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In the Post #77: Florence and the Machine – What the Water Gave Me

 
By on Friday, 26th August 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Florence Welch, the centre of Florence and the Machine, has been in hiding for some time; all that was known was that she had gone into writing/recording-hiding with Paul Epworth (the same producer that she worked with for her popular debut ‘Lungs’) and little else. This week she debuted a taster to her forthcoming sophomore album in the form of the track ‘What the Water Gave Me’.

Less is definitely more in this first glimpse into her still untitled second LP. Interspersed with ‘aesthetic’ shots of Florence with her ginger hair, dressed in a flowy robe, are moments in time with Florence and Paul holed up in the studio, which says to me that she wants this new effort to be perceived more in the real world than ‘Lungs’ was. What I mean is, if you got the chance to see Florence and the Machine on tour with the last album or even if your only knowledge of Welch is the strange visual that is the ‘Dog Days are Over’ video (the song now heard round the world thanks to a Julia Roberts film, god), you know that the ‘old’ Florence was a colourful yet purposely mysterious character.

Coming out in the light literally in this video, maybe she’s decided to reign in the more flighty parts of her musical personality. I, for one, am all for this approach. But lyrically, ‘What the Water Gave Me’ is just not ringing my bells. It’s interesting she’s using backing (possibly gospel) singers, because it lends the song an almost hymnal effect and I can see this working very well in a cathedral. Hmmm. This sounds familiar. Laura Marling’s ‘Sophia’, anyone? While I’m sure this is entirely coincidental, it’s going to be an interesting autumn, without a doubt. Florence vs. Marina vs. Laura. Who will come out on top?

7.5/10

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am6rArVPip8[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #348: Florence and the Machine

 
By on Thursday, 16th September 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

Here is the promo video for ‘Heavy in Your Arms’, the Florence and the Machine contribution to the ‘Eclipse’ (‘Twilight’ film franchise) soundtrack. Black and white, completely devoid of colour usually seen in Florence videos, it’s a little creepy. And I think she may have taken her song a little too literally for the video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eOmvM-4zc[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Various Artists – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack

 
By on Tuesday, 15th June 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Against my better judgement and as hard as I tried to resist, I have to admit that I am a Twilight fan. What drew me in to the books was the first movie, and one of the reasons I liked it so much was the fantastic soundtrack. The Twilight series always manages to get some amazing bands on their soundtracks, many of whom write original songs, and they integrate them seamlessly into the films. And while I can’t speak for how well it will fit with the tone of the film (it isn’t released in America until 30th June and in England until 9th July), the soundtrack for ‘Eclipse’ is certainly as good as the last two.

You can’t review a Twilight soundtrack without mentioning Muse. They have contributed a song to each of the three Twilight soundtracks, which is not surprising, as they’re author Stephenie Meyer’s favorite band, but of the three, this is probably my least favorite. In general, I agree with US Editor Mary’s review of it: that it’s good, but it’s a bit cheesy – it’s definitely a grower.

TGTF favorites Metric open the album with their track ‘Eclipse (All Yours),’ and it’s a great way to begin. Vocalist Emily Haines hits gorgeous high notes in the chorus — “Now I’m all yours / I’m not afraid, I’m yours” — channeling the voice of protagonist Bella Swan. Working with film composer Howard Shore, they created a great song, but it’s missing a bit of the intensity and attitude that I’m used to from the Canadian indie-rockers. Another standout track comes from Florence and the Machine, with the track ‘Heavy in Your Arms’. As usual, it’s the stunning vocals that really make this dark, intense song, with Flo going from more reserved singing in the verses to really belting it out in the chorus: “I’m so heavy, heavy, heavy in your arms.” Florence and her machine may be better-known, but soulful Australian popstress Sia gives her a run for her money with her gorgeous, haunting vocals on ‘My Love.’

One band set to gain a lot of popularity from their inclusion on the soundtrack is Fanfarlo, who TGTF interviewed back in December. They contributed the folksy ‘Atlas,’ which you can see a stripped-down acoustic version of below. The song has a much lighter, more carefree feel than the majority of the album and the vocals are flawless. Adding to the slew of great female vocalists is Bat for Lashes‘s Natasha Khan, who collaborated with Beck on the hypnotic and haunting ‘Let’s Get Lost,’ with Khan taking the lead vocals and Beck providing the backing vocals and synth.

