Glasgow indie rockers Casual Sex have announced their new double A-side single as well as a short list of UK tour dates for this October. The single, which includes two contrasting tracks called ‘A Perfect Storm’ and ‘Pissing Neon’, will be officially released on the 6th of October via We Can Still Picnic Records. You can take a listen to ‘A Perfect Storm’ below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following shows are available now.
Monday 6th October 2014 – Glasgow CCA
Tuesday 7th October 2014 – London Sebright Arms
Thursday 9th October 2014 – Inverness Hootananny
Friday 10th October 2014 – Edinburgh Pleasance Theatre
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 29th August 2014 at 1:00 pm
Seems like just yesterday we were writing about Dry the River like a brand new band. (It was actually 3 years ago.) This week, they released their second album ‘Alarms in the Heart’ on Transgressive Records, and in case you haven’t picked yourself up a copy or you want a have a listen first, they’ve made it available for streaming below.
The ‘and more’ part of this post? The band filmed a making-of documentary of their time in Iceland recording the new album. We’ve embedded the documentary below the album stream. Enjoy.
You can peruse TGTF’s archive on Dry the River through this link.
Header photo by Nic Schonfeld
Scottish rockers the Twilight Sad will release their fourth album ‘Nobody Wants To Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave’ on the 27th of October via FatCat Records. You can stream its harrowing lead track ‘There’s a Girl in The Corner’ at the bottom of this page, courtesy of Noisey.
Leading into the album release, the Twilight Sad have announced the following UK tour dates, as well as a North American tour with their labelmates We Were Promised Jetpacks. Full tour information can be found here. The Twilight Sad will also appear at Richmond Park in Glasgow with a host of other Scottish bands, including Mogwai and Honeyblood, on the 30th of August.
Thursday 11th September 2014 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Friday 12th September 2014 – Birnam Arts Centre
Saturday 13th September 2014 – Strathpeffer Pavillion
Sunday 5th October 2014 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Monday 6th October 2014 – London Boston Music Rooms
Tuesday 7th October 2014 – Nottingham Bodega
Thursday 9th October 2014 – Edinburgh Pleasance
Temples have announced a list of UK tour dates to accompany the release of their deluxe album ‘Sun Restructured’. Described as a “re-animation’ of their debut album ‘Sun Structures’ (reviewed by Martin here), the new release was created by Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve (aka Erol Alkan and Richard Norris) and is due out on the 10th of November on Heavenly Records. You can listen to the remix of ‘Move With The Season’ below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following Temples shows go on sale tomorrow, Friday the 29th of August, at 9 AM.
Saturday 29th November 2014 – Bristol Trinity Centre
Sunday 30th November 2014 – Brighton Concorde 2
Monday 1st December 2014 – Norwich Waterfront
Wednesday 3rd December 2014 – London Forum
Thursday 4th December 2014 – Sheffield Leadmill
Saturday 6th December 2014 – Manchester Ritz
Monday 8th December 2014 – Edinburgh Liquid Room
Tuesday 9th December 2014 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Wednesday 10th December 2014 – Glasgow Arches
Thursday 11th December 2014 – Newcastle Riverside
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 27th August 2014 at 12:00 pm
This week marks the release of ‘Closing Time’, the latest album from Erland and the Carnival. While the band are on an indie (Full Time Hobby), considering that many bands can’t even get past their first albums without getting dropped, losing interest in the endeavour or breaking up, being able to say you’ve put out your third LP to the wild is a major accomplishment. The band, featuring the strong songwriting partnership of Orkney frontman Erland Cooper and ex-Verve guitarist and keyboardist Simon Tong, show off in fine fashion on ‘Closing Time’ their best work yet.
While 2011′s ‘Nightingale’ saw the band stretching their artistic arms towards the fanciful, with songs that might have felt more at home soundtracking films and/or utilising quirky electronic sounds, this album’s strengths are the storytelling in each of the individual tracks and the emotional content therein. The album begins with the twinkly title track, with precious xylophone and keyboard notes. Is it a death knell for a release to announce, repeatedly, from the start, “closing time / time to get you out of my mind / time to get you out of my life / nothing lasts forever”? Not necessarily.
