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By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 28th February 2013 at 10:00 am
Ghostpost is offering up this free download of track ‘MSI MUSMID’, from his forthcoming album ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’, which is scheduled for release on the 6th of May on PIAS. This second album is the follow-up to Ghostpoet’s 2011 Mercury Prize-nominated debut album ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’. Listen to and download the teaser song below. He’ll be touring in May and June, all the details are below.
Saturday 18th May 2013 – Coventry Kasbah
Tuesday 21th May 2013 – Liverpool East Village Arts Club
Wednesday 22nd May 2013 – Sheffield Queens Road Social
Thursday 23rd May 2013 – Newcastle Cluny
Friday 24th May 2013 – Glasgow Broadcast
Saturday 25th May 2013 – Edinburgh Electric Circus
Monday 27th May 2013 – Bournemouth Winchester
Tuesday 28th May 2013 – Manchester Gorilla
Wednesday 29th May 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Thursday 30th May 2013 – London Village Underground
Sunday June 2nd – Leicester Academy
Monday June 3rd – Oxford Academy
Friday June 7th – Suffolk John Peel Arts Centre
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 27th February 2013 at 10:00 am
I’m excited. The 1975 from Manchester are coming to my town 2 weeks after SXSW 2013. (We profiled them in the UK electronic acts chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013.) When they are in Washington, they will be playing DC9, where Delphic made their local debut in 2010. Synthesiser band vs. synthesiser band…should be interesting if the 1975’s set will rival the Delphs’… But I digress…
The purpose of today’s MP3 of the Day post? The 1975 are giving away a collection of remixes based around their last EP ‘Sex’, which include previously revealed remixes by Ryan Hemsworth, Hackman and Andrea, plus two previously unheard remixes from Blue Sky Black Death and Plan. Listen to and download the Blue Sky Black Death remix for free below, and you can grab the whole load of remixes for free in exchange for your email address in the widget underneath.
Yesterday we showed you the new video for ‘Chocolate’, the lead song from ‘Music for Cars’, a new EP by the band out on Monday. Catch the 1975 at SXSW on Tuesday 12 March at 11 PM at the British Music Embassy’s home for the week, Latitude 30, and the ASCAP showcase at Red Eyed Fly on Wednesday 13 March, time TBA.
I knew exactly two things going into this gig. First, the Last Bison had asked us to cover a gig last autumn but I had to turn it down because I was already booked. And second, they were local-ish, from about three hours south of Washington DC in Chesapeake, VA. I left later that night from a sold out show feeling jubilant and looking forward to their album coming out next month.
Durham, North Carolina’s Bombadil opened the night for us looking like a cross between English school boys and matadors. They were fun, but the best word to describe them is clever. I have to admit that I would not sit at home listening to them, but I would eagerly spend another evening in the party like atmosphere of their live show. Reminiscent of They Might Be Giants, the lyrics were witty and the delivery was rapid fire.
Mid-set brought them out in the middle of the floor to sing a cappella a tune in the round that you would have mistaken for an old southern spiritual if you had missed the lyrics, “I’m laying this one down / I ain’t putting you on / Girl I’ll give you ‘til dawn / then you got to get to getting on”. A perfect example of their tunage came in the song ‘A Question’ which was dubbed their ‘Valentine’s song’ for the evening, lyrically all angular and awkward, yet endearingly strummed out on a ukulele.
The members of the Last Bison, seven strong, are a part of a community that I happened to be involved with in my ‘other’ life. The Last Bison are siblings Ben and Annah Hardesty, their dad Dan, another sibling set of Andrew and Jay Benfante and friends Amos Housworth and Teresa Totheroh. Turns out they met as homeschoolers in southeastern Virginia. Since I also homeschool my kids, I actually knew people who were familiar with these kids as they grew into this fabulous band. Self-described as ‘mountain-top chamber music’, they further that image with old-timey garb and classic folk instruments like an antique organ and a mandolin. They kicked off their two month North American tour with us in Washington, DC on Valentine’s Day night.
This was an intensely synergistic set, with all the bits were well integrated and no musical element seemed to take the forefront. But it’s Ben Hardesty that really draws you in. A charismatic, amiable frontman, he spoke of backpacking across Europe, befriending a homeless man, and thrift store shopping. Being as this was Valentine’s night, the crowd was clamouring for a love song when suddenly a few notes of Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ snuck out. The quite young crowd went wild. Chagrined that they didn’t have a love song of their own to play, Ben and his dad spent 90 seconds picking out chords and before you knew it, the band was full swing into the cover.
