Caught in the Net: Sail away on the high seas of folk
Friday 26 August 2011
Initially released three years ago, Sea Sew, the debut LP from the Irish indie-folk singer Lisa Hannigan, picked up plaudits, fans and a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Now she returns with the follow-up record, Passenger, to be released on 10 October.
Preceding the album is the single "Knots" on 3 October. This folk-rocking song, with surging strings, has been premiered on LA's KCRW radio station – hear it at ind.pn/r8IzOA – while an additional album track, a lovely, delicate number called "A Sail", has been offered up as a free download at lisahannigan.ie.
Step right up to listen with Waits
Tom Waits is back and in suitably surreal mood. This week, he announced his new album, Bad As Me – his first full studio album since 2004's cracking Real Gone – with an unusual video appearing at tomwaits.com. In the humourous clip billed as the "Tom Waits Private Listening Party", he makes oblique references to online leaks and filesharing, and solves the problem of offering people a sneak preview of the new LP in his own unique manner: it involves people lining up to hear the music blaring from inside a rickety car. Included are snippets of the title track from the album, which is released on 25 October. Said track – a roaring affair, stuffed with horns and finding Waits in brawler mode – was also released as an MP3 with the warning to buy it from "your favourite digital retailer". The video included a threat involving gargling raw sewage before having a root canal, so I did as I was told.
Pop, art and the music video
It's been a week for highbrow music videos: celebrated YBAs Tim Noble and Sue Webster directed a video for S.C.U.M, a five-piece from London. For the shoegaze-meets-new-wave stomper "Whitechapel", the duo made a performance video shot through with artful shadows and silhouettes – a recurring motif in the artists' ouevre. See it on the Nowness site at ind.pn/qWz8KC. Meanwhile, I'm reliably informed that the new video for the Decemberists' "Calamity Song" is an elaborate reference to David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest – I haven't read that weighty tome, so I'll have to take everyones' word for it. Find the video, plus some explanation, at ind.pn/qKj5X8.
A long getaway to High Places
The LA-based experimental electronic duo High Places have shared a new track from their upcoming third LP, Original Colours. "Year Off" features high-pitched, ethereal vocals from the singer Mary Pearson, over a wash of pulsing electronic clicks and textured noises. It's a fine sound and I'm intrigued to hear the whole record. Find "Year Off" at ind.pn/r1KmaJ.
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