Monthly Archives: April 2013

SINKANE Reveals Video for New Track Warm Spell

After his recent appearance with Usher on stage at SXSW and short visit to the UK where he performed at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen a few weeks back, SINKANE has now revealed the video for new track, Warm Spell.

Sinkane Warm Spell video

Screen shot from Warm Spell video

The beautifully shot clip accompanying Warm Spell features a man as he appears in an alternate reality inhabited by foreign terrain and populated by sirens. He attempts to avoid the sirens’ spell but ultimately fails and he submits to his primal desires and fantasies. Only when he finally submits, is he ultimately able to decode the strange world that surrounds him.

Director Philip Di Fiore and Director Christopher J. Lytwyn photographed everyday fruits, vegetables and flowers with a macro lens in order to create the identity and terrain of the universe in the video. It’s a truely artistic video for a track that fully deserves it. Warm Spell begins as an experimental jazz piece before it settles into an easy to listen to track full of meditative vocals, jazz drum beats and wonderful summery guitar riffs.

SINKANE’s debut album Mars was released last year through City Slang.

See Sinkane live this summer:
July 5             UK Kent Hopfarm Festival
July 9              IT Roma SuperSanto’s @ San Lorenzo Estate
July 10           IT Ravenna Hani-Bi
July 11            ES Madrid Picnic Sessions
July 12            ES Barcelona Apollo
July 16            NL Nijmegen De Affaire Festival
July 19            DE Gräfenhainichen  Melt Festival
July 20            BE Dour Dour Festival
July 21            UK Suffolk Latitude Festival

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Kid Koala Remix of Emily Wells’ Single, Passenger, Available Online

Emily Wells

Emily Wells

After releasing her new single Passenger on April 29 through Partisan Records, Emily Wells has now also revealed an atmospheric remix of the original track by Kid Koala.

Kid Koala re-envisages Passenger and transforms it into something just as magical. The song starts with mellow tones leaving Wells’ beautiful vocals on full display. Spacey synths kick in, followed by an almost marching band style of percussion presenting Wells’ innate talent in a whole new light. It’s a re-working of a delicate original that explores the versatility of an artist with such a credited musical background.

You can listen to the Kid Koala remix here.

Emily Wells live dates are to be announced soon so check back here for details.

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CocoRosie Release Brand New Video for Single, After The Afterlife

CocoRosie announced the release of their new single After The Afterlife last week. Now they have also released the accompanying surreal video.

Director Mike Basich said: “It was exciting to be given so much creative space when working with CocoRosie. It was a special project filming it in a place where the girls grew up in their younger years; adventuring through nature, dreaming of other lives in the land of Hawaii.”

CocoRosie After The Afterlife Video

Screen shot from CocoRosie’s After The Afterlife video

Bianca describes the inspiration for the video as: “Nature, magic, ritual, fun…. There were no narrative ideas for the video unlike our other attempts. We just knew we wanted to document a true adventure and see what happens.

“The smells [of Hawaii] take me back to early childhood. I feel a strange sense of home on the land. I walk barefoot. I love how the rain comes and goes all night and day.”

CocoRosie’s fifth album Tales of a Grass Widow is out on May 27 through City Slang. ‘Grass widow’ itself is an archaic term meaning an abandoned mistress and sets the scene for an album full of unsettling turmoil and contrasting stark beauty.

Tales of a Grass Widow features 11 tracks and was produced in association with Valgeir Sigurðsson. Later this year Bianca Casady launches ‘Girls Against God’ – an arts and letters print publication.  Linked to this project, Bianca and Sierra Casady have founded the Future Feminists with Antony Hegarty and performance artists Kembra Pfahler and Johanna Constantine.  The group’s platform is to “free society and protect the planet from the corrosive effects of patriarchal belief systems”.

The songs in Tales of a Grass Widow touch on CocoRosie’s personal response to the group’s feminist mission. Bianca said: “We are burning with optimism. I feel a global awakening to the realisation that we have been comfortable in a social prison for thousands of years. We, women and men, oppressed by patriarchal views and systems with religions who despise women.

