Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Patrick Wolf - The City

Last month, everyone's favourite sexually ambiguous multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wolf unveiled the second single to be taken from his forthcoming album Lupercalia. The track, entitled The City, was premiered on the Steve Lamaq show and is the follow up to the superbly rousing post break-up soundtrack Time Of Your Life. The City is an equally stellar effort. I think it's the wailing sax solos that do it for me - if not them, then surely the upliftingly spirited vocals, both of which give a distinctly Springsteen-esque flavour to this otherwise bouncy pre pre-summer record. The City will released March 14th on vinyl and download.

Patrick Wolf - The City

MP3: Patrick Wolf - The City (Richard X Remix) DOWNLOAD

Friday, 28 January 2011

The White Panda

Jiminy Cricket! It's the The White Panda, the half human, half care-bear geniuses behind pay-what-you-like records Versus and Rematch. Word is February will yield a new record. Fingers crossed they don't go all wank like Girl Talk did. Oh, Girl Talk - how I once love you so:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Brother - Darling Buds Of May Video Released

Broadly speaking, you're in either of two camps: you either love Brother, or you hate Brother. I've met people from both sides - a middle ground does not exist. So what now for a band that appear to be 2011's musical equivalent of the Israel/Palestine conflict? That's right, a new promotional video and a tour with The Streets. Supporting The Streets is a shrewd move. Both acts ham up their gritty, urban image, and play music with yob-pop overtones. It's similarities like this that will no doubt endear Streets fans, looking for an alternative now Skinner has decided to wrap up The Streets project, to the cause.

The video, featuring typical council estate fare, is for the quartet's debut single Darling Buds Of May. The track, which is an updated version of the song's original demo incarnation, is available to download over on itunes. As is often the case these days, I prefer the demo version.

MP3: Brother - Darling Buds Of May (Demo Version) DOWNLOAD

MP3: Ralegh Long - Darling Buds Of May (Brother Cover - French) DOWNLOAD

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Cut Copy - Remixed

It's only a matter of weeks 'til Zonoscope, Cut Copy's third studio album, is released to European fans, and already it seems that most of the record has found its way onto Youtube. Is nothing sacred?! I've restrained myself, both physically and chemically, from copping a look at this leaked content - I want to the hear the album in its high quality entirety - I feel this record deserves as much. So, until the album's release, I've been making do with the various remixes of the band's new material. Most of them are a bit meh, though this one, by Illinois' Tigorilla - featuring some Tears For Fears style xylophone action - is a noteworthy effort:

MP3: Cut Copy - Blink And You'll Miss A Revolution (Tigorilla Relevant Remix) DOWNLOAD

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Bagraiders - Sunlight

In celebration of Bag Raiders self titled debut album hitting American shelves today, Modular records have kindly offered up the track Sunlight to the baying masses. The song features the vocals of international quirkster Dan Black, and is described as a "four minute slice of summertime bliss". Oh the irony of listening to a sun drenched record while still waist high in British winter. The single release will see Sunlight remixed by Armand van Helden, Tiedye, and GLOVES. Stream the entire album over at the Spinner website.

MP3: Bag Raiders - Sunlight (Feat. Dan Black) DOWNLOAD

Monday, 24 January 2011

Ruby Frost - Interview

Having featured on the pages of this blog before, regular readers will be more than familiar with Ruby Frost, the diminutive New Zealand singer-songwriter who's destined to cook up a storm in 2011. Somewhere in her diary, she found the time for an obsessive blogger/fan (i.e. me) to interrogate her about all things Frost - here's the results:

Check The Availability: Ruby, Thanks for taking the time out of your no doubt busy schedule to answer a few questions. How are you? Where are you?

Ruby Frost: Thank you for having me! I'm doing well thank you, sitting in my New Zealand Bedroom next to 100 pieces of scrap paper and a blackboard covered in lists.

CTA: You came to my attention after playing CMJ in New York last year. By all accounts, you went down a storm. How did the gig come about?

RF: That gig was the most amazing prize! I won an MTV competition in New Zealand back in 2009, and part of the prize was a trip to New York to perform at CMJ 2010... But I had eight whole months to wait until going and the suspense almost killed me. I loved New York; the bike rides, the different cultures, the subway, the pizza, and the light-up dance floors where we could dance 'ironically'.

CTA: That wasn't your first time in the States, right? I believe there was an incident involving you, a gunman and a church during a previous trip there.

RF: I used to travel to America a lot with my parents' Gospel band from the age of 12 until about 16. And yeah, one day there was a gun scare in the mega-church we were visiting and I was stuck by myself in the foyer selling CDs while the service went on. It was terrifying, but it caused me to write a short story about the gunman's festering skin (terrible acne). That was the first time I ever did something under the Frost pseudonym.

CTA: There seems to be a lot of talent coming out of New Zealand these days. I'm thinking Ladyhawke, Brooke Fraser, Mt Eden Dubstep. Does the environment there lend itself to making great music?

RF: I think so. I think we're very isolated down here, and maybe we feel like outsiders from the 'rest of the world'. But I like that because it means you have a license to act like the misfit, and create anything you want. There's no massive industry over here that gives you set-in-stone standards.

CTA: Speaking of Mt. Eden Dubstep, how did you end up providing vocals for Oh That I Had? It's such a beautiful piece of music.

RF: They got in touch asking if they could remix one of my songs, and at the time I only had an old E.P. recorded. Oh That I Had was on the E.P., just vocals and piano. It's a very spiritual song so I was interested in how it would end up, but I really like it; it's beautiful.

CTA: How far off are we from hearing the full album? Have you decided on a name yet?

RF: The album should be coming out around July! And that's a prospect which makes me equally delighted and incredibly nervous. There's still a lot of work to be done so I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into it. I have one name idea but it's TOP SECRET. Sorry.

CTA: I understand the song writing process involved collaborating with some big name talent over in Australia. How do you find working creatively with other people?

RF: I thought I would hate it and went into my first session a little bit guarded. But I quickly realised co-writing is one of the most exciting things you can do - instead of labouring away alone, you get to do your favourite thing with the excitement of having to jet out ideas instantly and quickly. It's always a challenge but that's why I like it. I want to get away from that now though, having done a few sessions, and am going to lock myself away to write alone again. I think it's important to have both... they are different ways of using your brain.

CTA: You recently released the video to Moonlight. Fantastic stuff. having made the video, you must feel like a real popstar now, right?

RF: Haha, definitely not! It's exciting to finally have something out, but it just makes me want to work harder and write 1 million more songs and try to get it all down to a fine art. I guess it's all in the experimental stage. But I am enjoying this haphazard process!

CTA: ...and finally, I have to ask, are there any plans to play some live shows outside of New Zealand any time soon? I'm thinking specifically (...and selfishly) that you might come and play in the U.K..

RF: Yes, we are looking into some ideas, but it is still early days. I would love to spend a couple of months in the U.K. and maybe also Sweden just to meet up with interesting people and try and collaborate and come up with new things. But who knows, nothing is set yet.

Ruby Frost - Pressure (Leno Lovecraft Remix)

Ruby's latest E.P. Moonlight was released to New Zealand fans today and is available via itunes. The 28th and 30th January will see Frost play Hamilton's Parachute Festival.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Jonathan Boulet

Jonathan Boulet is everything you'd want to be: young, incredibly talented - and Australian. His grammar though, leaves a lot to be desired, as evidenced by the appalling syntactic error on his latest track entitled You're A Animal. No doubt he'll tell you it was a purposeful mistake; I have my doubts.

Although Boulet, signed to Modular Recordings, is best known for making laid back, colourful folk-pop music, You're A Animal sees the Sydney native take a new direction. At the song's heart is a frenetic percussive riff, atop of which sits an anthemically shouty vocal hook; a sweet-sounding symphonic war cry to galvanise every misunderstood skinny indie-kid in the land. Add to that a blast of punchy guitar power-chords and you've got yourself some of what I'd call Tribal Rock - and I love it!

You're A Animal is taken from Boulet's as yet untitled sophomore album which is due for release in mid 2011. If you're in the Brisbane area and find yourself at a loose end on New Year's Eve, you could do worse than to head to the Powerhouse No Years Festival which features Jonathan play alongside Shout Out Louds and Neon Indian. A snip at $85?

MP3: Jonathan Boulet - You're A Animal DOWNLOAD