Mercury nominated indie types I Am Kloot have released a free download from their new album.
Hailing from Manchester, I Am Kloot’s assured songcraft has earned them acclaim from their peers yet the mainstream remains resistant to their charms. However with their new album ‘Sky At Night’ the band could reach wider success.
Retreating to their hometown, the band hooked up with close friend Guy Garvey. The Elbow singer helped produce their new album, with the chemistry between the two evidently putting I Am Kloot at ease.
The result is one of the band’s most complete albums to date. ‘Sky At Night’ has earned widespread acclaim and was even given a shock nomination at the Mercury Music Prize ceremony last week.
Since then, things have moved forward for the band. I Am Kloot have decided to release their track ‘Lately’ as a free download, allowing newcomers to get to grips with their highly acclaimed album.
Grab the new track HERE.
Meanwhile, I Am Kloot have announced a one off show in London. The Manchester group are set to play Shepherd’s Bush Empire on January 28th with tickets for the gig set to go on sale soon.
Before then, however, the band have the matter of the Mercury to contend with. Before the fateful envelope is opened ‘Proof’ is set to be released as a digital download on September 6th.
I Am Kloot are due to play the following show:
28 London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Clash’s in-house music boffin is Alex Hills, a composer and lecturer in the department of academic studies at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Here, he blindly reviews the compositional merits of four songs.
This issue, Alex storms into songs named after natural disasters.
1. Ryan Adams ‘Avalanche’
Wow, this is dreadful. I just get bored within thirty seconds and stay that way. The chord progression is dull anyway, and it just goes on and on and on. The ending tries to vary things a little, changing the register of the voice and adding some little guitar licks but that is not enough to save it from the four minutes of woeful sentimentality and self-indulgence that have preceded it. Authentically vile.
2. Passion Pit ‘Swimming In The Flood’
The beginning of this is really strange and intriguing, there’s no clear sense of key or harmonic direction, just a big messy string sound sitting there. It is a shame that the beat and vocals turn out to be so much more conventional when they do come in. Although bits of that beginning texture do come back, it is never in such a striking way and the rest of the song really fails to live up to the promise of the opening.
3. Beck ‘Volcano’
Another very good beginning, all clicks and scratches. These turn out to be the basis of the beat, though, which is much more interesting than what happened in the previous song. Although this is quite a long song again, it does enough to keep me interested without ever getting over complicated. I especially like the very crude guitar solo about three minutes in – really minimal and bare but interesting notes.
4. Martha Reeves And The Vandellas ‘(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave’
This is good classic soul. Very well performed, really fantastic groove, very simple three-chord verse/chorus. The best thing here for me is the backing vocals you get in the last chorus, which really add something new to the melody and change the way you hear it. This is a solid, well done song, but nothing very groundbreaking either.
Is the theme something to do with natural disasters? We’ve had avalanches, heatwaves and volcanoes? The loser is easy, the quite awful first song, which I shall be deleting from my iTunes library as soon as possible. The only song which is really memorable is the third, which is quite quirky, and actually trying to do interesting things with sound consistently.
Beck – ‘Volcano’
Scottish indie legend Edwyn Collins has added a series of shows to his upcoming British tour.
With his new album lingering on the release schedule, Edwyn Collins appears to be fighting fit and raring to go. Putting his health problems behind him, the Scottish indie legend is back making music.
New album ‘Losing Sleep’ in an unexpected delight. Sure, he has a great pedigree but few would have expected a career highlight after such a long lay off.
Joined by some stellar guests, the feeling is of old friends relaxing and making music. Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr adds some crisp chords, with stomping, euphoric Motown influences appearing throughout.
‘Losing Sleep’ is due to be released on September 13th, with the singer gearing up for the album with some low key dates. Playing a one off show at London’s 100 Club on August 11th the indie don is also due to appear at the End Of The Road festival.
