Monday, April 27, 2015

The Very Best: Let Go + Hear Me

Malawian-Swedish duo (founded in London as a trio in 2006) The Very Best released their third full-length 'Makes a King' on April 7.  Esau Mwamwaya and Johan Hugo (formerly known as Johan Karlberg) recorded the album live with a stellar full Malawian band in the village M'dala Chikowa.

The sublime tracks "Let Go" and "Hear Me Now" showcase Mwamwaya's gorgeous vocals and are accompanied by excellent videos. The first is a humorous animated clip meant to resemble an old 8-bit game; it was created by the duo in collaboration with Pappas Pärlor (= Daddy´s Beads), a small Swedish company headed by another Johan - Johan Karlgren -  who creates intricate pixel like art work with plastic beads. The second clip consists of beautiful time lapse footage shot/edited by Hugo and features Mwamwaya.

Songkick lists a total of four shows in June; including a performance Sunday, June 14 from 4:15 - 5:15 pm at this year's Bonnaroo festival. A fifth date has just been announced on Facebook: Friday June 12 at the annual Northside festival in Brooklyn; the concert in McCarren Park, Williamsburg is free and starts at 5:30 pm.  Make sure to check their Facebook page for updates on additional summer gigs.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hot Chip: Need You Now

Hot Chip will be touring their native UK as well as continental Europe and the U.S. between May 12 and October 22 in support of their sixth studio album which drops May 18.  Entitled 'Why Make Sense?', it includes the stellar track "Need You Now". The excellent accompanying creepy-comic video features lead vocalist Alexis Taylor; the clip was directed by acclaimed London-based collective Shynola.  (incl. 4-track EP)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Prodigy: Wild Frontier + Nasty

UK trio The Prodigy dropped their sixth studio album 'The Day Is My Enemy' March 30; it's the first since 2009. No less than five singles have been released so far, two of which are accompanied by very powerful animated videos that are a perfect match for the band's trademark kinetic sound.

The clip for the track "Wild Frontier" was created by Dutch stop motion animator Mascha Halberstad of Superfelix; "Nasty" was co-directed by Oliver Jones and Brandon Kahn of Midland based collective Better Feeling Films.

Liam Howlett, Keith Flint and Maxim (plus live members Leo Crabtree and Rob Holliday) have ten UK shows May 4 - 16.  Between June 5 and August 23 they'll be playing at seventeen summer festivals; most of them in continental Europe and in the UK; August 9 and August 14 however they'll be performing in Incheon, South Korea and in Tokyo, respectively.

On a personal and very trippy note relating to the two videos: today, for the first time in my life, I saw a fox. At dusk she/he dashed through the garden of the suburban house north of Copenhagen where I'm currently visiting. Life is stranger than fiction, n'est pas?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kwabs: Perfect Ruin

A stunning song + a stunning video = a very happy music blogger.

24-year-old Ghana-born/UK-raised Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong aka Kwabs and London-based director George Belfield more than deliver with "Perfect Ruin", shot in and around Luleå in Northern Sweden. The track is taken from the singer-songwriter's debut full-length 'Love + War' which drops May 18.

Kwabs is currently on tour: he has a gig in Hamburg tomorrow Wednesday plus four UK gigs April 21, 22, 25, 26. Friday's show in Copenhagen has been cancelled; however, he will be at the Roskilde Festival which takes place June 27 - July 4.  He is also scheduled to perform at several summer festivals in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany between June and September.   (Denmark)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Little Barrie: Eyes Were Young + Why Don't You Do It

The season 1 finale of sublime Breaking Bad prequel/spin-off Better Call Saul premiered earlier this week on AMC and Netflix. Its many rabid fans - including this blogger - will no doubt be dealing with severe withdrawal symptoms until season 2 hits the small screen early next year.

The show's delicious theme was commissioned by acclaimed music supervisor/DJ/record producer Thomas Golubic (Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, etc.), a longtime fan of British trio Little Barrie. Though they have enjoyed some degree of success in the UK/Europe and have achieved near cult status in Japan, they were virtually unknown in the U.S. before Better Call Saul. To seize momentum, the band's label Tummy Touch understandably issued a five-track intro album in late February, but here's hoping Little Barrie won't go down in history solely as "those guys who did that great TV show theme."

Founded in Nottingham in 1999, the London-based band (guitarist/lead singer Barrie Cadogan, drummer/vocalist Virgil Howe, bassist/vocalist Lewis Wharton) have released four stellar full-lengths in the past decade, the latest being last year's superb eleven-song album 'Shadow', my personal favorite. Last week a hot mess of a video was published to accompany the outstanding track "Eyes Were Young'.

NOTE: As evidenced by clip # 2 (uploaded by a fan) when crating the killer theme for Better Call Saul, Cardogan, Howe and Wharton clearly took inspiration from the track "Why Don't You Do It", from their second album 'Stand Your Ground', released in 2007.

Dates: Little Barrie will be playing a show in Belfast April 30 before embarking on a mini-tour of Japan and Vietnam May 22 to 27. They also have a UK gig scheduled for July 25.