Bella Union are pleased to announce that their rising stars Lanterns On The Lake will be joining label-mates Explosions In The Sky as special guests on their UK tour in late January. A pleasing synchronicity of band names and music if ever there was one!
Sunday 22 January – BELFAST – Mandela Hall (with Explosions In The Sky)
Monday 23 January – GLASGOW – Academy (with Explosions In The Sky)
Tuesday 24 January – LEEDS – Academy (with Explosions In The Sky)
Wednesday 25 January – GATESHEAD – The Sage (with Explosions In The Sky)
Friday 27 January – LONDON – Brixton Academy (with Explosions In The Sky)
Andrew Bird’s much-anticipated twelfth album, Break It Yourself, is due on Monday 5th March on Bella Union, and we have the artwork and tracklist for you here. Produced by Bird, the album was recorded at his barn in Western Illinois near the banks of the Mississippi River. Break It Yourself follows Bird’s 2009 full length release Noble Beast, which was hailed as his “most instantly inviting album by far” by the Los Angeles Times while Rolling Stone praised him for “fusing…emotive indie rock with the chamber-music experimentalism of his early recordings.”
Andrew Bird ‘Break It Yourself’
1. Desperation Breeds…
3. Danse Caribe
4. Give it Away
6. Lazy Projector
7. Near Death Experience Experience
8. Behind the Barn
10. Orpheo Looks Back
12. Fatal Shore
13. Hole in the Ocean Floor
Andrew Bird will celebrate the release of Break It Yourself with a string of European shows that will include a SOLD OUT show at The Barbican, London on Monday 5th March.
Monday 5th March – LONDON, Barbican
Tuesday 6th March – PARIS, La Cigale
Thursday 8th March – BRUSSELS, Cirque Royale
Friday 9th March – AMSTERDAM, Paradiso
Saturday 2nd June – LONDON, Field Day Festival
Saturday 9th June – WELBECK ABBEY, No Direction Home Festival
Influential avant-garde pop provocateurs XIU XIU return with a remarkable new album, “ALWAYS”, released 27th February on Bella Union records. Click to check out the album’s first single and opening track “Hi” -
This will be followed by a UK tour in March, dates / info below ::
Monday 12 March – BRISTOL – The Fleece (£9)
Tuesday 13 March – MANCHESTER – The Ruby Lounge (£9)
Wednesday 14 March – GLASGOW – The Captain’s Rest (£9)
Thursday 15 March – BRIGHTON – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar (£10)
Friday 16 March – LONDON – Rich Mix (£12.50)
The creation of singer/songwriter Jamie Stewart, for the last 10 years Xiu Xiu have hurled a succession of relentlessly uncompromising records to a cult of devotees that values intensely emotional honesty and genuinely challenging originality above all else. Evolving from obsessions with modern classical percussion and orchestration, experimental electronics, a life long dedication to post-punk and the dance floor, Xiu Xiu’s sound is, to say the very least, utterly distinctive and compelling.
At its core, Always symbolizes the mutual camaraderie with and deep dedication to each person who has internalized Xiu Xiu’s work and throughout the past ten years made the band a part of their lives. The origin of these intense bonds is frontman Jamie Stewart who’s fearless lyrics have given voice to life’s most untouchable and taboo subjects.
Stewart’s willingness to broach any subject finds him confronting both the topical and the intimate in equally meaningful ways: “Factory Girls” chronicles the sexual objectification and desperate existence of Chinese female, migrant workers, whilst “Joey’s Song” seeks to bring comfort to Stewart’s brother in the aftermath of a family tragedy.
But while such writing is worthy of admiration, Always’ most arresting moments lie in its sonic innovation – transforming avant popelements from an undertone into a bright black focal point while adding newinfluences such a choral music, kraut rock and field recordings. That such dazzling music can so seamlessly blend with such undeniably dark content is but one of the ways Always succeeds in accentuating the intent that is central to all Xiu Xiu creates.
