Live : Austra

05:11 PM

First she dedicated her talent to punk music with Galaxy, then she put well-known pop songs into morbid new clothes as a solo artist. With her new project Austra Canada’s Stelmanis is now making not less dark interface music between modern acts as Zola Jesus (Interview) and the first yet by Joe Godard produced Little Boots songs (Austras “Beat And Pulse” vs. “Stuck On Repeat” by the latter). The result sounds highly dramatical, sombre and likewise emotive, sometimes even aesthetically marginal, but in contrast to acts like White Lies you’ll never see or hear Austra on the border’s wrong side.

The compositions by Stelmanis’ band partner Maya Postepski are catchy, the voice of the classical trained singer is distinctive again, while bassist Dorian Wolf is doing a solid job. That the two of the female musicians are gay and openly proclaiming that, might help the band attracting some more attention as well, although Stelmanis states: I am a musician first, and a lesbian second. With “Lose It” (video below) there’s also a great and pure hit in their portfolio.

Austra’s debut album Feel It Break was released by Domino. Currently the band’s touring through Europe with Tasseomancy – find all dates at the end.

Austra : Lose It (Video)

Austra live:
June 4th – MUSIKCAFEEN – Aarhuus
June 9th – BERGHAIN – Berlin
June 10th – MOLOTOV – Hamburg
June 11th – GLOCKSEE – Hannover
June 13th – 200ER HALL – Heidelberg
June 14th – ATOMIC CAFE – Munich
June 15th – SCHLACHTHOF – Weisbaden
June 16th – CONNE ISLAND – Leipzig
June 17th – SPOT – Poznan
June 18th – CAFE KULTURAL – Warsaw
June 22nd – THRIBHAUS – Luzern
June 24th – KIFF -Aarua
June 25th – C/O Pop – KAMMERMUSIKSAAL – Koln
June 27th – LE POINT EPHEMERE – Paris
July 1st – UNDERTONE – Cardiff
July 2nd – MOTHER (DJ SET) – Dublin
July 2nd – CRAWDADDY – Dublin
July 3rd – CYPRESS AVENUE – Cork
July 4th – ROISIN DUBH – Galway
July 7th – CARGO – London
July 8th – THE HAUNT – Brighton

Dear Reader : MONKEY

01:15 PM


And suddenly she was on her own: When a letter now opens with Dear Reader, it’s Cherilyn MacNeil only signing, since Darryl Tor is as not a member of the band anymore as  South-African Johannesburg is its home base. MacNeil has moved on and to Berlin. Maybe one could have spared the press text’s subliminal retaliation as the first foretase of her new album Idealistic Animals completely (and positively) speaks for itself.

“MONKEY (You Can Go Home)” was recorded with the rest of the to be released on September 2 via City Slang (check their new website) full-length with Fritz Brückner in East-German Leipzig, where Dear Reader already played live with their debut Replace With With Funny in 2009 and Katrin Huth shot the above photo (see the complete gallery of the gig here). Back then, support came from the band Band Ramona Falls of Brent Knopf, who recently left his home band Menomena as well and now produced Idealistic Animals. The mix was done in Portland, a local shape-note choir and musicians from three different continents contributed.

Respectively dramatic (and darker) in comparision to its predecessor the album comes around. The ark concept not only unites the creatives, but also man and animals, which represent the single tracks – a similar imagery was recently used by iamamiwhoami among others. Congruously “MONKEY” focuses on what it takes to be great. And in this context the cooperation between MacNeils and Knopf stands out as great, recognising his ideas in the rich instrumentation and the Menomena-like shattering end of the song.

Dear Reader : MONKEY (You Can Go Home Now) (Download)

Dear Reader Idealistic Animals
1. FOX (Take Your Chances)
2. MONKEY (You Can Go Home)
3. MOLE (Mole)
4. EARTHWORM (All Hail Our Ailing Mother)
5. GIRAFFE (What’s Wrong With Us)
6. MAN (Idealistic Animals)
7. CAMEL (Not Black or White but Camel)
8. WHALE (BooHoo)
9. BEAR (Young’s Done In)
10. ELEPHANT (Hearter)
11. KITE (Soon We’ll Light Up)

Tasseomancy : Soft Feet

03:42 PM

Tasseomancy, the art of reading tea leaves and coffee grounds for fortune telling, was already the title of  the first ever EP by Ghost Bees anno 2008. Now the Canadian twin sisters Sari and Romy Lightman have also renamed the project. It was their great great grandmother who practised the spooky (if it works) hokum, but their voices on the new track and foretaste “Soft Feet”sound as eerily-beautiful. Like they would be standing on the iceberg singing of the ill-fated Titanic out into the cold night.

