How to enter ticket comp – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig or Friday 1pm latest for weekend gigs.
After the recent release of her mournful breakup album I Never Learn, Lykke Li is taking her heartbreak on the road. The Swede is playing Vicar Street on Sunday November 16th. She’s also announced London and Manchester gigs that week as per below.
For her third album (of a loose trilogy including 2008’s Youth Novels and 2011’s Wounded Rhymes), the Swedish singer Lykke Li has embraced the hurt that comes from misplaced love, she has looked in the mirror and resolved to make a cathartic album out of the pain, like many in music before her.
“It’s about me and the guilt and the shame and the hurt and the pride and the confusion of being a woman,” she said earlier this year. Heartbreak is something that most of us have experienced by the end of their twenties, which is where Lykke is at (she’s 28).
“I’ll die here as your phantom lover”, “Lonely, I’m so alone now,” , “My one heart hurt another”, “Don’t leave me dying, without a lover to hold.” Judging from the lyrics from the album (or indeed the song titles ‘Never Gonna Love Again’, ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone’, or ‘Sleeping Alone’), it’s very maudlin stuff.
The music on I Never Learn is suitably grandiose for songs which firmly address the aftermath of a relationship gone sour. ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ is the closest the album comes to any kind of radio single, its deep portentous bass sweeps and Li’s yearning vocals resonate clearly.
Production comes from Greg Kurstin who has worked with Foster the People, Sia and Shakira and Björn Yttling, who is on the third time around with Lykke Li. There’s plenty of epic arrangements; the title track’s acoustic rhythm is lifted with choir vocals (see also the gospel touches of ‘Heart Of Steel’) and melancholic strings. ‘Silverline’ makes use of twangy guitar, woodblock percussion and subtle orchestration while ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone’ is the most unadorned song on the album, a simple stark acoustic song.
Cavernous reverb is on almost everything, to the point where it feels difficult to pinpoint individual instruments sometimes, such is the gel effect of the technique.
When it’s not all stirring strings, crystallised cymbals or resounding piano notes, it’s Lykke’s voice that brings everything into focus from the produced emulsion, providing the songs with the big connection: most notably on the title track, ‘Gunshot’ and ‘No Rest for the Wicked’. Those songs are cathartic, others are wallowing. How often you want to immerse yourself in that indulgent mood depends on where you’re at in your life too.
‘No Rest For The Wicked’ is my highlight of the Lykke Li songs from her new album of what we heard so far. A$AP Rocky has jumped on a Lana Del Rey track before so it’s not a big surprise but he’s at it again for another singer. He adds a verse, an intro and some extra sub-bass frequencies to the original’s ballad. The track originally appeared exclusively on Beats Music.
As ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone’ and the album trailer suggested, lykke Li’s third album I Never Learn will be heavy on the ballads. ‘No Rest For The Wicked’ is equally immersed in power balladry but with real emotion and without any histrionic bluster. The album is out on May 2nd.
Lykke Li announced details of her third album I Never Learn last week with a moody music-featuring trailer. The album will be out in May and she says it’s about “me and the guilt and the shame and the hurt and the pride and the confusion of being a woman.”
Now, we have the first full track, ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone’, stark acoustic track with Lykke looking rather despairing in the accompanying video by Tarik Saleh. Sounds like the last part of her album trilogy of albums that also includes Youth Novels and Wounded Rhymes may be a bit more direct and downbeat. She says:
“Every song on the album is a power ballad. Like one of those old radio stations. This is a slow dance; a slow burner.
I wrote it in Sweden when I was packing up my shit, and I’d just gotten out of a relationship and it was a horrible time. I just had the hurt, shame, sadness, guilt, longing. In the verse, I’m referring to myself pleading guilty but I’m referring to all of us.”
The album is out May 2nd and was co-produced by Björn Yttling, Greg Kurstin and Lykke Li in LA.
While the new Wye Oak song actually sounds like Fleetwood Mac, a slew of artists from Lykke Li, Beast Coast, MGMT, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, St. Vincent to The Kills have actually recorded covers of Fleetwood Mac songs for the upcoming A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac album due mid-August.
Here’s a look at the 15 bands I saw over the weekend at Electric Picnic 2011 that impressed me the most. There was lots of other sets I enjoyed but these were my personal favourites. All the good photos are by Damien McGlynn (apart from the crappy Best Coast one – that was me) and Instagram photos are by myself or Aoife. Videos by Barry Gruff and Roger.
