Over the coming weeks FFS will be submitting the same set of questions to the Schmercury nominees. Today, John Blain Hunt answers on behalf of Butcher Boy, who are nominated for their second album React or Die.
If there is something that characterizes Richmond Fontaine, this alternative country band from Portland Oregon, is their ability to recreate imagery into music. Willy Vlautin – vocals and guitar – is well known for this art. Yet this album combines his skill with an additional display of pure American songwriting spells and traditional rock and roll bravado.
Over the coming weeks FFS will be submitting the same set of questions to the Schmercury nominees. Today, Nick Hemming answers on behalf of The Leisure Society, who are nominated for their album The Sleeper.
Noah and the Whale drummer Doug Fink, brother of frontman Charlie, has announced he is to leave the band to resume his medical career after collecting his degree from University College London last year.
Here is a rather lovely video made by Lois Jeary featuring Alessi’s Ark’s Glastonbury performance and an interview with the lady herself. Enjoy!
Peggy Sue have gathered together some supremely talented friends and booked in for a headline gig at the ICA on November 6th. As well as the inevitably magnificent performance from this much-beloved threesome, there will be performances from mega-band Sons of Noel and Adrian (at last count there were 12 of them), ethereal wonder Mechanical Bride, and good time girls Lulu and the Lampshades
Brian’s been distinctly chilly this past week, and the leaves of his oak tree home are slowly browning and making the journey from branch to forest floor. Sad as it is, FFS’s resident owl has sniffed the turn in the seasons. Therefore, playlist #4 is Brian’s nod to autumn – bonfires, harvest festivals, woolly jumpers and conker fights abound, and they’re all things worthy of celebration.
It’s hard to isolate “Blue Skies” from its album, “The First Days of Spring”, but seeing as it makes such a beautiful single, it’s worth a shot.
Noah and the Whale (namely Charlie Fink) have evolved massively as songwriters since last year. This is something “Blue Skies” optimises perfectly. The track builds up an air of expectant hope, not only in the lyrics (‘Blue Skies are coming/But I know that it’s hard’) but also in the opening bars of music that peak into a soaring chorus and then ebb back into place.
Verge-of-a-breakthrough band Mumford and Sons have released their debut video out into the internets.
The foursome, who FFS interviewed when they were just six months old, play to an empty venue with as much vigour as they played to a packed borderline this week in the video, which is available on their myspace.
FFS talks to Bellowhead’s Rachael McShane about her recently-released album ‘No Man’s Fool’ and we have a link to a free track from the album.
“Even though I am not a very good singer, my voice is my best instrument, I prefer to sing than to play guitar, to tell stories, I write the lyrics in my notebook and then I put them to music, the lyrics always come first.”
Andy Nice has played cello with screaming gothic pervs Cradle of Filth and bald techno ravers Orbital, and is currently in string + dance combo Instrumental. He also has a name more suited to a particularly over familiar used car salesman.
Ignoring the fact he’s currently touring with deep-voiced chamber-pop stars Tindersticks and the embroidered patch on the front of the cd, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not much here for the good people of FFS. But press play and an entirely different sound to that expected issues forth – arresting, emotional, complex yet melodic cello music. And it really is cello music, pretty much just that instrument, with songs formed from layer after layer of rich string sound.
There are some astounding duo acts out there, and The Dodos’ 2008 album Visiter easily set them apart from the rest. This year’s Time To Die does not disappoint and sees the duo become a trio, introducing vibraphonist Keaton Snyder into the mix with exciting consequences.
Murray Evans really needs a redneck drawl, a proper Bible-belt country style voice, because it would really fit a lot of the songs on World At Large. Having the voice would definitely do something for the album, which otherwise is a little lacking. Evans puts on a fairly good redneck impression on the track ‘Codeine Dreams’ and it improves (perhaps that’s not the word I want – affirms?) it greatly.
There is something rather comforting to this album, an almost homely feel to the slightly country influenced brand of folk that The Cave Singers create. Perhaps it’s the acoustic simplicity that gives this air of unassuming naïvety to the album, or perhaps it’s the hint of a croak in lead singer Pete Quirk’s voice; either way the music is trustworthy.
When I looked up Theoretical Girl, (AKA Amy Turnridge), on wikipedia they described her music as Chamber pop- an odd explanation, but probably the most accurate! My description would go more like this: ‘50’s style romantic pop mixed with folk, electro and angst’. On the whole the album is sweet and full of catchy chorus’ that come off as innocent pop. However, after a closer listen you realise Amy isn’t all sweetness and light. When you really listen to the lyrics you hear lines such as “You’re the biggest mistake I ever made”…. “I should have loved you more”….. and “My love is unrequited” – suddenly she isn’t this little girl with cute ditties and romantic tales- she’s you and me.
Part three: in which Carey finds himself unimpressed by FFS favourites Cats on Fire and Camera Obscura, but beguiled by Emmy the Great.