Now Edwyn Collins has announced a full scale UK tour, his first in some time. For the new dates the singer will be joined by German group The Kinbeats, who he recorded at his West Heath Studio.
Taking place throughout November the tour will take Edwyn Collins across the country. Opening in Brighton on November 4th the singer will make a hometown appearance at Glasgow’s Oran Mor soon afterwards.
Finishing on November 15th in Birmingham, tickets for the shows are set to go on sale shortly.
Edwyn Collins is due to play the following shows:
4 Brighton Komedia
5 Oxford Academy 2
6 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
7 Glasgow Oran Mor
9 Newcastle Cluny
10 Manchester Deaf Institute
12 Preston 53 Degrees
13 Liverpool The Well
14 Bristol The Fleece
15 Birmingham Glee Club
Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand had apparently revealed he did not sing on his 1977 hit ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’.
In the summer of 1977 Britain stood divided. The Queen’s jubilee kickstarted a massive celebration, uniting the forces of British conservativism. However the emerging punk movement detested everything the establishment stood for.
As the face off grew ever more desperate, one song raced up the charts. A slice of punk cash in nonsense, Plastic Bertrand’s ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ became a Top Ten hit and remains a cult curiosity.
Now, though, a new controversy has engulfed the track. A recent court case has uncovered the revelation that Plastic Bertrand did not, in fact, sing on ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’.
“I don’t mind saying it wasn’t my voice,” the singer told Belgian newspaper Le Soir. “I wanted to sing but he wouldn’t let me into the studio.”
Instead, producer Lou Deprijck performed lead vocals. The producer is currently locked in a court battle with record label AMC, who claimed he told them it was not his voice on the 1977 recording.
Plastic Bertrand was offered a slice of the royalties from the hit by way of a reward. Speaking to Le Soir the singer explained that the producer promised “that he’d let me use my voice on another version, which, of course, he never did.”
He added: “I’m the victim. I wanted to sing but he wouldn’t let me into the studio. This is going to dog me till my dying days. I’m really fed up”.
After the hit, Plastic Bertrand enjoyed a bizarre career. Moving from record company to record company, the singer eventually entered Eurovision in 1987 representing the tiny country of Luxembourg.
Re-recording ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ in 2006, his claims resulted in the new court case. A Belgian court has heard evidence from an expert linguist who claims that the voice on the recording is Deprijck.
Speaking to Le Parisien newspaper, Deprijck said: “I hope I will finally get my rights.”
The case is ongoing.
Fast rising Los Angeles group Best Coast have spoken of their fascination with the Beach Boys.
California has a curious musical heritage. Besides hair-metal, the area has also also given birth to both the Beach Boys and a seminal punk rock scene. Reconciling a joint love of SST and surf-pop, Best Coast represent both strands.
Set to release their new album ‘Crazy For You’ on August 2nd, the duo match catchy melodies to a love affair with noisy guitars. Singer Bethany Cosentino recently revealed her love of the Beach Boys.
Yep, set to reform soon it seems that evergreen surf-pop icons The Beach Boys are the secret inspiration behind ‘Crazy For You’. Speaking to Pitchfork the singer explained her love of the 60s heroes.
“My favorite song of all time is ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ by the Beach Boys. It’s a pretty generic Beach Boys song, and a pretty generic favorite song to have, but it’s just incredible” the singer said.
“When we were in Europe, I listened to it probably 50 times a day ’cause it would just push me through the anxiety and the homesickness and stuff. I just think that’s the best song ever.”
The two groups share a love of the Danelectro guitar, perhaps the definitive surf group instrument. Continuing, Cosentino reveals that her six-string was a gift from her father, who was himself a musician.
“My dad gave me an original Danelectro. It was his guitar, and he gave it to me when I was 16 or 17. He bought me a Strat as a Christmas gift when I was 13, so that was my first guitar, but the Danelectro is the guitar that I wrote most of the Best Coast songs on and the guitar that I used when we first started playing” she said.
