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WIN / Tickets to see Friends this month in Newcastle, Birmingham -or- Bristol

 
By on Tuesday, 1st May 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Friends from Brooklyn is one of the hottest indie bands on the planet at the moment, and we’ve blagged a pair of tickets for one lucky reader and a guest to see them in Newcastle (Sunday 6th May), Birmingham (Saturday 12th May) or Bristol (Monday 14th May), winner’s choice. Now you’re wondering to yourself, how do I win these tickets? Read on my friend…

Fill out the form below with the following information: your name, your email address (we’ll use this to contact you if you’ve won) and which gig you want to win tickets for. Then answer this question correctly: What London label are the band signed to? Be sure to get your entries in by 12 noon this Friday, the 4th of May. We’ll choose our lucky winner from all the correct entries and award him/her with tickets for the gig of their choice.

This contest is now closed. The winner will be contacted soon by email.

If you want to buy tickets to any of the gigs on their May UK tour, you can use this Live Nation link to buy them for some of the gigs.

Saturday 5th May 2012 – Live at Leeds
Sunday 6th May 2012 – Newcastle Digital
Monday 7th May 2012 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Tuesday 8th May 2012 – Manchester Academy 3
Wednesday 9th May 2012 – London Scala
Thursday 10th May 2012 – Brighton Horatios (NME Radar showcase at Great Escape)
Friday 11th May 2012 – Brighton Haunt (The Agency showcase Great Escape)
Saturday 12th May 2012 – Birmingham Academy 2
Monday 14th May 2012 – Bristol Thekla

 

(Great Escape 2012 flavoured!) Album Review: Grimes – Visions

 
By on Friday, 27th April 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Due to unfortunate scheduling conflicts, I never managed to see Grimes perform at SXSW 2012. I do, however, consider myself lucky that I’d seen her perform months before she was signed to 4AD at the start of 2012, albeit it was for an opening set before Lykke Li’s show in May 2011. Claire Boucher and all her previous work had then been completely unknown to me. As this goth pixie with a little girl’s voice and fierce eyebrows readied her electronics, I wondered if she was going to pull a James Blake: I still don’t get the appeal really of Blake, and I get bored dead easy watching most electronic artists because I don’t find their “live” sets interesting enough. There was something oddly charismatic about the slight girl from Montreal; she admitted how nervous she was, yet she definitely knew her way around the synth garden before her. I gave her big props then. And now I want to give her big props now for ‘Visions’, a fully-formed, confident first effort for 4AD straight out of the gate for the Canadian artist.

Music by dance artists should be reviewed in order of the tracks as they’re originally meant to be consumed. ‘Infinite Love Without Fulfillment’ is a minute and a half of driving yet sultry electro, disarmed by Boucher’s electronicised voice; it’s a nice lead in to ‘Genesis’ (free mp3 and performance video here), probably everyone’s first real taste of Grimes. It’s ambient, yet it’s got handclaps. I think Boucher herself realised this conflict, as in the promo video for the single, she has her headphones on, seemingly oblivious to the high school antics going on in the background. For me, that’s what good electronic music does: it transports you somewhere, somewhere otherworldly and unachievable when you listen to even the best singer/songwriter, pop or rock acts. The first real good listen I had of ‘Visions’ as a whole was on a plane ride to California for work last month and I felt like I was cruising comfortably in outer space, thinking that aliens would think we’re pretty cool if they had a listen to this.

‘Oblivion’ is more traditional poppy than the rest of the album. With the words, “And now another clue, I would ask / if you could help me out / it’s hard to understand / ‘cause when you’re really by yourself / it’s hard to find someone to hold your hand”, is she showing how she’s afraid of the dark? Or is this a general commentary on life, on how we don’t know what’s up ahead? Not sure but it’s terribly catchy, with its “la la las” and boppy beat. An industrial effect is used against a high-pitched version of Boucher’s voice (there’s the internal battle of styles again) the brief ‘Eight’. I would have liked to see this teased out to a longer version and preferably with a vocal that could be intelligible throughout, but I’m guessing it was purposely short so to act as a short interlude, like ‘Infinite Love Without Fulfillment’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtH68PJIQLE[/youtube]

Having said that, I don’t think the words throughout ‘Visions’ are intended to give you an earth-shattering reaction and it’s acceptable not to go searching for the lyrics or what they’re ‘supposed’ to mean: it’s the beats and how Boucher has strung them together in many disparate ways. While ‘Circumambient’ is more experimentally wonky and doesn’t hit its stride until the final 1/3 of the song, ‘Vowels = Space and Time’ is as fun as anything by La Roux and manages to be crisp electronically in a way La Roux has never been (and never planned to be, really), and you will moonwalk to its beats. Another low key, almost Oriental interlude in ‘Visiting Statue’, and then the breakdancey ‘Be a Body’ with dreamy vocals and a synth effect that sounds like punctuated accordion chords (watch her performing below on a live video from KEXP).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqR6EolWARE[/youtube]

Then I get to ‘Colour of Moonlight (Antiochus)’ featuring Doldrums and I’m spellbound. The crunching of beats sound like muffled gunshots, and the layered versions of Boucher’s voice fill the track with light, as do the other various percussive effects employed here. Brilliant. You can take or leave ‘Symphonia IX (My Wait is U)’; except for the beats, it’s too Enya for my liking. The album is quickly brought back to life with ‘Nightmusic’ featuring Majical Clouds, which will suck you in, the various Claire Boucher alter egos singing in your ears like cute little birds. This is followed by ‘Skin’, the longest track on ‘Visions’, clocking in at over 6 minutes. The first 3 minutes of this song is as minimal as Grimes ever gets on this album, but Boucher is not content to rest on her laurels; instead, she pulls the vocals around sonically, so much that you can imagine the waves of words swirling around you. It’s not as catchy, but it works. ‘Know the Way’ ends the album with on a surprising note, first beginning with the sound of running water before singular notes sound and dreamy vocals end your sojourn with Grimes languorously. This album feels good pretty much all the way around, and if you’re looking for a good starter album to get into electronic music, this has enough pop crossover appeal not to disappoint. If you’re already an electronic fiend like me, you’ll find a lot to love in ‘Visions’. Well done, Claire. Can’t wait for your next release.

