I have to admit to knowing very little about the band Big Sleep, other than they are from Manchester and appear to be quite elusive.
Unlike most bands these days Big Sleep do not appear to embrace the social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the like, but fair to say that they have a video out that has racked up well over 30,000 hits in a month on YouTube.
The track Ghosts also made it onto the Music Week playlist who described the song as ‘soaring, melodically ambitious guitar-driven pop’.
Whatever their background Big Sleep are causing a bit of a buzz, not only with the song Ghosts but also on their current UK tour supporting The Comets, with many fans commenting that Big Sleep are something really special as a live band.
If you are in Newcastle at the weekend check them out at Newcastle Uni on February 26th where they will be performing along with The Comets, who are quite brilliant themselves.
Currently busy in the studio working on the follow up to last years brilliant debut album I Will Be, the wonderful Dum Dum Girls have found time to release a brand new EP He Gets Me High, which will be available on February 28th as a CD, 12″ vinyl and digital download.
The EP provides a taster for the second album and finds Dum Dum Girls moving away from the lo-fi bedroom pop of their debut and heading towards a punkier pop rock sound.
Check out the lead track from the EP He Gets Me High below, the song is being offered as a free download.
The new tracks are produced by the legendary songwriter and producer Richard Gottehrer who has previously worked with Blondie and the GoGo’s as well as writing the hit songs My Boyfriend’s Back and I Want Candy. He is ably assisted on the production by lead Dum Dum Girl Dee Dee and Sune Rose Wagner from the Ravonettes.
He Gets Me High EP Tracklisting:
1.Wrong Feels Right
2. He Gets Me High
3. Take Care of My Baby
4. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover)
Following the release of the debut album, Dum Dum Girls embarked on a non stop schedule of touring in 2010, appearing with the likes of Vampire Weekend, Beach House, MGMT, Male Bonding and The Crocodiles.
This year already promises to be just as hectic with the band touring the US and Canada and arriving in the UK at the end of March for a handful of dates here and in Ireland.
31-Mar UK Manchester Deaf Institute
01-Apr IRE Dublin Whelans
02-Apr UK Belfast Black Box
03-Apr UK Glasgow Stereo
04-Apr UK Leeds Brudenell Social
05-Apr UK London Dingwalls
06-Apr UK Brighton Komedia
Following the recent release of the video and single The Day I Die from South Central, the band have announced that they are giving away a free download of the track in its remixed format produced by Prodigy.
It’s a bit of a rarity these days to see a Prodigy remix, their own recent one was for Jay-Z, so expect something special on this South Central track.
The original release of the single The Day I Die by South Central features no less than five re-mix versions including the Prodigy mix, alongside the original version of the track. It has already been described as a Festival Anthem for this summer and marks the closest the band have come yet to providing a crossover single for the masses.
Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis, one of the pioneers of grunge rock music is about to introduce another side to his unlimited talents when he releases his first ever solo album Several Shades of Why on March 14th. The album is preceded by the release of the single Not Enough on February 28th.
The album marks a departure from the fuzzy electric guitars that have been Mascis trademark since those early days with Dinosaur Jr. and is instead an acoustic collection of some incredible beauty.
Recorded at Amherst Massachusetts’ Bisquiteen Studios, the album was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collaborator), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees).
Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark.
“Megan from Sub Pop has wanted me to do this record for a long time, she was very into it when I was playing solo a lot in the early 2000s, around the time of the Fog album [2002’s Free So Free]. She always wanted to know when I’d do a solo record. Several Shades of Why came out of that. There are a couple of songs that are older, but the rest is new this year. And it’s basically all acoustic. There’s some fuzz, but it’s acoustic through fuzz. There’re no drums on it, either. Just one tambourine song, that’s it. It was a specific decision to not have drums. Usually I like to have them, but going drum-less pushes everything in a new direction, and makes it easier to keep things sounding different.”
In celebration of the release, a free download of wonderful album track ‘Is It Done’ has been made available, downloadable direct from Sub Pop.
In this amusing video interview Mascis gives an insight into the new album as well as a quick look around his studio.
Playing European shows in support of his forthcoming album Several Shades of Why, Mascis will arrive in London on April 14th for an intimate performance at London’s Cargo. The full European dates are:
Having supported the likes of Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth and The National with their previous band Pela which disbanded in 2009, the Brooklyn based duo Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson have returned as a compelling new act creating a bit of a buzz on the East Coast of America over the last few months.
It is easy to hear what all the fuss about listening the debut single Chapel Song from the duo who now go under the name of We Are Augustines. The band are offering the track as a free mp3 download from the We Are Augustines website and will issue it as a limited edition on vinyl through their website and on their forthcoming tour only.
We urge you to get over to the bands website and grab a copy of this excellent track right now, but for anyone doubting my personal tastes, here is the video made to accompany the track.
We Are Augustines – Chapel Song
With its jangling guitar and nonchalant vocals evoking shades of Robert Smith and The Cure, Chapel Song is taken from We Are Augustines forthcoming debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships which has been produced by Dave Newfeld of Broken Social Scene.
Dubbed the modern day Springsteen by his peers, singer McCarthy’s raw and anguished vocals, along with his persuasive storytelling, are nothing less than masterful. And if your ears are in tune with bands such as the Gaslight Anthem, Arcade Fire and The National, you will not be disappointed by the album.
We Are Augustines will be touring the UK with The Boxer Rebellion in March 2011, catch them at the following venues:
3rd March 2011 – Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
4th March 2011 – Leeds Cockpit 2
5th March 2011 – Northampton Roadmender
6th March 2011 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
8th March 2011 – Bristol Fleece
9th March 2011 – Birmingham Temple @ HMV Institute