Singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon is reasonably well-known in his native Australia, but he’s a complete unknown almost everywhere else. So US indie Yep Roc’s decision to fly him over for the big international release treatment is a bit of a risk then, right?
Not really. Hanlon’s fifth album, I Will Love You At All, fits snugly into the M. Ward/Andrew Bird canon, with the singer’s mild Aussie twang the only potentially divisive feature of an otherwise terrific album. (And everybody loves Aussie accents, right?)
‘All These Things’ isn’t the best song on the album, or even one of the best, but it is a nice jumping off point in that it sort of condenses the entire record into an upbeat four-minute pop song. Strummed mandolin shows off Hanlon’s prowess in the mini-guitar genre (he’s also a decent banjo player), while piano and tuba lend the track some welcome gravitas. The best part, though, is the simple call-and-response routine generated between Hanlon and Portland singer Shelley Short.
Darren Hanlon’s I Will Love You At All is scheduled for release in the United States on September 21.
Darren Hanlon – ‘All These Things’
Darren is currently on a mini-tour of the US with Billy Bragg:
09.08.10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
To the uncultured ear (and that includes my own), searching for good post-rock can feel like a hiding to nothing. It’s not that there isn’t plenty of good material to choose from – there is – but otherwise it can take an awful long time to figure out that something is, in fact, shit.
Irish trio Halves gave me no such trouble – featured tune ‘May Your Enemies Never Find Happiness’ practically assaulted me the first time I heard it. It’s not that it’s particularly loud – they don’t seem to go to the same ear-splitting levels as other, more conventional bands (on record at least) – but it builds slowly and deliberately with soft vocals and a chiming blues guitar motif, so that the inevitable crescendos are just an aspect, rather than an aim, of the song.
It sounds like a typical post-rock track, and it is, but it’s also an incredibly moving one.
‘May Your Enemies Never Find Happiness’ is taken from the seven-track EP Haunt Me When I’m Drowsy.
This fall Cee-Lo will release The Lady Killer, his first solo album since 2004’s Cee-Lo Green…Is the Soul Machine. Appropriately enough, “Fuck You” is the first single off The Lady Killer, a song that soulfully belts about a gold digging woman in such a graceful fashion. Honestly, it proves how fickle curse words are and how beautiful they can sound. If you hadn’t figured it out, this song has a few curse words, so be mindful of your surrounding before listening, even though I’m sure no one will care, but rather sing along.
In my last post on this blog, I spoke of my ‘long hiatus’ (it was all of two weeks). This time, I’ve upped the ante and have refrained from posting for a full 4 months. After some effort, the Norwegians have managed to drag me out of my self-imposed literary slumber. Celebrate by checking out Royksopp’s latest mashup: ‘This Space’
This was released online a couple of weeks ago, but I totally had no idea Ra Ra Riot were even releasing a new album until last week. Since then The Orchard (which comes out 8/24) has been pretty much all I’ve been listening to. Can’t say I was a huge fan of their debut, which reeked of a bit too much Vampire Weekend, but their new album is far more stately, pushing the strings (and those gorgeous girls) to the front of the mix and generally slowing the pace down. Of course, “Boy” differs from most else on the album by being ridiculously bubbly, but it’s also infinitely catchy and is just the kind of summer tune I want right now.
Derek Vincent Smith, known by his moniker Pretty Lights, has blown up on the electro/hip-hop scene during the past two years. Supporting acts such as DJ Shadow in Dublin, Ireland along with playing nearly every major festival in the country for the past two years that it’s only a matter of time before Pretty Lights explodes once again. Tomorrow, I will post a full interview with Derek, but first, a preview of what Pretty Lights are all about. This track entitled “High School Art Class” is the first track off Spilling Over Every Side, the second of three EPs to be released this year, all of which can cost you as little as nothing to any amount that you would like to donate.
On September 29, 2009, DJ Shadow announced the DJ Shadow Remix Project, an open opportunity for DJs and producers from around the world to remix some of the most legendary material in the trip-hop canon. Nine-and-a-half months later, the anticipated child was born, a release from Reconstruction Productions featuring 19 tracks of remixes stretching across Shadow’s discography. Endtroducing and The Private Press get the largest overhaul, including two remixes of the classic “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt.” Featured here is the Ruby My Dear remix that speeds up the song for a frenetic, rapidly changing remix that goes from Venetian Snares to The Flashbulb to Bonobo in the blink of an eye, all while keeping the main purpose in sight–demonstrating the wide influence that Shadow has had and still has for emerging producers around the world.
Check out the rest of the project here
Huge, yearning, beautiful. What the avalanches might have sounded like in 2010, where dilla may have been going. Star Slinger picks up where they left off, and, when he’s on his game, brings it to the moon. Four minutes of bliss.
I heard Salem’s “King Night” a little over a month ago when a few blogs started premiering it, but I have to admit that I hardly paid attention. To be honest, I have no idea how this did not draw me in back then. What was I distracted by? It could have been The Roots, Big Boi, Sleigh Bells, or any of the other incredible music I had been digesting around that time, but “King Night”, the first track released off of Salem’s forthcoming album of the same name, shows just as much promise as any of the great music that has already come out this year. It’s a post-dubstep masterpiece, and not in the way that Mount Kimbie makes a weak, watered-down mixture for the headphones. “King Night” moves the grimy underbelly of Burial to a cathedral, featuring none other than a choir singing “O Holy Night” with walloping, powerful bass as the choir’s accompaniment. It’s an inspired tour de force of music for the new decade.
King Night is released on September 28th.
Oh you’re so silent Jens. How long has it been? 3 years since you last charmed us with Night Falls Over Kortedala? Where have you been? What have you been up to? Heartbreak, if “The End of The World is Bigger Than Love” is anything to go by. Staggering, string-laden heartbreak.
For those like me who really hated the new M.I.A. album, white-guy-gone-Carribean production duo Major Lazer are dropping a new EP entitled Lazers Never Die that features, amidst a Thom Yorke remix and a Buraka Som Sistema remix, this song heavily featuring M.I.A. It just makes me wonder why Diplo, half of Major Lazer, couldn’t come up with anything this good for /\/\/\Y/\. Lover’s tiff, I suppose.
When asked to make a playlist of summer jams, most people immediately think to include chill music. Music meant to complement feeling good, soaking up sun, swimming pools, et cetera. The archetypal summer playlist has a little bit of classic rock, a little bit of hip hop, definitely some reggae (though not much more adventurous than Bob Marley), and for those who like to kill many genre-birds with one stone, just a bunch of Sublime.
For me something feels hollow about these playlists. For me summer is not some hazy crossfaded daytime party, but is more like a sweaty, heated game of capture-the-flag. Whether it’s soccer, tennis, skateboarding, teaching myself NOFX guitar solos (2000), or failing to learn Between the Buried and Me guitar solos (2003-present), summer is fast and engaging. To honor the nostalgia I have for the unchill summer I wanted to post a track by an unknown (or maybe just forgotten) hardcore band, Someday Somehow.
“This Is How You Left Me” is short, simple, and ridiculously poppy. The recording quality is mediocre at best. The drums are galloping and the guitars are punchy. There are breakdowns that aren’t self-conscious and contrived. The lyrics are adolescent but unabashed (“I’m throwing rocks at your window / I’m singing under the lights / I’m holding my heart in my hands / Is that alright?”). There are few songs as effective as “This Is How Left Left Me” at conjuring the whimsical, hopeful energy of summer, and to think an obscure…