Category Archives: The Horrors

the horrors trippy 'changing the rain' video

 

The Horrors, fresh off a “Best Album” win at the NME Awards for Skying (which by the way was our 2nd favorite album of 2011), have just released a video for “Changing The Rain.” The super psychedelic clip was created by renowned animator Pete Fowler, who has worked with Super Furry Animals extensively over the years.

Watch as disembodied Horrors heads follow a UFO away from a dying prehistoric planet and ascend into the mouth of an intergalactic god. You heard me.

If you liked that, you can download desktop wallpapers, social media avatars and printable Horrors head masks here. Meanwhile, The Horrors are headed to the states next month for dates in New York, Boston and California — including the Coachella festival.

old waver's top 50 albums of 2011

 

As 2011 is the first full year of Old Waver’s existence, putting together a list of my favorite albums was a bit of a challenge. Quite simply, I heard more stuff I liked, so the list grew from 30 in 2010 to a nice, round 50 this year.

This is a solo endeavor, so personal bias was the number one criteria in selecting the list. There will no doubt be notable absences because I either didn’t care for them or they don’t fit the loosely defined scope of this blog. However, I hope you’ll be pleased to see some of your favorites and perhaps discover some new ones. That said, here we go…

50. Iceage – New Brigade
Danish kids with an affinity for Joy Division and playing 100 miles an hour:

49. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Adventurous yet tuneful psychedelia from Portland that’s either endearingly or annoyingly lo-fi:

48. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead
Austin’s Trail of Dead pulled the trick of producing a ‘concept album’ while getting back to raw basics:

47. Sloan – The Double Cross
A Canadian treasure, they’re still vital after 20 years:

46. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Maybe the best title of the year, and definitely the best Mogwai album in a decade:

45. British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall
Released way back in January, this return to form deserves to be remembered:

44. Hooray for Earth – True Loves
Sweeping Brooklyn synthpop that rides waves of percussion to epic heights:

43. Cults – Cults
The buzz eventually subsided, but Cults still managed an impressive debut:

42. Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Straight Lines
Seattle power pop genius Michael Lerner is right at home on the legendary indie label Merge:

41. Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo
The Super Furry Animals frontman created an album of blissfully breezy baroque pop:

40. Sondre Lerche – Sondre Lerche
Lerche finally struck a perfect balance between his unplugged and plugged-in personas:

39. Violens – Nine Songs 2011
An unconventional release, parsed out over the course of the year, but completely engrossing 80’s influenced jangle pop:

38. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
Suddenly grown up effort from 2009’s buzz band from Chicago:

37. Miles Kane – Colour Of The Trap
Alex Turner’s collaborator in The Last Shadow Puppets impresses with his solo debut:

36. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
Alan Palomo amped up his chillwave formula to excellent results:

35. Junior Boys – It’s All True
The album I’ve been waiting for from the Canadian synthpop duo:

34. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
This Wales trio makes a way bigger racket than you’d ever expect, with massive hooks to match:

33. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
NYC electronic experimentalists are hypnotically odd:

32. Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years
A fully realized marriage of synthpop and goth that hooked me immediately:

31. Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
The second album from Dan Boeckner and his wife almost made me forget about Wolf Parade:

30. Friendly Fires – Pala
Maybe a guilty pleasure, but absolutely pure, unabashed pop songs:

29. The Black Keys – El Camino
I’m obviously buying in too late, as these dudes are about to get huge:

28. Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
This Canadian shoegaze outfit reinvented in the image of New Order, which is fine by me:

27. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
The second album from the Brooklyn dream pop collective completely goes for it, and largely succeeds:

26. Wye Oak – Civilian
At times simple and other times electrifying, this Baltimore duo are always beautiful:

25. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
The Swedish songstress took a more electronic and ultimately effective turn for album number two:

24. Wild Beasts – Smother
Divisive but impeccably recorded britpop:

23. White Denim – D
These Austinites keep getting tighter and more prog with every release:

22. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
Another Texan, Annie Clark, is impossibly talented and pretty adorable:

21. The Antlers – Burst Apart
A bit more upbeat than its predecessor, Burst Apart is still very atmospheric and affecting:

20. Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!
While I prefer it when Guy Garvey and co. ‘rock,’ there’s no denying the epic beauty of this record:

19. Noel Gallagher – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
As if there was any doubt who the ‘talented’ one was:

18. Destroyer – Kaputt
A sort of Roxy Music concept album, Dan Bejar makes you wonder if he’s smiling:

17. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s A Corporate World
Another electro duo, these Detroit guys keep their sound organic and vocals soulful:

16. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
Can’t really put my finger on why this grabs me, but boy it does:

15. The Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave
Sune and Sharin’s latest creative direction is squarely in my wheelhouse, and I love it:

14. Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
They’re poised to take the DFA dance rock mantle from LCD Soundsystem:

13. The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love
…That is, unless The Rapture do it first:

12. Atlas Sound – Parallax
Seems Bradford Cox can do anything he sets his mind to:

11. Real Estate – Days
There’s some lovely, dare I say Marr-esque, guitar work here:

10. John Maus – We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
I think John Maus might be from the future:

9. Metronomy – The English Riviera
This is so English and so damn good:

8. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
Took some getting used to, but it’s still Radiohead:

7. Yuck – Yuck
All the best of 90’s indie rock distilled through a 20-year-old kid from London:

6. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
With their fourth album, the Monkeys have cemented themselves as britpop icons:

5. Future Islands – On The Water
More restrained than In Evening Air, but somehow more intense:

4. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
A steady grower, great headphones album and most deserving of its Grammy nod:

3. Washed Out – Within and Without
Quite the debut for Ernest Greene, just two years removed from inadvertently sparking the ‘chillwave’ scene from his bedroom:

2. The Horrors – Skying
They just keep getting better, and are quickly becoming my favorite band:

1. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
I didn’t think Anthony Gonzalez could top Saturdays = Youth. I didn’t think he could pull off a double album. I was wrong:

Get all 50 tracks in a Spotify playlist if you’re so inclined. Here’s the full list for reference:

1. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
2. The Horrors – Skying
3. Washed Out – Within and Without
4. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
5. Future Islands – On The Water
6. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
7. Yuck – Yuck
8. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
9. Metronomy – The English Riviera
10. John Maus – We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
11. Real Estate – Days
12. Atlas Sound – Parallax
13. The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love
14. Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
15. The Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave
16. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
17. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s A Corporate World
18. Destroyer – Kaputt
19. Noel Gallagher – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
20. Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!
21. The Antlers – Burst Apart
22. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
23. White Denim – D
24. Wild Beasts – Smother
25. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
26. Wye Oak – Civilian
27. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
28. Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
29. The Black Keys – El Camino
30. Friendly Fires – Pala
31. Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
32. Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years
33. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
34. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
35. Junior Boys – It’s All True
36. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
37. Miles Kane – Colour Of The Trap
38. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
39. Violens – Nine Songs 2011
40. Sondre Lerche – Sondre Lerche
41. Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo
42. Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Straight Lines
43. Cults – Cults
44. Hooray for Earth – True Loves
45. British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall
46. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
47. Sloan – The Double Cross
48. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead
49. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
50. Iceage – New Brigade

watch cat's eyes 'the best person I know'

 

Faris Badwan took the number 2 spot on our top albums of 2011 list with The Horrors, but his side project with multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira, Cat’s Eyes, almost made the list too.

The duo’s self titled debut had some gorgeous moments, exemplified by the brand new video for “The Best Person I Know.” The clip utilizes a prototype of the silicon curtain that was the centrepiece of artist Ron Arad’s ‘Curtain Call’ installation at London’s Roundhouse. The effect is a perfect complement to Zeffira’s sweetly distant vocal:

For more Cat’s Eyes, check out this video shot at the Vatican — it will blow your mind.

the horrors cover bowie — watch/download 'suffragette city'

 

UK automaker Seat has a swell little marketing campaign to help it seem hip to the kids. Its On Track series features UK artists, such as Kaiser Chiefs and Manic Street Preachers, recording a cover song live in one take, straight to vinyl.

