Alabama Shakes - formally The Shakes, played a set last Thursday night at CMJ alongside Dry The River. Frontwoman Brittany Howard’s powerful husky vocals are a perfect accompaniment their old school, soulful Kings Of Leon-esque sound.
They released their debut EP last month featuring 4 stunning tracks that were recorded in Nashville at Bomb Shelter Studios earlier this year. If you’re anxious for more material from from these southern soul-influenced rockers so you may not need to wait much longer:
“I would compare our first full length to a woman who is 10 months pregnant: Our baby is huge and fully formed , but it’s just not ready to come out yet…. could be any time… and you’ll definitely know about it.”
Youth Lagoon is the lofi bedroom pop recording project of Boise based musician Trevor Powers. Think Neon Indian/Active Child/Bon Iver and you’ve almost got how dreamy and melancholy he sounds. The 22-year-old’s debut full-length album, The Year of Hibernation has earned widespread industry buzz and is out now on Fat Possum. Listen to the track Cannons above.
The Australian Independent Record Labels Music Awards were held in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, commemorating the best of Australia’s new music. And TGE Aussie favourites The Jezabels and Seekae, who both played the festival last year, came away with a couple.
In fact The Jezabels won two awards, Best Independent Single/EP for ‘Dark Storm’ and the coveted Best Independent Artist award.
Seekae won Best Independent Dance/Electronica/Club Single for ‘Blood Bank’, sharing the award with another act that received exactly the same amount of votes.
Tash took this picture of Seekae performing at the Australia Sounds wrap party at CMJ in New York last week.
Today’s band of the day is BIGkids, a boy-girl duo from Camden town. Dazed Digital recently premiered their brilliant new video ‘Drum In Your Chest’, and you can read more about them in an interview with Dazed here.
Caveman are an indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY. They’ve been known to play a killer live show, which is a relief considering they played 10 times at CMJ last week! Here is Natasha’s take on their performance…
Caveman who I managed to catch twice at CMJ last week were great, double procession and excellent crescendo building. Their sonically balanced harmonies and memorable songwriting meant that second time round I could already sing along to some of their tracks, which means thumbs up for radio, right?
I think we were treated to quite a few new tracks as they were really upbeat live which oddly doesn’t seem to correlate with their online tracks, which are also ace but in a more landscaping way.
Anyway, these guys were pretty much best of the new discoveries for me at CMJ.
Hopefully they’ll be around for TGE next May?
I was lucky enough to catch Bon Iver at a sold out show at Hammersmith Apollo on Sunday, not to mention they just picked up a Q Award for Best Album to honour their self-titled second release, beating out albums by Elbow, Arctic Monkeys and PJ Harvey’s Mercury Prize-winning ‘Let England Shake’.
They played an incredible set now featuring a nine-piece band, opening with a spot on rendition of ‘Perth’. They also did a Björk cover, and front man Justin Vernon took to the stage alone for a moving performance of ‘Re: Stacks’.
The encore included what was clearly the crowd favourite ‘Skinny Love’, and a singalong that Justin insisted wasn’t a singalong to ‘The Wolves (Act I and II)’.
I was too memorised to get any photos, but Kat managed to get a couple of snaps from the following Monday show.
Hailing from a small town in Sweden, David Lehnberg & Elin Lindfors are Northern Light Electronica duo, The Deer Tracks.
They create, often in remote cabins in the Swedish wilderness, their bold melodies using guitars, melodica, trumpets, synths and beats, heavily embossed with angelic vocals both male and female. According to David however, they’ve also played on small musicboxes, glockenspiels, forks and coffee mugs. If you’re curious as to what that sounds like, I know I was, have a listen to this track off their latest installment of “The Archer Trilogy”, Part II to be exact.
They’re headlining The Nest on the 3rd of November, and you can enter a competition to win tickets at our Facebook page.
