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In the Post #139: Esmé Patterson flips the perspective on pop music with concept album ‘Woman to Woman’

 
By on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 at 11:00 am
 

American singer/songwriter Esmé Patterson recently debuted the video for her new single ‘The Glow’, which will feature on her upcoming album ‘Woman to Woman’. The album was conceived as a response to the portrayals of female characters in popular songs such as Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ and Elvis Costello’s ‘Alison’. Patterson herself explains the origin and concept of the album this way: “I was learning to play a Townes Van Zandt song called “Loretta”, and I started thinking about how many songs were just a woman’s name, and how these women are frozen in time, and frozen as archetypes, frozen in black and white. And I thought they deserved to be coloured in.” Back in June, Patterson was invited to discuss her idea at Denver, Colorado’s TEDxMileHigh conference, where she played three songs from the album in addition to providing her commentary.

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The lead track from ‘Woman to Woman’ is called ‘The Glow’, in reference to the classic Beach Boys song ‘Caroline, No’. It explains how life might have caused the fictional Caroline to “lose that happy glow”, as mentioned in Brian Wilson and Tony Asher’s original lyrics. Patterson’s counter-lyrics are somewhat brooding, but her musical treatment is optimistic, with a harmonic modulation near the end indicating that Caroline might just have the strength to move forward from her heartbreak.

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The songs on ‘Woman To Woman’ were inspired by a wide stylistic range of popular artists, from early 20th century blues man Leadbelly to the aforementioned King of Pop. The track listing for the album is as follows (corresponding popular songs listed in parentheses):
1. Valentine (Elvis Costello – ‘Alison’)
2. Never Chase A Man (Dolly Parton – ‘Jolene’)
3. Oh Let’s Dance (The Kinks – ‘Lola’)
4. Tumbleweed (Townes Van Zandt – ‘Loretta’)
5. What Do You Call A Woman (Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’)
6. The Glow (The Beach Boys – ‘Caroline, No’)
7. Louder Than the Sound (The Band – ‘Evangeline’)
8. Bluebird (The Beatles – ‘Eleanor Rigby’)
9. A Dream (Leadbelly – ‘Goodnight Irene’)
10. Wildflower (Bob Dylan – ‘To Ramona’)

Recently signed to Xtra Mile Records (the home of Frank Turner and To Kill a King), Patterson is due to release the ‘Woman to Woman’ LP worldwide on the 2nd of February 2015.

Rating for ‘The Glow’: 8/10

 

The Cribs / February 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 at 8:00 am
 

The Cribs have just announced a string of February 2015 tour dates built around their sold out NME Awards Show appearance at the Electric Ballroom in London. The band are due to release their sixth studio album next year as well; Gary Jarman explains that “these shows were planned as the perfect way for us to debut many of the new songs and a great opportunity to give our hardcore fanbase a chance to hear these songs first in an intimate setting”.

Tickets for the following dates (except London) are on sale today, Wednesday, the 17th of December, at 9 AM. The dates precede the band’s scheduled appearance at SXSW 2015 in March in Austin, Texas.

Wednesday 11th February 2015 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 12th February 2015 – London Electric Ballroom (NME Awards show, sold out)
Saturday 14th February 2015 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Sunday 15th February 2015 – Bristol Fleece
Tuesday 17th February 2015 – Birmingham Oobleck
Friday 20th February 2015 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Sunday 22nd February 2015 – Sheffield Leadmill

 

Video of the Moment #1705 (and more!): THUMPERS feat. Jena Malone

 
By on Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

London synthpop duo THUMPERS have a pretty simplistic promo for ‘Devotee’, their collaboration with American actress Jena Malone, who they met and befriended on their last visit to Los Angeles. (Is it just me, or does Malone sound a bit like LDR on this?) The video is also a collaboration, seeing the three of them ham it up unpretentiously for the cameras. Watch the promo below.

Want a free copy of the ‘Get Together’ EP starring Malone, Chloe Howl, Blood Red Shoes and Sun Club? Visit THUMPERS’ official Web site, where you can have it in exchange for your email address.

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Bands to Watch #315: Jameson

 
By on Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

California singer/songwriter Jameson Burt, known on stage simply as Jameson, is currently in the midst of a UK tour supporting fellow American West Coast band Rival Sons. His new EP ‘Carnivore’ features five tracks of emotionally evocative, banjo-laced Americana rock. Often the bright, twangy sound of a banjo indicates a light-hearted thematic approach, but Jameson uses the instrument to add interest and color to the dramatic, minor-key sound of his songs. Listening to the virtuosity of his banjo melodies, it’s hard to believe that he is self-taught, having only picked up the instrument about two years ago while working at a roadside fruit stand.

