Following the electro abomination that was 2009’s ‘In This Light and On This Evening’, even fans of English indie-rock band Editors could be forgiven for approaching their follow-up ‘The Weight of Your Love’ with equal parts trepidation and dread. Anthemic, stadium-baiting lead single ‘A Ton of Love’ helped allay fears a little, although even the lead single from ‘In This Light…’ (‘Papillon’) was fairly strong.
More interesting is the curious selection of ‘The Weight’ as the new album’s 2nd single. The Muse-like ‘Sugar’ or hooky backing vocals of ‘Formaldehyde’ seemed more obvious choices, with ‘The Weight’ more playing the role of fantastic album opener, for mine. It’s a brave choice and hopefully one that will pay off.
Beginning with dark, ominous synths before giving way to an incessant beat and almost folky guitar strums, Tom Smith’s striking baritone soon captures attention, even if his trademark ambiguous lyrics (“I’m a lump of meat with a heartbeat”) occasionally confound. Most pleasing is the existence of an ever-present tension, with each sound after sound, instrument after instrument and melody after melody being meticulously added to build up and then release. Brilliantly, this pseudo title track is both thoroughly melodic and accessible.
The video – which was filmed in Nashville, where the band worked with producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon) – follows the straight-forward template from ‘A Ton of Love’: Black & White footage of the band playing the song. Borrrrring? Maybe, but it kind…
On July the 26th-28th, the Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island will once again play host to the annual Newport Folk Festival. A staple of both the town and the festival circuit, the Newport Folk Festival was first established in 1959 as a counterpart to the already established Newport Jazz Festival. The festival quickly gained an immense reputation and became renowned for introducing audiences to performers who would go on to become superstars in their respective fields; this is certainly the case for Joan Baez,( who first appeared in 1959 as an unannounced guest for Bob Gibson in ‘59), and Bob Dylan, who when appearing (coincidentally as a guest of Baez’s) solidified his reputation and gave, what has come to be regarded as, his premiere national performance. Over the years the festival and caliber of the performers (and their performances) has grown, and this year’s lineup seems equally qualified to raise the bar even further for the festival’s dedicated fanbase, with Feist, Beck, The Mountain Goats, Beth Orton and many more set to converge on Newport over the week. Sputnikmusic is both proud and excited to be presenting an exclusive roundup of the festival, so make sure to stay tuned to the blog over the coming days for a comprehensive account of a festival rich in history and musical culture.
For more on the Newport Folk Festival, including the full lineup and to purchase tickets, please head on over to the official site.
Yesterday, it was discovered that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have named their child North. That’s right. North West. And maybe it’s because they actually decided to name their child a stupid pun a precocious seventh grader might come up with when pressed to come up with a name for a baby with the surname “West,” or maybe it’s because Kimye didn’t go with the infinitely better Easton as they’d hinted at earlier in Kim’s pregnancy, but that’s it. I give up. There have been many things leading up to this moment, but this is the absolute final straw.
I am so fucking done caring about Kanye West.
After reading all the shit that’s flying around Yeezus right now, a record that’s as close to an embodiment of the Shakespeare quote, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” as I’ve ever heard, the thought popped into my head: why? Why do we care about Kanye West? Yes, he’s a celebrity, a monstrous cultural figure that’s totally unavoidable. To ignore him is to bury one’s head in the sand, to pretend to live in a world that isn’t real, to choose to be culturally out of touch, yadda yadda. But does that really mean we have to shit ourselves pondering the politics of Kanye West? He certainly wants us to, which is why Yeezus is purposefully drenched in all that EQ-busting, industrial abrasiveness, and we’re taking the bait like donkeys with carrots…
My first experience with event production company the Do LaB came about in what I imagine was a similar way for many unfamiliar with the groundbreaking visual artist collective – the Oasis tent at Coachella, where the relentless heat is blessedly filtered through a prism of high-pressure water for a few merciful moments. People came for the hoses, but they stayed for the art, that uniquely visual spectacle that accompanies every Do LaB production in the desert and the underground acts the company usually has rocking its stages with the help of a costumed menagerie. Their ninth year at the festival was no different, with Gaslamp Killer, Kaminanda, Idiot Savant and a whole host of acts turning the art installations into a wild, somewhat nightmarish (depending on whether the light was by the sun or the oscillating lights), always unforgettable scene.
