Set to take over Austin, from March 17 to 22, the always-anticipated South by Southwest is one of the music industry's biggest annual festivals — despite growing safety concerns. Today (October 22), organizers revealed the first round of scheduled performers, and as usual, it's looking impressive. Jessie Ware, Courtney Barnett, Bishop Nehru, Black Milk, Carl Barat and the Jackals, Ben Kweller, Sleep ∞ Over, Thee Oh Sees and the Twilight Sad are just a few of the names that have been confirmed. There's also a good dose of Canadiana heading south of the border for...Read More
It's been over three years since Jenny Berkel released her sophomore LP Here on a Wire, but the Montreal-based folk figure will apparently be road-testing some new material this fall when she heads out on a Canadian tour. Berkel hits the road mid-November, with dates booked in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. All of the shows have Berkel supported by Nova Scotia born singer-songwriter Jennah Barry. You'll find all of the date and venue specifics down below. While Here on a Wire received a vinyl pressing earlier this year through Indoor Shoes, there will be new music on the...Read More
When you call yourself "the spokesman of modern Africa," it is a lot to live up to. For Pierre Kwenders, it's a challenge he's more than willing to accept. With the release of his first full-length project, Le Dernier Empereur Bantou, out now on Bonsound, the Montreal-based artist (born José Louis Modabi) tells Exclaim! that the album pays homage to his Congolese roots while also working in modern electronic vibes for a progressive, postmodern sound. "The biggest wish was to share this with as many people as possible. I just need to share it with the people and bring them into my...Read More
As the temperature continues to drop, so do the new music releases. Cozy up with some new additions to your music library in our New Release Roundup, brimming with reviews of all sorts of album releases from this week. So give it a read to catch up on what's new and notable, as well as a few you might have missed. Then, be sure to check out our Recently Reviewed section for more.
East coast indie rock troupe Hey Rosetta! get this week started with their first record in four years, Second Sight. Continuing to successfully combine string arrangements with quintessential rock music sounds, the record also demonstrates a greater focus on depth and texture of production. Was the new material worth the four-year wait? Read our review to find out.
Jessie Ware's sophomore record Tough Love shows the London vocalist reaching an extraordinary new level of confidence. A star-studded list of collaborative writers such as Miguel, Dev Hynes and Ed Sheeran make their presence known throughout the expertly produced, soulful pop record. However, the list of contributors doesn't overshadow Ware's efforts in the slightest. Her own powerful vocal work nails feelings of heartache in effortless fashion.
Art rock elder statesman Thurston Moore's fourth solo record sounds downright jubilant when compared to 2011's Demolished Thoughts, in large part due to a new backing band. Composed of Nĝught guitarist James Sedwards, My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, the eight tracks of The Best Day are full of what our reviewer describes as "complementary guitar lines, dissonant post-punk thrashers and poetic, punk rock ponderings."
Heading into recording her latest studio effort, Compostela, Jenn Grant's goal was to make a psychedelic folk record. While the new disc has only one overtly psych tune, the rest of her sonic experimentation adds colour, creating what our reviewer calls her most cohesive record to date.
Elsewhere, singer-songwriter Oh Susanna has released her most diverse album yet, compiled from songs written by pals such as Jim Cuddy, Joel Plaskett, Royal Wood and Melissa McClelland. Namedropper thus finds the Toronto-based artist shows her ability to adapt to other genres, from the sweet pop of "Wait Until the Sun Comes Up" to the quirky "Mozart for the Cat," making for an enjoyable effort.
Also, the ever-eccentric Primus have unleashed their cover version of the soundtrack to 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Fittingly dubbed Primus & The Chocolate Factory, the zany reinterpretations from the trio hold a high degree of earnestness and playfulness, resulting in a perfect match of inspiration and old school talent.
Finally, there's also the anticipated avant-garde team-up between Scott Walker and Sunn O))), who have delivered their far-out Soused. And to bring it all back home again, we have Elliott Brood's newly released Work and Love, which we dub "another consistently strong outing from one of our best."
