Niobe: The Cclose Calll
With highly regarded drummer Christian Thomé and Feinmotorik's Marc Matter, who both have contributed to the present album recording, Yvonne Cornelius (Niobe) has once more performed magic, enveloping little stories in multi-facetted songs. As always the exotic atmosphere that is lost in reverie is maintained.
A near escape from the "other" life. Twelve pieces about the question, how one's life might possibly have turned out. Yvonne Cornelius, composer of colourful and complex arrangements, and extraordinary vocal virtuoso, narrates in rich, imaginative ways from different characters who picture - within a song ? how their actually life would turn out if it was not beautiful but HORROR.
No Kids: Judy At The Grove
Judy At The Grove is a pop record of a different order, transcending any expectations of what "indie" music should sound like. Pristine production values, bonkers arrangements, and a star-studded list of talented guest musicians all prove that No Kids are onto some next level shit. Every track on Judy At The Grove points to a ingenuity, maturity, and clarity of vision that lifts No Kids heads and shoulders above their contemporaries.
Six years after the release of his previous album "Landau", Toronto's Chris A. Cummings, a.k.a. Mantler, is set to release his highly anticipated fourth album Monody in March 2010. The album will be made available via Tomlab in continental Europe, Japan and the USA, and through exciting new partners Tin Angel in the UK and Ireland, and Blocks Recording Club in Canada.
Combining soul, rock, r&b, jazz and various other influences, the sound of Monody, which means "a sad melody" or "a single melody", is hard to pin down. Mantler further elaborates: "I like it when a 'normal' artist tries to make a 'weird' album, like Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, or when a 'weird' artist tries to make a 'normal' album, like Archie Shepp's Attica Blues. Somewhere between Tusk and Attica Blues, that's the area I'm aiming for, conceptually. Even if the end result sounds nothing like either of those two albums!"
Diamond Rings: Wait & See
Diamond Rings is a creative outlet for Toronto based artist and musician John O. His first single "All Yr Songs" was released on limited edition vinyl via his own boutique label and design house Hype Lighter in August 2009.
Diamond Rings' follow up single Wait & See marks his first release with German record label Tomlab and features gated snares, distorted guitar, and a catchy chorus featuring backing vocals from Toronto based indie-pop star Gentleman Reg. The B Side is an unlikely cover of Sebadoh's "On Fire" that trades the mid-nineties acoustic aesthetic of the original for nightclub-ready MIDI beats and shimmering analog synth flourishes.
Capturing the spirit of the pop music that flooded the hit parade in the early 60's is a tall order, and the songs on Maintenant decidedly develop a world and language of its own. With a reverent eye on the past and a deep respect for the airtight songsmithery of artists like Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Shadow Morton (among countless others), the songs aren't content to be throwback-y pastiches or polka-dotted retro workouts but rather stand as attempts at working within a specific and incredibly rich tradition of pop music production.
Parenthetical Girls: The Scottish Play: Wherein the Group Parenthetical Girls Pay Well-intentioned (if Occasionally Misguided) Tribute To the Works of Ivor Cutler
Parenthetical Girls are a marginal pop group from Portland, Oregon. They have released a handful of records, most notably last year's celebrated and sprawling orchestral pop opus Entanglements--a concept record so lush and beautiful that most people neglected to notice that it was about pedophilia. Their songs have been described as lascivious, unseemly, and grotesque. But their songs are also called lovely.
Over the past several years, Parenthetical Girls have developed a collective obsession with the life and works of Mr. Cutler--so much so that they decided to devote two full sides (an astonishing eleven-and-a-half minutes!) of a ten-inch LP to pay tribute to his gentle genius. Packaged in a silk-screened sleeve designed by renowned illustrator (and fellow Glaswegian) David Shrigley, this extremely limited release (500 total copies!) features Parenthetical adaptations of four songs and four prose poems from across the dense Cutler discography. These sparse, meditative recordings are a far cry from the chamber pop bombast of Parenthetical Girls' recent output, as the group continues to skirt sonic expectations with yet another creative 180. Which means we're back to where we started. As good a place as any for this to end, I suppose.
Niobe: Blackbird's Echo
Blackbird's Echo is the title of the fifth full length album by Cologne, Germany based Niobe, recorded and produced at Studio G by Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu, Home & Garden) in Brooklyn, New York with Aki Onda, Brooklyn, New York acting as guest producer and collaborations with David Grubbs, DJ Olive...