Well, it’s that time again…a time to doff your cap and bow to the royal sunshine… a time to lick the back of the Queen’s head and post a donation to the corgi society… a time to polish off your royal mugs and wave your dishcloths above your head and toast the royal couple….. yeah right!
Flashback to June 1977 and The Queen’s Silver Jubilee. That was also the day the Sex Pistols attempted to play from a boat named ‘Queen Elizabeth’ aside Westminster Palace on old father Thames. The performance was halted as the boys were fingered by the long arm of the law.
‘God Save The Queen’ was a massive anti-establishment anthem that certainly got some people hot under the collar… including the BBC, who banned it from the radio. Even so it reach number 2 in the UK charts amidst accusations that there had been some fiddling by the Beeb in order to keep it off the number one slot.
Oh happy days….
…It’s true what Laurence says, but God, how depressing that we now feel a sense of nostalgia for times when there was a voice for change, and an undeniable music force that would not be silenced. We have some great bands today, but most of the truly exceptional talents to have emerged in recent times (Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter, Animal Collective etc.) are American, and deal more with personal politics, rather than the big picture. Admittedly, Arcade Fire wrestle with political fallout, but theirs is a grim reporting of alienation in the modern world, seen from the edge of society’s margins. The British bands who do have something to say, (The Supernovas and Krakatoa are among the best) are not big enough to make a national impact…
As for Britain’s bigger acts, we are hardly likely to see Mumford And Sons or Adele extolling the virtues of anarchy, and with reality TV now an accepted part of the British cultural diet, voices of resentment and retaliation are in short supply. Where is this generation’s Sex Pistols, Clash or The Smiths? I don’t just mean retreads of those bands’ sound or imagery, but where are the genuinely disaffected musical heroes, urging their compatriots and generational terrorists forward into battle? You’ve all gone very quiet out there…
‘This is Joe Public speaking: C-O-N, Control!’
THE CLASH, Complete Control, 1977
Boat To Row, is a five piece folk collective who’s new single ‘A Boat To Row, To Row To You’ combines rich harmonies with lilting guitar and banjo and is a brilliantly crafted – dare I say it, Mumfordesque – tune with a pretty dark video to accompany it…
Fronted by Michael King and hailing from the Midlands, Boat To Row will be out and about in the UK in support of this track which gets its digital and 7″ release on May 2nd on istartedthefire records.
For a band still seeking publishing and recording deals, Kites are doing very nicely. The music press have already compared them favourably with New Order, Talking Heads and Patrick Wolf, and tours of South America (this month), the UK and Europe in the summer, and Asia and Australia follow. The live show is intense and something of a spectacle, and has drawn rave reviews, with Vice, i-D and Time Out all waxing lyrical over this nattily dressed four piece.
Their latest EP, as yet untitled and in self-produced demo form, kicks off with the song ‘Art Tastes Better Blind’ which is our track of the day:
Ernest Greene is not the kind of name normally associated with pop glory, so this talented Georgian plies his trade under the more appropriate (actually, perfect for the sounds he creates) Washed Out.
Domino Records subsidiary Weird World will release a new album, Within And Without on July 11th, but the good people at the label haven’t sent us any music yet, no video either…we do, however, have a track listing, to whet your appetite:
1. Eyes Be Closed
3. Amor Fati
5. Far Away
7. You and I
8. Within And Without
9. A Dedication
A European tour immediately follows the release of the new album, with dates just confirmed:
Friday 15th July – Lovebox Weekender, London, UK
Saturday 16th July – Hultsfred Festival, Sweden
Sunday 17th July – Festival De Affaire, Netherlands
Thursday 4th August – Festaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
Sunday 7th August – Nouveau Casino, Paris, France
Saturday 8th August – Deaf Institute, Manchester UK
Tuesday 9th August – Scala, London, UK
Recorded with acclaimed producer Ben Allen, whose production work encompasses Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion, Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere and Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter, Within And Without is a full realisation of the excitement Greene created with his first release, 2009’s Life Of Leisure EP, on the awesome Mexican Summer label.
We go back to that EP for our track of the day, the glorious ‘You’ll See It’. Watch this performance of the track at Pitchfork 2010 here:
You’ve got to go way back to 1989 for this one… a track that really defined an era and confused many folk on the dancefloor I can tell you… as it slooooowwwweeeeeddddd down to a stoppppp….
Lil’ Louis was a popular Chicago house producer during the ’80s who scooped himself a major record deal after the success of this track, which hit the number 2 spot in the UK after being released by FFRR.
Brooklyn’s Bear Hands have pretty much been on the road since the release of their Golden EP in 2007. On this epic journey they have opened for stablemates MGMT as well as Vampire Weekend and The XX to name but a few.
This track ‘Crime Pays’ is taken from their debut album Burning Bush Supper Club, which due to an array of reasons – mental illness, band squabbling and general indecisiveness – took over a year to complete.
For me the sound of Bear Hands is Arcade Fire meets Jake Shears being hit round the head with a shovel in a dirty reverb chamber. Make of that what you will!
Burning Bush Supper Club got it’s U.S release in November 2010.
New England native Merrill Garbus returns, with her first album for two years, ‘Whokill’, the follow up to her highly successful and absolutely original debut, ‘BiRd-BrAiNs’. This single was released a few weeks ago, and it passed us by at the time, but having just received a copy of the new album, which is issued in the UK next Monday, we are starting to warm to this highly innovative act. Scratch that – we LOVE IT.
After a few listens, it’s becoming clear that the addition of bassist Nate Brenner brings a new dimension to the sound, without foregoing the trademark confessional feel of previous recordings. This is a beautifully recorded album, painstakingly created with detailed attention given to each sound, and the results will only serve to grow the fan base of this remarkable talent.
View the video here: