Larry Ryan is Deputy Editor of The Independent Magazine. He has previously worked on the Home News desk and the website of The Independent and he writes the "Caught in the Net" music column for the paper's arts magazine, Radar.
17 May 2013 07:00 PM
Well-regarded art-rock group These New Puritans return with their third album, Field of Reeds, on 10 June. The four-piece, from Southend-on-Sea but based in London, recently offered up the first taste from the album in the shape of “Fragment Two”, a moody and stately piano-led affair. Look out, too, for the lovely, mournful horn section that calls to mind the work of jazz composer Terence Blanchard. Hear it at snd.sc/10avO5T. The song also comes as a free download straight out of the gate if you pre-order the full LP on iTunes.
10 May 2013 07:00 PM
Normally when a film director moves into music-making I would handle with care – but art-house maven Jim Jarmusch has decent music pedigree, stretching back to New York's early-80s no wave/new wave era, when he was involved in a number of music projects.
05 May 2013 09:42 PM
Diamond Joe Biden, Scranton's finest, strikes again. While our politicians struggle awkwardly with pop culture (think David Cameron hanging with One Direction or Gordon Brown "enjoying" the Arctic Monkeys), the US Vice-President shows us how it's done.
03 May 2013 07:00 PM
Back in 2010, Janelle Monáe (pictured) went big with the futuristic pop, R&B, funk and much else of her highly praised album The ArchAndroid. Now the multi-talented performer from Atlanta returns with a single from her upcoming LP, The Electric Lady. The song “Q.U.E.E.N”, featuring a guest vocal Erykah Badu is a sleek and confident mélange of R&B, rap and pop with a lovely gentle bassline floating along near the end. It’s already been released digitally and is streaming at janellemonae.com.
26 April 2013 07:00 PM
The Pulitzer Prizes in America are more often associated with journalism and literature, but in among the awards is one for musical composition. At this year's recent prize-giving, the music gong went to American composer Caroline Shaw (pictured), who at 30 years of age is the youngest ever recipient. Her winning four-movement piece, Partita for Eight Voices, is also reportedly the first time the winner has been a vocal-only composition. The 25-minute piece, recorded with her vocal group Roomful of Teeth, has recently been released as an EP on iTunes, Amazon and at Spotify. The strange, beautiful music that ensues nods to the past – but with chanting, counting, spoken word, harmonising, sighing and all manner of other things thrown in, it sounds unlike most music you'll hear this year. Look out, too, for the suggestive sighs of the third movement, which give Serge Gainsbourg's “Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus” a run for its money.
19 April 2013 07:00 PM
At the start of the week, Berlin-based (naturally) UK producer Gold Panda (pictured) offered up “Brazil”, the first track to be taken from his forthcoming album Half of Where You Live. The new track can be purchased digitally from Tuesday but is streaming already at snd.sc/ZiysWT. The album, released on 10 June, is a follow-up to the electronic artist's (who gives only Derwin as his real name) gorgeous 2010 debut Lucky Shiner. That widely admired effort was a great exploration of instrumental electro and glitchy techno. Here, on the fine new track “Brazil”, Gold Panda doesn't stray too far from that template, and, as befits the name, it feels rather summery. Let the sun shine.
12 April 2013 07:00 PM
One of my favourite bands of the last five years or so Deerhunter (pictured) return with their first album since 2010's fine effort Halcyon Digest. The new one from the US art-rocking five piece is called Monomania and is due in early May. They recently shared the title track from the album – it can be heard at youtu.be/bYUENZQ84-E. Whereas Halcyon Digest was a relatively controlled, polished affair, here they sound a bit more unhinged and jagged, particularly in final movements as the song spins off into some wild noise. I'm pretty much happy to stick with them whatever move they make, so I'm excited to see how this record turns out.
05 April 2013 07:00 PM
At the start of the last decade Texan post-hardcore band At the Drive-In (pictured) made some of the most exhilarating raucous rock music around. Some 13 years later their album Relationship of Command is getting bells and whistles re-release treatment. To mark the occasion there is a remix of seminal single “One Armed Scissor” by Swedish electronic musician The Field. The remix is out in May as a 12-inch but it's already streaming at youtu.be/iopzilfHj9M. Admittedly it's a strain to find much trace of the original (if you can hear it at all) but it's a fascinating beats-and-pulses-filled, nine-minute whirr of electronica nonetheless.
15 March 2013 07:00 PM
Up-and-coming Brooklyn four-piece TEEN (pictured) have turned to Kickstarter to fund the recording and release of their new Carolina EP – kck.st/11KIK5u. Things are looking good with the group already surpassing their $5,000 target ahead of their donation deadline tomorrow. The all-girl quartet offered up a sample track from the proposed EP in the form of the title track, a nice stew of dreamy psych-pop and krautrock, which can be heard at snd.sc/Zv2Yt3.
08 March 2013 07:00 PM
MIA (pictured) made an appearance of sorts earlier this week on the catwalks of Paris, for a Fashion Week collaboration with the label Kenzo. The UK/Sri Lankan performer created an eight-minute musical collage to soundtrack the label's show. Entitled the “Matangi Mixtape”, the music flits, in keeping with her general oeuvre, through snippets of sounds, songs, raps and beats – some more fully formed than others. It's streaming at matangimixtape.com. Given that MIA's next album is reportedly called Matangi, the cacophonous mix may offer insight into how the record will sound, though it's not yet fully clear.
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