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By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 15th October 2013 at 12:00 pm
Hold on to your hats, folks. Or maybe I should say geriatric vitamins and walkers, because this news should make you feel old. Piano-driven stadium rockers Keane have done the unthinkable and announced they’ll be releasing a greatest hits compilations, ‘The Best of Keane’, on the 11th of November on Island. To hook long-time fans into buying this package are two new songs, ‘Won’t Be Broken’ and ‘Higher Than the Sun’, the latter of which has already hit radio stations.
The tune starts off relatively benignly, with a pleasing drummed rhythm and it isn’t long before Tom Chaplin’s signature voice comes in: “Turn, turn up the sun / takes me higher than the sun / sing, sing from your gut / sing it ’til we become one” – ? Are you serious? Is this really from the same band that brought us ‘This is the Last Time’, ‘Everybody’s Changing’ or even more recent ‘Silenced by the Night’ and ‘Disconnected’? The one saving grace to this song is the grand build-up to the chorus, which Tim Rice-Oxley is a master at orchestrating.
The bridge is admirable – “There’s a song to ease your fears / a song to take you far from here / one for joy, one for desire, one for despair” – but seeing that the song as a whole feels lacklustre, I wonder if the words would have worked better written down in a book in poem form rather than being offered up in a song. Songs are meant to inspire. Are Keane past it? As a long-time fan, I sincerely hope not, but I wonder how much longer they can keep going like this.
Stream the song below. Watch the promo video for ‘Higher Than the Sun’ here in this previous Video of the Moment feature.
It’s difficult to imagine exactly how a band from Leeds should sound. It might have something to do with heavy industry, perhaps a bit of boot-in-the-face blues-rock; certainly there will be an electric guitar or two. Suffice to say whatever the mind conjures it probably won’t be what Fossil Collective offer with their latest song revealed.
‘The Water’ uses layers of acoustic guitar and heavily-reverbed vocals to generate a windswept, desolate landscape, which builds to a gentle, keening brass-laden crescendo of modest beauty. Imagine standing atop a granite boulder somewhere on a windswept corner of the Yorkshire Moors, summoning the spirits of deceased Black Dyke Band members, as photographed by Andreas Gursky. That should do the trick.
‘The Water’ is also the title of their forthcoming EP, to be released on the 28th of October on Dirty Hit Records. We’ve yet to hear the other three tracks, but if they are up to the same standard as this then fans of bucolic UK folk will be dead chuffed, like. Stream ‘The Water’ below, and catch up on their their tour dates across the UK and Ireland posted below as well.
Tuesday 1st October 2013 – Brighton Haunt
Friday 4th October 2013 – Bristol Louisiana
Saturday 5th October 2013 – Cardiff Moon Club
Sunday 6th October 2013 – Exeter Phoenix Art Centre
Monday 7th October 2013 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 8th October 2013 – Oxford Academy
Wednesday 9th October 2013 – London Tabernacle
Thursday 10th October 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 11th October 2013 – Liverpool Leaf Cafe
Sunday 13th October 2013 – Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
Monday 14th October 2013 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Tuesday 15th October 2013 – Belfast McHughs
Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Dublin Academy 2
‘This Modern Glitch’ was one of the first albums I ever reviewed, and it was definitely the first album I have properly obsessed over. The record just made me freak out in my car and I remember fondly a friend of mine and I dancing like absolute nutters as ‘Tokyo (Wolves and Thieves)’, ‘Our Perfect Disease’ and ‘Techno Fan’ blared from the speakers.
High expectations for the Wombats‘ new release ‘Your Body is a Weapon’, then.
Disappointed? Not one bit. It’s exactly the neurosis-drowned banger that I wanted from the Liverpool band. Swamped in Murph’s indomitable sense of misery, talking about a paparazzi who he witnessed taking a photo of some generic Harry Styles or Conor Maynard wanker.
At around 2 and a half minutes in, you get a taste of the unhinged beauty of the Wombats as Murph squeals, “my body is a temple of doom, doomed to not be by your side”, before bursting into the chorus of “someone protect me from the one I love!” It’s an absolute bouncing keg of fun, whatever the subject material, not something to get morose and dwell on but an indie banger, from the Liverpudlian KINGS of the indie bangers, the Wombats.