Find some tracks from the albums reviewed above and lots more on our Rdio Genre Playlists:
Believe it or not, Norwegian collective Jaga Jazzist first took the stage 20 years ago today, on October 21, 1994. It's been a long and varied career for the genre-bending instrumentalists, which they'll now partially revisit via a new vinyl box set. The group have announced plans to release '94-'14, a new vinyl box set. The release includes a special reissue of the group's breakthrough 2004 album A Livingroom Hush, along with four previously unreleased demos and some additional demo downloads. The box will also include two 12-inches that feature exclusive remixes of...Read More
Chance the Rapper made a massive splash with last year's Acid Rap mixtape, but MC has yet to give us a substantial follow-up. That may soon change, however, as he's announced the he and his band the Social Experiment have a series of new projects in the works. In a new interview with Billboard, Chance said he's been in a Los Angeles studio with the Social Experiment, and their first release will be called Surf. This album will highlight trumpet player Nico Segal (a.k.a. Donnie Trumpet), with Chance also contributing. It will be available online for free before the...Read More
Mac Miller last gave up his Faces mixtape as an online freebie, but the Pittsburgh rapper will eventually be issuing a commercial release through new major label home Warner Bros. A press release issued today (October 21) confirms that the rapper has linked up with the major label and brought his Remember Music imprint with him. "Warner is the most independent thinking company I met with," Miller told The FADER. "It is a partnership and now I can focus on building my label Remember through music and let them handle everything I don't like doing. Nothing will change in...Read More
While we're still waiting for the release of D-Sisive's The Great Mr. Nobody, the Toronto rapper just may be treating fans to those new tunes onstage this fall when he hits the road with fellow Canadian MC Mike Boyd. The pair recently revealed plans for their joint tour, which has them travelling around Canada this November. Though the tour dates are still shaping up, so far we know that the trip kicks off out at Sudbury, ON's Peddler's Pub on November 18. From there, D-Sisive and Boyd make their way towards to the West Coast, hitting Calgary's Nite Owl venue by November 29. ...Read More
If you were looking forward to catching British trio London Grammar in concert next month, the band regret to inform you that the North American shows have been postponed. Luckily, the outfit won't leave you hanging for very long, as they've rebooked the concerts in support of If You Wait for the new year. A press release issued today (October 21) notes that the "unavoidable scheduling conflicts" are the reason behind the postponed appearances, though the specifics behind the move have been kept under wraps. The band had been booked to play Montreal's Club Soda on November 18 and...Read More
In addition to being a member of the National, Aaron Dessner has been building up his production resume in recent years. His latest gig behind the boards is with fellow Brooklyn residents the Lone Bellow, whose album Then Came the Morning will drop on January 27. The record was produced by Dessner and mixed by Peter Katis (who is a longtime studio collaborator with the National). Sessions took place at Dessner's own New York facility and at Dreamland Recording Studios just outside of the city. Scroll past the tracklist below to watch a live performance video for opening cut...Read More
Now that fans have had time to play the hell out of Hooded Fang's 2013 album Gravez, the Toronto indie outfit have revealed they have new material on the way. The band are currently working on a new album, and they will premiere some of the songs on tour this fall. As a press release confirms, Hooded Fang are currently in the midst of writing the as-yet-untitled album, which will be their fifth. They are aiming to have it completely recorded and mixed by the end of November. Why do they want it done by late November? Because that's when the group will hit the road in North...Read More
The Knife have called it quits, but before the boundary-pushing Swedish duo ride off into the sunset, they will issue their Shaken-Up Versions mini-album on CD and vinyl. These will come out on December 9 on Mute. This follows the digital release of the EP earlier this year. At that time, the Knife promised that the physical versions would follow later in the year, but we didn't have a firm date until now. As with the prior digital release, the CD and LP versions include eight reworked versions of previously released Knife cuts. This includes new adaptations of songs from all...Read More
The last time Red Hot Chili Peppers released an album, 2011's I'm with You, they had recently undergone some lineup turnover, with longtime guitarist John Frusciante being replaced by newbie Josh Klinghoffer. Now that the new lineup have had a chance to grow comfortable together, they have set their sights on a new album. The band have been writing recently, and Flea told Rolling Stone that they have more than 30 new tunes. They're planning to begin recording within the next couple months, and they will whittle down this batch of new material to the length of album. ...Read More
The point may be moot considering Chief Keef's steady onslaught of online singles and in-the-works mixtapes, but rumours are circulating that the Chicago-bred, L.A.-based Glory Boyz leader may have been dropped from his major label deal with Interscope. AllHipHop reports that a source close to the situation told the publication that the rapper was quietly released from his record contract a couple of weeks ago, apparently following months of friction between the two camps. According to the source, Interscope began to "subtly disassociate" itself from the teen in light of Keef's...Read More
Country superstar Taylor Swift has been embracing her inner pop diva since 2012's Red, but it seems she won't be making a fan out of Brooklyn-based Run the Jewels rapper El-P any time soon. Swift is gearing up to release her new album 1989 on October 27, but her latest single "Welcome to New York" isn't sitting well with El-P. He took to Twitter to let fans know what he thought of Swift's sugary-sweet synth-pop ode to the Big Apple. taylor swifts new song "welcome to New York" makes me want to finally move from New York.— el-p (@therealelp) October 20, 2014 ...Read More
Yo La Tengo are a long-running act, to be sure. In fact, they are about to begin celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band this year, and part of those festivities include a lavish reissue of their much-loved 1993 album Painful. Going under the title Extra Painful, it's due out on December 2 through Matador. This version is split across two discs — either CDs or LPs — with the first containing Painful (in its original form and not remastered) and the second featuring a batch of outtakes. This encompasses demos, live cuts and a few unreleased tracks. ...Read More
Joshua Hyslop introduced audiences to his mellow brand of folk crooning with 2012's debut album Where the Mountain Meets the Valley, and now he's back with a new single and tour. The Vancouver-based songwriter's new tune is called "Living & Dying," and it comes out today (October 21) on iTunes. This hushed, rustic track — which gets more urgent in its second half — can be streamed at the bottom of this page. "'Living & Dying' deals with the issues of humanity's negative impact on the natural world," Hyslop said in a statement. "On a deeper level, it deals with our...Read More
Today (October 21), Toronto trio Elliott Brood release their new album Work and Love. Pushing the album's title into reality, the group have now announced a hefty North American tour. The run of dates kick off early next year, and see the group performing throughout the United States and Canada. These include stops in Ontario, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec. The full itinerary is available below. As you'll see, most of the dates come with the support of the Wilderness of Manitoba, who recently released their fourth album, Between Colours, via Pheromone...Read More
UK electronic pioneers Orbital have announced their breakup… again. The brotherly duo, consisting of Paul and Phil Hartnoll, released a statement via their official website this morning (October 21) explaining their decision to disband. "We've had our ups and downs, and it's not always been easy, but I've loved my time with Orbital," said Paul. "It's been brilliant that we've been able to take our music to so many places… But nothing lasts forever and it's time to stop." Emerging from the UK's acid house scene and reinventing UK dance music throughout the '90s, the band...Read More
Jessie Ware is a happy newlywed with a brand new album called Tough Love, which arrives today (October 21) via PMR/Island. Naturally, this raises a few eyebrows. Why would someone write an album of sad love songs and name it Tough Love when they just married their childhood sweetheart? To Ware, it makes complete sense: she's a storyteller. "Everyone kind of says, 'Now that you're married how will you write another album?' And it's like, 'Well, I just wrote an album while I was engaged and I haven't been unhappy ever, really,'" she tells Exclaim! "Songwriting is storytelling...Read More