“I don’t want to be in a two-year album cycle; I don’t think it’s necessary and it doesn’t suit me…”
If you care for top album lists — and let’s be frank, the music world is obsessed with them right now — one album topping all 2011 album lists so far is James Blake’s self-titled debut.
Praised for adding real emotion and soul to dubstep and rising above the genre with gospel chords and more traditional song structures, his album has resonated with people the world over and turned this young, intelligent guy from London into an overnight sensation.
“People that are scared of doing what they want look at you and say, ‘Oh, you just don’t give a shit, do you?’ And it’s not true.”
Ike and Tina Turner. Sonny and Cher. Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Jack and Meg White. Just a few famous male-female collaborations that have struck gold when they combined their talents but all sadly came to an end.
Not true for the Kills, which continue to meld the gifts of sexy American vocalist Alison Mosshart and English axeman Jamie Hince for an alchemic blend of lo-fi garage and acoustic blues.
Yet unlike the aforementioned duos, Hince and Mosshart’s 12-year relationship has never gone beyond platonic.
“I wanted this album to be timeless, not something specific like electronic music from 2011 or whatever.”
Life on the road can get lonely. It’s a sentiment French electronic artist Yuksek, aka Pierre-Alexandre Busson, is familiar with.
Following the release of his debut album Away from the Sea, in early 2009 he spent two years playing club shows and festivals around the world. He visited Australia twice during that time. The experiences have shaped Living on the Edge of Time, his new album.
“I have been so affected and moved by music in my life it’s really rewarding to do it for other people.”
American instrumental quartet Explosions in the Sky rely on a warm and fuzzy post-rock camaraderie to get their message across.
For these Texans, making music is all about electric guitars and other stringed instruments to capture their introspective sound, not unlike the Dirty Three.
“I’d be lying if I said having a day off in Bowling Green, Ohio, was more exciting than having a day off in Bangkok or Sarajevo.”
When Canadian husband-and-wife indie rock duo Handsome Furs say they’re going on a world tour, they really mean it.
Tomorrow Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry leave their home in Montreal for a jaunt that includes three laps of North America, a couple of tours across Europe, plus Russia, South-East Asia, South America and their first shows in the Middle East.
That’s a travel schedule to make Kevin Rudd look like an agoraphobic hermit.
“I was kind of doing this since before Alexisonfire, it’s just nobody really knew about it.”
Dallas Green’s family could be forgiven for being a tad nervous when they first heard his latest solo album, Little Hell.
On the third full-length released under his City and Colour pseudonym, the Alexisonfire singer/guitarist regularly uses his family for lyrical inspiration, and, on occasions, addresses his familial issues with a frank honesty.
“We had six, seven, eight months of writers’ block when it felt like nothing was coming out . . . ”
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the darkest album of them all?
Why ’tis none other than Sons and Daughters’ fourth album, Mirror Mirror — a collection of unsettlingly brooding post-punk songs about such cheery topics as suicide (The Model), discovering dead bodies (The Beach) and the unsolved Black Dahlia murder (Axed Actor).
“There was lack of chemistry and we weren’t on the same page for the most part . . . ”
A band member calling it quits during the making of the all-important second album is certainly a challenge but US experimental rockers Battles pulled through to create the entrancing album, Gloss Drop.
“I’ve always felt there was a strong connection between sex and death … ”
The Cure’s Robert Smith cut to the chase when he suggested Let’s Go to Bed, it was hard to miss the invite to get between the sheets when Cheetah sang “I just want to Spend the Night with you” and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor was arguably too forward when he barked “I want to f… you like an animal” in Closer.
But Perth’s own Abbe May offers perhaps the most obtuse entreaty for some sexual shenanigans when she purrs “I like your Mammalian Locomotion” in the lead single to her latest album, Design Desire.
“… you really have to have variety if you want to stay sane.”
If you’re a fan of Metronomy, you’re a fan for life.
Who knows the exact formula that induces the kind of loyalty one has for creator Joseph Mount and his continually transforming live band since the project commenced in Devon, England, in 1999, but with the release of their third studio album, The English Riviera, they should start to enjoy the pop royalty status they deserve.
“I have nothing against religious people. In fact, I’m still undecided. I have no idea what the fuck I believe, really.”
None other than the gigantically brained Brian Eno recently declared 21-year-old English artist Cosmo Jarvis “a very interesting example to me of a new kind of person, a new kind of artist”.
But you don’t have to be a genius, like Eno, to work out that Jarvis is not your average singer, songwriter, filmmaker, actor or producer.
“In terms of what we’re doing, LA definitely has one of the more prolific scenes.”
Although it may conjure up images of Hellraiser or Halloween, Benjamin Plant’s Miami Horror moniker actually produces inoffensive electro-pop ditties that often sound as similar to New Order as they do to Cut Copy.
Kicking his career off “huddled over a laptop” in his bedroom, Plant — a connoisseur of French house, Roland keyboards and soaring melodies — has turned a one-man project into one of Australia’s most in-demand outfits, adding the talents of Josh Moriarty, Aaron Shanahan and Daniel Whitechurch to create a whole new monster.
“Not everyone loves the film — I’m aware of this — but filmmaking is not a popularity contest.”
Julia Leigh always had it coming. You don’t make a movie about a cash-strapped university student who allows herself to be sedated then ravished by elderly men belonging to an Eyes Wide Shut-like secret sex society without expecting a backlash.
What is surprising, however, is the expected animosity toward the Sydney writer-director’s debut feature Sleeping Beauty began at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where it competed for the Palme d’Or alongside the latest works by Terrence Malick, Lars von Trier and Pedro Almodovar.
“… getting out of your comfort zone — that’s the place where you’ll develop. It’s a good place to grow.”
Most people bring home an “I Heart NY” T-shirt, Yankees baseball cap or a Statue of Liberty snow dome from New York City.
The Grates arrived back in Australia after nearly two years in the Big Apple clutching Secret Rituals, their superb third album written and recorded in shoebox-sized apartments, band rooms and studios across the borough of Brooklyn.
“It just felt like there was a lot of ancient wisdom in the air — it really had something about it.”
British four-piece Guillemots have built a reputation for making grown men weep with their warm indie-rock instrumentals and frontman Fyfe Dangerfield’s sweet voice, often singing of romantic dramas.
“There’s a man with a face like sorrow, now he’s gone for good, how could anyone hold you without feeling good,” he sings on Vermillion, one of the stand-out tracks off third album Walk the River.