Shame on me, then, for not realizing until 2013 that the Do LaB actually curate their own festival just a couple hours south of Los Angeles. Lightning in a Bottle runs from July 11-15 at Lake Skinner County Park in the wine country near Temecula, CA, and is less a musical festival as the common summertime denominator goes and more a cultural event; a hip Burning Man without the blasted landscape and blasted hippies. It’s apparent in the lineup – a smorgasbord of Low End Theory-mainstays and buzzworthy indie pop, furious electro grooves and exotic world music, deep house…
As promised, we want to whet your collective appetite for what the site’s tagging system and band pages will potentially look like (as you know, things are subject to change, but as of now, the owner’s on pace to start rolling this out sometime in Q3!).
Click the images to enlarge.
There is a high probability that the band pages will be re-designed, but this won’t take place until the tagging system is implemented since this will be a unique (and much-welcomed) upgrade to the site.
To give it to you hard and fast (that’s what she said), I’ll briefly (emphasis on briefly) walk you through what the tagging process will look like once it’s implemented.
I was going to use Opeth as an example, but I’m so sick of people trying to change their genres to Folk / Black Metal / Power Metal, so I’ll use another Sputnik darling instead.
1. First things first: here’s what the tagging system will look like (friendly reminder: click the images to enlarge them):
You’ll note that the red tags are basically what the site currently lists as the “Primary / Secondary / Tertiary” genres.
Once the tagging system is implemented, there will be a flurry of activity to get artists the most accurate genre listings. This will be awesome.
Because of basic statistics principles, we’re not worried about bands being mislabeled, because the community as a whole will ensure accuracy over the random…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 18, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
3OH!3 – Omens (Atlantic)
Anton Zap – Water (Apollo)
Austra – Olympia (Domino Recording Co.)
Chimp Change – Type Zero Civilization (Chimp Change/Bandcamp)
Circa – HQ (Cleopatra)
Citizen – Youth (Run For Cover)
Empire Of The Sun – Ice On The Dune (Astralwerks)
Falling In Reverse – Fashionably Late (Epitaph)
Goldhouse – Back To Life (Goldhouse)
Hanson – Anthem (3CG)
Heliotropes – A Constant Sea (Manimal Vinyl Records)
Kanye West – Yeezus (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
Lemuria – The Distance Is So Big (Bridge 9 Records)
Mac Miller – Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Ingrooves)
The Mantles – Long Enough To Leave (Slumberland Records)
The Masquerade – Home Is Where You Make It (The Masquerade)
Matt-U – Something About You (Nomad Records)
Midnight Faces – Fornication (Midnight Faces/Bandcamp)
The Mowgli’s – Waiting For The Dawn (Island/Def-Jam) Primal Scream – More Light (Ingrooves) Sigur Rós – Kveikur (XL Recordings)
Slaid Cleaves – Still Fighting The War (Music Road Records)
Stephen Kellogg – Blunderstone Rookery (Elm City)
Steve Gunn – Time Off (Paradise Bachelors) Swindle – Long Live The Jazz (Deep Medi Muzik) The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Whenever, If Ever (Topshelf Records)
Tunng – Turbines (Full Time Hobby)
Vacation – Candy Waves (Don…
Some background, if you’ll forgive me. In the early 1990s, a group of friends from Louisville, Kentucky, went to a Jodeci concert in their hometown. After apparently coercing a security guard into letting them backstage, the group met with Donald DeGrate, Jr., also known as DeVante Swing, the de facto leader of Jodeci. They came specifically to Swing to promote their R&B trio, A Touch of Class, probably hoping that he would like what he heard at least enough to pass their name on to one of his connections, if not take them under his own wing. It worked, and after coming off the tour for Jodeci’s hugely popular sophomore album, 1993’s Diary of a Mad Band (which peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 and would go on to sell two million copies), Swing contacted Jawaan Peacock, a.k.a. “Smokey,” a member of A Touch of Class, who had since restructured his group into a trio with Benjamin “Digital Black” Bush, another original member of the group, and Stephen “Static Major” Garrett, a high school friend with whom Smokey had reconnected at the University of Louisville.
