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Mercury Prize Shortlist 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 19th July 2011 at 2:16 pm
 

The shortlist for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2011 Albums of the Year were announced by 6music presenter Lauren Laverne this morning in a special ceremony at London’s Hospital Club. As usual, some of the nominees were expected to receive the prestigious industry nod, while some were definitely less than expected.

Not surprisingly, soul singer Adele‘s critically acclaimed and best-selling album on both sides of the Atlantic, ’21’, received a nom. There are plenty of new artists on this year’s shortlist, in exactly the same shoes Adele was in 3 years ago with ’19’. Sultry-looking and equally sultry-sounding Anna Calvi received a nomination for her eponymous debut; again, this is hardly surprising given she was shortlisted in late 2010 for the BBC Sound of 2011. James Blake, #2 on the Sound of 2011 list, also garnered a nod for his self-titled debut album bringing dubstep more to the mainstream. (Read Natalie’s review of the album here.) Electronic producer Ghostpoet is nominated for his debut album that sounds more like the title of a cookbook, ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’.

After winning the gong in 2008 with ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, Elbow will try their hand to win again this year with their newest, ‘build a rocket, boys!’ (Read John’s review of the album here.) A win for the Mancunians seems highly appropriate in light of the development of their own limited edition golden ale, named after their new album and true to their roots, to be made locally in Stockport and sold exclusively at Robinsons pubs in the UK.) Speaking of Manchester, the eclectic ‘Man Alive’ (my review here) from Manchester-based Everything Everything is also up for the award.

New urban music makes a good showing on this year’s shortlist. Katy B‘s ‘On a Mission’ received a nomination, as did Tinie Tempah‘s ‘Disc-Overy’. But legends also figure in the nominations. Influential singer/songwriter PJ Harvey has been recognised for ‘Let England Shake’, her first album in 4 years. The Domino-released collaboration between Scottish singer-songwriter King Creosote and electronica artist Jon Hopkins, ‘Diamond Mine’, that was a labour of love for 7 years is also nominated. Brighton dance band Metronomy‘s highly-anticipated third album released in April, ‘The English Riviera’, is also a contender. (Read Luke’s review of the album here.) And if we’ve learned anything from 2 decades of the Mercury Prize, there is always at least one album that comes out of left field. This year, that nomination goes to Welsh jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock and his ‘Good Days at Schloss Elmau’. (I Googled it: Schloss Elmau is a luxury hotel in the foothills of Bavaria. Maybe that’s a good place for the to-be-announced Mercury Prize winner to escape inevitable press and paps in mid-September?)

The winner of the 2011 Mercury Prize will be announced on Tuesday, 6 September.

 

Video of the Moment #504: Metronomy

 
By on Monday, 20th June 2011 at 6:00 pm
 

Here’s the new video for Metronomy‘s ‘The Bay’. As one of my good friends commented, “summer song!” Indeed. This even features models in suggestive bathing suits and a hair ruffling incident rivalling that David Tennant one from Friday Night Project. And what other video would elicit the comment, “I wanna know the ice cream with nice legs”? Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PnOG67flRA[/youtube]

Metronomy’s single ‘The Bay’ is out today. (Hey, that rhymed.)

 

MP3 of the Day #347: Metronomy

 
By on Thursday, 2nd June 2011 at 10:00 am
 

The Metronomy track ‘The Bay’ (from their latest album, ‘The English Riviera’) has been remixed by London’s Stopmakingme. Thoughts? Listen to it and download it below.

Read Luke’s review of ‘The English Riviera’ (released in April) here. Metronomy will be on tour in the UK in September right after festival season.

 

Album Review: Metronomy – The English Riviera

 
By on Tuesday, 12th April 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Unless you haven’t opened your curtains in the past week, you must surely be aware of the heat wave currently hitting the country. Parks across the UK are full of people sunbathing, picnicking and forgetting all the horrible cold weather of the past 3 months. But with summer weather comes summer music. Everyone has their summer albums, songs that make the sun seem brighter, the temperature seem hotter and your ice cream taste better. So get ready to add another sunshine album to your collection with Metronomy‘s ‘The English Riviera’.

The aptly-named album is designed for those of us who aren’t going abroad this year, but instead who are going to lay on a towel in the garden, lapping up the rays. It fades in with a sound clip of noises from the beach and birds cheeping, before fading out just as quickly into ‘We Broke Free’. Setting the tone for the rest of the album, Metronomy stick to a minimal and simple structure, but all the while keeping the sound big and interesting.

The whole album is full of various nuances and intricacies to keep you interested. Whether it’s the pop-laden synth, the groovy basslines or the incredible vocal range of Joseph Mount, the hooks come in thick and fast. Tracks such as ‘Trouble’ and ‘The Bay’ are quite experimental and at times reminiscent of Pink Floyd in their spacey eerie sound. ‘Trouble’ is definitely one to stick on the stereo in your garden, starting small but gradually expanding into something much more profound and colossal.

Metronomy seem to have done away with their original work in ‘Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe)’ and have become a fast rising force in the world of indie-electro. Despite their older tracks such as ‘Black Eye/Burnt Thumb’ (a great instrumental to dance to), ‘The English Riviera’ is more like Everything Everything and Delphic. However, Metronomy don’t build songs around vocals, like so many other bands. Instead, the voice is just another instrument. This allows songs to not fit a rigid structure and the band can be much more creative in their music, giving you something different each time you spin the record.

‘The English Riviera’ might not be full of singles, but it’s meant to be listened to as a whole. Comparable to a concept album, the LP is designed with the UK summertime in mind. Mixing styles of synth-pop, electro and even calypso, there’s something about this album that sucks you in. So put it in your stereo and go play frisbee in the park, it’s either that or ‘Walking On Sunshine’ repeated until death.

7/10

‘The English Riviera’ by Metronomy is available now from Because. The band is on tour in the UK this month and have announced another tour for September.

 

Metronomy / September 2011 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 7th April 2011 at 9:00 am
 

In addition to previously announced dates for this month, Metronomy have announced a UK tour for September. Tickets to the September tour go on sale tomorrow (8 April) at 9 AM. Their newest album, ‘‘The English Riviera’, will be released next week (11 April).

Tuesday 20th September 2011 – Southampton Talking Heads
Wednesday 21st September 2011 – Leeds Cockpit
Thursday 22nd September 2011 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 23rd September 2011 – Glasgow Oran Mor
Saturday 24th September 2011 – Liverpool Kazimier
Monday 26th September 2011 – Manchester Academy 3
Tuesday 27th September 2011 – Birmingham HMV Institute
Wednesday 28th September 2011 – Bristol Trinity

 

Video of the Moment #437: Metronomy

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd March 2011 at 6:00 pm
 

When I heard Metronomy‘s ‘The Look’ on Lammo’s Roundtable the other week, I was not impressed. It sounded like bad lounge music to me. But then I saw the music video they made for it, which you watch below. And somehow, it all makes sense now. If you geek out over massive bulky synths or enjoy stories about cute little birds having a day out fooling around with a mobile and enjoying the dodgems, then I dedicate this one to you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFrNsSnk8GM[/youtube]

Metronomy tours the UK in April. ‘The English Riviera’ will be released on 11 April.

 
 
 

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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.

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