An absolute killer set to follow up her equally brilliant set from three years previous. A mix of songs like ‘Say Aha’, ‘L.E.S. Artistes’, Major Lazer’s ‘Hold The Line’ and new material means Santi White is top of my list to see at Berlin Music Festival this weekend. Highlight: The backing dancers cool moves and BAMF demeanor.
The hour wait between the finish of the main stages and Austra’s set in Body and Soul was a cold boozeless one but where better to take in this Canadian band’s mystical sounding electro than late night under a tree in a natural amphitheatre. Songs from the band’s debut Feel It Break sounded perfect in the cold AM, they really are well-written tight tunes. Add Katie Stelmanis and her backing dancers Tasseomancy’s shamanistic dance moves and it’s the perfect festival closer for those who could not brave another hour for Brandt Brauer Frick at 3am. Highlight: The dark-edged disco vibe of ‘The Beat And The Pulse’ felt through the night air.
An unexpected surprise and a perfect festival band, I had heard the ten-strong American west coast collective were a great live act and judging from their 2009 album Up From Below, I had high hopes but they easily surpassed those and went straight into the great festival set book. A raggedy celebratory, up-in arms triumph of musical positivity. Highlight: The crowd singing back the chorus of ‘Home’ during the extended outro.
Besides some jibes about himself and Public Enemy being the only black people at the festival and the cheeky culmination of the set with The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’, Fly Lo delivered a beat-tight set of songs taken from his own back catalogue along with samples from Radiohead’s ‘Idioteque’ , Mr. Oizo and Odd Future’s ‘Yonkers’. The set is all one big beautiful blur with lots of dancing despite the dodgy sound. Highlight: ‘Do The Astral Plane’ and Fly Lo’s eternal smiling face.
A masterclass in getting old in hip-hop gracefully (if we ignore Flava Flav’s on-screen reality TV antics), PE are most definitely still in effect. A greatest hits set including classics like ‘ Don’t Believe The Hype’, ‘Fight The Power’, ‘Shut Em Down’ and ‘Bring The Noise’ kept the energy levels up significantly. Not even Flav’s drum solo interlude could detract from the buzz and DJ Lord’s turntablist routine of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ with scratches from behind his back added to the spectacle. Highlight: The consistent energy of a PE2011 show.
It had been a few years since Richard Fearless and co. played live as Death In Vegas so pre-show talk was all about whether they’d be able to recapture that spirit. There were no such problems. An intense and brooding set of krautrock-inspired electronica from a full band featuring some recognisable nuggets like ‘Death Threat’ and ‘Hands Around My Throat’ alongside new material left me salivating to hear forthcoming comeback album Trans-Love Energies. Highlight: ‘Hands Around My Throat’.
Hot damn. The funkiest and most fun set at the Picnic went to an Irish band whose live renditions of their self-titled album got the Body and Soul crowd moving in the sunshine. Throw in a bit of disco, multi-part harmonies, glockenspiel and a super-tight rhythm section and Tieranniesaur are one hot rock-blocking live prospect. Highlight: Finally seeing Annie Tierney and co. live for the first time and the fact that they were deadly.
My third time around seeing Twin Shadow live and a final confirmation that this is a band who are infinitely better live than on debut album Forget. In a live setting, the songs are more full-bodied, less-languid and hazy, more direct and danceable. Good time vibes from one of the coolest bands around. Highlight: ’80s dance moves.
Heart-pumping electronica from the 18 year-old producer representing the Newbridge massive. From complete unknown to much-hyped Irish producer and remixer of a marquee name like Interpol (all while pumping out enough study to respectively finish his Leaving Certificate exams) in just over six months, Jack Colleran hasn’t had much time to catch up with himself but if his Body And Soul Love Letter set is anything to go by, this kid doesn’t need much time to put his own spin on heady electronic music, even if not much is happening on stage (visuals in future maybe?). He even manages to fit in an unreleased Bon Iver remix at the start of the set. Highlight: Hard to pick but probably ‘Jimmy Francis’.
Another bloke who has come a long way. Gaz Le Rock’s army also only came into existence in the last year but the band have got it together very very quickly. From live debut to near festival headline slot in mere months, Retarded Cop are tight, the kind of tight festival rock band that blow the socks off everyone else on sheer wound up power and good-time pop punk rock music. Gaz Le Rock parades the stage like an Irish Iggy Pop with his top off, bouncing around with exuberance to the songs from the band’s debut LP. Listen to the album here. Highlight: Watching Gaz Le Rock become a big-stage performer in front of my eyes.
