Two weeks since it’s release, Sleep Well Beast is developing into The National’s most interesting and rewarding album yet, with a sense of reinvigoration in their template and songcraft that embraces their core characteristics while adding new digital textures. Matt Berninger’s lyrics about his relationship with his wife (who co-wrote the words) goes deep and real, while musically, they do things with the indie-rock template that feels fresh (Bryan Devendorf’s drumming adds so much too).
Moving away from post-dubstep sound that they made their name with, Mount Kimbie’s third album delves into electronic 80s-inspired post-punk territory, with guests Micachu, King Krule and James Blake adding new shades to an album that sounds inspired by Broadcast and krautrock. There are depths in these layered songs to revel in.
A belated shout out for the Belfast house music duo’s debut full-length which after a series of regular dancefloor bangers that are starting to reach classic status, finds the pair creating 12 original tracks that pare back the bombast in favour of quietly-epic tightly-arranged dance music in the vein of Orbital updated for the 21st century.
No-one quite brings together acoustic sensibilities with electronic arrangements in as a delicate manner as Hundred Waters and their third album feels like they’ve scooped out the inside of a valley and cocooned themselves and their music into the landscape as the aura borealis shimmers above. I’m still in discovery mode with the album but there’s comfort in their music for sure.
The fourth album from LA electronic producer Jason Chung is his most cohesive album thus far. Having provided beats for Chance The Rapper, Kid Cudi and Kendrick over the years, it’s great to hear Chung’s imaginative productions working so well with guest vocalists from Blonde Redhead and Steve Spacek adding focus to these ambient-infused electronic tracks.
Another career best, this time from Italian producer Pietro Iannuzzi on the LA Friends of Friends label. As is that label’s hallmark, this is considered and full-realised electronic music concerned less with sample ingenuity but with isolation and the borders that govern our globe informed by Iannuzzi’s existence near the Italian mountains. As such, the album has moments of glowing vistas and awe in its running time that stands on its own.
It’s accompanied by a short film directed by collaborator Frank Lebon. Mount Kimbie have an NTS residency, starting this week and to include interviews and guest appearances from Julia Holter, James Blake, Actress, Oumou Sangare, Connan Mockasin, Savages, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Moses Sumney and Ash Koosha amongst others.
North American tour dates: Sun 28 May – GEORGE, WA, Sasquatch Music & Arts Festival Mon 29 May – DETROIT, MI, Movement Music & Arts Festival Tue 30 May – SANTA ANA, CA, Constellation Room Wed 31 May – SAN DIEGO, CA, The Music Box Thu 1 June – LOS ANGELES, CA, El Rey Theatre Fri 2 June – SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 1015 Folsom Sat 3 June – SACRAMENTO, CA, Harlows Mon 5 June – SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Urban Lounge Tue 6 June – BOISE, ID, The Reef Wed 7 June – PORTLAND, OR, Star Theater Thu 8 June – VANCOUVER, BC, The Imperial Sat 10 June – BETHEL, NY, Mysteryland Music & Arts Festival Sun 11 June – BOSTON, MA, The Sinclair Mon 12 June – WASHINGTON, DC, U Street Music Hall Tue 13 June – BROOKLYN, NY, Warsaw Thu 15 June – MONTREAL, QC, Theatre Fairmount Fri 16 June – TORONTO, ON, Velvet Underground Sun 18 June – CHICAGO, IL, Thalia Hall
NTS Broadcast dates: 5th April 2-4pm (PST) from LA 19th April 3-5pm (GMT) from London 3rd May 2-4pm (PST) from LA 17th May 5-7pm (GMT) from London
There are plenty of albums to look forward to in 2017 and here are just a few of them which don’t have release dates yet. I’ve also included a few which we likely won’t see this year – just so you’re prepared. See also – My top New Artists of 2017.
