Caught in the Net: Sparks fly early from Foals' new fire

 

Foals are slowly easing themselves back into the fray ahead of the 11 February release of the third album, Holy Fire.

In November we got a sample of where the Oxford five-piece was heading with the crunching guitars of their intense single "Inhaler" – youtu.be/qJ_PMvjmC6M. Recently they offered up another track; it's streaming on the band's YouTube channel at youtu.be/bAsGFnLl2u0. A fine effort, "My Number" is more light on its feet than "Inhaler", with skittering guitars and bouncing rhythms recalling their earlier albums. I'm particularly fond of the airy "woo-woo" backing vocals.

Sufjan raps his own Christmas present

Not content with putting out Silver & Gold, Sufjan Stevens's hefty 5 EP (and other treats) box-set release of Christmas music – the second of his career – the prolific American musician has also dropped a fairly bizarre Christmas rap mixtape. Oscillating between Stevens's own experimental beat-making and his more trademark delicate sounds are rap contributions from the Pro Letarians, members of Das Racist, and Kitty Pryde. Hear "Chopped and Scrooged" streaming at snd.sc/S4B3CA and download it at ind. pn/Z7ItIs.

The Knife keep the new album in the family

Whetting electronic music fans' appetite for the coming year nicely are The Knife. It's seven years since the mysterious Swedish brother-and-sister duo Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijir released their last album together, the hugely acclaimed Silent Shout . Last week the siblings announced they would release a new album, Shaking the Habitual, on 8 April. Over on the theknife.net they offered up a brief video for the record: in keeping with their usually sinister and stark sound, the video contained some eerie soundscapes and David Lynch-like footage.

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