Their by now also renamed debut full-length Ulalume (formerly In A Glass Darkly) got produced by Taylor Kirk of Timbre Timbre and will be released August 9 via Turf in the UK. Tasseomancy are also part of the Austra live band and will hence support them(selves) on their upcoming European tour in June.

Tasseomancy : Soft Feet


Tasseomancy – Healthy Hands

Tommy Tempa : The Quixotic EP

02:45 PM

The second release of Berlin-London label Somethinksounds is also just the second for Tommy Tempa, a London-based computer music producer familiar with many different genres and one third of Mancini & the Creepers. His new EP The Quixotic slides between warm-hearted and reserved sounds, open and heady ones, easily filling the air.

The seven blending-into-each-other tracks are headed by “Fragments”, starting with klingklang reminding one of baby mobiles before rising up. “Rejoin Rejoice” (stream below) then sounds the first depths, while “Micro Ballistics” stays a sketchy intermezzo, followed by the almost sacral “Light Medium”. The video for the latter (watch above) by L.P. Palmer comes as turned-film illustrations from magazines. “Now or Never” leads us to South then as number five, “Warm Glow of the City” experiments with all kinds of minimalistic fuzz and finally “Roma” manages to be a slightly abstract end.

The EP is an uplifting and diverted pleasure, which you can listen to as complete stream here (and buy everywhere now).

Tommy Tempa The Quixotic was released via somethinksounds.

File next to: Sampha, Walls, Caribou Swim

Tommy Tempa : Rejoin Rejoice

Even more

Peter and Kerry : Knees (Tommy Tempa Remix)

Waters : For The One

12:11 AM

A few weeks ago, Californian folk band Port O’Brien announced its disbandment, now singer Van Pierszalowski, formerly also part of the Morning Benders, wages a new start with Waters, a project, he appears to be working on for quite a while already. If you visited Germany’s Immergut Festival last Saturday, you may have been lucky to watch his first official show. Now the debut album Out In The Light shall soon arise through the labels TBD (USA) and City Slang (Europa), the latter also released all Port O’Brien records.

Pierszalowski wrote the (expected) twelve there-compiled songs over a three month stay in New York City, but formed Waters with his new band mates, “multi instrumentalist” Nikolai Haukeland and drummer Zygmunt Ko?niewski, in his home of choice, Norwegian Oslo. (The dog above seems to be a part-time member only.) Eventually, the album got recorded in Dallas, Texas, with John Congleton, who also recently produced Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! (as we reported).

First made-available song, “For The One”, comes around as straight and catchy US rock, highly energised. Van here (probably autobiographically tries leaving all made (and bad) experiences behind, while waiting for the one. Download it below and if you want to listen to it (and other) songs live, you can meet Waters as support act of their label mates Wye Oak very soon all over (Western) Europe. In the meanwhile, you can also take a look on the very young Van, who scored his first blog post newspaper article at the age of six.

Waters : For The One (Download) [via]

Waters live (with Wye Oak):
07.06. Amsterdam, Paradiso
08.06. Ghent, Vooruit
09.06. Hamburg, Molotow
10.06. Gronigen, Vera
11.06. Munich, Atomic Cafe
12.06. Vienna, Chelsea Club
13.06. Frankfurt, Sinkkasten
14.06. Berlin, Festsaal Kreuzberg
16.06. London, Hoxton Bar & Grill

PHOTO: Amber Chavez

New Look : The Ballad

04:44 PM

And Canada for the second time: After Danish When Saints Go Machine Berlin-based !K7 has now also signed New Look from. Sarah Ruba and Adam Pavao, admittedly by now residing in New York City, priorly impressed the label with their re-work of Jimmy Edgar’s “Function of Your Love” (also on !K7, listen below). First single “The Ballad” of the upcoming debut album (out in September) is as heady as intense synth pop you immediately want to put on repeat. With the official release planned for June 27, Australian director Will Davidson, originally a busy fashion photographer for clients as Burberry or Vogue China and residing in London, uses a car body, smoke and textile projections to a build a coherent unit of sound and image in his video (and naturally the band’s name perfectly fits to his work).

New Look : Function (Covering/Featuring Jimmy Edgar)

New Look : The Ballad

Bonjay : Creepin

04:05 PM

They say, nowadays’ most spectacular nature documentaries to a big share prominently feature scenes shot with trained animals instead of wild ones. The extremely high per-day production costs simply often don’t allow one spending your budget waiting at a river for two weeks or more just to get some Grizzly go hunting for salmon and for real. Tough, we don’t know, if already Bill Mason back in 1972 used such tricks to make his film Cry of the Wild (stream), but we do know, that Jeff Parenteau has now turned the stunning images into a music video.