“But I think (the Danelectro) is my favorite piece of musical equipment, because my dad gave it to me and it got to go on a tour and do cool stuff.”
Best Coast are set to release ‘Crazy For You’ on August 2nd.
Detroit, Michigan has done the world a lot of favours.
From Motown Records (and the countless household names born from the label) to techno pioneers such as Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and the Underground Resistance; right up to the hip-hop legacy left by the late great J-Dilla, there is no denying that the Motor City has a pretty strong musical heritage.
So, who’s the next to pick up the baton? The smart money is on new school house and techno producer Kyle Hall (or “Kyle Mother Fuckin’ Hall” – the tongue-in-cheek moniker that he prefers to label himself), a unassuming skinny eighteen-year-old boy with braces that just happens to combine all the afore-mentioned city lineages with just a little guidance from producer/DJ luminaries such as Theo Parrish, Mike Huckaby and Omar S.
With his own fledgling Wild Oats label four releases deep and an ever-growing discography of 12”s on some of the coolest electronic labels on the planet (Warp, Hyperdub, FXHE, Third Ear), Kyle’s kudos is ever-growing beyond the reaches of his back-door. It is difficult not to see KMFH as a bright hope… on a worldwide scale.
Kyle himself comments: “I definitely listen to a lot of Detroit artists. This is the only place I’ve lived. But nowadays you can listen to other people’s stuff on the net. Music and sound can come from wherever you direct your mind towards.”
With this in mind, we look forward to seeing where his mind will go…
Words by Raj Chaudhuri
What: Soulful house/techno
Unique Fact: He used to watch the film Space Jam every time he went to his gran’s house as she only had one DVD.
Get 3 songs: ‘I <3 Dr. Girlfriend’, ‘Kaychunk’, ‘Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer (Kyle Hall Remix)’
Clash Magazine Issue 52
Country music legend Kris Kristofferson has spoken to ClashMusic about the first time he entered Nashville.
Kris Kristofferson came late to music. A country music icon, he was initially a helicopter pilot with the US Army, operating out of the Alaskan oil fields. Harbouring ambitions to enter music, it took a life changing visit to Nashville to wrench him out of those army greens.
“I was in the army, and my next assignment would’ve been to teach English Literacy at West Point Military Academy, but instead, I was in Nashville for two weeks on leave between assignments” he explained to ClashMusic.
“I just fell in love with the music community that was going on there. The way the old heroes helped out the new guys. It was a very soulful business at the time; I don’t know if it’s anything like that now. But it was definitely the best move I’ve ever made.”
Going on to write some of the most recognisable hits in country music, Kristofferson took his inspiration from some iconic musicians. Stars such as Willie Nelson helped him find his voice, alongside lesser known talents.
“I tried to learn from everybody that I was in contact with and it just happened that I came through at a time when I came into contact with a lot of writers that nobody else knew about, like Mickey Newberry and Tom T. Hall and John Hartford, and there was a good underground scene there in Nashville and we prided ourselves on being, you know, soulful writers. We idealised people like Willie Nelson and Roger Miller who were rebels.”
Ultimately, Kris Kristofferson remains a music icon for the universal nature of his songcraft. Speaking to ClashMusic, the country star claimed that he just wants to tell the truth in his material.
“I’ve always felt that it was my was my job to tell the truth as I saw it, just the same as Hank Williams did and the way Bob Dylan did” he said. “It was important to me and I think I probably antagonised some audiences. Nowadays when I go out everybody knows what to expect what I’m singing and what I say.”
Click HERE to read the full interview!
The “I see dead people” concept has been done to death, but this winner of the Sundance World Cinema Audience Award lifts the idea out of purgatory with a blast of originality.
Set in a small fishing village in which traditional values are the law, Miguel balances life with his pregnant wife with a secret relationship with ostracized artist Santiago (Manolo Cardona of Beverly Hills Chihuahua “fame”). When Santiago dies at sea, his spirit, unable to rest without a burial ritual, returns to Miguel. Miguel, however, is more than happy to embrace his newly unseen relationship with his lover. But can he risk everything by laying Santiago to rest?