8.5/10

‘Visions’, the first release on 4AD by Grimes, is available now. She will be performing at the M is for Montreal/Brooklyn Vegan showcase at the Great Escape on Friday the 9th of May at Brighton Digital, with a set time of 20.45.

 

Update: The Great Escape 2012

 
By on Friday, 27th April 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Don’t really fancy the unbearable heat of Austin, Texas? Perhaps a great British summer holiday at some kind of seaside resort for your musical holiday needs? Don’t you be looking at Blackpool, don’t peek at Clethorpes and for your own sake, avoid Skeggy at all costs and head on down to Brighton sharpish. Oh and lucky you, you’ve arrived on the week of possibly the UK’s reply to America’s South By Southwest, the Great Escape.

Now while SXSW may be the hippenin’, happenin’ place for new music in America, the Great Escape gives you just as good a line-up, for a far better price, right on your doorstep. (Well, sort of, if you don’t live in Brighton.) With artists like Florence and the Machine and Friendly Fires starting their careers off right on Brighton’s shores, it’s not difficult to see why the Great Escape has such a fantastic reputation in the musical community. Ed Sheeran, Katy B and the Vaccines were all some of the *little* artists to play the festival last year and now, well haven’t you heard, they’ve done quite well for themselves.

This year, the headliners are Maximo Park (Thursday 10 May; pictured above), the Temper Trap (Friday 11 May) and Africa Express Sound System (Saturday 12 May). Lower down the bill up and coming talent from the likes of faux nerd rockers Spector, Camden-based rockers Tribes, as well as established bands like Sheffield’s Crookes and Scots We Were Promised Jetpacks. Newly added artists to the line-up include Scroobius Pip’s buddy Dan le Sac, French Films and We Have Band, who released their new album ‘Ternion’ earlier this year.

So if you fancy some exciting new music on the seaside, then pick up a weekend ticket for the bumper price of just £49.50 or a day pass for substantially less. Visit the Great Escape official Web site for details on tickets.

 

(Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #240: The Big Sleep

 
By on Thursday, 26th April 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Not to be confused with the chain of hotels, the 1946 Howard Hawks film staring Humphrey Bogart, nor any other act of the same name past or present (yeah, there’s plenty of confusion to be had), the Big Sleep are one of New York’s latest exports and they’re of the dark indie rock variety. Their third album launched in America at the end of January and will be out in Europe at the end of the month, but with a huge UK and European tour coming up to promote it, it seems that the Big Sleep are finally going to be making some waves on the venues and festivals of Britain.

It’s atmospheric, it’s powerful, it’s grungy without being grunge.  They’re more Metric than Sonic Youth, more 2:54 than the xx, but they could fit alongside any of the aforementioned, as long as you’re into dark guitar lines. Their sound to date has been a bit on the rough side, but with years under the belt, it seems the act have steadily tuned into exactly the sound they want to create. The promise that came with the last two LPs has a few months to materialize and with ‘Nature Experiments’, it may well do.

The band are hitting up the Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City this year, as well as a host of other UK dates below and there’s no doubt they’ll be bringing a tension-destroying atmosphere with them. In case this still hasn’t sold you, the video for new single ‘Ace’ is also below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yza-e4rjMpQ[/youtube]

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 – Brighton Hope (Great Escape Festival)
Monday 14th May 2012 – Manchester Castle
Tuesday 15th May 2012 – Glasgow Nice ‘n Sleazys
Wednesday 16th May 2012 – London Camden Barfly
Thursday 17th May 2012 – Liverpool Arts Academy (Liverpool Sound City)

 

The Coronas / May 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 25th April 2012 at 9:00 am
 

We have some fab news. TGTF favourites and former Bands to Watch the Coronas will be releasing their album ‘Closer to You’ in the UK on Lix Records on the 28th of May, and they have announced accompanying May UK tour. ‘Addicted to Progress’ will be released as a single a week before (21 May), watch the video for the song below.

Cheryl reviewed the album when it came out in Ireland in November 2011; read her review here.

Tuesday 1st May 2012 – Glasgow King Tuts
Wednesday 2nd May 2012 – Liverpool O2 Academy 2
Thursday 3rd May 2012 – Manchester Night and Day
Saturday 5th May 2012 – Brighton Sticky Mikes
Sunday 6th May 2012 – Birmingham Ballroom
Monday 7th May 2012 – Bristol Thekla
Tuesday 8th May 2012 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 10th May 2012 – London Cargo

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf5iez3Y5RU[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #772: Tellison

 
By on Monday, 23rd April 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

In the mood for something humourous after a long Monday at school or work? Here is Tellison‘s new video for ‘Freud Links the Teeth and the Heart’, a new single from them out the 28th of May as a limited 7″ and on digital download. The band have a headlining UK tour in May; all the dates are below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0sRF98pRc[/youtube]

Thursday 3rd May 2012 – Andover George
Friday 4th May 2012 – Bristol Croft
Saturday 5th May 2012 – Manchester Sound Control
Sunday 6th May 2012 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest
Monday 7th May 2012 – Middlesbrough Westgarth Social Club
Tuesday 8th May 2012 – Birmingham Rainbow
Wednesday 9th May 2012 – London Garage

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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