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For those of you out there who believe that the weather carries an influence on what you listen to, well then perhaps Midas Fall‘s debut album should be better left on the shelf until autumn comes and the pervading darkness really sinks its teeth in.
To be honest though, that’s not really fair to this Scottish outfit hailing from Edinburgh. What we have going on with this somber post punk bunch is soaring guitars, ridiculously good drumming and equally noticeable vocals belting out from lead singer Elizabeth Heaton. In short, this is the sort of LP that can practically be enjoyed any time of the year. Think of a pleading Doloris O’Riordian of Cranberry fame fronting a band reminiscent of both The Cure and Portishead and you have just created the quintet of Midas Fall.
A particular highlight in each of the ten songs on “Eleven, Return and Revert” is the saturated amount of noise going on with each track. I’m not talking about orchestral sets coming in or an overkill of heavy Pro Tool use either. Just emotive rock ‘n’ roll in the purest since. Take “17”, for example, a driving piano melody sets the course of winding swirl of guitar noise and thumping drum beat.
Then there’s the eerie “Century” where a melancholy Heaton mournfully yelps that she “Can’t hold you anymore” before the band’s distinct sound takes off into a blur of driving noise that is boldly characteristic, yet different enough to be a special album standout.
It would be easy to give a rambling synopsis of each song that is layered thick with darkness and dripping with ambiguity. Let me defend this throwaway statement up with the anxious “Fog Sky Nun” where a “pause and go” melody sees each band member doing their own trippy thing, ranging from the funky chopping of drums to erratic guitar riffs. Something as collectively bold as this has yet to be heard on the music front for a long time.
A blue sky and the mild temperatures of spring haven’t stopped me from enjoying this wonderful debut from another spectacular Scottish band. I have a feeling that I’ll love it even more when the clouds of winter begin to loom overhead some six months from now.
We’ve featured a fair bit recently about the new Kitsune Maison 9 compilation which is out today. One of my favourite tracks on it comes from one of the first subjects of our Bands to Watch pieces, the Good Natured.
It’s a spooky, mysterious and slightly haunting track from the Berkshire rising star, and one that you should definitely add to your collection.
MP3: The Good Natured -Your Body Is A Machine – Zebra and Snake remix
MP3: The Good Natured – Warriors
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 6:00 pm
Andalucia is a region of Spain with a rich history and culture. Equally rich is Doves‘s song of the same name, with Jimi Goodwin’s vocals and jangly guitars and its accompanying promo video. Profiling the region’s trademark flamenco dancing, this video doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with the Manchester trio’s song per se, but the cinematography’s great.
‘Andalucia’ is a new track on Doves’s recent compilation ‘The Best of Doves: The Space Between’ is available now. The band will begin a UK tour later this month.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 2:00 pm
Stockton-on-Tees septet Young Rebel Set will be self-releasing a new EP in early May. ‘Won’t Get Up Again’ is an interesting, varied collection of tunes. The first half could be called ‘the stadium favourites’. The title track is country with a slight pop edge, which explains their MySpace citing Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan as influences.
Better still is ‘Fall Hard’, which is less country and has more stadium rock potential, with Matt Chipcase’s vocals practically begging you to sing along. Don’t shoot the messenger, but I honestly think this one sounds a bit like it could have been from Britpoppers Ride, and even more like the earliest Hootie and the Blowfish singles, and you all know how huge they were for a moment in time in the mid-‘90s. For their sake, I hope Young Rebel Set have more longevity that both.
If the first half is for singing in stadiums, then the second half are ‘tunes for the fireside’. ‘Bagatelle’ literally means ‘trifle’ in French, and the term has been used by classical composers for years to describe a short piece of music, usually mellow. Oddly, this is the longest track of the four (over 5 minutes) and if you’re looking for something more rousing, this can be a bit grating in its repetitiveness.