The blend of fantasy and realism doesn’t gel quite as smoothly as could be hoped – especially with Santiago’s arrival in the netherworld – but Undertow poses plenty of intriguing questions about religion, masculinity, homosexuality and honour in its two contrasting scenarios. Playing out over a beautifully captured coastal backdrop, the strongly conventional performances ensure that this is an examination of humanity’s moral challenges rather than a mythical supernatural tale.
As it builds towards a truly moving conclusion, it becomes apparent that Undertow is an unlikely but undeniably charming oddity.
Words by Ben Hopkins
The quiet legend that is Patrick Pulsinger just got louder as Vienna comes calling once more.
New album ‘Impassive Skies’ features seven collaborations over eight tracks with Fennesz, Abe Duque and ElektroGuzzi all laying down their influences in quiet harmony. All the relationships are steeped in the laid back affinity you’d expect from Vienna, yet one took a very long time: “Fennesz was a tough one! We did see each other infrequently in Vienna or somewhere around and always parted with the plan to meet up the following week to work on stuff…well, for the last ten years or so!”
The Fennesz track ‘Future Back’ seethes and slides around with Pulsinger’s love of loose structures but ‘A To Z’ is more clubbed up as Teresa Rotschopf leads a snappy electro riff that’d put the frighteners up Miss Kittin’s icy back catalogue.
Pulsinger is one of Vienna’s proudest exponents and as ever it shaped the sound of his music: “Well I still live here and it has a great healthy scene with new and upcoming artist like Dorian Concept, Soap And Skin, Ritornell, Ogris Debris or Elektroguzzi taking centre stage internationally. It is a friendly community of different styles and approaches. After I finished co-producing and mixing the next Hercules And Love Affair album this spring, Andrew Butler looked at me and said, “I am glad we are finished, but it means I have to leave Vienna now!””
‘Impassive Skies’ is out now on Disko B.
‘Dogmatic Sequences’ 12” (Disko B)
‘Fear’ 12” (Disko B)
‘Future Back feat Fennesz’ 12” (Disko B)
Get Patrick Pulsinger’s ‘A-z Radioedit feat Teresa Rotschopf’ as part of ClashMusic’s Cross Section Download album HERE.
Isle Of Wight indie group The Bees have spoken about work on their fourth studio album.
The Bees are a hugely under-rated group. The band’s psych-pop output contains some genuinely inventive moments of songwriting, mixing classic influences with a real individual streak.
Working on their fourth album, the band have retreated to their home studio. Piling up new material on the Isle Of Wight, The Bees recently invited ClashMusic down to get a peak at their upcoming album.
New album ‘Every Step’s A Yes’ is set for release later this summer, with the track ‘Silver Line’ available as a free download. A quirky return, ‘Silver Line’ is packed with the band’s typical carefree spirit.
Singer Paul Butler recently spoke to ClashMusic, revealing a few of the influences behind the new album. “The record’s still a mixed bag, but there are more skippy bits with elements of artists like Van Morrison. We all embraced the freedom in rhythm and bass and you can definitely hear that in the songs,” he says.
“Many of the tracks kind of follow a South American groove, which I guess is partly down to my time spent in the Amazon Rainforest, after a gig producing Devendra Banhart’s new album took me to the States. It was all pretty amazing.”
As ever, The Bees are studio perfectionists. The band claim to have completed a vast stockpile of material, which they intend to tweak throughout the summer. The process is an exacting one, claims Butler.
“It’s basically finished but I’m a perfectionist of sorts and so am still at the meticulous tweaking stage,” says Butler. “I can spend hours just listening to the tracks over and over again.”
Click HERE to read the entire interview!
The Bees are due to release ‘Every Step’s A Yes’ later this summer.