Caught in the Net: Still living in perfect harmony
Friday 10 December 2010
Much as I loved Grizzly Bear's 2009 album Veckatimest, there came a point – as plenty of other bands followed suit – that I grew tired of all that artful chamber pop, full of intricate instrumentation and choir-boy harmonies.
There's only so much prettiness you can take. However, for no particular reason, this week I picked up the new album by Portland five-piece Loch Lomond. The LP, Little Me Will Start a Storm, is full of the aforementioned musical characteristics, but it's worth a listen. Though not released until February, the beautiful lead single "Elephants & Little Girls" is a free download now at ind.pn/dOXHuJ.
Io Echo calls
The duo Io Echo are likely to get some attention next year. The band is made up of the Brit guitarist Leopold Ross and the US singer Ioanna Gika. At myspace.com/ioecho are a host of tracks full of droning guitars, electronic textures and Gika's poised vocals. One standout song, "When Lillies Die", also has a new video, containing rather incongruous visuals from a Japanese theatrical performance – after a while though, the trashy/spooky feel of the song seems to chime quite nicely with the theatre. Watch it at ind.pn/gsn6pK.
A rich palette from Au Revoir Simone
Some of the most impressive music videos this year have been interactive affairs from the likes of Arcade Fire and Robyn. Now the Brooklyn synth-pop band Au Revoir Simone's latest promo is an "interactive colouring book music video". Rather in keeping with their fairly kooky profile, the video does exactly as it says – giving the viewer an online palette to colour in a drawing of the all-girl trio.
The video also slips into live action at one stage, too. It's a nicely put together effort. The song, "Knights of Wands", all driving, dreamy electro, is quite good, too. Find it at theknightofwands.com.
Producer Madlib reworks J Dilla
In 2008, the indie hip-hop label Stones Throw released a three vinyl box-set to go with an event they held at that year's Miami Winter Music Conference, one of the major electronica events on the calendar. The record collection, Hella International, which featured music from Madlib, Four Tet, Dam Funk and plenty more quickly sold out – some of it was later released in CD format.
At the start of this month the vinyl set was re-released through stonesthrow.com, and promptly sold out all over again – but the label did offerone track as a download at ind.pn/i2u7gG. The tune, "The $ (Madlib remix)", sees the producer Madlib rework a previous effort by his deceased former collaborator J Dilla, into a slick electro-meets-hip-hop- meets-funk jam.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West