2014 watch out. There’s about 10 tunes up ahead you won’t stop hearing at any ‘alternative’ club night for a good while coming from these boys. Watch the animated kinda sorta lyric video for ‘Your Body is a Weapon’ below; the single is out now on 14th Floor Records.
Northern Irish soul troubadour Foy Vance is allowing us a sneak peek at yet another track from his forthcoming second full length album ‘Joy of Nothing’.
‘Closed Hands, Full of Friends’ starts off with an insistent throb, filled in with resonant piano notes, it then builds up to the shattering release of “But I’m feeling alright!” Crafted with a perfect mix of strings, piano, and voice, oh my god that voice, it’s 4 minutes that was on a loop for me as soon as I heard it. With a rallying cry of “I will find my means to an end with an open-hearted home and closed hand full of friends”, you can feel the swelling of grandeur within the space between the notes. The song builds to a sudden end that provides instant closure, yet leaves me clawing for more. I simply cannot wait for this album later this month.
Vance is also offering his b-side ‘Dark Horse’ for free via Noistrade. Grab it, listen to it below, pre-order ‘Joy of Nothing’ and fall in love with this man. ‘Joy of Nothing’ will be available 26 August on Glassnote Records.
I’m sorry Miss Jackson, but I am in fact for real. Someone has gone and maliciously nicked the title of the song in your honour and turned it into a nu-emo call to arms. Apologies, Andre 3000.
Yes, Panic at the Disco are back, and with that inevitably the comparisons to their contemporaries Fall Out Boy follow. None more so than with their new single, ‘Miss Jackson’, but more on that later. Even after significant line-up changes since their debut ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’, Panic at the Disco are still led by the mischievous Brandon Urie, who when he isn’t busy having cascades of urine thrown at him, actually doubles as a pretty charismatic and charming young frontman.
‘Miss Jackson’ is still a departure from their earlier material, however, that can be expected with the Vegas boys shying away from calling people whores and the like in their past two records. This song though leaves me thinking; have they gone and done a Fall Out Boy, by releasing something a bit off the wall, but altogether very radio friendly, much like ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark’. They’ve always shared a close affinity with the emo poster boys, and this song while having an inherent replayability is nothing that will have people remembering the glory days of PATD.
Instead, indifference and a relative sense of “oh, they’re still about” is all I felt with the arrival of ‘Miss Jackson’, and while the nostalgia that follows them is welcome, you won’t hear me squealing with joy at Panic’s return.
‘Miss Jackson’ is the first single from Panic at the Disco’s next album ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’, out this autumn.
My memories of Kings Of Leon vary from the grand spankingly brilliant, with me and my Dad driving round our island paradise of Guernsey, screeching at the top of our lungs, that we were CHARMERS, until our voices were as broken as a goat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggP2_5kPZts).
Then came the ominous cloud of ‘Only by the Night’, and the band that was OUR (and every other music critic) band, became every Tom, Dick and Harry’s band. They were thrust onto the Radio 1 A-list and you couldn’t go into a nightclub without hearing some garishly mixed ‘Sex on Fire’ megamix. KOL were no longer that cool band, adored by musos in the UK. They became a dirty word. Then came Reading 2009, a moment where I thought the Followills would cast off the shackles of stardom and flourish.
Instead, they pulled a naughty boy tantrum and stropped off, throwing their toys (and guitar, ouch) well out of the pram and into the onlooking crowd. The follow-up to their 2009 behemoth, ‘Come Around Sundown’ was as underwhelming as underwhelm-ment goes. Their attempt to return to the roots of their early success saw them drop to the dreary depths of a song about returning home, ‘Back Down South’. It smacked of desperation.
So imagine my joy when my ears were welcomed to the sound of a “supersoaker, red white and blew ‘em all away”. They ere back, they’re firing on all cylinders and there’s hope. Album ‘Mechanical Bull’ is set for release soon and in ‘Supersoaker’, they don’t have an automatic chart marauder, but instead they have returned to their routes, with a genuine sense of sincerity. It may not be the wanton disregard of ‘Four Kicks’, but it’s certainly a sign of brighter prospects for any Kings of Leon purists, who had long since abandoned the church of Followill.
The ‘Supersoaker’ single from Kings of Leon is out now; stream the song below. Their next album ‘Mechanical Bull’ is out on the 23rd of September.
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