs the formula with marching rhythms, a fuller band sound and a more confident vocal performance. Not quite convinced by the extended version of album opener ‘Before I Knew’, but the title track and Sam Cooke cover ‘Touch The Hem Of His Garment’ made this a worthwhile purchase.

iTunes £2.37



Anni Rossi
Afton EP

Released: October 2008

Listening to Afton provides something of a skimmed psychoanalysis of a lady with quick fingers and hazy consciousness. Described as a viola pop wunderkind, Anni Rossi dips into mountain rivets of obscure Americana both vocally and metaphorically. Like a ventriloquist, she may be the voice of her puppet but the viola is still the centre of attention, the stringed friend on her shoulder twittering as brilliantly as her vocal assault is disarming. Afton may be difficult to grasp but it clearly has its fans [full review].

FREE MP3: Anni Rossi, ‘Wheelpusher

iTunes £4.74



Slow Club
Let’s Fall Back In Love EP
Moshi Moshi

Released: August 2008

Sheffield duo Slow Club were one of the best finds of the year and it’s great to see this EP getting so much love. With Moshi Moshi labelmates Tilly & The Wall not quite delivering the goods with their latest album, Let’s Fall Back In Love arrived as a stompy, silly and cheery reprieve from glossier summertime fare. Recalling a less scatologically obsessed Moldy Peaches, guitarist Charles and percussionist Rebecca are purveyors of a noise that’s both big and clever. Unpredictable rhythms and frenetic strumming collide beneath strong and characterful vocals full of entertaining interplay.

iTunes £4.74



Cat Power
Dark End Of The Street EP

Released: December 2008

We didn’t have a great deal of positive things to say about this EP of leftover covers from the Jukebox sessions, which admittedly we didn’t find much joy in either, but we haven’t given up on Cat Power just yet. Neither have you it seems, as Dark End Of The Street received a sizable chunk of votes despite only being on general release for two days before the polls closed [full review].

iTunes £4.74

cat power: dark end of the street ep (2008)
December 4, 2008, 4:00 pm
Filed under: EP, review, video | Tags: , , , ,


Cat Power
Dark End Of The Street EP ••

The year is almost over. Amy Winehouse is still drunk, Adele is still boring, and Cat Power is still doing covers. Okay, so these six songs are leftover outtakes from Jukebox, but it is nevertheless a sorry state of affairs.

It appears that Cat Power fans, of which there are now many, divide into three distinct categories. There are those that were wrenched and hooked by the sharper end of Dear Sir, remaining so through the next three records – folk that saw the offerings on The Covers Record as a sort of post-Moon Pix comedown; rich and rewarding. Then there are others who plucked Jukebox from a 4-foot tall shiny cardboard stand, placing it in a shopping basket next to the Ryvita – folk who try to argue that The Greatest is exactly that. And then finally there are those who saw Ms Marshall in glossy Chanel ads and thought: “She’s hot. I might see if her music’s any good”.

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trouser press: cat power, frida hyvönen and more

in today’s trouser press:
– more Cat Power covers lurk at the Dark End Of The Street
– Frida Hyvönen goes Wild on new album
– preview the new Jolie Holland album in full
– ex-Pipette Rose announces debut solo single
– Electric Proms sign up Sharleen Spiteri for ‘Saturday Night Fever’ tribute
– new album on the way from Amadou & Mariam
– is Duffy on the edge?
– hear Paramore’s new vampire film song
– Tegan & Sara talk about hanging with the ‘bad boys’ of rock
– listen to new Doctors & Dealers songs
– Girls Aloud’s Nicola confronts Chris Moyles
– who thinks Sarah Palin is rock ‘n’ roll?

* * *

Once she wanted to be the greatest. Now she just can’t stop covering ‘em. Cat Power releases a new 6-track EP featuring some of the leftovers from the sessions for Chan Marshall’s second covers album, Jukebox, on December 9th. It comes as a limited edition double 10″ vinyl set in a gatefold sleeve or as a much less exciting clutch of MP3s. There will be no CD issue.

There will no doubt be grumbles that Dark End Of The Street doesn’t feature either her cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ or Cat Stevens’ ‘How Can I Tell You’, short clips from which have soundtracked adverts in the US, but I’m personally quite happy that a studio version of Sandy Denny/Fairport Convention’s classic ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’ will finally be seeing the light of day. That and three of the other songs are previously unreleased in any form.

Dark End Of The Street EP
01 Auld Triangle [Pogues cover] +
02 Dark End Of The Street [James Carr/Aretha Franklin cover] +
03 Who Knows Where The Time Goes [Sandy Denny cover] +
04 Fortune Son [Creedence Clearwater Revival cover]
05 I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) [Otis Redding cover]
06 It Ain’t Fair [Aretha Franklin cover] +

+ previously unreleased

* * *

Eccentric piano-pounding Swede Frida Hyvönen will release her second album proper, Silence Is Wild, in late January 2009. Unless you’re lucky enough to live in the US or Canada and can buy it in November. Teaming up once more with producer Jari Haapalainen, Hyvönen hasn’t reined in her bizarre and sometimes shocking way with a lyric – who can forget ‘Once I Was A Serene Teenaged Child’?. Her raw confessionals and scattershot sexuality have always been her most compelling elements, and it seems that we can expect more along those lines with Silence Is Wild. ‘Pony’ is a rewrite of Smog’s ‘I Break Horses’, while ‘December’ deals with abortion in a way that showcases Hyvönen’s “distinct talent for political and social ambivalence”, to quote directly from the press release.

You could argue that now really is not the time for political ambivalence, especially in the US where the record is out on polling day (November 4th). Which brings us nicely to ‘Enemy Within’, a new song that you can have for free by clicking right here. Okay, so it’s not about George W Bush, but it was too good a tenuous link to miss.

Silence Is Wild
01 Dirty Dancing
02 Enemy Within
03 Highway 2 U
04 London!
05 My Cousin
06 Science
07 Scandinavian Blonde
08 December
09 Birds
10 Pony
11 Sic Transit Gloria
12 Oh Shanghai
13 Why Do You Love Me So Much

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