Brighton oddballs British Sea Power are in the midst of a monthly residency in their hometown. At Krankenhaus 3 this Friday, the band will issue BSP3 — the third in a series of demo EPs featuring material being considered for the next album.
The “single” from this edition is “Brand New Century,” which is the most electronic effort yet from British Sea Power. But don’t be concerned — this is no dance floor filler. It’s still embedded with their patented brand of quirkiness:
And if you’re wondering what these Krankenhaus things are all about, here’s a scene from last month with the Brighton & Hove City Brass joining the band for a rousing version of “Waving Flags”:
The Arctic Monkeys are about to kick off a North American tour with The Black Keys, and to celebrate they’re releasing a non-album single. “R U Mine?” will be available on iTunes March 2nd, but you can see the cheeky, low budget video today.
Steve Jones, former Sex Pistols guitarist and current KROQ DJ, introduces the track. Meanwhile, Matt Helders and Alex Turner are so taken with hearing their song on the car radio they break into air drumming and rock faces. Enjoy:
Brooklyn psych-pop act Bear In Heaven will release their third album, I Love You, It’s Cool, on April 3rd. The follow-up to extremely well received Beast Rest Forth Mouth, it finds the band pursuing their pop sensibilities to new synth-fueled heights.
“If you could dance with me, I think you will like my moves.” There’s a dorky playfulness in “The Reflection Of You” that is nicely captured in the video directed by art collective PFFR (Wonder Showzen). Don’t watch this if you’re prone to seizures or motion sickness:
If you’re into remixes, Canadian producer CFCF did a great one for this track. He took its thoroughly modern aesthetic and turned it into a slow-build, early 90’s house jam:
Justin Vallesteros’ Craft Spells is a bit of a west coast Wild Nothing. A C86, 4AD inspired bedroom pop project that grew to become a real band on a real label. Makes sense they’re both on Captured Tracks.
May 15th the aforementioned real label will release a new Craft Spells EP, Gallery. The follow-up to debut Idle Labor, it seeks to maintain some DIY charm with the polish of practice and proper recording. Lead single “Still Left With Me” is a good start:
In the event you missed Idle Labor last spring, here’s jangle-rific single “After The Moment”:
Jason Pierce and Spiritualized return with a seventh studio album — the first since 2008’s Songs In A&E — on April 17th. Sweet Heart Sweet Light has some ridiculous cover art (that’s it above), but by the sounds of “Hey Jane” it’s a bit closer to J Spaceman’s psychedelic origins than A&E’s thoughtful grappling with mortality.
Pierce’s gift is taking the familiar, such as gospel or americana, and blowing it out to epic proportions. To that end, this is 8 minutes and 55 seconds of complete success:
Look for Sweet Heart Sweet Light on Fat Possum.
Much like a Reese’s peanut butter cup or a Jack splash of diet, this is two of my favorite things coming together. A Place To Bury Strangers and NYC neighbors School Of Seven Bells have teamed up for a terrific remix of “So Far Away” from APTBS’ recent Onwards To The Wall EP.
Oddly enough, the drum machines, synths and reverb added by SVIIB’s Benjamin Curtis actually add warmth to the face-melting original. Not to mention the wonderful backing vocals from Alejandra Deheza:
A Place To Bury Strangers — “So Far Away [School Of Seven Bells remix]” (via spin)
As much as I love these bands individually, this effort makes me wish they’d collaborate more often. Below, check out the video for the original version of “So Far Away” and a full album stream of SVIIB’s Ghostory, which comes out next week.
No doubt you’ve heard this already, but in the event you missed it, the latest “3 Artists, 1 Song” collaboration for Converse is the biggest yet. I quite enjoyed the Bernard Sumner/Hot Chip tune a while back, but you can’t deny the sheer star power of Damon Albarn, James Murphy and André 3000.
“DoYaThing” is essentially a run-of-the-mill Gorillaz track, that is until André goes off freestyle at the 2:12 mark:
There’s a 12 minute version of the track that will debut on the Gorillaz website in the coming weeks — and a video for the single edit will premiere on the Converse site February 29th.
For an interesting glimpse at the creative process of “DoYaThing,” check out interviews with Albarn and Murphy over on Pitchfork.
Dig the extended version via 107.7 the end:
Gorillaz feat. James Murphy and André 3000 — “DoYaThing [extended version]”
And here’s the Jamie Hewlett directed video:
Canadian synthpop duo Crystal Castles, who you may recall did a lovely collaboration with Robert Smith a while back, are currently working on the follow-up to 2010’s II in Warsaw, Poland.
Yesterday, they released a video for “Suffocation” which was produced with Vs. Magazine. Directed by Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath and starring a vamped up Alice Glass, it was shot in an abandoned NYC mansion with lots of fancy wardrobe:
Today, they followed that up with a remix of “Suffocation” by HEALTH, who by the way may be the most shocking band on Twitter.
Crystal Castles — “Suffocation [HEALTH remix]” (via p4k)
Expect the as-yet-untitled third album from Crystal Castles sometime this summer.
Today was quite a day in the comeback year of britpop icons Blur. First, the band announced that they will headline a concert at Hyde Park on August 12th immediately following the closing ceremonies of the London Olympic Games — a show that will also feature New Order and The Specials.
Then the band picked up the Outstanding Achievement Award at The Brits and closed the show with a greatest hits set. Blur’s appearance cut short Adele’s album of the year acceptance speech, which prompted her to shoot the bird MIA-style, but who could stay mad after such a raucous performance of “Girls & Boys” and “Song 2” (scroll down for the rest of the set):
Prior to the Brits, Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn performed an acoustic show at a War Child benefit Saturday night. After opening their brief set with “He Thought Of Cars” and “Strange News From Another Star,” the duo debuted a brand new song entitled “Under The Westway”:
Nice one. Coxon has hinted at a new Blur album, so this could be a very big year indeed.
Watch the rest of Blur’s set at The Brits; “Parklife,” “Tender” and “This Is A Low”: