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Live Gig Video: Misterwives share performance of ‘Never Give Up on Me’ in Boston

 
By on Thursday, 8th February 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

American band Misterwives have announced a new ‘Let the Light In’ tour for this spring, beginning in April for the UK and then continuing on through mid-May in the contiguous United States. They’ll be bringing their sophomore album ‘Connect the Dots’, released last spring, out on the road again. (Read our review of that long player back here.) This will be the second big tour by the group following the album’s release; they went out on tour last autumn, and they’ve got a live video recorded for posterity from back then. The House of Blues in Boston, just steps from the famed baseball field Fenway Park, hosted the band on that tour. Here’s a special live video of ‘Never Give Up on Me’ recorded from their show there on the 20th of October. Watch it below. For all of Misterwives’ upcoming live dates, check out their tour date listing on their official Facebook.

 

Interview: Gill Landry (Part 2)

 
By on Wednesday, 15th November 2017 at 11:00 am
 

If you missed part 1 of TGTF’s interview with Gill Landry, you can find it back here.

After discussing the production of his new album ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’, Landry touches on the vocals, which were recorded quickly, once he had established the sound he wanted to achieve. “I have a pretty deep voice,” he tells me, in case I hadn’t already noticed. “For most of my career, I’ve keyed everything up as high as I can, for [the] immediacy and intensity that comes with that. But it also loses subtlety and it can definitely lose emotion. So with this one, I brought everything back so that it was closer to my speaking voice.

“I sang [each song] like maybe twice”, he continues. “And that was the take, because I was really feeling it, and [because] I feel like when I get too into re-recording again and again, I start to lose the essence of what I’m saying. Now I’m just worried about technicalities and over-perfection. You know, some of the most beautiful singers in the world bore me to tears. I’m unmoved and I start to think something’s broken in me when I listen, because I’m like, ‘Why do I not feel this? I mean, everything’s perfect.’ And that’s why I don’t feel it, because nothing’s really perfect.” “So”, I ask him, “is it safe for me to assume that when you sing these [songs] live, that’s the kind of take we’re going to get? Essentially, what we hear on the record is what you’ll sing?”

“I think I sing them better live”, he answers without hesitation. “Generally when I record an album, I wrote the songs not too long before. [But] the more you become familiar with them, the better they become and [the better] you become at putting it across. I feel like my singing live is better in many ways because the words, and the feel, and all that are now embedded in me.” I can almost hear him smile over the phone as he talks about a particular favourite. “‘Denver Girls’ is a song I feel like I could sing for years and not get bored of.”

I mention that my parents had liked ‘Denver Girls’ when they listened to it, and Landry laughs. “I just said this the other day, I don’t know if it’s true. But I make ‘adult music’ or I try. Like, there’s kids that dig what I do, but certainly there’s a lot of, I mean, up to octogenarians that are like, ‘Oh, that’s so great.’ I love that.” [I must note, for the record, that my parents are not octogenarians. Yet. -CC]

After talking about that generational shift, we naturally fall into mourning the demise of the album as a format, which seems a particular shame after hearing one as beautiful and cohesive as ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’. “It’s definitely going away”, Landry says. “And we’ll probably have to change with it. Which I’m actually fine with, because there’s a lot of songs that you write that just don’t belong on albums. Like, I wrote half a dozen more that just don’t fit with these. And I’ve got piles from before, and a lot of them are good but they haven’t fit with any specific record.” “That will be your collection of b-sides someday,” I suggest.

“Yeah, I like those. I always loved b-sides. Actually, that’s kind of my favorite thing. I was never really a ‘hit’ guy, which actually says a lot about my writing. I always liked the hidden gems. They’re more subtle, but they’re really powerful. That’s my usual jam.” He laughs. “I just recently kind of realized that maybe that’s why I don’t write any hits. If I had been listening to nothing but hits my whole life, then I’d probably be a completely different writer.

“I’m a slow burner”, he explains. “That’s my game. I’m not here to make a million dollars next year and then quit. Up till I’m dead, I want to be doing this. All the people that I worship and love as artists, I mean, they had hits early in their career that probably helped them have a long career. But it’s the body of work that just doesn’t get old and continues to stay true to their life. That’s always been my aspiration. I would be happy if when I’m 50, I could have 300 people sitting down with me in a room, in any city in this country, enjoying what I’m doing.”

I’m not sure how close Landry is to 50 (and I didn’t ask!), but I suspect that 300 people in a room isn’t an unreasonable goal for him. His upcoming live schedule includes playing support slots in America, Scandinavia, and the UK, with the goal of getting his music out to people who aren’t already familiar. I ask how well that works for him, and he answers candidly: “I personally don’t know. You never can tell, until the next time you come through.”

He mentions the possibility of booking a headline tour next year, possibly with a full band. “It depends,” he says cautiously. “It’s really all about money. At this point, the people that I want to hire cost money, as opposed to, when you’re 21, and it’s your mates and you just go out and it’s all-for-one, Musketeers-style. That’s a great time. Once you’re past 30, you gotta start paying people. And if they’re not busy, they’re hopefully getting paid enough that they’re enjoying their life. So it really has to be worth it, they have to really love your music. There’s only so many tours you can go out and lose your savings on and keep going, period. So, it’s survival.”

Speaking of headline shows, I ask Landry how a solo headline show would be different for him than playing a support slot, as I saw him do back in January. “I talk a lot more,” he says with a laugh. “Which can sound boring, but hopefully it’s not. Since a lot of [my show] is narrative songwriting, there’s a lot of stories. I started this in Sweden, if you want the whole story …” 

Landry continues, “I was in Sweden and I was doing a tour, like 15 shows in these little towns, and I’d never been to Sweden. I did the first gig, and I played through the songs, and it was a good response. They dug it, I played well, all that. But at the end, the promoter was like, ‘Everybody here understands English pretty well, but sung, it’s a bit different. You should talk, tell them what the song [is about]. They’d like that.’ So that whole tour, I mean, I got to the point where I would be talking for like five minutes before I played a three minute song. And it seemed very engaging, and people started commenting on songs, like with some information [that] gave it more depth.

“So, it’s much more personal”, he says of his solo shows, “which I feel like, with these types of songs, because they’re not pop songs, because they are stories in their own way, actually enriches the experience [more] than if I just got up with a band and hit song after song after song. They’re both fine, but I really enjoy the intimacy of solo.” You can get a taste of Landry in a recent solo performance just below, courtesy of One on One Cellar Sessions.

At press time, Gill Landry is on tour in Europe, playing dates in Sweden and Norway supporting The Americans. Readers on the UK side of the pond can see Landry very soon, supporting his Loose Music label mate Ian Felice on a run of UK dates starting on the 22nd of November in Manchester. You can find a complete listing of Landry’s upcoming live shows on his official Web site. TGTF’s previous coverage of Gill Landry is collected through this link. Special thanks to Kevin, who helped to arrange this interview.

 

Interview: Gill Landry (Part 1)

 
By on Tuesday, 14th November 2017 at 11:00 am
 

American alt-country singer/songwriter Gill Landry has kept a steady schedule of live shows and studio appearances since the release of his excellent 4th solo LP ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’ at the beginning of October. He was just coming off a tour of the American West Coast with Rising Appalachia and was enjoying brief period of downtime before hitting the road again when I caught up with him for an enlightening, if somewhat rambling, chat about the new album.

Landry is currently hanging his hat in Los Angeles, which seems at first glance like an odd choice for an artist with clear stylistic leanings toward country and folk. “I’m just kind of over Nashville”, he says, “and this is the first place that grabbed me. I mean, the city itself, [and] the people. I know a lot of people here, and it just felt right. I don’t view anything as permanent, [so] I don’t know how long I’ll stay. That’s how I sort of go through life.”

The Nashville reference goes back to the recording of ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’, as Landry explains. “I rented a house in the countryside in a town called White’s Creek, for a month, and I just set up a studio in there. It was in the country, about 20 miles outside of Nashville, so I could be loud, I could play until 4 in the morning, you know?”

Despite the volume of the recording process, the songs on the album are decidedly intimate and reserved in tone, and Landry played most of the instrumental parts himself. “I played everything but the fiddle, drums, and horns. And some keys”, he confirms. But he also taught himself a new instrument in the process of making the new record. “A lot of what brought this [album] together was the pedal steel, which I hadn’t played on a record before. I’ve had it for about five years, but I didn’t really get decent at it until like a year or so before this [record]. I love the sound of it. It’s the glue, I think, it sort of binds it.”

The tangible presence of the pedal steel lends a distinct folk or Americana flavour to ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’, but I mention that I still had trouble putting the album squarely into a single genre category. “That’s the way that I feel about it too”, Landry says. “I think genre is really for other people to decide. Because obviously I have my limitations and I have my influences, but I’m not trying to make a folk album. I don’t even know what that means, exactly. I always did like the name alt-country. It’s country-sounding but it’s not mainstream, you know? [But] when you get to a song like ‘Broken Hearts’ or to ‘The Only Game in Town’, [this album] sounds pretty country.”

The vocal harmonies on the record also have a distinctly country twang, though the three female backing vocalists joining Landry aren’t necessarily country singers themselves. I had been particularly taken with the album’s lead single ‘Berlin’, which features a duet in the chorus with Klara Söderberg of Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit. “I met her at a Laura Marling show I was playing in Manchester”, Landry tells me. “That’s how we became pals, or you know, rough pals. And then [later] I was in Sweden, and I just called her up. I said, ‘Hey, you want to sing?’ And I went over to her house and she sang on [‘Berlin’]. She also does the banshee bit on ‘Denver Girls’. She’s an amazing harmony singer,” he says. “She has an amazing voice. Both those girls do.”

Landry’s friend Odessa Jorgensen sings backing vocals on two album tracks, ‘The One Who Won the War’ and ‘Scripted Love’, and TGTF alum Karen Elson sings harmonies in the album versions of ‘Bird in a Cage’ and ‘The Woman I Love’. Being familiar with Elson’s voice, I observe that she might be particularly easy to harmonise with, and Landry concurs. “Oh, yeah, absolutely. [She has] a very specific voice, very supportive. She’s also a great lead singer, it’s just that she has a great voice for harmony, too, I think.”

This discussion allows me to backtrack slightly to Landry’s previous album, a self-titled LP released in 2015, which featured a duet with the aforementioned Laura Marling called ‘Take This Body’. I speculate that Marling’s voice might be a little more difficult to blend with, and Landry laughs. “I think that would be up to Laura, because she has such a strong voice, period. A dynamic voice. I think if she wanted to choose a supporting role in harmony, she could nail it. She’s got a lot of tricks up her sleeve. [But] I really like songs where the harmony voices are distinct, you know?”

We take another moment to chat about ‘Gill Landry’, because its character is, to my ear, very distinct from what Landry has done on ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’. “That one was like a three-year chipping away,” he says, “because I was still in another band and just figuring out what I was doing.” He’s referring to his former role in Americana band Old Crow Medicine Show, but he is emphatic about that band’s influence on his solo work. “I didn’t come from the same place creatively that they do,” he says. “Like, that might as well be like an ex-wife, you know, and it’s informing your new wife, which it should not and can’t. They are separate, in my mind.” I see his point, but I feel compelled to mention that Landry’s solo work isn’t entirely unrelated to Old Crow’s musical style. “It’s not like you made an EDM record or anything”, I quip. Without missing a beat, he replies, “No, that’s my next album.”

We laugh at the idea of Landry writing songs filled with dance beats and synthesisers, but he takes the opportunity to talk about the progression of his songwriting leading into his potential next record. “I write the types of songs that I would want to hear, today, in relation to all the things that I’ve already heard and know. I don’t like beating people over the head with sound, I like being more subtle and seductive. There’s a serious lack of silence in a lot of modern music, which drives me nuts, because it’s like it’s a constant fucking party, and it sort of wears me out. And so, dynamics, I’ve always found crucial. For me, it’s what adds the mood and the feeling. I produced [my] last two [records], which has its learning curve. At the end of every one, you know more than when you started, and you apply it to the next. That comes not only with the production and engineering, but with the writing and arrangements, so I can even see the limits on this one, and I’m looking forward to making another one, immediately. I’m already writing it.”

We segue into talking about the production aspect of ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’. “Mainly, I chose to produce my own records because when you hire a producer, it limits everything,” he explains. “There’s only so much money and there’s only so much time. These days, songwriter albums, you know, it’s not a huge advance from labels, so it limits who you can pick. Then it’s going to be nailed down [to a] particular amount of time, like two weeks [or] a month. And then if the person doesn’t love [the songs] like you love your children, you know, they’ll [only] put in as much time as they’re interested in.”

At this point, he seems to realise his own cynicism. “That’s just how it goes”, he concedes. “So the easy solution is [to] figure out how to record things and make your own record. This is not to speak against producers, because I think [they’re] invaluable. I’d be curious to hear what would have been different about both my last records if I’d hired somebody to do them. They would be completely different things.” He talks specifically about taking extra time to record the aforementioned pedal steel parts on ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’. “I would spend, you know, sometimes hours [on those]. Without a producer, I can sit in my room for hours on end, whereas when you’re in a studio, the clock’s running. I don’t view my [own] time in a monetary sense at all in working on these things.”

Keep an eye on TGTF tomorrow for part 2 of this interview. In the meantime, you can read our previous coverage of Gill Landry right back here.

 

Live Gig Video: Everything Everything make their American tv debut, performing ‘Can’t Do’ on James Corden

 
By on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Ever inventive rockers Everything Everything just returned 2 weeks ago from an American tour. This included a stop in Washington, DC, supported by Americans Savoir Adore. In addition to a series of massive shows stateside, another feather in their cap was their first American late night tv live appearance, on The Late Late Show with James Corden. I can’t tell if the American audience watching them was overexcited or confused, as there’s random cheering in the midst of their performance of ‘Can’t Do’, which you can watch below. I guess those of us who have seen them a few times know when that’s appropriate, ha. For much more on Everything Everything-themed articles here on TGTF, come this way.

 

Video of the Moment #2464: PINS

 
By on Wednesday, 1st November 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

For their latest music video, PINS have decided to go political. The Manchester girl group have taken footage of them and many others at the anti-conservative March in Manchester that took place on the 1st of October. It’s quite fitting that the song they’re soundtracking the visuals is their single ‘Serve the Rich’, produced by The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. The song is new material following the girls’ latest EP, ‘Bad Things’, which was released earlier this year. (That EP starred a collaboration with none other than Iggy Pop on the single ‘Aggrophobe’.) Feel inspired to fight the establishment by watching the video for ‘Serve the Rich’ below.

 

TGTF Spotify Playlist: October 2017

 
By on Wednesday, 1st November 2017 at 11:00 am
 

October draws to a spooky end with Halloween, and TGTF’s October 2017 Spotify playlist is full of goodies for your audio trick-or-treat bag. TGTF celebrated Halloween day itself with the ominous title track from Royal Blood, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ Several other song titles on this month’s list fall neatly into our ghoulish theme as well, including Everything Everything‘s ‘Night of the Long Knives’ and The Spook School‘s latest single ‘Still Alive’.

October 2017 also saw new music from established favourites Franz Ferdinand and Morrissey, along with up-and-coming artists like Barns Courtney and Lo Moon. Just like our taste in Halloween sweets, everyone’s music preferences are a bit different but whatever your mood or inclination, you’re certain to find something to your liking on our playlist this month.

If you do hear something you love, be sure to follow our monthly Spotify playlists. Just head over to Spotify, type “spotify:user:tgtftunes” (no quotes) into the search bar, and click the Follow button. You can connect with TGTF on social media via Facebook and Twitter too!

 
 
 

About Us

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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