wears the trousers magazine


soap&skin to perform with chamber music sextet
February 9, 2010, 9:07 am
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , , ,

Already an unmissable live performer, Soap&Skin looks set to multiply her wow factor with a one-off ensemble show at London’s Union Chapel on April 23. Having recruited a chamber music group led by cellist Christof Unterberger, the Austrian teenager will bring her astonishing, minimalist debut Lovetune For Vacuum into life with the help of three string players, a horn player, a bassist and a backing vocalist. It’ll be her most full-blooded show to date, though it might drain ours; things can get more than a little intense in the dramatic world of Anja Plaschg’s alter ego.

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #75-51

part one part threepart four

Here’s the second part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #75–51.

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75

Róisín Murphy
Overpowered

[EMI, 2007]

Of all the critical droolfests that failed to ignite on the commercial front this decade, Róisín Murphy’s second solo album is among the most inexplicable damp squibs. The ex-Moloko frontwoman may have shed the avant-garde experimentalism of her solo debut Ruby Blue in favour of full-on disco diva mode, set against a backdrop of thumping, shimmering state-of-the-art production, but it seems the world wasn’t ready to accept even Murphy’s toned down personality quirks. That’s a real shame for although Overpowered is not without its flaws, there is a sense of playful grandeur here that can easily toe the line with Goldfrapp at their most teasing.

Chris Catchpole

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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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10

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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UPDATED: inside issue seven!

issue7

Issue seven available NOW

We know you were all hoping for an exclusive interview with the illustrious Susan Boyle. Sorry to disappoint. Instead we chat with the following:

Ane Brun • Marissa Nadler • Emilíana Torrini • Amanda Palmer • Camera Obscura • Tara Jane O’Neil • Alessi’s Ark • Soap&Skin • First Aid Kit • Leila Arab • Kría Brekkan • Tift Merritt • Carina Round • Karima Francis • Ana Silvera • plus reviews of the new albums from Tori Amos, Peaches, St Vincent and more.

Free promotional copies are limited to 3000 – get yours now and pay only postage and packing. Details below.

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soap&skin: lovetune for vacuum (2009)
March 23, 2009, 11:00 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , ,

s_lp_soapandskin_09

Soap&Skin
Lovetune For Vacuum ••••
PIAS

Wears The Trousers has likely done enough by now to introduce you to Soap&Skin, the alter-ego of one Anja Plaschg. Age: 18. Residence: Vienna, Austria. If you’ve not yet read about the personality that hovers over her music like an unhappy, hungry monster though, you can look here. Plaschg is clearly not a happy bunny. She’s dark and twisty in a way that is at once both alienating and deeply fascinating, and the very same can be said of her debut album, Lovetune For Vacuum. It’s a listening experience that is, at times, almost painful. While you might not listen to it much, you will find yourself thinking about it a lot. It is, in equal parts, a mix of Stina Nordenstam’s darker days, Karin Dreijer Andersson’s, um, days, and the orchestral sensibility of Sigur Ros. Which is to say it is a very, very good, if intense and frequently scary, record.

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the darker days of soap&skin
February 27, 2009, 6:07 pm
Filed under: feature, interrupting yr broadcast | Tags: , , , , ,

iyb_soapandskin

interrupting yr broadcast: soap&skin

In case you didn’t catch Wears The Trousers’ guest column over at Drowned In Sound, here is the lowdown on Soap&Skin: Anja Plaschg, Austrian, 18, and creator of some of the scariest music you have ever heard. Beyond that she is a great unknown on these shores; terra incognita, with heavy emphasis on the terror. Though preceded by a baffling and uninformative PR-sheet bio (more on this later), she’s a pretty mouth-watering interview prospect. Her world is dark, as evidenced by her debut album Lovetune For Vacuum. You need to think deepest, darkest dungeon here, not dark chocolate. Think if Stina Nordenstam met Karin Dreijer Andersson during the recording of Dynamite and the two had an impossible lovechild that they abandoned to be raised by mechanical dolls. Now you are on the right track.

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guest column over at drowned in sound

dis11

Wears The Trousers has a guest column published over at online indie music bible Drowned In Sound today. Click here to find out what we make of up and coming teen musicians Soap&Skin (pictured), First Aid Kit and Alessi’s Ark.

A full interview with Alessi’s Ark will be published here tomorrow.

Oh, and if you head over to our Myspace or Facebook fan page, you can get a sneaky preview of the cover of our brand new issue, out next week. Our good and talented friend James Ormiston made the painting, just so you know.