Artist: The National Release: Trouble Will Find Me (2013) Label: 4AD Rating: 4.5 / 5
2010 marked quite the year for The National. The release of “Boxer” gave them worldwide acclaim but it was “High Violet” that truly thrust them into the spotlight, making them perhaps the biggest band in the world that 80% of the population has never heard of. Essentially they become the indie world’s worst kept secret – selling out multiple stadium shows in the same cities and headlining festivals across the world – yet still evoking blank stares from most people when I mention them. Such is the age of the internet I suppose, where it is all too easy to ignore pretty much anything we are not directly seeking out.
2010 was also the first time I ever really worried about The National. They’ve been my favourite active band for the better part of a decade. The tortured mess of songs that make up “Alligator” form what is probably my favourite album ever. And then “Boxer” reigned all that energy in and harnessed it, a collection of songs that feel restrained but always ready to explode. Then came lead single Bloodbuzz Ohio from “High Violet”, one of the least inspired songs by The National to date. Sounding much like a b-side from “Boxer” and that the band was just phoning it in. For a band so reliant on subtlety of storytelling, the loss of authenticity is a death sentence. Continue reading →
Superchunk will release ”I Hate Music”, the band’s tenth studio album, on August 20 via Merge Records on CD, LP and digital. The limited-edition deluxe LP will be pressed on colored vinyl and include a bonus 7-inch containing two non-album tracks, along with an “I Hate Music” stencil. Both the standard and deluxe LPs will be issued on 150-gram vinyl and feature a die-cut sleeve. All pre-orders in the Merge store will come with an “I Hate Music” poster, the first 200 of which will be signed by the band, so get on this one early.
After taking nearly a decade off following the release of “Here’s To Shutting Up”, the band decided to come back with “Majesty Shredding”, an album well described by its own title. It’s a celebratory set of whoa-whoa-whoas from a group so thrilled by making music together again that they can’t contain themselves.
Artist: Vampire Weekend Release: Modern Vampires of the City (2013) Label: XL Rating: 4.5 / 5
Vampire Weekend have always been a paradox. They’re endlessly accessible yet incredibly polarizing. They’re upper class intellectuals with lyrical content that tends to border on the juvenile and sometimes even on the nonsensical. They’re a sheltered group of Columbia students making music that takes influence from the global south. And they’re a band seemingly tailor-made for hipster music snobs, yet they are just so incredibly uncool (and I mean this – I often find people listing their favourite bands will lower their voice to a whisper or accelerate their pace as they mention VW). Continue reading →
As part of ongoing 10th anniversary celebrations, Arts & Crafts is preparing to release ‘X‘ - an entirely new collection of original collaborative recordings by pairing up the artist from the label roster.
The 10 tracks on the album include new compositions as well as fresh, unexpected interpretations from a list of artists that includes Broken Social Scene, Feist, Timber Timbre, Chilly Gonzales, Stars, Dan Mangan and many more.
‘X’ is available Tuesday, May 28 on LP, CD and in digital formats.
Apostle Of Hustle
Broken Social Scene
Gold & Youth
The Hidden Cameras
Ra Ra Riot
Still Life Still
Specific artist pairings will be revealed as May 28 approaches – this could get interesting. Stay tuned to Arts-Crafts.ca/xfor updates.
Brooklyn duo CREEP will release their highly anticipated debut album, ‘echoes’, on August 13. The record sees producers/DJs Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard joined on each song by a guest vocalist collaborator, including The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft, Sia, Tricky and Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow). Download the album opener Introduction which features haunting vocals from DFA’s Planningtorock below via Soundcloud.
After the mystery release on Record Store Day and some additional mysterious, cryptic vinyl surfacing (see below) from Board of Canada, the band have revealed reveal that their new album is titled ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ and it will be released on Tuesday June 11th in North America via Warp Records.
Thomas D’Arcy is known to many as the front man for Small Sins, a Toronto-based band with three critically acclaimed albums to its credit (2006’s self-titled debut, 2007’s Mood Swings, and 2010’s Pot Calls Kettle Black). But now, he released of his first album under his own name, ‘What We Want’ on February 3 via Thomas D’Arcy Music/MapleMusic Recordings.
D’Arcy has released a new video for the super catchy song, I Wake Up Every Day, directed by John Poliquin. The video is a very stylish treatment for the song which involves multiple D’Arcys and a bunch of grids just like in his previous video forCredit!. I sense a theme coming on. Check out the video via YouTube below.
To coincide with the video, he is releasing the ‘I Wake Up Every Day EP‘ which you can check out via Soundcloud below.