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By Mary Chang
on Monday, 13th April 2015 at 12:00 pm
Good news, electronic fans! There’s a brand new album from pioneers Zero 7 expected to drop this autumn. Further good news? Today marks the release of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker’s newest stop-gap until the new LP, an EP with the rather non-descript title of ‘E.P.3’. But there’s a method to the madness: the first two releases from the duo, before they ever caught the eye of a major label, were named ‘E.P.1 and ‘E.P.2’, so the name of the new EP is in deference to their humble beginnings.
And humble would be the operative word to describe this collection of five tracks from the famed electronic production duo. While the first two tracks feature names from their ‘Simple Science’ EP released last year (Danny Pratt and Only Girl), their third collaborator was dug up from much further back, a clear sign this is an entirely different animal to the summer 2014 release.
Swedish singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez, member of Junip and a solo artist in his own right touring North America at the moment, doesn’t strike you as an appropriate musical partner to Zero 7, does he? But he appeared on several songs on the 2006 Zero 7 album ‘The Garden’. On this outing, Gonzalez adds smoky vocals to ‘Last Light’, evoking scenes of nature and security (“keep you safe and sound / ‘til you feel the same”) to the piano and synth-driven soundscape. The synths keep the mood bright, but the overall effect is one of thought and contemplation.
‘Last Light’ isn’t exactly the club banger I was expecting, but Binns and Hardaker explain the premise of this EP: “Late last year we finished a couple of stray songs we’d been working on and have been trying to find a suitable home for them since. As they didn’t really fit with much else we were doing at the time, they were put aside while we thought about what to do with them…. To us, they seemed to share something with the Mark Hollis cover we did a while ago so we’ve buddied them up and thrown in a little instrumental for good measure and come up with the imaginatively entitled it ‘E.P.3′. Hope you enjoy.”
Given the above, the chill nature of the collaborations with Danny Pratt (who guested on ‘Simple Science’) and Only Girl (vocalist on ‘Take Me Away’) on ‘E.P.3’ compared to those on the ‘Simple Science’ EP make much more sense. Pratt’s part on ‘400 Blows’ in staccato form, melodically and as overlaid with vibrating effects, matches the purposely jumpy synth and xylophone notes, which the backing piano reins everything in. To be sure, it’s catchy. The EP ends strangely with John Wizard’s remix of the track, in which the South African producer loses the plot and takes ‘400 Blows’ and turns it into an electronic caricature of the original.
‘The Colour of Spring’ is at perfect timing with the season, starting in with the chirps of birds, and like on ‘Take Me Away’, Only Girl’s vocals are again ethereal, but this time the understated instrumentation allows her voice to come forward, front and centre. It’s equal parts stunning and haunting. ‘Crush Tape’, the only instrumental on the EP, is filled with handclaps and effortless cool. I have to wonder if it was the starting point for ‘400 Blows’, as it seems to be the latter’s purer, more enigmatic cousin.
The biggest question is, what direction are Zero 7 going for this upcoming album? They went pop in the ‘Simple Science’ EP, but it is as if ‘E.P.3’ doesn’t want to acknowledge the 2014 effort. Interesting. In any event, Binns and Hardaker will keep us guessing until the leaves start changing colour.
Both the 12″ vinyl and the digital download versions of Zero 7’s latest release on Make Records, ‘E.P.3′, are out now. Past writings on TGTF about Zero 7, including a chat with Henry Binns last year, are this way.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 13th April 2015 at 10:00 am
In a rare turn of events (ha!) I’m not going to say anything about this free download of fellow Mancunian Deadbear‘s remix of Dutch Uncles‘ ‘Upsilon’, because the parties involved are much more eloquent about what happened here than I ever could have been. Take it away, fellas: Deadbear speaks first:
It seemed like a perfect song to try and distill into something totally simple as opposed to the beguiling complexity of the original track.
Most of the track was written and produced at night. I wanted to create that feeling of being both isolated and totally in awe, maybe in love too, with the night time – the silence, and that sense that you’re the only one awake for miles around. It’s a feeling I’ve always really enjoyed and thrived on, it’s kind of magical in a way. Especially if you’re creating something.
Robin Richards from Dutch Uncles:
We first heard of DeadBear after a collaboration with our pal Alex Hewitt (Egyptian Hip Hop) and we’ve been fans ever since. We love the less obvious approach on this remix and can imagine it being the perfect, calming reprise to the originals climax.
Duncan Wallis from Dutch Uncles of the original track:
’Upsilon’ is about an overdramatic decision to quit Facebook or MySpace because, when you’re young, you don’t always have the capacity to see other people’s lives (or the bits they want to show you at least) for what they really are. This is also a result of the immense peer pressure to join in with the flirt of social media.
Thought provoking. Listen to and grab the mp3 for your very own – and for free! – below. You can also compare and contrast the remix to the original, as I’ve handily included an embed of the original Dutch Uncles track directly below the remix.
Leeds folk rock singer Eaves, aka Joe Lyons, has announced details of a full-band headline tour of the UK in May, along with the video for his new single ‘Pylons’. The song is the lead track on Eaves’ debut album ‘What Green Feels Like'; both the album and the single are due for release on the 27th of April via Heavenly Recordings.
Tickets for the following shows are available now. Below the tour date listing, you can find the official video for ‘Pylons’, which was filmed on the Dorset coast and directed by James Alexandrou.
Tuesday 5th May 2015 – Glasgow Berkeley Suite
Wednesday 6th May 2015 – Leeds Belgrave Music Hall
Thursday 7th May 2015 – Manchester Castle Hotel
Friday 8th May 2015 – Nottingham Chameleon
Saturday 9th May 2015 – Bristol Louisiana
Monday 11th May 2015 – Brighton Prince Albert
Tuesday 12th May 2015 – London Sebright Arms
Bristol indie pop quintet Coasts will embark on a summer headline tour of “Coastal” seaside towns and riverside cities in the UK this June, culminating with their biggest headline show to date at the London Koko. They are also scheduled to make summer festival appearances at Isle of Wight, T in the Park, and Reading and Leeds.
Coasts’ new single ‘Modern Love’ will be released on the 27th of April, but you can view the official video for the track just below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following shows are available now. For previous TGTF coverage of Coasts, go here.
Tuesday 2nd June 2015 – Sunderland Independent
Wednesday 3rd June 2015 – Hull Fruit
Thursday 4th June 2015 – Liverpool Academy 2
Saturday 6th June 2015 – Aberystwyth University
Sunday 7th June 2015 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Tuesday 9th June 2015 – Ramsgate Music Hall
Friday 19th June 2015 – Southend Chinnerys
Saturday 20th June 2015 – London Koko
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 10th April 2015 at 6:00 pm
It’s Friday! It’s time for the weekend! So why not kick back with a new video from Norwegian house and disco DJ, singer/songwriter and producer Todd Terje, aka the musical mastermind behind 2014 masterpiece and his debut ‘It’s Album Time’. The man clearly has a sense of humour, well illustrated in the animated promo for ‘Alfonso Muskedunder’, including a whole cast of drawn characters – some human, some not, but all quirky – ‘singing’ along with the melody. Watch the unique video from Terje below.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 10th April 2015 at 4:00 pm
Josh Savage was a late addition to the line-up for SXSW 2015, and judging from this video he made himself using a GoPro camera, the Winchester/Paris singer/songwriter had a great reception in Austin. In this video, it’s like you’re in the room with him and his new fans while performing the lovely ‘Lost in Paris’. Watch it below.
Our past coverage on Josh Savage, including Carrie’s interview with him at the Driskill Hotel in Austin last month, is here.
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