Mean Fiddler Presents: Deer Tracks + Guests
Date: Thurs 3rd November
Venue: The Nest, Dalston
Ticket price: £7
They cite surrealist American filmmaker David Lynch as a major influence and their sounds are reminiscent of the Beach Boys. Today’s band of the day is Weird Dreams; the London based trio of Doran, Craig and Hugo. Doran’s heartfelt vocals are accompanied by a haze of iridescent lo-fi guitar, and they have on numerous occasions been tipped as one of London’s most exciting new bands.
You can listen to their new 7” single here, soon to be released on Monday 31st October. And they’ll be kicking off their European tour with a single launch show in early November followed by a spell of shows as the support act for Steve Malkamus.
We are really exited in the TGE headquarters about our CMJ showcase at Fat Baby in New York. CMJ, beginning today, and showcasing around 1,300 artist performances over five days and nights, is a platform for the discovery of new music. As part of our contribution we’re hosting five great acts, all playing tomorrow evening.
Emmy The Great
Emma-Lee Moss, otherwise known (occasionally alongside guitarist Euan Hinshelwood) as Emmy the Great, is the Hong Kong born London based singer songwriter. Her second album, ‘Virtue’, was written around the break up of her engagement after her fiancé took a turn for the religious. Despite the heartbreak her lyrics remain whimsical and charming, with such songs as ‘Dinosaur Sex’. Here’s one called ‘A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep’.
Pianist Leo Tardin created the Grand Pianoramx out of New York, producing a uniquely experimental all-live keyboards/drums duo, Zürich-based Dominik Burkhalter currently providing said drums. Cities such as Mumbai, Berlin, and Paris played host to the recording and mixing of their third album ‘Smooth Danger’, which features multiple spoken word guests, such as Black Cracker on this particular track.
Caged Animals was created originally as a solo project by Vincent Cacchione, who eventually brought in his sister Tayla on the bass, his partner Magali on keys and childhood friend Pat on the drums, fusing a natural chemistry between the four and declaring their music as “sort of a cosmic-doo-wop”. Their first release was on cassette tape and they performed their first ever on a Brooklyn rooftop dressed as zebras, but have since gone on to release a new album entitled ‘Eat Their Own’, quickly racking up tour dates in the US and in Europe, and Manhattan local news even listed them as part of their Top 10 picks of the CMJ music marathon. Here’s a video for ‘Girls on Medication’, featuring magical gummy bears.
French electro act Yuksek captures that feeling of being ‘surrounded by people, but very much alone’, in his new album ‘Living on the Edge of Time’, inspired by experiences of life on the road s a DJ equipped merely with well, equipment. This time around Yuksek, otherwise known as Pierre Alexander Busson, brings along some friends to participate in the project to create elavating dance pop.
The quirky yet endearing BOBBY is a musical collaboration formed by seven musicians on the back of a fictional character whose “spirit lingers over the project”. Their self-titled debut LP consists of experimental acoustic folk, with an often psychedelic vibe. Here is their first ever release, ‘Sore Spores’.
Hey, so we saw Friends play at Hoxton BK the other day and thought we’d write a mini-blog on it.. so here goes.
Brooklyn quintet Friends follow up their debut single “Friend Crush” with the song “I’m his Girl.” Described by themselves as “Tropicool”, the super-chilled vocals from lead singer Samantha Urbani, coupled with a wicked bassline make the track stand out and echo artists such as Santigold and Lykke Li.
Friends take a slightly more organic approach to making music, with an instantaneous and energetic approach rather than over-organising every aspect of recording and playing live. This intuitive process leads to their multi-genre sound. With lyrics such as: “When you see me walking around with him/ I’m not just another chick/ I’m his girl” it’s probably best not to mess with Urbani.
Tipped as a band to watch in 2011 by Stereogum, Abeano and NME to name just a few, Friends are a band to keep one eye out for.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011] ”—
Florence and the Machine - Thurs @ Luv Label Launch
Thursday night we got treated to an incredible party from the folks at Luv Label. As well as sets from Spector, Theme Park, and Jamie N Commons, we got a sneak preview at Florence’s new material live!
Not disappointed in the slightest, in fact possibly a little a too excited, we’re left wondering when she’ll be touring and if it would fit with TGE time. hmmm, wishing and wondering.