Caught in the Net: Bon Iver makes an intriguing return
Justin Vernon, the man behind Bon Iver, has finally recorded a follow-up to his much loved 2007 album, For Emma, Forever Ago.
His new LP, Bon Iver, arrives on 21 June. This week we got our first taste of the record with the single "Calgary". It's available when you hand in your email address at boniver.org. Vernon hasn't really lightened the mournful mood of the 2007 album, but here he's playing up the synth side of things – they pulse through the song – coupled with his distinctive high voice, and opening out with some quiet guitar and a surge of drums. An intriguing return.
Last year the video director/ artist Chris Milk showed what leaps could be made with music video in his interactive promo for Arcade Fire's track "Wilderness Downtown", which mixed multi-screen live action videos with images from Google Street view (utilising the viewer's own home address) on your computer to startling effect. Now he's struck again with a video for a track from the Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi album Rome. The song "Black", with vocals from Norah Jones, comes with a promo called "3 Dreams of Black", which again uses a computer's browser (it must be Google's Chrome for it to work) creating a clip mixing 2-D and 3-D animations and drawings, which are propelled by the viewer. Try out the video for yourself at ro.me.
I was listening to music streaming on Pitchfork.com, without paying much attention, when the wheel spun on to a track called "Folds" by a band called Beige. Neither were familiar to me, but they certainly are now. The track is gorgeous – a low-key blend of krautrock rhythms and textures, flat vocals, lovely harmonising and chiming guitars. "Folds" and two more tracks are streaming on the Brooklyn band's Tumblr, ind.pn/mos0Jl, and you can also keep up with them on their Facebook page, ind.pn/l4Zag4. Hopefully, there will be much more to like.
Fink adds more strings to his bow
Not content with being the frontman of Noah and the Whale, Charlie Fink has also made a film documenting the making of the band's current LP, Last Night on Earth.
On Tuesday, the band premiered the film in an online screening at lastnight onearthcinema.com – fans were invited to book online seats at the screening, with a live Q&A with Fink and previously unheard demos offered up, too.
Further screenings will follow on the site in the next few weeks. As with Chris Milk's interactive videos, bands and artists are being ever more inventive in the ways they deliver their music, and all that surrounds it, to fans. Long may it continue.
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