The official album release isn’t until April 5 (via Domino), but the Kills released a full online stream for Blood Pressures just yesterday. I’m listening to it right now and thought I’d share. If “Satellite” and “DNA” were any indication, I think I’m gong to love the record. Enjoy!
- Opening track (“Future Starts Slow”) is the perfect introduction.
- The guitar work is a lot more muddy and full on this album than on Midnight Boom. I’m always so impressed with the tones and sounds that Hince can get on his guitar.
- Jamie Hince made me swoon on “Wild Charms”
- I can’t help but notice that Mosshart’s vocals have gotten even deeper and huskier on “The Last Goodbye” (must be due to the smoking).
- The album has a good mixture of sounds from the steeped-in-sex gritty and heavy to more nostalgic slowdance tunes
- Waltz-like 3/4 time string symphony of “Last Goodbye” is beautiful. It’s quite a departure for the duo, but it’s quite orgasmic.
[Mp3]: The Kills – “DNA” (right-click, save as / control + click, save link as)
The enigmatic grunge blues rock duo of the Kills‘ “Hotel” (Jamie Hince) and “VV” (Alison Mosshart) have already released the first single off Blood Pressures–“Satellite”–along with its accompanying video, announced the first leg of their tour in support of the album, and shown off the record’s album art (pictured above). Now they’ve jumped on the “free track” trend with a no-fee download of second single, “DNA.”
On the first listen, I have to say I’m partial to the crunchy guitar work and overall frenetic fuzz and grittiness of “Satellite.”
“DNA” is much more down-tempo in comparison, but it’s the type of slinky song you could imagine a gang of leather and vintage-clad badasses with perfectly messied up ‘just-got-out-of-bed-hair’ strutting down a dimly lit street to in slow motion. I think it’s a track that I’ll grow to love more and more with each listen.
With two strong singles, the anticipation is definitely building up for the Kills’ April 5 release date (via Domino) of Blood Pressures, and I cannot wait.
The Kills‘ released “Satellite” the first single off their forthcoming album Blood Pressures about a week ago, and now here’s the video!
“I was raised up believing I was some how unique. Like a snowflake, distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you could see. And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond but me.”
Looks like a 3-year hiatus is common for bands (but just 3 years–no longer, no shorter), because like the Kills, Fleet Foxes are now back out of the woodwork with a new track. “Helplessness Blues,” the first single off their sophomore LP of the same name (due out May 3 via Sub Pop/Bella Union), is up for free download, and you will not be disappointed.
On their latest track, Robin Pecknold and his beard-loving Seattle folk-rock band are back to making the tight, sweet-sounding harmonies they’ve come to be known for, which makes it even harder to accept the fact that we’ve all been missing out on their beautiful music for 3 years. Cascading with harmonies crafted to be sung on some mountain in the wilderness, it sounds as though production is little sharper and clearer than on their critically-lauded self-titled debut, and I’m gladly taking it all in.
Really, this couldn’t get any more perfect unless they sang this high atop some mountain so their voices echoed while I closed my eyes and spun around a la Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Yup. Sophomore slump? What sophomore slump? Enjoy! (And I’m sure you will.)
[MP3]: Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”
*To download, click on the arrow on the right hand side of the player.
And here we go! Blues-rock duo The Kills have released “Satellite” the first single in anticipation of their fourth studio LP, Blood Pressures. The album drops in North America April 5 via Domino. And if you haven’t already seen the album teaser, you can watch it below! The Kills have been on a sort of hiatus since Alison Mosshart teamed up with Jack White and Co. for the Dead Weather, but I’m glad that the half-American and half-Brit duo are back together making slimy yet gritty rock.
They’ve also booked a North American tour (keep reading for dates) and will be making stops in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, so set your clocks and get ready for ‘VV’ (Alison Mosshart) and ‘Hotel’s'(Jamie Hince) return since 2008′s Midnight Boom.
Welcome back, you two.
I’ve We’ve missed you.
TOUR DATES (more…)
I raved about her in part 3 of my 3-part series of LISTEN UP! Australia, and now the Aussie blues siren Abbe May answers some of A Mindful Earful’s questions about listening to music growing up, her sound, and some of her favourite albums of the year. (Plus, she has some harsh opinions on manufactured music by Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.)
