As America prepares for its annual 4th of July celebrations, MARISSA NADLER has unveiled a timely video for “Firecrackers,” one of the highlights from her recent album July.
An eerie old-timey ballad that casts the fall-out from a 4th July breakup, the haunting video is directed by Ryan Hamilton Walsh and features Nadler moving backwards through various activities including guitar-smashing and water-splashing. Of the video Nadler says, “We must have broken every glass in my apartment making this video. A lot of things don’t break when you throw them. In all seriousness, the backwards footage seems to act as a visual replay to the memories that construct the song. This song is entirely autobiographical so it felt fitting to have a lo-fi home footage feel to the video rather than some big budget, slick production.”
Saturday 30 August – LARMER TREE GARDENS – End Of The Road Festival
Sunday 31 August – BIRMINGHAM – Moseley Folk Festival
Monday 1 September – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 2nd September – LONDON - Dingwalls
Wednesday 3rd September – MANCHESTER – Soup Kitchen
Thursday 4th September – GLASGOW – Broadcast
Friday 5th September – DUBLIN – Button Factory
Having played a sold-out tour with her band late last year, LAURA VEIRS will be driving herself around the UK for a string of solo shows this October, including a performance at Bush Hall in London.
The 7-date tour will see Veirs playing songs from her back catalogue though focusing mostly on recent releases Warp and Weft and July Flame. “It’s just me and my electric guitar,” says Veirs. “I’ll be playing around with my loop pedal and trying out some new songs, too. I get to leave the kids at home. It’s going to be like a spa retreat.” Those dates below…
Friday 10 October – NOTTINGHAM – Bodega
Saturday 11 October – GATESHEAD – Caedmon Hall
Sunday 12 October – HEBDEN BRIDGE – Trades Club
Monday 13 October – MANCHESTER – The Deaf Institute
Tuesday 14 October – BRISTOL – The Lantern
Wednesday 15 October – GUILDFORD – The Boileroom
Thursday 16 October – LONDON – Bush Hall
Four years after the unexpected and exquisite treat that was Philip Selway’s debut album Familial, the man formerly known only as the drummer of Radiohead returns with his sophomore record, Weatherhouse. At ten tracks and 38 minutes, the album is as concise in shape as it is expansive in mood and assured in execution, mining a generally darker, fuller sound than its gentler, more acoustic-based predecessor and reflecting the band-centred nature of its construction and its creator’s growth in confidence.
Weatherhouse was made in collaboration with Adem Ilhan and Quinta; artists in their own right who had previously performed in Philip’s backing band. “From the outset,” Selway recalls, “we wanted the album to be the three of us, and we covered a lot of instruments between us. With a studio full of inspiring gear and a great-sounding desk, we felt like a band. Different musicians stretch you, and I felt stretched on Weatherhouse, but very enjoyably so.” Working mostly out of Radiohead’s studio in Oxfordshire, Adem also produced and engineered Weatherhouse, while Quinta played an equally integral role in the arrangements. The album was mixed by David Wrench.
Album opener ‘Coming Up For Air’ sets the scene with its brooding, spectral mood, mantra-like pattern and Selway’s simmering, reverb-drenched vocal exploring the album’s dominant theme. “It’s very much about taking stock of my life. I wanted to convey a sense of release and affirmation,” he says. “This was the first song that we recorded. Immediately it felt in a very different space from Familial.”
The album’s talismanic qualities explore a world of hope and plans, connection and disconnection – between family, friends and self – and dreams and fears: “I love records that you can almost live in, where the songs become talismans that you take to heart. That’s what I was trying to create in Weatherhouse.” With its emotional frankness, haunting melodies and gripping tension, Selway has made a great artistic leap and created something that even the most experienced singer-songwriters would be proud of.
This weekend, Philip, Adem and Quinta begin a run of shows with Rambert Dance Company at their Southbank home. They perform a specially commissioned score for a series of Merce Cunningham ‘Events’, set against the backdrop of Gerhard Richter’s “Cage” paintings. Info here.
Weatherhouse will be released 6th October on Bella Union.
Bella Union are thrilled to announce the late summer release of The Dew Lasts An Hour, the brilliant, long-awaited debut album from Berlin-based multi-nationals BALLET SCHOOL. From ambient intro ‘Slowdream’ to the slow R&B jam of new single ‘Lux’, from the swooning dream-pop of ‘Pale Saint’ and ‘Heliconia’ to the ecstatic hooks of ‘Heartbeat Overdrive’ and ‘Ghost’, the album is a fresh, vibrant take on the lush, emoting tropes of Eighties pop and rock, but sounds resolutely 21st century, its diverse influences placing the trio at the forefront of pop’s new alternative.
Listen to new track ‘Cherish’ below…
“We’re not a synth band, we’re a guitar band, but one that’s trying to push the boundaries of the traditional set up,” declares Rosie Blair, whose beautiful, octave-stretching vocals spearhead Michel Jun Collet’s luminous guitar figures and Louis McGuire’s inventive drums. “We write pop songs. I never thought pop music was a lower form of art. We actively try to play with the model of mainstream pop against what indie is supposed to be and find our own new form. And though I love laptop pop, it’s vital that people witness our energy, that punk lust, when we play live.”
Ballet School began in early 2011 when Blair spotted Collet in Berlin’s U-Bahn underground, “playing amazingly delicate, arcane, beautiful guitar. We bonded over Cocteau Twins and immediately knew we had to be in a band together.” When the pair subsequently met McGuire in one of Kreuzberg’s artist-run spaces, witnessing the talented young drummer playing an electronic kit and simultaneously triggering bass lines, the trinity was complete.
Last year’s Boys Again EP included the pop-euphoric pair ‘Heartbeat Overdrive’ and ‘Ghost’, which appear on the album in re-recorded versions, likewise the dynamic ‘Yaoi’ with it’s early-Eighties Cure/Banshees guitar chime, alongside an alternative take on ‘Crush’ and seven brand new tracks. The album title may refer to the transience and fragility of youth, but Ballet School’s sublime debut is going to live on for a very long time.
The Dew Lasts An Hour will be released 8th September on Bella Union in UK and US.
See the flyer below for dates.