Header photo by Jeff Elstone
Zola Jesus is preparing to launch her new album ‘Taiga’, scheduled for release on the 7th of October, with a full tour including stops in America, Europe and the UK, and culminating with a final show at the London Koko. She has also premiered a new remix of the album’s first single ‘Dangerous Days’; you can find streams of the original version and the remix below the tour date listing.
Tickets for the following shows are available now. A complete list of dates can be found on Zola Jesus’ Web site.
Wednesday 29th October 2014 – Bristol Colston Hall
Thursday 30th October 2014 – Leeds Belgrave Music Hall
Friday 31st October 2014 – Glasgow Stereo
Saturday 1st November 2014 – Manchester Cathedral Columns
Tuesday 18th November 2014 -London Koko
If you’ve been reading TGTF regularly, you’ll have seen already that we recently reviewed The Pierces‘ upcoming single ‘Creation’, which is due for release on the 1st of September along with their full length album of the same name. (If you missed it, you can read the review here.) Late last week, the American sister duo premiered the song’s accompanying video, directed by Nick Frew of L.A. studio Dirty Robber. The dramatic choreography has a voodoo doll ballet sort of effect, described by Cat Pierce as reflective of “how we sometimes suffer from our own invented misery and forget to enjoy the experience of being human”.
The Pierces will play a series of live shows in the UK next month; find all the dates here.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 12th August 2014 at 12:00 pm
At the end of 2013, Liam Fray revealed there was uncertainty about the Courteeners’ future, or at least doubt on when the Manchester indie rock/pop band would be appearing next at a venue near you. Speaking to Gigwise after a hometown arena show last December, Fray suggested it could be a year or more before they made another live appearance, stressing a “need to go away and decide which ones work best, what we like and reassess really for the next ‘phase’”. Clearly, these qualms didn’t last all that long; songwriting and recording for the group’s fourth album ‘Concrete Love’, to be released next Monday, must have surely commenced soon after.
The first taste of the new album appeared back in June. ‘Summer’ is an unabashed attempt at a summer smash, replete with a bouncy rhythm and feel good guitar strumming that puts you in an island state of mind. When the chorus comes in, there’s an echo effect placed on both the guitars and Fray’s voice that makes ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘You Overdid It Doll’ days of yore seem like a distance memory. For sure, the song has charm at this time of year, but are we really going to be listening to it when the leaves have fallen and winter has taken hold? Doubtful. Still, one could argue that if they’re going for single sales, it was a well-timed effort.
Funnily enough, it was Fray himself who said in that aforementioned Gigwise interview, “I definitely think that labels and producers whatever are putting all their eggs in one basket for two or three tracks. Whereas, I think it has to be about everything really, you have to try and make every song as big”. Maybe this is where they got ‘Concrete Love’ wrong? Each of these 11 tunes on the LP has elements that could be deemed ‘big’, but few have staying power. The collection also suffers from a lack of cohesiveness, as well as an ill-conceived song order.
In stark contrast to the sunniness of ‘Summer’, the album begins with ‘White Horses’ (seriously, what is up with rock stars and their preoccupation with equines?), which is dark, loud and bombastic, as if the Courteeners are trying to shed their pop image. It’s an emphatic beginning but some momentum and mood is lost as it’s directly followed by their current single ‘How Good It Was’. This sees the band embracing the pop/rock sound they’re most popular for, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s not as catchy as ‘Are You in Love with a Notion?’ from last year’s album ‘Anna’, it’s memorable, but if you’re sat listening to this album start to finish, it can feel like an uncomfortable segue.
Nearly halfway through the LP is ‘Black and Blue’: with its frenetic rhythm and Fray’s sometimes menacing cadences, it would have felt more appropriate on an EP with the similar ‘White Horses’ and can be regarded as a natural progression from 2012 single ‘Lose Control’. ‘Saboteur’ is this release’s ‘You Overdid It Doll’ moment, with funk, synths and squeals of guitar. Then there is ‘Next Time You Call’ – with a riff that appears to have been stolen from Elbow’s ‘Grounds for Divorce’ – has Northern swagger, something that there is sadly too little of on this album.
Most of the album’s pace slows to a near halt due to the balladry, in the form of ‘Small Bones’, ‘Has He Told You He Loves You Yet’, and ‘International’, and later on to close out the album with ‘Dreamers’ and ‘Beautiful Head’. These songs aren’t bad, but there isn’t much there to hold your attention for long. Fray’s vocals introducing ‘Small Bones’ are admirable in their sincerity, but the horn section that comes in soon after him seems heavy-handed and breaks the reverie. ‘International’ and ‘Beautiful Head’ have percussive bluster and piano so Coldplay-esque, it’s almost painful. As a result, the album feels schizophrenic: at their shows, are you supposed to jump up and down with abandon, or are you supposed to stand there static or perhaps gently swaying in place with your LED wristband? We’ll have to see how the new material fares at Reading and Leeds.
The Courteeners’ fourth album ‘Concrete Love’ will be out next Monday, the 18th of August, on Polydor Records. Visit the band’s Web site for more information on how to order signed copies of CDs; deluxe CDs including the ‘Live at Castlefield Bowl DVD, filmed in July 2013 in Manchester; and the album on limited edition white vinyl.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 12th August 2014 at 10:00 am
In context of Northern laddish bands the Crookes and Frankie and the Heartstrings and more recently High Hazels, I suppose finding another band reworking the ’50s/’60s vibe to their advantage isn’t surprising. However, this band we’re offering up a free mp3 from this morning is neither Northern, nor do they play straight rock ‘n’ roll.
Enter Hidden Charms, a young (19-year olds) four-piece from London. Singer Vincent Davies (hmm, that surname’s interesting…) channels the memory of an early Mick Jagger or a young Eric Burdon, as heard in their song ‘Sunnyside’, which features a simplistic yet fatally catchy guitar melody. Listen to and grab the track for your very own below.
In the midst of a busy festival-filled summer including Glastonbury, T in the Park and this weekend’s V Festival, Kaiser Chiefs have announced a headline tour of the UK to start off 2015. The band will finish 2014 with tour dates in America, Europe and South Africa, which can be found on the band’s Web site. ‘My Life’, the third single from Kaiser Chiefs’ album ‘Education, Education, Education & War’ will drop the 22nd of September on Fiction / Caroline International.
Tickets for the following shows go on sale this Friday, the 15th of August, at 9 AM, except for Leeds and London, which are available now. Read all of our past coverage on the Kaisers here.
Saturday 31st January 2015 – Liverpool Echo Arena
Monday 2nd February 2015 – Dundee Caird Hall
Tuesday 3rd February 2015 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Thursday 5th February 2015 – Newcastle Metro Arena
Friday 6th February 2015 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Saturday 7th February 2015 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Monday 9th February 2015 – Plymouth Pavilions
Tuesday 10th February 2015 – Bournemouth BIC
Wednesday 11th February 2015 – Brighton Centre
Friday 13th February 2015 – London O2
Saturday 14th February 2015 – Leeds First Direct Arena
In a move that might put the final nail in the coffin of Doves, the band who wrote the song that gave TGTF our name, Jez and Andy Williams have announced their new project Black Rivers with a new single called ‘The Ship’ and a short list of UK tour dates for this October. Tickets for the following shows will be available starting this Friday, the 15th of August, at 9 AM.
Wednesday 22nd October 2014 – London Oslo
Thursday 23rd October 2014 – Manchester Gorilla
Saturday 25th October 2014 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Sunday 26th October 2014 – Leeds Belgrave Hall