It’s been three years since the Leeds band released their second album This Is All Yours, so time is ripe for another in 2017. Last August, drummer Thom Sonny Green told NME, the band had loads of ideas, which wasn’t exactly – “songs are written, we’re recording them and they’re sounding awesome,” but after a period where Green released a solo record, bassist Gus Unger-Hamilton opened a café in east London and singer Joe Newman featured on a Clams Casino track with Lil B, there are rumblings.
The band have posted pics from the studio including ones at Abbey Road where they were recording strings only last week.The band have announced festival dates this summer so a good guess would be around the time of June, when they start.
Caribou / Daphni
Possible Date: Late 2017 but more than likely 2018
Three years on from a career apex record Our Love and a song which dominated the summer and the rest of the year. Dan Snaith is DJing as Daphni a lot this year including Coachella so a new album from Caribou doesn’t feel likely at this moment (maybe a Daphni 12″ / single release though?)
Possible Date: Autumn 2017
After last year’s DJ Kicks, 2017 looks to be the year that Daniel Avery follows up his superb 2013 album Drone Logic, according to this tweet.
Three months in London. The studio door is locked from the outside
Loreley Rodriguez’ debut Empress Of album Of Me was followed up with a killer once-off single and one of the best songs of 2016 collaboration with Blood Orange – ‘Best Of You’, as well as one with Pional, so I really want a followup in 2017. This is more hopeful than concrete, though signs are good.
I swear making another album is an emotional roller coaster:not so much making the music but playing it for other people
A new album was promised in 2016 from the Brainfeeder boss but Stephen Ellison was working on his feature-length film debut Kuso (starring Hannibal Buress and Tim Heidecker), which will premiere at Sundance this year. He also scored a short too. It looks like we’re getting V, a Captain Murphy record some time this year, as ‘Crowned’ featured in the recent Adult Swim Singles club. As for Fly Lo, a Kuso some songs on the soundtrack may be all we get.
Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017
Three years on from their breakthrough album Singles, things are heating up with some dates at festivals like Bonaroo, Panorama and Coachella. Last year, Sam T. Herring collaborated with Badbadnotgood. Their last music was single ‘The Chase’ in 2015. An album is definitely on the way very very soon.
Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017
Grimes’ followup to Art Angels was halfway there last April ( “more chill vibes, downtempos, synth-y shit. That makes it sound boring. It’s not boring.”) and in a November interview, she said it would be “slow and reflective”.
“I’m really vibing on making something really slow and gorgeous that just breathes, and has room to breathe,” she explained. “I feel like my work has always been fast paced, kinetic, and almost just manic and I feel like for me the hardest thing I can do is make something that’s slow and heavy.”
Possible Date: Spring 2017
Come on already. The Grizzlies’ last album was 2012’s Shields and a few years before, Jay Z and Beyoncé were showing up to their shows and a lot has changed in music since American indie folk was the dominant genre of choice, However in October, a tweet saying “Album 90 percent done. Last update until you hear it,” was posted. Any day now?
DFA Records’ disco dons Holy Ghost! will surely followup last year’s Crime Cutz EP with a third album, a followup to Dynamics. Alex Frankel released a solo EP last year too. I’ve a soft spot for these two.
The followup to 2013’s Immunity is due this year according to Jon’s reply to a fan on Twitter. Yes. In the meantime, Hopkins plays piano on a track on the new Bonobo record.
Possible Date: Spring 2017
A followup to 2013’s Cut For Me mixtape after 2015’s Hallucination EP is on the cards (check out this Song Exploder about ‘Rewind’). In an interview with Dazed, Arca, Jam City, and Bok Bok are to be reprising their role as co-producers and Kelsey Lu, one of my picks for new artists of 2017 guests.
Possible Date: Summer or Autumn 2017
After last year’s triumphant live return, that promised LCD Soundsystem album is indeed on the way as James Murphy told someone on Facebook this weekin response – “Sure. still working on it, but it’ll be done soon. winter tends to mess with my voice, so finishing the thing drags out.”