Some time around 1994, Swing decided Playa, as they were now called, were worth his time, and he promptly signed them to his Swing Mob label—a subsidiary of Elektra Records in the U.S.–which placed them in the company of such heavy hitters as Missy Elliott, Ginuwine, and Timbaland. Swing Mob collapsed in 1995, but Playa were able to successfully jump ship to…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 11, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
The 88 – Fortune Teller (The 88)
Alison Moyet – The Minutes (Metropolis Records)
Andrew Stockdale – Keep Moving (Caroline/Universal)
Aoife O’Donovan – Fossils (Yep Roc Records) Author & Punisher – Women & Children (Seventh Rule)Greg Fisher
The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack (Metal Blade) Black Sabbath – 13 (Universal Republic)
Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp Records)
Bob Schneider – Burden Of Proof (Kirtland Records)
Boysetsfire – While A Nation Sleeps (Caroline/Universal)
Case Studies – This Is Another Life (Sacred Bones)
Children Of Bodom – Halo Of Blood (Nuclear Blast America)
Chrisette Michele – Better (Motown/Universal)
Colossus – Time & Eternal (Facedown)
Coma Cinema – Posthumous Release (Fork & Spoon Records)
Conrad Tao – Voyages (EMI Classics)
Covenant – Last Dance (Metropolis Records)
CSS – Planta (SQE Music)
Dalhous – An Ambassador For Laing (Blackest Ever Black)
Davell Crawford – My Gift To You (Basin Street Records) Deafheaven – Sunbather (Deathwish Inc.) – Eli Kleman
Dennis Callaci & Simon Joyner – New Secrets (Shrimper Records)
Disclosure – Settle (Interscope Records)
Emily’s Army – Lost At Seventeen (Rise Records)
Evile – Skull (Century Media)
Fat Tony – Smart Ass Black Boy (Young One Records)
Gold Panda – Half Of Where You Live (Ghostly International)
Goo Goo Dolls – Magnetic (Warner Bros.)
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 4th, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Anarbor – Burnout (Hopeless Records)
Big Black Delta – Big Black Delta (Masters Of Bates)
Big Deal – June Gloom (Mute) Camera Obscura – Desire Lines (4AD Records) – Rudy K.
The Caulfield Cult – Things Can Only Get Worse From Here (Rooftop Records)
City And Colour – The Hurry And The Harm (10 Spot)
Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record (Merge Records) Filter – The Sun Comes Out Tonight (Wind-Up)
Future Bible Heroes – Partygoing (Merge Records)
GRMLN – Empire (Carpark Records)
Houndmouth – From The Hills Below The City (Rough Trade US)
Jon Hopkins – Immunity (Domino)
Killing Joke – The Singles Collection 1979 – 2012 (10 Spot)
Liferuiner – Future Revisionists (Invogue Records)
The Maine – Forever Halloween (Big Picnic Records)
Marquis & The Vanguard – My Skinny Bones (Marquis & The Vanguard/Bandcamp)
Matthew Morrison – Where It All Began (222 Records)
Megadeth – Super Collider (UMe)
Messenger Down – The Gentleman’s Guide To Keeping Away From People Like You (Messenger Down/Bandcamp)
Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends (Atlantic)
Quadron – Avalanche (Epic) Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Matador Records) – Hernan M. Campbell
Rogue Wave – Nightingale Floors (Vagrant Records)
Shoot The Girl First – Follow The Clouds (Artery Records)
Sleeping With Sirens – Feel (Rise Records)
Steve Roberts (drums, keys) / Darran Charles (vocals, guitars, keys) / Dan Nelson (bass)
Wales-based Godsticks is one of the best new progressive rock groups. The trio’s unique symbiosis of jazz fusion, rock and pop is in a class by itself. Their second full length The Envisage Conundrum continues to expand on the outfit’s style, embracing a heavier sonic approach while retaining the distinctly melodic qualities of their excellent debut. I’ve approached Darran Charles (vocals, guitars, keys) and the new member of the band, Dan Nelson (bass) to discuss the process of putting the new album together, their inspirations, future plans, and more.
- As most SputnikMusic users may not be familiar with Godsticks, could you tell us how your musical path started? What inspired you to play progressive rock in the first place?
Darran: I don’t think we ever had a plan to play a specific kind of music, and even today we never attempt to write in any particular style. I think categories are forced upon bands for marketing purposes which, to be honest, can be quite helpful to the potential listener.