“Always” was produced by Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier and mixed by John Congleton (Antony and the Johnsons, Explosions In The Sky, the Roots).
Laura Veirs Tumble Bee UK Takeover…
Laura Veirs will be performing across the UK in a few weeks in support of her latest record, Tumble Bee. The dates include a free performance at the V&A Museum of Childhood, and support sets from Alessi’s Ark.
29.01 – London, Museum of Childhood (4pm, Free)
30.01 – London, Queen Elizabeth Hall (w/Alessi’s Ark)
31.01 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms (w/Alessi’s Ark)
01.02 – Salford, The Lowry (w/Alessi’s Ark)
02.02 – Gateshead, Sage Hall 2 (w/Alessi’s Ark)
03.02 -Glasgow, Celtic Connections
04.02 – MAC, Birmingham (3.30pm, Free)
04.02 – The Library, Birmigham (w/Alessi’s Ark)
On the weekend of the 25th-27th May 2012 at Alexandra Palace, London, All Tomorrow’s Parties present the second UK I’ll Be Your Mirror event. Tickets are on sale now via ATPFestival.com.
We went along last year to see Beach House perform, and this year we shall certainly be heading back – Dirty Three will perform on Saturday 26th of May on a day curated by Mogwai. More information can be found here.
Dirty Three will release their first album in 6 years, Toward The Low Sun, in March 2012.
We here at Bella Union are very big fans of all the work the folks at End of the Road Festival do, so the news of a new festival called ‘No Direction Home’ is very exciting, especially when lots of Bella Union bands are selected to play…
Today ‘No Direction Home’ announced its first group of artists with Andrew Bird, Dirty Three, The Low Anthem, Lanterns on the Lake and Veronica Falls among these. The festival will take place in the grounds of Welbeck Abbey, on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest from 8th – 10th June next year.
Until 31st December tickets for the festival will be £89 (direct from the festival) and you can pick these up here.
Toward The Low Sun is the product of the most ceaselessly creative period of the band’s career. In the 6 year’s since the release of their previous album “Cinder”, Jim White, Mick Turner and Warren Ellis have been relentlessly creating music in different permutations and locations around the globe. The artists they have performed and recorded with is testament to the high regard in which they are held. Warren resides in Paris, though is regularly to be found touring with the Bad Seeds and Grinderman or working with Nick Cave on soundtracks for such films as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition and The Road. Jim is based out of Brooklyn but endlessly tours the world, recording and/or performing with Cat Power, Bonnie Prince Billy, Nina Nastasia and PJ Harvey, whilst Mick lives in Melbourne where he has developed a fine reputation as a visual artist and released the Blue Trees album alongside the occasional Tren Brothers release.
However, even amidst this frantic activity and incessant creativity a return to the mothership was inevitable. “Toward the Low Sun” is a cacophonyic explosion of influences and attitude that has the energy and urgency of a first release. There is an energy and a raw excitement evident from the first electrifying opening moments through to the album’s finale. In Warren’s words, “Dirty Three has always been about the way we play together and feed off each other. We wanted this one to be a return to the more improvised and instinctive approach of the earlier recordings”. And indeed Toward The Low Sun sounds like a first ever recording, a punk avant-garde art-jazz record! And for all their incredible music of the past, the Dirty Three have never seemed more relevant. Live they remain a force unto themselves. Women faint and men weep openly.
Don’t shade your eyes… Look Toward the Low Sun and you will know once again the burn of the Dirty Three!
Way back in the spring Fleet Foxes visited the Maida Vale studios to record a session for Zane Lowe. The result? A wonderful rendition of much of ‘Helplessness Blues’ and from this ‘The Shrine/An Argument’ proved a real stand-out. So, a little while later, we decided to put this fine song on to wax. ‘The Shrine/An Argument’ comes with ‘Blue Spotted Tail’ (Live From BBC) and album opener ‘Montezuma’ and you can purchase this now over at the Bella Union store.
Watch Sean Pecknold’s animation film for the album track below: