I knew something good was coming from Art is Hard Records, as they hadn’t announced their June Postcard single yet. Well, it was worth the wait, considering the single is a new one from Trust Fund, featuring Gareth from Los Campesinos, teaming up to cover The Beautiful South‘s “I’ll Sail This Ship Alone.” They take the classic pop ballad, add some textured scuzzy riffs, combine vocals duties and basically reinvent the song for a certified hit that they make all their own. It’s available as we speak, also out on 7″ flexi from the label, so get it before you regret it.
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This new Robot Princess reminds me so much of Los Campesinos, and I’m totally loving it. The tune opens up rather slowly, featuring a male/female vocal duet of sorts, but like all great pop stylings, the band pick up the pace, getting a little bit more anxious in their delivery. It’s a fun tune, for sure, but I feel as if the construction does enough to keep things interesting…always a good sing. Label this as another reason we here at ATH are really anticipating their Teen Vogue LP/Action Moves EP; it’s available on March 24th via Fleeting Youth Records.
Download: Robot Princess – Violent Shooting Stars [MP3]
Though the high-energy twee pop of Los Campesinos! may not be the perfect companion for any mood or time period, their bright music seems to shine brighter than anything else when I am in the mood for melodically sunny tunes. However, on their last record, Hello Sadness, we got a glimpse of a darker side of this band that formed a few years back in Cardiff. Will they bring the darkness back on this release, or does the title signify a return of only sunny days?
As per usual, with this band, I find myself falling in love with a few tracks from this album and leaving the rest behind. This time around, at first, opener “Flotsam,” feels like one of those to keep, with its small intro of just lead singer Gareth David to its big ending and overall more grounded sound, but there is also a reserved quality that doesn’t immediately grab you completely. It’s not until track six that I really get a strong wave of interest in the music. On “As Lucerne/The Low,” I’m immediately pulled in by David’s powerhouse vocals belting out at the top of his lungs: “There is no blues that could sound quite as heartfelt as mine—” a very angst filled, youthful sentiment. The spastic drums and general cramped nature of all the instruments fighting for your attention all combine to create a high energy and glittering tune. And on the next track “Avocado, Baby,” you are brought back to the sound of this band that you encountered on their debut record. Group vocals and chants of seemingly nonsensical, but actually quite witty lyrics are at the center, and I’ll be damned if I’m not tempted to sing right alongside them.
There is a bit of a return to gravity on No Blues, but this time it is in the form of more grounded tunes that fit less into the genre of twee and more of straight laced indie-pop. Save for the two songs I mentioned and some other mildly interesting tracks, there isn’t too much new or exciting on the record that we haven’t already heard from this group already. This is the reason by No Blues ultimately falls a little on the weak side is because Los Campesinos! have been doing the same thing, making the youthful energy feel less fresh. That’s not to say the energy isn’t high or that I didn’t enjoy No Blues, but I definitely picked out my favorites pretty fast.
ACL 2012 coverage continues with a giant photo post for Friday. Here is the list of artists: Los Campesinos, Patrick Watson, Delta Spirit, Afghan Whigs, Alabama Shakes, Florence and the Machine and M83.
We’ll have more on which bands did what, for sure. This I will tell you, Florence has pipes. Very impressive, as I recall early in her career being a bit of mess live. Alabama Shakes deserve their popularity. Patrick Watson (Wilson according to the lineup, awww) and his band may have been the best group of musicians. Delta Spirit is an all-growns-up festival band. Likewise for M83. But seeing the Afghan Whigs? That was pretty bad ass.
Click through for overload.
The ATH crew is heading full blast into our ACL Festival coverage this week with some spotlights, interviews, battles and any other craziness we can think of. Today we’re coming at ‘ya with our first interview of the season from Welsh band Los Campesinos! Prior to the festival, we sent some interview questions to band member Tom Campesinos! who was kind enough to answer our tough questions. Follow the jump for his answers.
Recently I caught on to the Eversons, another great act from New Zealand. They’ve just released their latest record, Summer Feeling, and it’s exactly the sort of album that gets me excited for warm weather. It’s got energy, it’s got hooks, and honestly, it’s got a little bit of homage to a lot of other acts. My first run through, I sort of have the impression that the band’s putting their own sort of spin upon Los Campesinos or even Art Brut. If you’re like me, just mentioning the name of these two acts in one breath should definitely get you excited!
Download:The Eversons – Marriage [MP3]
Tons of stuff is going on in the musical landscape of the UK, so excuse me if I hype on another recent discovery, Tigercats. This group is as energetic as anything that’s come across the Atlantic, at least if we go by the track below. Said song is featured on the band’s new record, Isle of Dogs, which definitely features some odd song names (Kim and Thurston for example). While some songs sound a bit like Los Campesinos I like the brightened exuberance of this track as soon as I stumbled upon it. Definitely an easy way to cheer you up.
Download: Tigercats – Full Moon Reggae Party [MP3]
It was a double header night of show pics for me. I started at St. David’s Church for Islands and walked down the steep hill to catch Los Campesinos. I guess I’ll post the Campes first.
I missed the opener, but was able to mill around in a very enthusiastic crowd to get some pics. This was the first of two night stand, so some songs requests from the crowd were turned down. “We have to save some for tomorrow night.”
Read on to see the pics and get a few more notes from the show.
Los Campesinos! are coming into Austin tomorrow night for a two night stint at The Parish downtown. Having seen the band on multiple occasions, I can assure you that the cheap ticket price is worth your time and money. Opening support on both nights will be provided by Parenthetical Girls. Friday seems like a busy night in Austin so maybe we’ll see ya there on Saturday?
Download: Los Campesinos! – Kindle A Flame In Her Heart [MP3]
My girl Christen got me hooked on this great band Teen Girl Scientist Monthly from New York today. First I got hooked on the track “Can’t Sleep,” from their recently self-released Pioneer Ghost EP, but now I’m just playing “Safari” over and over again. Just imagine a less-spastic Los Campesinos with a bit more female vocals and you’ll definitely get the picture. Oh, and a “whoh-oh-oh” chorus never hurts an old pop-punk kid. Listening here, it’s young and vibrant, and there’s nothing wrong with that as we get ready for the Spring weather. Go head over to the band’s Bandcamp page, and grab the EP for yourself; you’ll be glad you did!
Download: Teen Girl Scientist Monthly – Safari [MP3]