Possible Date: Autumn 2017
The Dublin electro band’s third album is done and it likely to get a worldwide releasearound September time. Former Fight Like Apes’ singer MAy Kay is set to feature on six tracks too.
Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017
The followup to Nabuma Rubberband from 2014 looks to be coming this year from the Swedish band. They are playing Coachella so that’s a good sign.
Possible Date: Spring / Summer 2017
Mount Kimbie played some new songs at Metropolis Festival in November so it’s a safe bet a new one is coming to followup the brilliant 2013 album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.
Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017
Annie Clark promises “the deepest, boldest work I’ve ever done” on her new record which is inspired by the topsy-turvy world events of the last year. “I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded – especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geopolitical standpoint,” he told Guitar World (while managing to get a dig in on the cover). The last St. Vincent album came out in 2014.
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.
U:mack presents Negative Approach @ The Grand Social (€15) [Hardcore] Support Dublin Queercore kings Strong Boys and Live Fast Die, a new project from members of Wizards of Firetop Mountain and Altar Of Plagues.
Wankelmut @ Opium Rooms (€12/€15, 11pm) [Dance] German techno/house DJ.
Dusky @ The Academy (€18.35, 11pm) [Dance] London house and techno DJs.
Gary’s Gang with Paudi Ahern & Shane O’Meara @ The Sweeney Mongrel (Free, 10:30pm) [Electronic] “Old Djax records, fresh off the platter jams from Mood Hut, classic J Dilla jams, off-kilter wave hammers and everything in between”
I was on an actual holiday last week and of course, now that festival season is over, there were buttloads of shows announced in that time. Here’s an overview of the new prospects for nights out. All prices are without fees.
Hidden Agenda celebrate their third birthday with two gigs the weekend of Friday October 3rd / Saturday October 4th. Friday sees Cyril Hahn play Button Factory. Late show 11pm. €15. Saturday sees a double DJ sets from Mount Kimbie & Darkstar at Opium Rooms. Another late gig. 11pm @ €10.
Royal Blood play The Academy on Monday October 27th. Tickets €20.
Slow Skies @ The Sugar Club – Wednesday October 8th. €8
Brassland are returning to the National Concert Hall this December with two new shows across two nights. Saturday December 13 features This is The Kit, Sounds of the South featuring Frazey Ford, Matthew E. White with members of Megafaun and Fight the Big Bull performing music collected by American folklorist Alan Lomax, Buke & Gase and Crash Ensemble performing the music of Bryce Dessner.
Sunday December 14 sees the European debut of Doveman’s Burgundy Stain Sessions featuring Glen Hansard (Swell Season, Once, The Frames), Paul Noonan (Bell X-1) and Lisa O’Neill. More info & tickets.
David Gray announced a December tour. Fri Dec 5th, Cork Opera House / Sat Dec 6th, Killarney INEC / Sun Dec 7th, Dublin BGET / Tues Dec 9th, Belfast Waterfront.
Sting & Paul Simon are playing together in 3Arena (formerly The O2), april 7th 2015. €39.05 on sale Friday.
And.. Billy Idol is playing Vicar Street on Friday November 7th.
Body & Soul is the most beautiful festival in Ireland. It helped that the weather made everything and everyone look their best but beyond that, the attention to detail in the stage construction, the installations, the random sculptures, the Midnight Circus stage; everything was made with love or set in a place like the walled garden that was previously made with love and craft.
Musically, there was plenty to get enthused about. My personal highlights from almost a full two days there?
God Knows & MyName IsJohn were a late addition to the festival who wasted no energy translating the best Irish rap album you may hear all year onto a limber and frenetic stage. Jape played a set of mostly new songs from walking the line that suits him between singer-songwriter and electronics, Mount Kimbie – Kind of bizarre to see the band with what felt like a heaving 4,000 capacity tent but all the same, their set was a mix of their newer jam-band electronica and the older post-dubstep stuff. Older material left the biggest impression but I still found the Cold Spring Fault Less Youth dear to my heart. Buraka Som Sistema took their Portugese Angolan dance music to the late-night main stage for some perfect late-night stomping and Ships continued worming their slinky disco-electronica into my heart and feet. Special shouts to the Wonderlust stage which was a mind-feeding haven for the weekend, Arbutus Yarns cottage and Reckless In Love, where the party never stopped in the glitter and confetti-covered woods.
