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By Mary Chang
on Monday, 23rd April 2012 at 6:00 pm
In the mood for something humourous after a long Monday at school or work? Here is Tellison‘s new video for ‘Freud Links the Teeth and the Heart’, a new single from them out the 28th of May as a limited 7″ and on digital download. The band have a headlining UK tour in May; all the dates are below.
Thursday 3rd May 2012 – Andover George
Friday 4th May 2012 – Bristol Croft
Saturday 5th May 2012 – Manchester Sound Control
Sunday 6th May 2012 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest
Monday 7th May 2012 – Middlesbrough Westgarth Social Club
Tuesday 8th May 2012 – Birmingham Rainbow
Wednesday 9th May 2012 – London Garage
‘Blunderbuss’! I mean, what a name for an album; it conjures up images of old fashioned battlefields and a wall of sound thundering towards you. Now *that* is what I expect from the album then, you’ve got yourself a hard sell their Jackie boy! That said, this is Jack White, stepping out on his own for the very first time, to record his first solo record.
On first listen, it’s classic coming out music: the lyrics are all about collapsed relationships and loves lost. It begins with some classic Jack White honkytonkery. It goes on to be a bit more miserable throughout, describing his love life as a battered affair of break ups and broodiness.
Throughout the theme seems to be that Jack has given up on the more dangerous (female) of the species. For one, the track ‘Missing Pieces’. “Sometimes someone controls everything about you / and when they tell you that they just can’t live without you / they ain’t lying, they’ll take pieces of you / and they’ll stand above you, and walk away / that’s right, and take a part of you with them” – sounds like a man whose given up on love, it seems. But a man still with that fine eye for music that you just don’t find everywhere anymore.
It seems though that while the White Stripes are dead, some of the brilliance born from that fatal mismatch of character still goes on brilliantly. The guitar keys are none too familiar to anything that we’ve heard from Jack in the past and good on it, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? His of the wall almost proggy riffs are what we have come to love about the Tennessee songsmith, while his complete disregard for classic musical structure is almost his biggest charm as a musician. Throughout ‘Blunderbuss’ you’re treated to a musical tapestry, from his cover of Little Willie John’s ‘I’m Shakin’ to his simply fantastic mastery of an electric guitar throughout the record.
Frankly it’s difficult to find fault in this piece; the only criticism is something which has always been to do with Jack White. That is, his music is marmite. You either love the pale faced crooner on this album or any other of his works. Or you simply can’t stand to listen to the Southerner’s squealing guitar.
I, for one, am a massive fan and I can see ‘Blunderbuss’ for sure being the start of an exemplary solo career.
‘Blunderbuss’, Jack White’s first album as a solo artist, is out today on XL. White plays the HMV Forum in London tonight and sorry folks, it’s sold out. Below is an interview Jack White did with NPR about the new release.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 20th April 2012 at 6:00 pm
Here’s the new video from Pip Brown, aka Ladyhawke, for the track ‘Sunday Drive’. The song appears on the Kiwi singer/songwriter’s album ‘Anxiety’, out on the 28th of May on Modular. “I can’t pretend to hate you / ‘cos I will always love you / and when you try to leave me / I’ll run insane” ? I’d really like to hear your opinions on this: you know the drill, let us know what you think in the comments.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 20th April 2012 at 4:00 pm
Sick of Coachella coverage yet? Err… tough toenails.
Below we’ve got a live gig video of hot band of the moment Wild Belle. We’ve also got Mulberry’s interviews with them, frontman Joseph Mount of Metronomy (pictured above) and the Vaccines.
