Saturday, January 24, 2009

While I dance around the living room to Hot Chip covering Joy Division, planning my trip to Bloc Party, Jeremy Warmsley, and La Roux shows next week, I'll leave you in the capable hands of Chez, introducing Errors!

The Glaswegian quartet Errors really did take their time releasing their debut album, 'It’s Not Something But It Is Like Whatever’ (June 2008), but I figure we can let them off, as it really was worth the wait. The band originally formed in 2004 with Simon Ward, Stephen Livingstone and Greg Paterson as members. Then, following the release of their EP ‘How Clean Is Your Acid House?’ in 2006, they invited James Hamilton to join ranks. However, they hadn’t left us completely in the dark those past years, with their first EP ‘How clean…?’ and a couple of 7” limited vinyl’s to whet our appetites.

Their debut LP presents an innovative catalogue of songs, each unique, but to those of you familiar with their previous offerings, still hold a recognizable sound. With their new take on experimental electro-pop, they then go on to mash genres with hints of post rock seeping in to the occasional track, ‘Still Game’ being the obvious example of this. They are also comparable in places to 65daysofstatic and Youthmovies. Tracks like ‘Pump’, a 7 minute house influenced dance floor phenomenon, and highly infectious electro gem ‘Dance Music’, are instant favourites. London based musician George Pringle makes a guest appearance on ‘Cutlery Drawer’ uttering sultry monotone lyrics, the only track on the album to feature vocals. From start to finish Errors will invade your mind and not for one second will you regret it.

However it appears we aren’t the only people to recognise their gift as they have previously toured with both Underworld and 65DOS, and are also signed to Mogwai’s very own Rock Action label showing they are a force to be reckoned with. I have been lucky enough to witness their live shows and the atmosphere the band emanates from the stage is inspiring. Standing in the crowd you watch in pure adoration as they use a fusion of just guitars, drums and keyboards, and the occasional laptop, to produce heavy acid sounds and complex synthesized beats underpinned with traditional guitar arrangements alongside.

Soon to be embarking on a short tour around the UK and then bagging themselves a support slot on Mogwai’s European tour in January, if you have the chance to see these guys live, embrace it with open arms.

[MP3] Errors - Cutlery Drawer
[BUY] Buy Errors debut LP here.
[MYSPACE] Visit Errors on myspace here.
[WEB] Or take a look at their website here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I caught up with Florence Welch, songwriter and frontwoman of Florence & The Machine, back in November for a quick chat after her show at Nottingham Bodega. The main article is in the forthcoming issue of Bullet, but I thought I'd share some of her thoughts on today's main news with you, Barack Obama...

Turns out Flo is rather excited about America's latest president, "I mean what I'm really excited about is Barack Obama becoming president of the fucking United States! He's just the most amazing, gorgeous man, and America has elected him!". Echoing the words of many interviewed in the run up to his inauguration today, Florence goes on to profess that "we're living in glorious, magical times where anything can happen if you wish it. Do you know what I mean?". She goes on, "sometimes that's how I feel about all of this happening. If you wish for something enough, you long for it, and you think there's no hope, but then you'll sign a record deal!". Quite, I'm sure that's precisely how it felt to Obama.

Looking back to November, Florence was pretty full of energy, completely overexcited like a child in a sweetshop. Not that all this hope and dreaming means she wants to be compared to the man himself, quite the opposite. "We're going through this period of doom and gloom, depression, but there's still hope in like the world. But you know, lets not compare me to Obama! This man is a shining hope for the world and I just write these silly little songs about things". Rather good silly little songs though, right Flo? "I hope he cried when he found out he won! I mean I wept after my first gig, and after my first headline gig. He just seems like a man with so much emotion!". Here's a collective raised glass to Obama, now run along and buy some Ojamas...

I've posted a recording of Florence's cover of Beirut's 'Postcards From Italy', a superb summer track, debuting in it's original form on Beirut's debut album Gulag Orkestar. You can catch Florence & The Machine playing the NME Awards Tour this coming Jan/Feb with Glasvegas, White Lies, and Friendly Fires. The tour hits Lincoln on the 10th of February, tickets from all the usual outlets.

[MP3] Florence & The Machine - Postcards From Italy (Beirut cover)
[MYSPACE] Visit Florence on myspace here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

First things first, there's nothing incredibly innovative about White Lies. Don't take that as an immediate criticism, it's just an observation. They borrow extremely heavily from Echo & The Bunnymen and Joy Division, as well as more recent acts such as Editors and Interpol. While lead singer Harry McVeigh's voice has a similar tone and rhythm to Ian Curtis, it also has it's own distinct flavour. In a similar way the places where they come across as most re-treading familiar ground they never quite flounder into plagiarism. Even on 'A Place To Hide', where they most resemble Editors recent material, the lyrical tone and darker production sets them apart. Taking influence from established and well respected acts such as E&TBM and Joy Division isn't a bad thing, and on 'To Lose My Life...' it seems to have paid off well.

'To Lose My Life' isn't a first date album, you're not going to fuck to it, you're probably not going to dance to it, you certainly won't drive to the beach in the summer to it's brooding tones. It's a winter album, an album to put on softly while you watch the rain running down the window pane in your old family house, an album to lie across the backseat and stare out at the motorway lights passing overhead to. It's an escape, a small world of melancholy and regret that you feel a part of for 45 minutes, before snapping back out into the hustle and bustle of your life. “Just give me a second darling to clear my head, just put down those scissors baby on this single bed. The sand in the hourglass is running low, I came through thunder, the cold wind, the rain, and the snow to find you awake by your windowsill. A sight for sore eyes and a view to kill”. It's certainly a lyrically a million miles away from Editors, even from Interpol. They're not going to set the world alight, and they sometimes let themselves down (“our lost love buried beneath the mud” anyone?), but McVeigh's words certainly serve to carry 'To Lose My Life...' along exceptionally well.

As an album 'To Lose My Life...' is structured impeccably, from the dark opening lines of 'Death' to the single-material of 'A Place To Hide', 'E.S.T.', and 'Farewell To The Fairground'. There's no clear filler tracks, nothing to break the flow, just a perfect undulation and slight change of feel from track to track. White Lies have come forward incredibly strongly over the last year, and this album isn't a disappointment. From this base, it'll be interesting to see where they take their sound next, but for now this is a worthy reflection of a band suitably entwined in the past yet justifying their existence in the present.

"To Lose My Life..." is out from today (19/1/2009) on Fiction. White Lies play the NME Awards Tour with Glasvegas, Friendly Fires, and Florence & The Machine; hitting Engine Shed, Lincoln on 10th February. Buy tickets online here.

[YOUTUBE] White Lies - To Lose My Life
[MOV] White Lies - Death
[MYSPACE] Visit White Lies on myspace.
[LABEL] Find out more about Fiction Records.