Jameson cites among his musical inspirations “bourbon, sleep deprivation and the writings of Ernest Hemingway”. His current single ‘Breathe Your Last’ is a searing, uptempo folk rock number that displays all three of those influences. From the opening moments, the banjo and percussion provide a sense of frenetic insomniac agitation. His powerful vocals evoke the dark, rich flavor of American whisky, while his lyrical “tales of travel and restlessness, love and listlessness, passion, desire and regret” have a certain existential trace of Papa Hemingway about them.

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Aside from his unique banjo style, the standout characteristic of Jameson’s music is his singing voice. On the surface his delivery is raw and emotive, but close listening reveals that his voice is technically strong and flexible as well. His full vocal sound is displayed throughout the EP, but more impressive are the virtuosic moments, such as the melodic run in the chorus of ‘Falling’.

The single version of ‘Breathe Your Last’ includes a reworked version of a track called ‘Liar’ from Jameson’s solo acoustic ‘Pronto’ EP. While ‘Liar’ doesn’t feature on ‘Carnivore’, it’s worth a listen just to hear the progression of Jameson’s arrangement. The addition of percussion and backing vocals transforms the song from simple country folk to something much more sensual, giving an ironic twist to the gospel flavor of the lyric “come on preacher / pass the plate around while we’re listening / you talk up your faith, downplay your sin”.

Following on from ‘Pronto’, which was released in March of this year, Jameson wrote, performed and recorded ‘Carnivore’ single-handedly before enlisting producer Dallas Krusse and Rival Sons bassist Dave Beste to polish the final sound. Beste subsequently invited Jameson to open as tour support on Rival Sons’ UK shows in the summer of 2014 and then on their current European and UK Fall Tour, which began in November.

‘Carnivore’ was released on the 8th of December and is available now. If you’re quick, you can catch Jameson opening for Rival Sons as they wrap up their tour of the UK; find all the dates on Rival Sons’ official Web site.

 

Preview: Reading and Leeds 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Round and round the big festival headliner roundabout goes. Will it be Muse? Unlikely, give it another few years. Foo Fighters? I’d bet good money this is going to happen. Blink-182? Bit early! Metallica? Yeah, why not! They’ve not released anything as a band proper since 2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’!

Upon the announcement, what did Lars Ulrich have to say about playing Reading and Leeds for the fourth time? “We are practically the house band.” You’re not wrong, Lars.

Now, I’m not saying the announcement of undeniably the greatest thrash metal band touring at the moment is a bad thing. But it does seem that these big ticket festivals are becoming overly reliant on a select group of supergroups, rotating the same headliners and introducing a new name to the melting pot oh so infrequently. Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore joined the top table patriarchy last year through their co-headline slot. But really the first time a band reached the line-up summit was Biffy Clyro in 2013. Their headline set at Reading and Leeds last year raised the bar, showing exactly what a band who have been lifted to the top of the bill can achieve with the proverbial wind of change in their sails.

Fast-forward to 2015 and we have, as mentioned by Mr Ulrich, Metallica topping the bill for the fourth time. You know what you get from the Americans, which I can pay testament to after Sonisphere earlier this year. You get a headline set full of flair, personality and tunes. They slayed Glastonbury and left egg on many a head with their superb showmanship. It’s an even safer booking for Reading and Leeds, as heavy metal tends to go down far more favourably in front of 100,000 16- and 17-year olds off their heads on warm Kopparberg and MDMA, compared to 200,000 woolly liberals stoned off their heads stumbling around a farm. Nobody can deny that when the opening riffs of ‘Master of Puppets’ drops, the tweens and the hardcores will all unite in throwing some horns. It’s a no brainer.

As for the rest of the first announcement, the most enticing has to be the return of Jamie T. ‘Carry on the Grudge’ dropped in September of this year and encapsulated everything any fan of the 28-year old poet wanted. The tunes were the kind which burrowed their way into your cerebral cortex and didn’t budge. The South London-born singer-songwriter went away and evolved forward and I can see Richfield Avenue going absolutely mental for him.

As for the rest, Wilkinson is one of those bookings which will appeal to the Snapchat generation, much in the same way Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did last year. For me, I feel it’s not the way I would like to see the festival going.

But I also understand that an event like Reading and Leeds needs to sell tickets.

D’uh.

To purchase basic weekend tickets for Reading Festival 2015, go here, where the price currently stands at £205 plus fees. For tickets to its more northern counterpart Leeds Festival 2015 offered at the same price, head this way.

 

Video of the Moment #1704: To Kill a King

 
By on Monday, 15th December 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

London-based band To Kill a King have a unique and elegant lyric video for ‘Love is Coal’. The solemn track appears the band’s latest EP ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’, released this autumn.

To Kill a King will be touring the UK in March 2015.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest tours, gigs, and music we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like idiots.

The blog is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington DC. She is joined by writers in the UK and America. It was started up by Phil Singer in Bristol, UK.

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