When I was a young whippersnapper, released into the big boys’ world of proper music by dint of attending a provincial university and hanging out with those who had reached the heady heights of their 21st birthday, CDs were at their peak of popularity. Those little silver discs held a genuine aura of exoticity and desire – vinyl was dead, the internet was slow – and amongst the also-ran Britpop, heavy metal and proto-girl bands available at one’s local HMV was a swiftly-growing metagenre called ‘Chill Out’. The nadir of which was “three discs for £4.99” specials, usually headed by a track made by a band one had heard of, otherwise padded with whatever the label could get their hands on with the minimum of cost – anyone with a TR-808 emulator and an FM synth could knock off a handful of chords, a basic 75bpm beat, and earn a few quid. However, its zenith was a slew of albums from genuinely talented and groundbreaking bands that just happened to fit the ;Chill Out’ label – Massive Attack‘s ‘Blue Lines’, Portishead’s eponymous debut, even acts like the Orb, who had been doing their own thing for years, suddenly found themselves the soundtrack to early-’20s’ pseudo-pretentious dinner parties across the land, not to mention the bedroom fumblings that inevitably followed.
Eventually the 1990s fizzled into the millennium; ‘Chill Out’ was inevitably adopted into the mainstream, losing its aura of sophistication in the process. CDs became tarnished, both literally and figuratively, as the world became blasė and cynical about digital technology; vinyl nostalgia increased with every little nubbin that broke off a CD case. But of course people do still engage in the act of chilling out, even if they don’t use the term itself in polite company, and require a soundtrack to enhance the experience. Which is where Lightships‘ ‘Electric Cables’ comes in (Gerard Love’s solo debut).
With not a drum machine to be heard, ‘Electric Cables’ nevertheless runs at such a trance-like mid-tempo for its entire running length, with its somnambulant vocals and gentle, flutely instrumentation, making it a perfect album to lay back, float away, and (whisper it…) chill out to. Its opening couplet in ‘Two Lines’ (“Somehow through a series of exchanges / Two lines get entangled and entwined”), sets the intent. Invisibly subtitled “love by Love”, there’s all sorts of elemental romance here – spark; rivers; blossom; silver; gold; sun; photosynthesis; dawn – even in the song titles there is earthly optimism.
This is undeniably a Glasgow album – featuring as it does half of Teenage Fanclub and Belle and Sebastian‘s bass player, how could it not be? ‘Every Blossom’, with its spiderweb acoustic guitars, flute solos (and is that a glockenspiel?), is quite the companion to the barbed pop of B&S. ‘Sweetness in Her Spark’ (video below) has a lovely, proper chorus and tempo, and shows the potential of the project for combining the pretty presentation into a chart-bothering song.
‘Silver and Gold’ is ’60s Californian fuzz-pop incarnate, with swatches of vocal harmonies and ambience, but still cannot resist almost-whispered, barely-there verse arrangements. The record pivots around ‘The Warmth of the Sun’; so sparse as to feature an actual metronome to keep time, this almost-instrumental sums up how leisurely the whole affair is – it sounds very pretty, but it’s not a record for anyone in a hurry for kicks. Things do make a break into a slightly higher gear in ‘Stretching Out’, which adds a bit more of an urgency to the whole affair, but like a chamber-pop Jethro Tull, there’s always that underlying flute to keep things grounded and, well, somehow British-sounding.
Fans of the Scottish sound will love this, as it neatly fits into the oeuvre, not stepping on any other bands’ toes, but being clearly of a certain school. Others may find it more of a niche record, one that suits a very specific need – it’s no good when preparing for a night on the tiles, for instance. But if you’re planning a romantic candlelit home-made dinner for two, once the wine has been opened, and the beef’s resting, the gentle tones of ‘Electric Cables’ will be the perfect accompaniment. Just be careful not to overdose on the chill out – everyone knows a sleeping date is not a date at all.
The debut album from Lightships (aka Gerard Love of Teenage Fanclub fame) is available now from Domino.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 19th April 2012 at 6:00 pm
In Paloma Faith’s new single ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ (out on the 20th of May), Paloma is not a woman scorned. She’s a woman who is dealing with her man’s past – specifically a woman in his past with whom she has to fight with for his attention and affection. It’s not easy filling another woman’s high heels and even more confusingly, this other woman appears to be made of…wax? I bet you didn’t see that one coming. Watch the video below.
Paloma Faith’s new album, ‘Fall to Grace’, will be released the 28th of May on Sony, a week after the ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ Martin reviewed a sampler of Paloma’s new songs, and you can read his thoughts here.