In a move that shows them to be true musicians, they all played a wonderful rendition of ‘Love Song’, complete with harmonies, gorgeous strings underneath and wild audience participation at the few moments when the words were flubbed. And the aforementioned homeless man, Milton? Ben had invited him to the gig, given him a sleeping bag and dedicated their most popular song ‘Switzerland’ to him. (You can hear and grab the song for free below.) A good portion of the crowd had been at that gig I missed a few months ago and he gratefully acknowledged their support. Although hipster-friendly, I got the feeling these guys were the real deal. By the way, Milton really did show up.
With the right effort, I can see this band going far. The wave of alt-folk/Americana music sweeping North America and Europe right now still has room for some fresh voices. With Mumford and Sons’ Grammy win this year, this trend is going nowhere. Folk fatigue may set in eventually, but I predict we still have years to come with this particular brand of music, and frankly, I like it. The Last Bison’s newest album will drop next month, on the 5th of March, on Universal Republic.
The Last Bison will be showcasing at this year’s SXSW; so far their official showcase has been announced to be on Tuesday 12 March at 12 AM at Blackheart.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 18th February 2013 at 10:00 am
I caught Adelaide, Australia’s Atlas Genius open for Wolf Gang at this DC show in October. Consider this your notice ahead of their stratospheric rise to fame, as the band release ‘When It Was Now’ in America on Warner on Tuesday. The band are currently supporting Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons on a North American tour, before they shimmy themselves over to Austin for this year’s SXSW in March. Catch them play KCRW’s showcase at the Haven on Wednesday 13 March and The Warner Sound’s showcase at the Belmont on Thursday 14 March.
They’re offering up an acoustic version of ‘If So’ recorded at Electric Lady Studios absolutely free. There is a great video of the band recording it, which I’ve also included below. I’m in such a giving mood, I dug up two more remixes of their track ‘Backseat’, reimagined by Aislyn and Goldroom, for you to have for free too. And to top it all off, you can have a listen to the whole album before it comes out tomorrow, because I’ve embedded the stream for you. ‘cos sharing is caring, right?
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 15th February 2013 at 10:00 am
Brighton’s Cave Painting, who released the fantastic ‘Votive Life’ last year that I only recently got around to reviewing.
Good thing I got that review out this week though, as there’s word they will releasing an EP in America on the 26th of March, called ‘Midnight Love’. (This track was released on their UK debut EP, ‘You’ll Be Running Soon’, in 2011.) But if you’re late to the Cave Painting game, you can grab the mp3 courtesy of Rolling Stone here.
Catch the band showcasing in Austin at SXSW 2013 in March. (We previewed them in the pop UK acts chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013.) So far, according to the SXSW Music schedule released yesterday, they have been announced to be playing the British Music Embassy afternoon showcase at Latitude 30 (San Jacinto Boulevard) on Wednesday the 13th of March. More details soon.
The “return of the Great British guitar band” is the most overused cliché in music journalism. But when describing The Virginmarys, this appears the best way to describe them is as, well, a throwback to the Great British guitar bands of yonder year. I’m talking The Who, Oasis, etc.
The Macclesfield band’s debut album ‘King of Conflict’, available now from DoubleCross Records (Cooking Vinyl’s new rock imprint), is as raw as a Tesco horse/beef burger and comes at you through your speakers as a wall of hook-laden sound that is just impossible to ignore. It’s proper head banging stuff and the exact kind of stuff you can just imagine thousands of people going mental too and jumping their willies off at a festival too.
The likenings to Oasis and The Who aren’t complete without a reference to their passing similarities to Northern heroes Arctic Monkeys. While the lyrical genius of Alex Turner isn’t there, what you will get with these boys is some of the best balls-out rock ‘n’ roll you’ll sink your teeth into this year. You’ll notice them smelling slightly of The Gaslight Anthem at times with that brand of fist pump-friendly tunage, minus the southern drawl and Boss mentions of course.
They’ve already headlined one of the HMV’s Next Big Thing festival gigs in 2012, so it’s safe to expect that these boys will be a staple of BBC Introducing stages around this year’s festival circuit. And while I personally haven’t heard them live, if they can translate one-tenth of how good they sound on record, then they are definitely a band not to be missed.
The Virginmarys bring their brand of rock to this year’s SXSW; We previewed them in the rock / metal / punk UK bands chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013. Grab a free mp3 of ‘Dressed to Kill’ from ‘King of Conflict’, recorded acoustically, here from Rolling Stone.