Monday, February 23, 2015

The Charlatans: Come Home Baby + So Oh

Manchester band The Charlatans have had more than their share of tragedy during the course of their 25 years together; most recently drummer Jon Brookes succumbed to cancer [R.I.P.] in the summer of 2013.  Fortunately however, this year there is also great cause for celebration: their twelfth full-length 'Modern Nature' dropped last month and several of the concert dates scheduled for next month have already sold out.

The songs for the new album were written in an attempt to push through the darkest of days. The result is as intended: a sound so sunny it will make a snowman melt; the sublime tracks "Come Home Baby" + "So Oh" are perfect examples.

Tim Burgess, Martin Blunt, Tony Rogers and Mark Collins kick off their UK tour in Bristol on March 3rd. They also have two shows in Japan plus one gig in Taiwan penciled in for March. A performance at the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield on July 24 has just been announced and more summer festival dates will likely be added soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Darkness Falls: The Answer + Hazy

'Dance and Cry' is the title of the second full-length by Danish duo Darkness Falls. It doesn't drop until March 30, but two videos were published already last year to accompany the outstanding tracks "The Answer" and "Hazy" from the new album. The excellent clips were directed by Katja Boom and Kamilla Bruus/Sara Nina Laub, respectively.

Note: The single "Dance and Cry" dropped February 2, but there is no video yet.

Ina Lindgreen (bass + guitar) and Josephine Philip (vocals + keys) kick off a 14-date European spring tour on April 1. They will also be performing Friday March 13 at the Sonar festival in Copenhagen.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alabama Shakes: Don't Wanna Fight

Alabama Shakes drop their second full-length 'Sound and Color' on April 21. The stellar teaser single "Don't Wanna Fight' bodes well for the album, with powerhouse vocalist/guitarist Brittany Howard and her merry men bassist Zac Cockrell, guitarist Heath Fogg, and drummer Steve Johnson delivering more of the distinct sound that is gaining them new fans by the minute.

The Athens band have a busy tour schedule ahead which includes several big spring and summer festival gigs. (Ben Tanner joins them on keys for live performances)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mads Langer: The River Has Run Wild

Sometimes I post a song/video for no other reason that I love it.  I'm currently visiting family in Copenhagen and wanted to share an exceptional live performance by one of the most popular artists in Denmark, 30-year-old singer-songwriter Mads Langer.

If you live in Los Angeles or in New York City you may have caught him at a small venue such as Hotel Cafe or Joe's Pub, and in fact the supremely cool photo above was shot in L.A. last fall. However, chances of seeing him live are obviously better in Denmark where he tours frequently.

"The River Has Run Wild" is taken from his third full-length studio album 'Behold', released in May 2011.

Langer does not have any shows scheduled at this time, but check his Facebook page for updates.

NOTE: Unfortunately, no details on the venue, exact concert date or, more importantly, the stellar band are listed on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mew: Satellites

Very good news for the many fans of Danish band Mew: bassist Johan Wohlert is back in the fold, a ten-track full-length entitled  '+ -' drops April 28, tour dates have been announced, and the outstanding teaser tune/video "Satellites" was published yesterday.

Wohlert, guitarist Bo Madsen, drummer Silas Jørgensen and lead vocalist Jonas Bjerre enlisted Hamburg based digital arts collective Elektropastete to create the fantastic light installation for the exuberant new clip which was directed by fellow Dane Carsten Balslev.

Elektropastete will also be accompanying Mew for several of their live shows this year.

The Copenhagen quartet begin their concert schedule with a showcase at SXSW (March 17-22) and follow up with a gig in Taipei March 28 plus another one in Singapore March 30.  A seven-city UK/continental Europe tour kicks off in Brussels May 15 and wraps up in Berlin May 25. Finally, several European summer festival dates are lined up at this point, including Roskilde (June 27 - July 4.)