Live electro is not something that Ireland has traditionally done well over the years but Le Galaxie can now justifiably claim to be Ireland’s brightest in the synth-rave stakes. From the moment the band take to the stage, it’s relentlessly pumping songs beamed from another dancefloor universe with synthesizers, guitar and thumping bass-heavy beats, all delivered by four guys who always look like they are having a better time than anyone else. Luckily for Le Galaxie, it’s contagious. A4 pages with TUNE! are ceremoniously handed out and the excitement gets too much for singer Michael Le Galaxie who climbs the sound rigging to play some cowbell. They should have played a much much later slot. [Listen to their album Laser Disc Nights 2] Highlight: The massive TUNE! sign.
It’s been three years since I saw Lykke Li live and since then she’s taken her performance to star status. Dressed all in black, she cuts a dramatic figure and the look perfectly suits the much more melodramatic and bombastic songs from second album Wounded Rhymes. There’s a fierceness to the live show that keeps interest up as Lykke dances through dry ice and the band punish their instruments. It’s almost cathartic. There’s even a welcome diversion into The Knife’s ‘Silent Shout’. Highlight: Second album singles ‘Get Some’ and ‘I Follow Rivers’.
You probably know the deal with Best Coast by now. Extremely likable surf-rock from the extremely likable Bethany Cosentino and band. Hence, lots of fun was had. Highlight: Lots of talk of Snacks, Bethany’s cat which graces the album cover.
I didn’t see all of this show but what I did see was a superb three song run with one brand new song that has me convinced The Cast Of Cheers will have no problem repeating the acclaim of their debut album Chariot. The band recently moved to London and are almost finished the recording of their second album. Highlight: Seeing one of Ireland’s best new bands get even better.
Humorous comedic (but not just comedy) songs played through an acoustic folk lense with instantly charming vocals by Dorothy Cotter. EleventyFour’s songs were a welcome and relaxed break to the madness elsewhere and her between song banter is just as good. We got songs about how “all they eat in Sicily.. is cake”, a guy called Jeff Nelson, forklifts and other off-beat observations. Cute as a button. Highlight: Fair play to Dorothy for warding off that dancing deck of cards and the guy who interrupted her out of his bin.
This is a bit of fun. Zalza put together a chip music-medley of 11 tracks by Swedish artists.
The tracklisting is: 1. Robyn – Hang With Me 2. Peter, Björn & John – Young Folks 3. Teddybears Sthlm – Punkrocker 4. Lykke Li – Get Some 5. The Cardigans – My favorite game 6. The Sounds – Living in America 7. The Hives – Idiot Walk 8. Erik Hassle – Hurtful 9. The Knife – We Share Our Mothers Health 10. Swedish House Maffia – One 11. In Flames – The Mirrors Truth
Before normal service resumes, a little bit of housekeeping..
Nialler9 won the Best Music Site at the Irish Web Awards 2009 on Saturday! Thanks to all who were involved be it in voting, judging, organising the thing (Mr. Mulley, Rick and co.) It’s the best goddamn web awards going. Sure where else would you get bags of crisps and rude t-shirts thrown into the audience? Great stuff. Full ist of winners here.
This weekend sees Hard Working Class Heroes kick off again and there are a number of things I’m involved in worthy of your time. As well as participating in the speed sessions in The Button Factory on Saturday from 10.30am – 1pm along with the people listed on the left here, there will be an interesting panels taking place in the same venue at 2pm. Media – Why The First, Last And Middle Words Are Online will take a look at the impact of online music coverage from MP3 blogs to music sites and how these websites affect bands. Chaired by Jim Carroll, the panel will consist of myself, Sean Adams (Drowned in Sound – the UK’s premier indie music site?), Anthony Volodkin (creator of The Hype Machine – seriously interesting dude), James Foley of the online music industry newsletter Record of The Day and Una Mullally (Unarocks, Sunday Tribune, Soundcheck) It’s a great mix of people so try and make it along if you can. (Free entry for anyone with a valid day / weekend wristband). More panels here.
Finally, next week, I’ll be hitting CMJ in New York so expect some bits and pieces on that then.
Finally: here’s a Youtube audio of the excellent ‘Slow Life’, Grizzly Bear featuring Victoria of Beach House’s contribution to the New Moon Twilight soundtrack. A few more from Thom Yorke, Lykke Li and Bon Iver & St. Vincent after the jump.
This might just be my post of the year. 20 songs from 24 artists (remixes double it up) who appear at Electric Picnic this year clocking in at 63 minutes. This mixtape has some of my favourite music of the year contained within it, mixed to the best of my ability in under six hours and you don’t even have to be going to the festival to enjoy it. The second half properly kicks off. It’s available as the latest podcast too.