Seeing as you probably didn’t use Instagram at the coverage-shielding site down at Body & Soul, Colm Moore has the evidence from Ballinlough Castle.
This weekend sees the fifth year of Body & Soul’s own festival that started as an enclosed area at Electric Picnic. Every year, reports from Ballinlough Castle in Westmeath have been positive and mostly, sunny.
An excuse to get down to the festival on the Friday night, Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington’s electronic art-rock blues show with its giant mirror backdrop is one of the best shows of the year. Don’t miss.
3. John Grant – ‘Pale Green Ghosts’
A humble bear with an addictive past, John Grant has redeemed himself through his art and his searingly honest and often, funny songs.
4.Goldfrapp – ‘Ride A White Horse’
While the newest Goldfrapp album Tales Of Us is all downbeat and lush, it’s the older electro dance tracks that do the best live, like this stomper from 2005’s Supernature.
5. Max Romeo – ‘Chase The Devil’
When the sun shines and the vibe is right there’s nothing better than bouncing to a bit of nice discerning reggae. And who better than the Jamaican legend who was sampled by The Prodigy on ‘Outer Space’?
6. Gary Numan – Metal
Somehow a man singing a song about about an android who wishes to be human at a festival called Body & Soul makes some sort of perverse sense.
7. Jon Hopkins – ‘Open Eye Signal’
From last year’s Mercury Music Prize nominated album comes this dazzling eight-minute slice of organic breathing digital dance track.
8. Lasertom – ‘No Play’
Dubliner Simon Cullen’s space-disco project is a perfect 4pm stage opener on the Saturday. Time to boogie.
9. Jessy Lanza – ‘Keep Moving’
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Lanza collaborated with producer Jeremy Greenspan of the Junior Boys on an album of ethereal R&B electro. Keep Moving is the most upbeat track from it, perfect for a Ballinlough Castle setting.
10. Mount Kimbie –’Made To Stray’
One of the best tracks of 2013, the skittering percussion-featuring ‘Made To Stray’ manages to walk a fine line between sprawling electronic epicness and headphone ambience.
I broadcast my first show on new Dublin station 1052 TXFM last night and had a blast. You can tune in every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours of new music at 105.2FM, via the TXFM.ie site, the TXFM app in the iTunes Store or on your TV if you’re on UPC.
Goldfrapp, Caribou, John Grant, Darkside, Jon Hopkins, Mount Kimbie, Buraka Som Sistema, Nick Waterhouse, East India Youth, Young Wonder, Jessy Lanza, King Kong Company.
That’s the first perfectly formed lineup for the Body&Soul Festival’s fifth year on Summer Solstice Weekend June 20th-22nd, 2014 Ballinlough Castle in Meath.
Camping tickets are in 5 price-tiers this year with the first 3 now sold out. Limited tier 4 tickets are €129.50 fees included.. Tier 5 tickets will be available from 31st March at €139.50 plus fees included.
Full ticket links are here and combined event and bus tickets, Sunday tickets, easy installment and travel tickets are available from March 31st.
Of all the annual Best Of Lists, top tracks is the most fun to compile. You’ll find my 100 favourite songs of the year below and playlists come in three flavours: Youtube, Spotify and Soundcloud. Capping this at 100 was hard but then that’s what the blog is for. Check out my albums, remixes, Irish releases and videos of the year. Readers’ Poll results coming next week…
Cork dance act Generic People whose members are iProv & Ant along with new member Ronin have turned in a nine-minute rework of Mount Kimbie’s ‘Blood & Form’ from one of my favourite albums of the year Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.