We formed around 2006 after I placed in an advert around the local music shops, advertising for musicians who were interested in playing some 70s-inspired fusion music. As you can imagine, the response was a little underwhelming but eventually a local bass player by the name of Jason Marsh (the…
‘Cranley Gardens’ by Church of Misery (taken from their upcoming album Thy Kingdom Scum)
Church of Misery have been through a lot since originally forming back in 1995. The band was founded by Tatsu Mikami (bass guitar) after the breakup of his thrash metal band, Salem. He wanted to do something that reflected his other musical inspirations – doom metal and doom rock. Apart from metal and thrash, he was strongly influenced by doom bands like Saint Vitus, Black Sabbath and became aware that his own riffs had started to include doom vibes. Also, he was very much into late 60’s/early 70’s heavy rock material like Leaf Hound, November, and Blue Oyster Cult. It was natural for him to shift his musical direction from metal to a more rock-influenced style. It wasn’t until 2001, though, that they finally released their first full length album, Master Of Brutality, via Southern Lord Recording. Since that time, they have released two more full-length albums and have continued to captivate audience with their self-proclaimed murder doom — and they’re finally about to release their fourth, Thy Kingdom Scum.
For your listening pleasure, Sputnik Music is proud to premiere the song ‘Cranley Gardens’ from that album. The band’s fourth album, Thy Kingdom…
It seems slightly blasphemous to have to type it out like this – and believe you me I’m still wincing slightly at this point – but the album that truly taught me how to love the Deftones’ music was Koi No Yokan. But while I now understand that it is far from their best work (that honour probably belongs to Diamond Eyes – cheers Greer), I think I needed the benefit of the superb range of melodies and slower dynamics showcased on their seventh studio record in order to ease myself into a band that had seemed, upon first glance, a bit too sonically uneven for me. Such a sentiment may not endear me to the most stalwart of purists, but honestly, I can think of no better purpose for an album whose title means “premonition of love”.
As I write this, Chino Moreno and co. are now on a well-deserved break after an aggressive leg of touring that saw them visit ten destinations in both Oceania and Asia. I also think it’s extremely worth highlighting out that the Koi No Yokan Tourwas actually the second tour in a row in which the Sacramento band actually came out to South East Asia to perform. Now, I’ve regularly made a fuss (especially here on the Sput) about how this region as a whole isn’t really been the best of places to be in if you’re the type of person that likes to catch live shows…
I’ve recently interviewed Steve Colca, the frontman for up-and-coming doom metallers, Destroyer Of Light. Hailing from Austin, TX, the outfit released their well-received debut EP last year, and now they’re just about to hit the road for their most extensive tour to date.
Could you tell me how your musical path started? What inspired you to play music in the first place?
When I was younger, my sister’s ex boyfriend left his CDs, and I took them because he never came back. In that pile was Alice in Chains – Dirt. At this time, I hadn’t heard anything so melodic, dark, and heavy; it blew my mind. Jerry Cantrell’s guitar work inspired me to head into a heavy music direction. So, my sister’s now husband gave me his first ever guitar, and I started to write my own songs until I finally found my voice.
I know that you’d played in the stoner metal project before you formed Destroyer Of Light which is a traditional doom metal affair. What inspired you to change your style?
Poor Bastards Revolt! was old high school friends that had great chemistry and enjoyed playing with each other. We wrote some cool songs and we had a lot of fun. In fact, PBR was the first band that I started doing vocals in, before that I was just a rhythm guitar player.…
Having been released earlier this year, ‘Riptide’ isn’t a brand spanking new tune, but given it would have barely been heard around these parts, I thought it would be well worth spotlighting. It’s creator is Vance Joy, a pseudonym for 25 year-old Melbourne singer-songwriter James Keogh.
Talk about a rags to riches story: Just 4 years ago, Keogh was playing state league Australian Rules Football for the Coburg Tigers, hoping to get drafted by an AFL team. Two years later, the young man was working part-time as a gardener while also showcasing his unpolished musical skills at open mic nights around Melbourne. Come 2013, with only a five track EP to his name, Keogh has signed a five album deal with Atlantic Records!
The infectious ‘Riptide’ is undoubtedly the track which got Vance Joy noticed by the label heavyweights. It’s a fantastic little folk-pop song with its charming ukulele & bright harmonies seemingly perfect for any season of the year. Including a chorus that will instantly implant itself in your mind – as well as give you a chuckle in the below video – the song is bound to pop up on a film, tv series or advertisement some time soon. When it does, just remember that you heard it here at SputnikMusic first.