The latest band to take the challenge was The Horrors, who ripped through a spot-on version of the David Bowie classic “Suffragette City.” Watch/download:

Check out the accompanying interview here, watch the other artists in the series here, and download the other tracks from the Seat Music facebook page.

And if for some reason you haven’t given The Horrors’ fine new album Skying a spin, you can stream it right here.

the horrors 'I can see through you' video

 

The second single from The Horrors fantastic new album Skying is my personal favorite, “I Can See Through You.” It strikes the perfect balance between the shoegaze of Primary Colours and the new album’s more synth-heavy sound.

The video is dead-on too, with its kaleidoscopic, psychedelic visuals and brooding shots of Faris Badwan. Check it out:

 

UPDATE – live performance from Later.. with Jools Holland via somekindofawesome:

new cat's eyes video/download 'over you'

Next Tuesday is the release of The Horrors‘ third album, Skying, which you can stream way down below.

Today, Faris Badwan’s other band, Cat’s Eyes, posted a new video for the track “Over You” from their self titled debut. It features Rachel Zeffira on vocals and has a very 60’s baroque pop feel:

Cat’s Eyes – Over You

Another video surfaced recently of Cat’s Eyes performing the classic “The Crying Game” at the Musical Museum of London. Definitely worth watching:

Now, as promised, here’s Skying. Love it.

the horrors: stream 'skying' and watch 'still life'

The Horrors have become a band to be reckoned with. From the brilliance of Primary Colours to Faris Badwan’s sensitive turn with Cat’s Eyes, their potential has the British music press and anglophiles like myself giddy with excitement over the August 9th release of Skying.

“Still Life” was issued as the lead single a few weeks ago. Now it’s got a video that perfectly matches its deliberate pace and swirling psychedelia:

(via stereogum)

If that’s got you psyched, then please enjoy a stream of the full album. I intend to have this on repeat tonight:

glastonbury 2011 video highlights

Of all the festivals in the world, Glastonbury has a certain cache that puts it above the rest. Maybe it’s the mud, or the pyramid stage, or the massive lineups, but it’s a music mecca I hope to pilgrimage to one day.

Plenty of attention will be paid to the sets of Coldplay and Beyonce today, but we’ll leave that for others. Here, we’ll start our video recap of the Glasto weekend with one of the all time greats.

Morrissey greeted the crowd with “funny seeing me here,” but he seemed to relish the opportunity to perform before such an adoring crowd. In the first clip, check out “First Of The Gang To Die,” and enjoy a doubleheader of greatness with “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” and “Alma Matters” in the second clip:

Radiohead played a surprise set Friday at the Park Stage, performing much of The King Of Limbs, plus new track “Staircase” and a handful of classics. Here’s a great quality clip of “Bloom”:

You can watch seven more of the 14-song set via CoS.

Another favorite, The Horrors, played the John Peel Tent on Saturday. Here’s “Still Life” from the forthcoming Skying LP:

Primal Scream brought their Screamadelica Live show to Glasto… here’s an epic rendition of “Come Together”:

Perfect for a summer festival, Friendly Fires brought a tropical vibe with the Pala standout “Hawaiian Air”:

I think you get a true sense of Glastonbury in this next clip, The Chemical Brothers “Don’t Think.” From the land that invented rave culture, this is as close as you can get in 2011:

And finally, U2 was the big headliner Friday night at the Pyramid Stage. Even though they for some reason did a cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow,” thankfully they rolled out classics like “I Will Follow”:

If you like that live version, download it here:

Thanks to the BBC for most of the video — hopefully they don’t yank it from the US region. Check out the BBC Glastonbury site for more live performances.

new horrors track 'still life'

If you’ve never listened to The Horrors Primary Colours, please do yourself a favor and give it a chance. It took the former garage rockers down a psychedelic, shoegazing trail and produced one of the most pleasantly surprising sophomore efforts in recent memory.

This July, Faris Badwan and The Horrors return with album number three on XL. Entitled Skying and self-produced by the band, it sees them exploring more sonic territory. The first single, “Still Life,” was revealed today and incorporates a groovy organic keyboard sound and a few tinny horns for good measure:

Kind of epic.