‘Rosie’ is a bouncy little folk number about the village bicycle. The story could have been told in a very cruel way but somehow in Chipcase’s winsome voice, you’re actually cheering on poor Rosie in the end. You can watch a stripped down Young Rebel Set (meaning only four members instead of seven, with vocals, three guitars, and a harmonica) playing an acoustic version of the song below. With instruments in Young Rebel Set’s deft hands, I’m definitely interested in hearing more from this band. With any luck, they’ll soon become the biggest thing to come out of Teesside since Bruce Thomas of Elvis Costello and the Attractions.
Young Rebel Set are currently on a UK tour through the beginning of May. The ‘Won’t Get Up Again’ EP will be released 02 May. The band has promised on their official Web site that a pre-order link will be made available soon.
Surely I don’t need to explain to you what Glastonbury is – it’s simply LEGENDARY. Even as an American (though, admittedly, an Anglophile), every year I drool over the lineup, despair at not being able to attend and then scour the internet for pictures and videos when it’s over. Each summer, the enormous site at Worthy Farm (about a mile and a half in diameter) turns into a mini-city for the largest greenfield festival in the world. Since the first Glasto was held 40 years ago in 1970, the festival has come to be known for its truly amazing lineup, and this year is no different.
One of the perks of being the biggest festival around is that you can get the biggest artists around. This year, the Pyramid Stage will be graced by some of the most recognizable names in music. On Friday night, Irish rockers U2 are headlining, with support from Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, and Corinne Bailey Rae. Saturday night sees headliner MUSE share the stage with the likes of Scissor Sisters, Shakira and Jackson Browne. And on the final night, legend Stevie Wonder tops the bill, closing out the festival after performances from Paloma Faith, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and guitar legend Slash.
But it’s not only the main stage that’s worth visiting. Punters will get quite a workout running between that and the other 12 stages, of which the Other Stage, the John Peel Stage and the Park Stage look the most promising. Over the course of the weekend, the Other Stage lineup reads like the index page of NME: The Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Hot Chip, Phoenix, the Courteeners, the Cribs, Kate Nash, Editors, Two Door Cinema Club, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, We Are Scientists, Temper Trap, the Hold Steady and more.
Originally called the “New Bands Tent,” the John Peel Stage features a mix of old and new favourites. Friday night sees Groove Armada share the stage with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and Bombay Bicycle Club. Saturday night is jam-packed with bands we’ve featured here on TGTF, like the xx, Foals, Marina and the Diamonds, Delphic, Wild Beasts and Field Music. And Sunday night remains epic with sets by Ash, Julian Casablancas and the Drums.
All the way across the site, the Park Stage will play host to buzz bands like the xx, Broken Bells, the Big Pink, Midlake, Laura Marling, Stornoway, Beach House, Frankie & the Heartstrings and Dirty Projectors, ending with a headlining set by Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun on Sunday night. And at the risk of making your heads explode by listing even more bands, at the other stages festival-goers will be treated to performances by Mos Def, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Turin Brakes, Imelda May, DJ Fatboy Slim, Crystal Castles, Good Shoes, Fanfarlo and Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip.
If you’re not already overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the festival, then you can click here to view the complete lineup. But if you don’t already have tickets for the sold out spectacular, then be warned, it will turn you green with envy.
Glastonbury 2010 is completely SOLD OUT. It will be held from Wednesday, 23rd June to Sunday, 27th June 2010 at Worthy Farm, Pilton.
Sigur Ros’ Jónsi is hitting the road once again in September playing a series of UK shows in support of his solo album, Go.
Tickets are on sale now. Catch him at:
Wednesday 1st September 2010 – Bristol Colston Hall
Sunday 5th September 2010 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Monday 6th September 2010 – Manchester Academy
Wednesday 8th September 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy
Thursday 9th September 2010 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Monday 13th September 2010 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Tuesday 14th September 2010 – Brighton Dome
Friday 26th November 2010 – London HMV Hammersmith