Not to be outdone, the male-led bands also contribute a dizzying array of fantastic music. While Muse held the rock mantle on the first soundtrack with ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and shared it with Band of Horses on the ‘New Moon’ soundtrack, this time the honor goes to blues-rock duo The Black Keys with their song ‘Chop and Change.’ It’s raw and gritty with a great guitar riff, and everything you’d expect from the Akron, Ohio band. Indie darlings Vampire Weekend are perhaps the most appropriately named of all the bands on the soundtrack, and their song, ‘Jonathan Low,’ is unsurprisingly one of the most upbeat. Recorded towards the end of last year, it’s a bit different from what you might expect from Vampire Weekend’s recent material and is richly orchestrated, with a 12-string guitar part played by Rostam Batmanglij.

A somewhat surprising inclusion is British electro duo UNKLE, whose song ‘With You in My Head’ featuring The Black Angels is at once catchy and mysterious, dance-able and ethereal. Providing a bit of Americana is Band of Horses, who admittedly “don’t know crap about [Twilight]” but think “they put really really cool soundtracks together”. An outtake from the band’s most recent album, ‘Infinite Arms,’  ‘Life on Earth’ is slow and relaxing and has absolutely gorgeous vocal harmonies. And rounding out the album in spectacular fashion is Cee Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley with the upbeat and soulful ‘What Part of Forever.’

Even if you can’t stand the Twilight Saga, do me a favour and go buy this album. If you like the bands we cover on TGTF, chances are you’ll love it – hell, half of them are on the soundtrack!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb2c-eBuKOI[/youtube]

View Full Track Listing After the Cut

Continue reading Album Review: Various Artists – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack

 

Video of the Moment #251: Florence and the Machine

 
By on Monday, 24th May 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

Here’s the new promo video for Florence and the Machine‘s ‘Cosmic Love’, the fifth and final single to be taken from her 2009 Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘Lungs’. It’s heavy on the lightbulbs, Japanese maple trees, flower petals and mirrors and finds Florence Welch writhing on the floor. If you’re a lover of the red-headed one, you’ll love this.

Florence was recently interviewed by BBC 6music news about her sophomore album and the newest song added to the band’s live repertoire, ‘Strangeness and Charm’ – you can read the interview here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EIeUlvHAiM[/youtube]

‘Cosmic Love’ the single will be released on 05 July.

 

Preview: T in the Park 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 4th May 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Even with many acts still to be revealed, the lineup for Scottish festival T in the Park is looking pretty impressive.  From 9th to 11th July, 2010, thousands of punters will descend upon a disused airfield in Balado, Kinross-shire for a weekend of camping, shopping, carnival attractions and music across 7 stages.

Friday night see’s live favourite Muse headline the main stage, which will also be graced by Paloma Faith, Faithless and other artists yet to be announced. Rather disappointingly, the Radio 1/NME Stage will be headlined by American pop group Black Eyed Peas, who are, in this humble blogger’s opinion, an incredibly obnoxious band. They’ll be playing after TGTF favourites Florence and the Machine and The Temper Trap, as well as Jamie T. Another questionable choice is 3Oh!3 in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, though they’ll share the stage with great bands like Calvin Harris, Hot Chip, La Roux and Dirty Projectors. And finally, the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage will see Echo and the Bunnymen and TGTF favourite Delphic on Friday.

It’s a toss-up between Saturday and Sunday for which day has the best lineup this year. Rapper Eminem will make his debut T in the Park appearance as Saturday’s Main Stage headliner, marking his first festival performance since 2001. The Main Stage will also see performances by Paolo Nutini, Stereophonics, Vampire Weekend and the Proclaimers. The Radio 1/NME Stage is pretty amazing on Saturday night, with a lineup including The Prodigy, The Courteeners and Wolfmother, and King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent is looking equally fantastic. It’ll see the likes of Mumford and Sons, Rodrigo y Gabriela, We Are Scientists and Kate Nash. Other notable artists like Julian Casablancas, Laura Marling and the Middle East will be gracing the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage on Saturday.

Rockers Kasabian headline the Main Stage on Sunday, playing along with other massively popular artists like Jay-Z, Biffy Clyro, John Mayer and Dizzee Rascal. The Radio 1/NME Stage is looking good, too, with performances by Groove Armada, the Cribs, Babyshambles and Rise Against throughout the day. Some of the best up-and-coming bands of the festivals can be seen Sunday on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage, including Bombay Bicycle Club, the Drums, Yeasayer and Two Door Cinema Club.

The festival sold out within 90 minutes,  so if you don’t already have tickets, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Let us know what you think of the lineup!

Full lineup after the jump…

Continue reading Preview: T in the Park 2010

 

Preview: Glastonbury 2010

 
By on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

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.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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