The feeling stands more as a motto for the collection of 10 songs, an indicator of what is to come. And when I used the words ‘emotional content’ before, I meant it. There are some truly heart-wrenching moments on this album. ‘Closing Time’ expresses regret over a failed relationship and also possibly death (“please don’t talk about me when I’m gone / I’ll keep to the shadows after the light has gone”). Despite its upbeat tempo and seemingly gay guitar work, Cooper’s self-deprecation is on display in ‘Wrong’, as Cooper insists he’s “plain wrong” and begs for someone “can you help me?” as strings sympathetically hum.
Previous single ‘Quiet Love’, which features backing vocals and guitar for surprise guest Paul Weller, is a study in loneliness, a lilting paean to waiting for the Right One to come along but in the meantime, it’s perfectly okay to find peace in being alone. On standout ‘That’s the Way It Should Have Begun (But It’s Hopeless)’ Cooper might not be as witty as Neil Hannon, nor would the Divine Comedy mastermind be likely to use electronic chords or effects, but the feeling of hopelessness in a relationship being played out over a pop melody is very Hannon-esque.
The other major theme on this album is mortality. While touched upon on the title track, closing number ‘Daughter’ best exemplifies this. Written with a half bottle of whiskey and shortly after Cooper became a father for the first time, his process to describe leaving this world is an attempt to reassure (“just before I say goodbye / loving you won’t die”). Of the song, Cooper says, “I was trying to write and record the simplest song that can say a number of deeper things while saying something completely obvious.” The song is actually not that simple: while it features a repetitive but music box-like soothing piano melody, it features some looped backing vocals interspersed throughout that I guessed were the band’s attempt to mimic the disorientation one feels when nearing the end. The result is a song that is beautiful but also unsettling, unearthly.
Also haunting is ‘They’re Talking About You Again’, a conversation about “a different kind of love” (presumably homosexuality) and whether we will arrive in Heaven exalted (“will there be stars in my crown? / the evening sun’s going down / are we blessed in the mansions of rest? / will there be stars in my crown?”). In the tune, the guitars are suitably downbeat, as are the descending piano notes that are alternately forlorn and beautiful.
In the face of all this darkness and depth, some lighter moments feel out of place. ‘I Am Joan’ was originally titled humorously in honour of Tong’s nickname of ‘Joan of Arc’ for Cooper and sounds more like the prog folk rock band they began as 6 years ago; it comes across as enjoyable, but it’s fluff nevertheless. ‘Birth of a Nation’ is poptastic with its bright synths and marching gait, so there’s no question why this was chosen as a single. But it’s lightweight compared to some of its song brethren on ‘Closing Time’. Still, as a whole, this album proves Erland and the Carnival can write and record serious, yet touching, beautiful stories with engaging melodies. They also aren’t afraid of putting their heart on their sleeve or broaching some serious topics in popular song. And on all three counts, they should be truly commended.
Erland and the Carnival‘s third album ‘Closing Time’ is out now on Full Time Hobby. The band will be on tour in the UK in October. If you’re quick, you can hear the band live on BBC 6music iPlayer on a session they recorded with Marc Riley on the 6th of August.
Ben Howard blew my mind recently with the teaser track ‘End of the Affair’ from his upcoming 2nd album ‘I Forgot Where We Were’, due out on the 20th of October via Island Records. Howard has now announced the release of the first single and title track from that album, which you can hear at the bottom of this page, along with a short list of tour dates for the end of this year. Tickets for the following shows go on general sale this coming Friday, the 29th of August, at 9 AM.
Wednesday 3rd December 2014 – Manchester Apollo
Thursday 4th December 2014 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Saturday 6th December 2014 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Sunday 7th December 2014 – Dublin Olympia
Wednesday 10th December 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Thursday 11th December 2014 – London Brixton Academy