Fat Freddy’s Drop reveal first single from forthcoming album ‘Blackbird’ out early 2013
In anticipation of their upcoming 2013 tour of Australia, MS MR is offering an exclusive download of their track Dark Doo Woop remixed by Chet Faker. You can download the track here for free.
Dispelling any burden of ‘the difficult second album’, Esben and the Witch have comprehensively transcended any such slump or curse with Wash the Sins Not Only the Face: a majestic, haunting and triumphant work that is not ‘difficult’ in the slightest.
Their second full-length brings to fruition concepts that glimmered on their first, 2011’s acclaimed Violet Cries, but there are no laurels being rested upon here. To make their second album, Esben and the Witch questioned, challenged and rewired their past to find the way to their future and have produced their first masterpiece.
To quote Daniel Copeman, “We had a clearer idea of what we wanted to achieve on this album, and how we could achieve it. We’re more focused, more confident.”
Their first album took them on the road, and the road took them all over the globe. It was on these journeys, during van-held conversations, that their second album began to take shape, the band happening upon an ancient Greek palindrome “Nipson anomēmata mē monan opsin” which, when translated, gave Wash the Sins Not Only the Face its title.
They wanted the album to unfurl like a journey, like a day, where opening songs are possessed of a brightness, an optimism that ebbs away over the record’s course. The radiant glide of opener ‘Iceland Spar’, gives way to the bleak lonesomeness of ‘Yellow Wood’, the moment where the sun sets, with closing track ‘Smashed to Pieces in the Still of the Night’ ending proceedings at a peak of drama and intensity.
Previously, lyrics were written more collaboratively between the trio; this time Rachel assumed the sole responsibility herself, honing her words and stories. The lyrics are inspired by T.S. Eliot and Sylvia Plath, by the works of Vladimir Nabokov and Philip Pullman, Salvador Dali and the surrealist movement; that, and van conversations questioning what it would be like to meet your doppelganger thousands of miles from home.
The result is an album that finds new shades within the Esben palette, and when placed alongside Violet Cries, feels like a fuzzy image that’s pulled successfully into focus.
All of this makes you wonder where this road will take them next. More to the point, it makes you want to savour where Esben and the Witch are at now, because Wash the Sins Not Only the Face is a sublime experience, an album whose mysteries and riddles will entrance.
Click here to download “Deathwaltz’ first track taken from the forthcoming album.
January 25th will see Indians release their debut album, Somewhere Else, via 4AD/Remote Control.
Coming to the attention of the label after a clutch of demo tracks went online early this year, Indians are still a relatively new proposition. From Copenhagen, Indians is actually one man, Søren Løkke Juul, who brought his band in to being last winter when he felt the need to challenge himself and do something different. Not aiming for anything other than satisfying a creative urge, things have snowballed quickly since. Having performed his first show back in February and self-releasing his debut single a few months later, he then signed a worldwide record deal with 4AD, recorded an album and enjoyed a fruitful summer on the road with tours throughout Europe and North America (playing shows with the likes of Beirut, Bear In Heaven, Dan Deacon, Lower Dens, Perfume Genius, Retribution Gospel Choir, Savages, Weird Dreams and more).
Recorded in a countryside studio outside Copenhagen, Somewhere Else is a highly personal document that’s equal parts melancholic lament and hopeful stargazing, with the album title itself an indication of the sense of otherness that runs throughout Søren’s music. Heavily evocative of the natural world, the album’s cavernous tones and Autumnal warmth just as much recall the vastness of the Scandinavia landscape that formed the backdrop of its conception as it does classic long players from likeminded avant-pop purveyors Flaming Lips and The Radio Dept.
Marking their signing to the label with the recording of a special 4AD Session on Osea Island (a little-known, privately owned island in the estuary of the Blackwater in Essex), three tracks were aired early last month to much intrigue. The session showed Indians fleshed out as a three piece, with the intention to capture the sense of air and atmosphere in the music as well as embracing the challenge of playing, recording and filming outside, placing the music into a vast open space, under sky and near water.
“This batch of songs are all new and were written over the last couple of years with the exception of ‘Summertime Is Coming’, which also dates back to that Julian Plenti period. That’s why I put it on the Julian Plenti Lives… EP. Basically, when I was on the road with Interpol for the last two years I took my laptop and any free time or downtime I had was spent working on music. That’s fun for me, and I guess what I was trying to say is that I’ve always written music. It’s just that nobody ever got to hear any of it until I finally came to put out that first record, and now it’s like a retrospective of all the music I’ve been writing from the previous ten years. So basically, from that record it was like a nirvana, that was the gates opening, and now I’ll always make records. It was just a matter of doing that first one.”
Paul Banks Banks is out October 19 via Matador/Remote Control.
[info via Drown in Sound]
A Mixtape of Incidental Instrumentals by Kirin J Callinan
“Most of these pieces were recorded after midnight & before six am. The process was, usually, to plug a guitar in direct, via a few units, to an 8 track hard disk recorder and play. I was frequently alone. When not alone I was with either Daniel Stricker, Kim Moyes, Francois Tetaz, Alice Englert, James Domeyko, Jono Ma or Chris Petro. Thank you to all concerned” – KJC