So, get ready for some lengthy, intelligent answers with ellipses galore, and read on! (more…)
Here it is: part 3 of my series on Australian music, just as I promised (albeit a little–okay, very–late). The great “Down Under” has produced many quality folk-pop singer-songwriters, but with these two bands/musicians, Australia proves that it can churn out more than just sentimental and glitter-infused tracks. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a sucker for that kind of music; it’s just good to know there’s diversity.)
Australia is also home to quality psych-rock bands like Tame Impala and bluesy sirens a la Abbe May.
First up we have Band of Horses, who are the originators of “The Funeral.” The track starts off softly and then breaks into urgency driven by crashing cymbals and guitars, though heralding back to the lone voice and guitar in one section. The sound is signature indie rock-driven folk, folks–and simply and truly Band of Horses.
[MP3]: Band of Horses – “The Funeral” (right-click, save link as)
In ring 2, we have Canadian folk songstress, Serena Ryder, whose cover is off her 2009 EP, which she made in collaboration with Toronto-based roots/country band, The Beauties. She also covers Kylie Minogue, Jordan Sparks, and Hank Williams. Eclectic, huh? Her version of “The Funeral” is a bit slower and more sparse, with 3 vocal tracks and beautiful horn/brass instruments and guitar buried in the background. Her raw and musky vocals are front and center, and the focus seems to be solely on the emotion.
VOTE on who YOU think does “The Funeral” best!
@ New Zealand
Wood & Bone Records
With two solo albums–2003′s What To Do With Daylight and 2006′s Albertine–already under her belt and releases/tours with Hillsong United, Brooke Fraser is already a veteran in the music scene. And four years after her last solo record, she’s back and ready to make waves with Flags, which will be released October 12 via Wood & Bone Records. Plus Canadian/U.S. tour dates have also been announced!
Whenever friends ask me about music I listen to, they tend to ask if the artist is “famous,” and I always answer with: “Well, they’re famous to me.” Because regardless of whether a musician has had national/international success, sold a million records, or are on the charts, as long as I listen to them, I consider them “famous” in my mind and make the assumption that everyone has heard about them. (It’s absurd, I know.) Brooke Fraser is one of those artists.
Though she may not be a household name in North America yet, she has a huge following in her native New Zealand and Australia, where her albums have gone Platinum and Gold, respectively. Albertine was Fraser’s U.S. debut and was released in 2008 (two years after it was originally released in NZ, AUS), so I guess you could say she is still relatively new to the North American scene/circuit.
However, being on the road for three years in support of Albertine (beginning in 2006) really took its toll on Fraser; by 2009, she was burnt out and spent. It took a beautiful evening at Coachella and a performance by Fleet Foxes to re-awaken something in the Kiwi singer-songwriter. (Thank you, Fleet Foxes).
“Robin Pecknold began to sing and the purity of his voice seemed to melt away every memory of trauma and disillusionment [...] Then the other voices joined his and it all felt so human and honest [...] It was a moment where I remembered the power of music as a language, a connector. I remembered that I’ve been given the gift of speaking a particular dialect of this language and realised I didn’t have the option of being resigned to silence and I didn’t want it.”
In a press release, Fraser speaks about the direction of Flags and why it’s “more survivable” than previous records :
“I’ve never used as many characters or as much narrative in my songwriting as I have on this record. On my previous albums I was singing completely as myself, which is why I think I got so burnt out from touring. Albertine was inspired by incredibly significant events and people and every time I’d sing I’d go back to that moment where my heart was ripped open. So singing such heavy songs nearly every night for three years took a toll. On Flags, it’s still me speaking, but it’s me speaking through the voices of different characters and their stories. It’s more survivable.”
What can we expect to hear on the new album? Wood & Bones calls the new record “a dreamy, alternative-pop collection that showcases [Fraser's] agile soprano, lilting melodies, and knack for telling her stories through the lives of vibrant characters.”
FUN FACT: The new album features a co-written duet with Aqualung’s Matt Hales entitled, “Who Are We Fooling?”. Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman also co-wrote a track.
Here’s a little taste of the record and the first single off Flags. Listen, simmer, and enjoy!
[Download]: Brooke Fraser – “Something in the Water” (right-click, save as)
Album review over HERE!
READ ON FOR CANADIAN/U.S. TOUR DATES!