“You can find the phrase “Eve The Whore” in almost every western language. It rolls off the tongue without a second thought, without acknowledging how religions have blamed women and their bodies and their sex on the fall of “man”.”

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Small Black Announce Exhibition in New York

As a band, Small Black have had the privilege to work with a host of incredible artists for album covers, videos and live visuals. Their song writing is often inspired by not only other musicians and musical works of art but equally so from a wide variety of visual artists and their extended creative community. In order to bring these worlds together Small Black will host an art exhibition, exploring the themes of their upcoming album Limits of Desire at 7 Dunham Gallery, New York.

Curated in collaboration with Lindsay Aveilhé, an Independent Curator and the Research Associate for the Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings Catalogue Raisonnée, the group exhibition Limits of Desire (so-called after the band’s forthcoming album) will consist of works by 17 artists, working in various media.

Small Black Limits of Desire Exhibition

Small Black Limits of Desire exhibition flyer

Aveilhé says: “Inspired by the title track, Limits of Desire gathers artists whose work confronts or responds to the arbitrary framework of wants or desires upon which we exist, as well as the ways in which we either feel restricted by that framework or we seek to create self-imposed limitations. Each artists presents a unique approach to the theme as manifested through their artistic process, their relationship with materials and in their treatment of subject matter.”

The show will feature works from frequent Small Black collaborators like Morgan Blair, who created the art for the band’s first two albums; Dan Baker, who runs intricate lights shows for the band’s live performances; Agnes Thor, who has frequently photographed the band; and Scarlett Hooft Graafland, who created the striking cover image for Limits of Desire. These are in addition to nationally and internationally exhibited artists Roman LiškaEthan CookAdam KremerPeter RostovskyJen SchwartingLauren LuloffJess Fuller, Joe Baptista, Kim HoeckeleBorden Capalino,Ian SwansonAnna K. Miller, and Austin Nelson.

Small Black Free At DawnOn top of this exciting news, Small Black have also recently released the video for new track, Free At Dawn. The video was directed by Yoonha Park and was inspired by Hollis Frampton’s experimental film from 1970, Zorns Lemma. In Frampton’s film, the alphabet appears letter by letter and is then slowly transformed into representational images. Frampton’s film is part of the Criterion Collection.

Small Black’s video for Free At Dawn uses a similar technique by flashing the letters that make up Free At Dawn and filming in first person  point of view showing footage of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Shot on 16mm film and with the same camera and lenses that Frampton was likely using, the video is a paean to Brooklyn. Director Park says: “One thing among many that I love about the original film is it’s a very specific time capsule of how New York looked and felt in that precise moment. We wanted to capture our own moment in New York.”

Limits of Desire, Small Black’s new album, is set for release on May 13 via Jagjaguwar.

The opening reception for the Limits of Desire exhibition will take place on Friday May 10 from 7:00 – 10:00pm and will include an after-party DJ set by the band from 10-11pm.

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Anna von Hausswolf Announces Festival Sign Ups and Video for Mountains Crave

Anna von Hausswolf has announced she will perform at Green Man Festival and Iceland Airwaves with more festival sign ups to be confirmed soon.

Anna Von Hausswolf

Anna Von Hausswolf

Following this news, Anna von Hausswolf has also released the stunning video for Mountains Crave. The beautifully simple video for Mountains Crave, quite simply features this extraordinary young lady playing one of the more buoyant tracks from her forthcoming album Ceremony which is out on June 17 through City Slang. It has notched up 93,000 views without any of the attention-grabbing PR tactics that are so commonly used these days.

See Anna Von Hausswolff live on the following dates:
June 28 BIALYSTOK (PO) HALFWAY FESTIVAL

July 19 TONSBERG (NO) SLOTTSFJELL FESTIVAL

August 18 BREACON BEACONS (UK) GREEN MAN FESTIVAL

October 30 REYKJAVIK (IS) ICELAND AIRWAVES FESTIVAL

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Introducing…Fountain Guard

Fountain Guard is a five man band which uses guitar, drum, bass and synthesizers. 
They make alternative rock and they always keep creating and evolving.

