Caught in the Net: Gorillaz get into the seasonal spirit
Friday 31 December 2010
As promised several weeks ago, Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and some of their regular Gorillaz co-conspirators – Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Bobby Womack – delivered a new album on Christmas day.
The record, The Fall, was recorded on an iPad during the group's North American tour in October and early November, which explains the name somewhat. It's currently streaming at thefall.gorillaz.com, if you sign up to Gorillaz's mailing list. For now, it's also only available as a download to fan-club members. Befitting a record made on the road on a new-fangled computer, it has a low-key feel: an electro-led affair, with some tracks seeming more like expanded sketches. But as ever with Albarn, there are plenty of lovely sounds and interesting noises to be heard.
Festive fanfarefor loony tunes
Usually, December is a bit of a dead zone for new music, beyond a few festive-themed offerings, but perhaps the Gorillaz release has sparked a trend. Klaxons also marked Christmas Day with new music, giving away a five-track EP, "Landmarks of Lunacy", for free at klaxons.net. The record was made with the band's regular producer/ collaborator James Ford, of Simian Mobile Disco, during what the band describe as three "magical" and "nocturnal" weeks in 2008.
If you want Blood, you've got it live
The Christmas giveaway didn't end with Gorillaz and Klaxons. Last Saturday, Yeasayer also chimed in with a new release appearing at yeasayer.net/xmas. Following a productive year touring their well-received second album, Odd Blood, which came out near the beginning of 2010, the Brooklyn band decided to mark the occasion with a live album recorded at the Ancienne Belgique venue in Brussels in October. For the 13-track release, the band have decided to "do a Radiohead", allowing fans to name their own price for the download.
Divide conquers beautifully
Apart from the releases mentioned above, there's not a huge amount of new music to be found at the moment, so I decided to stick my head into the pile of music – both physical and digital releases – that I've been meaning to give more attention to in the last few months. One such example is the Belfast musician Pat Dam Smyth. His first full album, The Great Divide, went online at his Bandcamp page, ind.pn/f8ixx5 (and elsewhere), in October. He makes a sort of loose-limbed, country-rocking sound with moments of real beauty. A particular standout is the sad, piano-led "Willows Song", which calls to mind the instrumental grandeur of Illinois-era Sufjan Stevens.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Mal Peet dead at 67: Tributes to children's author who was 'universally adored'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Jimmy McGovern's new TV series 'Banished': Why Australia's past has such resonance today
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'