wears the trousers magazine

wears the trousers albums of the decade #50–26

part one | part two | part four

Here’s the third part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #50–26.

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Queen Adreena
Drink Me

[Rough Trade, 2002]

Casting aside the disparaging comparisons to “Kate Bush on crack” bestowed upon her in the wake of Queen Adreena’s debut album Taxidermy, KatieJane Garside upped the ante with Drink Me, tearing whatever hinges that were still attached right off with a blisteringly manic grunge-metal fervour. Among her Wonderland’s re-energised malice, the softer moments found Garside’s raging voice shrunk mouse-high, whispering seductively as if through the keyhole, or chillingly into a void. Richly imaginative and manically enjoyable, Drink Me remains one of the decade’s most vigorous and visceral thrills, disturbing to the very last note.

Alan Pedder

read our interview with KatieJane

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best of 2009: readers poll results #10-1

At last, here are the ten albums you voted for in the highest number as your favourites for 2009. Happy New Year from all at Wears The Trousers!

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Alela Diane
To Be Still

[Names; February 2009]

What we said then: To Be Still is the kind of album that communicates directly with the hindbrain, directing you to the nearest couch, bed or convenient corner; once there, your instructions are to daydream, to ruminate through long-forgotten memories, or just to stare off into the middle distance… Alela Diane is truly the real thing: a singer-songwriter of immense talent, overflowing with creative ideas and real vision.” ••••½ Scott Sinclair

What we say now: She’s come a long way from the low-budget days of her early self-released albums Forest Parade and the later-reissued masterpiece The Pirate’s Gospel, and we’re thrilled to see Alela Diane finally breaking even and earning her dues. To Be Still saw Alela move away from the sparse folk of earlier efforts to a fuller band sound, a successful evolution that helped her transition from underground acclaim to more mainstream pastures, as evidenced in her well-received slot on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’. A bold and beautiful effort.

Download: ‘The Alder Trees’, ‘The Ocean’, ‘White As Diamonds’

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where’s the gigs: tegan & sara, fever ray, rickie lee jones
September 10, 2009, 4:47 am
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , , , , ,


Tickets for Tegan & Sara’s UK dates in November go on sale this morning at 9am. Click here for the London and Manchester shows on November 13 and 14 respectively, and here for the Edinburgh show on November 15. The twins’ new album Sainthood is released on October 26th.

13.11.09 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
14.11.09 Academy 2, Manchester
15.11.09 HMV Picture House, Edinburgh

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Fever Ray has announced a one-off gig in London in December as part of a ‘finale’ tour that will supposedly see Karin Dreijer Andersson’s side project wind down in advance of the return of her main band The Knife. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, as far as we can tell, but keep the 5th free. A special two-disc edition of Fever Ray’s self-titled album is released on October 12th, one week after new single ‘Seven’.

05.12.09 HMV Forum, London

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Also announcing a special one-off gig is Rickie Lee Jones, who will drop by the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, London on November 11th to play songs from her upcoming release Balm In Gilead. Tickets are priced at £29.50. Click here to buy.

11.11.09 Cadogan Hall, London

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Alan Pedder

fever ray covers vashti bunyan on album reissue
August 26, 2009, 2:49 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , , , ,

241008_karindreijeranderssonNick Cave and Anita Lane also get reworked

Another day, another special edition to report. This time it’s The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson who’s giving her Fever Ray alter ego a sales boost with a double-disc edition of her self-titled solo debut on October 12th. As is seemingly the habit, the reissue will feature a pair of covers – in Karin’s case a highly unlikely reworking of gossamer-voiced folkie Vashti Bunyan’s ‘Here Before’ from 2006’s homely comeback Lookaftering (a Fever Ray live favourite) and a less surprising take on Nick Cave and Anita Lane’s ‘Stranger The Kindness’. It looks like they’ll get tacked onto the end of the original album, while the bonus disc will be a DVD of the strange and startling videos for her previous singles and new one, ‘Seven’. 

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fever ray lines up third single
June 3, 2009, 2:23 am
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Short UK tour announced for July

The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson will release her third solo single as Fever Ray on July 20th to coincide with a short UK tour that takes in three solo headlining shows and the Brighton Loop, Oxegen and Latitude festivals. One of the best-loved tracks from the critically acclaimed Fever Ray album, ‘Triangle Walks’ is an obvious single in many ways and its appeal can only be broadened by the raft of remixes that come with the single, including efforts by Tiga, Spektre, James Rutledge, Tora Vinter, Ben Hoo and Allez-Allez.

The music video for the single is still in production, but if the previous efforts of Andreas Nilsson and Martin de Thurrah are anything to go by, it should be pretty special. At the helm this time is Mikel Cee Karlsson, who has collaborated with Andreas Nilsson on videos for José Gonzaléz and Bonde Do Rolê. Watch this space.

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fever ray: fever ray (2009)
January 15, 2009, 4:31 pm
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , , ,


Fever Ray
Fever Ray •••••

Even if you haven’t seen Andreas Nilsson’s fantastically creepy video for ‘If I Had A Heart’, Fever Ray‘s opening track, you’ll instantly pick up on the fact that there’s something mysterious and perhaps a little sinister taking place in Karin Dreijer Andersson’s head. Perhaps it’s the effect of the deep, droning bass line that rumbles evilly throughout the whole song, but it feels like the internal soundtrack of someone sitting on the floor in the corner of a dark, locked room with ankles clasped tightly, rocking back and forth, spitting out her private soliloquies. Dreijer’s voice is low and deep, echoing the sombre, almost tribal rhythm that sets in to your bones like a cold, slow march towards the sea, up and over the jagged edge of a cliff.

Fever Ray has been arranged with an expert hand and considerable thought, so to get the full effect it’s inadvisable to listen on shuffle or in any other order than that in which it is laid out. Right from the start, the album builds and builds towards something, an ever more familiar sound, growing ever more Knife-like. The end of each track qualifies the beginning of the next; for example, ‘When I Grow Up’ makes its entrance with similarly sombre dark tones as ‘If I Had A Heart’, with shades of Knife-ness creeping in before the end comes in the guise of familiar steel drums, blips and clicks and, of course, Dreijer’s grossly worked-over drones and bizarre, intangible lyrics. Karin Dreijer is “very good with plants”.

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fever ray single out next week

241008_karindreijeranderssonSelf-titled album to follow in March

We were teased with the instrumental edit back in October, but the waiting is nearly over for the full version of Karin Dreijer Andersson’s Fever Ray debut, ‘If I Had A Heart’. The Knife frontwoman has announced that the single will be available through digital outlets from Monday, with a video directed by Andreas Nilsson (The Knife’s ‘Like A Pen’, Moby’s ‘Alice’) ready within the next few weeks. Although she’s not telling just yet about the title and tracklist for the previously reported Fever Ray album, we do know that the album will be released in Europe through Cooperative Music on March 23rd, except in Sweden, where The Knife’s own label Rabid Records will do the honours on March 18th. 

In the accompanying press release, Karin reveals that the Fever Ray project arose because her hand was forced by writing too many good songs. “I had so many songs to record that I just had to make an album,” she says. “My aim was to finish the album and now that it’s done I’m a bit restless. During the last few years I discovered that I like to sing too, so I hope that my newly-found live band will make it to the stages next year. We are rehearsing and building something beautiful and brilliant.”

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