The song “Creepin”, an unusually introverted and densely humming one by exalted dancehall Canadians Bonjay, hereby mirrors its own tension in the eyes of the wilderness.  Recently the band also covered “Jamelia” by Caribou. And while the EP Broughtupsy is already out at home, it’s British label One Bird Records, who’s reading the single Stumble / Creepin (stream) for June 6 on this side of the planet. Around the release Bonjay will also then play live at London, Manchester and Berlin.

Eventually, the icing on this post’s cake comes with the sweet remix of another Bonjay track called “Want A Gang” by Noah Smith alias Hard Mix (while the CHLLNGR remix of “Creepin” is rather less exiting).

Bonjay : Want A Gang (Hard Mix Remix)

Bonjay live:
04.06. London, The Camp (DJ)
07.06. London, Bush Hall w/ MEN
08.06. Manchester, Islington Mill w/ MEN
02.07. Berlin, Lido

The Horrors : Still Life

04:24 PM

“I think, it’s their best yet!” Rachel Zeffira highly praised the new album of her band partner Faris Badwan’s main project The Horrors, when talking to us before yesterday’s gig of Cat’s Eyes in Berlin (interview and photos will follow). The third LP by the Britons, called Skying, will be released on July 11 via XL Recordings (whose logo already rotates through the above video in acid-screensaver-style).

But the first foretaste “Still Life” is only partly causing himmelhoch jauchzende (ski-highly cheering) reactions. Slowed down once again, the take songs returns to the wide-screen aesthetics of the (fantastic) second work Primary Colours, weaving the net even tighter. But the excessive use of synthesizers not only reminds Swedish colleague Lisa Ehlin or the Guardian of no other than Simple Minds’ “Alive and Kicking“. The stoic bass line might do his bit, too.

So maybe it’s a hidden prophecy that Badwan meanwhile sings, “don’t worry, give it time. Things are what they used to be. (…) The moment that you want is coming, when you give it time.” So there’s a lot of hope for the rest of ten tracks, all produced and recorded by then band themselves in their studio in Dalston, London. The first live dates can also be found on the band’s website.

The Horrors Skying
01 Changing the Rain
02 You Said
03 I Can See Through You
04 Endless Blue
05 Dive In
06 Still Life
07 Wild Eyed
08 Moving Further Away
09 Monica Gems
10 Oceans Burning

Berlin: Heineken Green Sphere (win)

01:30 PM

The location bears the probably most beautiful name in town (Insel der Jugend, isle of youth), the dominant colour is the one of hope (green) and the line-up is a fine and well-selected one. With the Heineken Green Sphere Berlin’s Spree riverside in Treptow will see a fountain of youth manifesting itself in a small Sunday’s openair.
Playing their for now only German gig, Island quintet FM Belfast (photo) will headline the event. It’s feisty cliché-free electro pop they play, which will already go for a second round on June 3 with the release of new full-length Don’t Want To Sleep on Morr. The first impressions embedded below, “I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep Either” (video) and “New Year” (download), turn out be respectively enthusiastic. (And if you need to be convinced by the band’s live qualities first, there’s also a complete and exuberant video recording of a gig, they did earlier this year.)
A diverse DJ support comes from UK band Foals, the always busy Berlin scene eclectics Hunee (Hunch Music, Rush Hour, Permanent Vacation, Ostgut Ton, …) and Hugo Capablanca (Bananamania, Broken Hearts Club, Los Massieras) plus Remmidemmi.

You can register for the event on their website or just win 1×2 guestlist invites here, by being at least 18 years old and leaving us a green comment below! The winner will be chosen by our green thumb random, so good luck!

FM Belfast : I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep Either (Video)

FM Belfast : Live at EVE Fanfest 2011 (Video)

FM Belfast : New Year (Download)

FM Belfast : Vertigo

PHOTO: Hörður Sveinsson

Lucknow Pact : Waiting in the Sun

08:00 AM

If we should ever have a category called The daily morning greeting or something like that (but chances are low, arguably), this article here marked the beginning. Because in a Lotta Kvist video for “Waiting in the Sun”, Gothenburg three-piece Lucknow Pact demonstrates a very eccentric but interesting move. The band name is a sign of protest, while tune just got released by HejMusik. And some fooling around from time to time isn’t that bad, is it?

Lucknow Pact : Waiting in the sun