All Fountain Guard’s songs are written by  the singer Adam Torssell and the guitarist Anton Sten. The two have been writing songs together for four years. In the beginning of 2012, they thought enough’s enough. They had become tired of sitting in a grey basement writing songs so they decided to create a real band. Now Fountain Guard are releasing their second single Here I Am through 100 songs.

Torssell’s voice is very reminiscent of Cat Stevens at the beginning of their new track, Here I Am. His voice is gravely and husky with a great range for rock. The whole track oozes perfection. There’s passion and fire in the vocals as well as the music.

You can listen to Here I Am here.

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Cayucas Bigfoot Debut Album Review

Cayucas are set to release their debut album Bigfoot on April 30 through Secretly Canadian. The release follows a series of European concerts including London’s Lexington, Primavera and End of the Road Festival.

Cayucas is fronted by twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin. Cayucas which is pronounced “ky-yook-us” is the (slightly misspelled) name of a little seaside town in San Luis Obispo County, California. The town, Cayucos, has hardly changed in the last 50 years. In the early 1960s, the surfing craze hit. There was one bar around which local kids congregated where the jukebox played host to the soundtrack of those kids’ summers. The bar has since disappeared but as Zach Yudin will tell you, the place still holds on tight to its propensity for dreamy, lazy, bonfire-lit nights worth getting moony-eyed about.

The band’s debut album, Bigfoot, bears little resemblance to the modern idea of California – mentions of weed and lounging around on the beach, to name just a few. Instead, Bigfoot is an album full of melodic, catchy pop tracks designed for those summer months. If you like Beck then you will love these guys.

Cayucas Bigfoot

Album artwork for Cayucas’ Bigfoot

Yudin has a knack for producing atmospheric tracks leaving in the hiss of a needle in the groove, the steel drum reverbs and ambient party noise which all lead to fantastically produced and mixed pop songs. There isn’t a song on the album that doesn’t bring a huge smile to your face. This should be everyone’s soundtrack for the summer. Being in England though, we might not see much sun but you can listen to this album and it will instantly lift your mood.

Singles High School Lover and East Coast Girl are definitely two of the most catchy songs on the record but track three, Will the Thrill is by far the favourite track. The intro is soothing, relaxing and perfect in every way. It breaks you in very gently to the wonderful story of Will the Thrill. The song tells the story of Will who falls madly in love and goes on a trip with the lucky girl. It has brilliant lyrics that conjure up images of American road trips and the thrill of being young, free and in love, “…motorcycle 1953…and I was like oh my God, is this actually happening to me…you looked over cautiously/Rolled down the window said you looked like a girl I used to know/Why don’t we leave this town together wherever the wind blows”.

Track four A Summer Thing, track six Deep Sea and track seven Ayawa Kya are the other tracks that will seep into your pores, you won’t be able to shake them off. They all have unbelievably happy melodies and catchy lyrics that you will instantly fall in love with. A Summer Thing is a great song ideal for BBQs in the summer sun while Deep Sea is very Beck-esque. The intro feels very much like Beck with the music having such an atmosphere about it that you are actually made to feel as if you are under the sea. The deeper tones, the crackling background noises and pleasant piano all make this song have a very chilled out feel to it; it makes you feel as if you are floating in a supremely beautiful blue sea. It’s a brilliantly mixed and produced song.

Ayawa Kya is slightly different from the other tracks on Bigfoot. It has more punch to it, it has deeper bass sounds than the previous tracks and a bit more ‘umph’. The intro uses more synthesised sounds which help to create that deeper sound. The chant in the song brings in some African music influences which is really refreshing to hear in pop music.

Cayucas have a sound that cannot be described. They are technically pop but their songs have so much more to them that it’s almost an insult to put them into that genre. Their songs are carefully crafted pieces of art that capture the ideology of a period that lots of people are probably reminiscing about right now. Bigfoot will send you into a trance thinking of summer, beaches, cocktails and young love. Bigfoot should be everyone’s summer soundtrack for 2013 but it will make you want to be in the 1960s when the Beach Boys were around producing those fabulous summer tunes. Cayucas could be 2013’s the Beach Boys.

Bigfoot is out through Secretly Canadian on April 30.

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