Tag Archives: frightened rabbit

Communion launches new show on Xfm

Communion further expands its reach with a new weekly show on Xfm, Communion Presents. Hosted by all-around rad dude Maz Tappuni, the show launches today and takes place Sundays at 10pm. The inaugural episode (which you can hear here) features music by Deap Vally, Frightened Rabbit, The Staves, Public Enemy (obviously), and more. And, as all good radio shows do these days, Communion Presents has its own psychic: Mr. Kev Jones.

In other news, Communion band To Kill a King have released a new video for ‘Cold Skin’, the single from upcoming debut LP Cannibals With Cutlery. I’m not sure I totally ‘get’ the film, but watch it for yourself and analyze away. There’s a bit of a Waiting for Godot-meets-Lord of the Flies vibe, if you ask me.

All I Want for Christmas Is…

…to hear something other than Mariah Carey’s version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Is that too much to ask? (It might be.)

I hooked you guys up with some holiday party alternatives over at The Owl Mag, but I’ve just discovered a few more. The first is brought to you by everyone’s favorite Scotsmen, Frightened Rabbit: “Cheap Gold” is available for free over at Listen Before You Buy. You can probably tell by the title that it’s not exactly cheery, but more musicians should pull a Joni Mitchell and acknowledge Christmas’s depressing, eggnog-filled underbelly.

The second is a lovely mash-up from the king and queen of knitwear (as they said at the 405, these guys rock Christmas sweaters all year long), Summer Camp. They’ve combined the aforementioned “All I Want for Christmas Is You” with Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time.” The real Christmas miracle is that the combination actually works–without making my ears bleed. See for yourself below.

Want more Christmas goodies? Don’t forget to download the free Folkroom compilation, and also check out Subpop’s magnificent selection of singles from their artists. It’s also free, and below.

And don’t forget Marques Toliver‘s mixtape. If you think you’ve heard anything like it–think again. His album is out on Bella Union next year.

Summer Camp Release ‘Welcome to Condale’ Zine, Free Download from the Moth & the Mirror

Summer Camp is gearing up for the release of their first LP, Welcome to Condale, and have released a zine of the same name. The album is somewhat of a tribute to 1980s teens growing up in the LA suburb, and the zine is a pretty impressive encapsulation of that vibe. Read it at The 405.

The band also has a new website with lots of background info on the album. It was designed by Kissinger Twins, who directed their wonderful “Better Off Without You” video.

Welcome to Condale will be released November 7th in the US (and October 31st everywhere else), and I’m already expecting to be wowed. And I was sure wowed by Elizabeth’s brownies! Damn.

The Moth & the Mirror are a new Scottish supergroup, comprised of: Stacey Sievwright from The Reindeer Section and Arab Strap (vocals/guitar), Gordon Skene from Frightened Rabbit (guitar/vocals), Louis Abbott from Admiral Fallow and Song of Return (guitar/vocals) Kevin McCarvel (bass), Iain Sandilands (percussion) and Peter Murch (drums). They’ve got debut album Honestly, This World also coming out November 7th via Olive Grove Records–or you can buy it on their Bandcamp now.

Check out a remix of single “Germany” below.

Frightened Rabbit Releases Tour EP, Covers Death Cab for Cutie

Covering Death Cab for Cutie’s “Different Names for the Same Thing” for Invisible Children.

Scottish band Frightened Rabbit (remember when I met them at Bear’s Lair pub before their show?) has been touring like mad (really–check their Twitter). They’ve released a tour EP in honor of their efforts, and it features two new songs, as well as a studio version of “Scottish Wind”. You can buy the EP at their merch table, at least in at US shows.

Listen Before You Buy has the tracks (thanks guys!):

“Scottish Wind”

“Fuck This Place” feat. Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura

“The Work” feat. Archie Fisher

Festival Envy

As I sit here writing papers on things like copyright law and public opinion polls, the rest of the music-loving world is journeying to Austin, Texas. The interactive/film/music powerhouse that is SXSW draws everyone from industry insiders to spring breaking hipsters because of its sheer awesomeness. I’m going to be living vicariously through all the music bloggers and tweeters taking over Texas this coming week, and I’ll try to post some of my findings on here. In the meantime, here are some suggestions for SXSW bands and artists to check out.

Admiral Fallow
The Scottish band formerly known as the Brother Louis Collective released their debut, Boots Met My Face, on March 28th in the UK. They have the Scottish vigor of a band like Frightened Rabbit, but have added a bit of softness and a lovely wind section. Their lyrics are clever and evocative, and standout track “Squealing Pigs” is the cheeriest ode to that “sinking feeling of being alone” I’ve ever heard.

Alessi’s Ark
There’s really nothing about Alessi’s Ark that I can add to what I’ve said already. If you haven’t climbed aboard the Ark, you’re missing out–big time.

Bombay Bicycle Club
There’s nothing new or small about Bombay Bicycle Club, but these guys do give a great live show. I saw an acoustic set at London’s Old Queen’s Head pub, and was instantly sold. That they followed up their 2009 debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose with an acoustic album (Flaws) made me pretty darn happy. Word on the street (er, in NME) is that they’re returning to electric for album number three, which will be released in June.

Goldheart Assembly
Goldheart Assembly released 2010’s Wolves and Thieves to positive reviews, and by all accounts their live performances are even better. NME called their on-stage sound “an explosion of energy”, and the band’s energetic California-esque harmonies seem built for live audiences.

The Head and the Heart
I love these guys. As I previously wrote, I discovered the Seattle band at a Stornoway concert–and they blew me away. Now they’re signed to Sub Pop, touring with everyone from Dr. Dog to Iron and Wine (later this spring), and are certainly going to keep climbing. Check out their official video for “Lost In My Mind”, which has been circulating MTVU:

High Highs
The lush music of High Highs strikes the perfect balance between ethereal and energized. Their songs are simply beautiful. I was first wooed by this dreamy cover of Wild Nothing’s “Live In Dreams”:

James Vincent McMorrow
See my post at For Folk’s Sake on the husky Irish singer-songwriter. Seems like just the type to create a hauntingly intimate live show.

Matt Corby
Gotta give a Communion shout-out to Australian Matt Corby, who morphed from Australian Idol contender to scruffy folkie. The transformation seems to suit him well, and got him signed to Communion after a placement on one of their Compilations.

Matthew and the Atlas
Matthew and the Atlas truly takes my breath away. Do yourself a favor and check them out, as soon as possible. Like, stop reading this. Go.

Noah and the Whale
Though I’m not crazy about their brand spanking new third album, Last Night On Earth, my love for NATW still knows no bounds. I’ll be officially reviewing the album later, but for some great and heartbreaking tunes, check out The First Days of Spring.

Summer Camp
I think I’m beating a dead horse on this one. They’re great, we already know that.

The Vaccines
Ohhhh, the Vaccines. I’ve yet to fully make up my mind on this straight-up guitar rock project from Justin Hayward Young and co., but it is unquestionably fun pop music. Their EP was released in the US on March 8th, and their debut album will be available May 31st.

Also: Alex Winston, The Antlers, Birds & Batteries (San Francisco bands FTW!), Bobby Long, Caitlin Rose (who I’ll be seeing with Johnny Flynn in May!), Cheyenne Marie Mize (who I saw with Johnny Flynn in November), Hunx & His Punx, John Grant with Midlake, Maps & Atlases, Nathaniel Rateliff, Pepper Rabbit, Rural Alberta Advantage, Sea of Bees, Smith Westerns, Trampled by Turtles, Tune-Yards, Wye Oak. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Killer Rabbit

Yeah, I’m chilling with (part of) Frightened Rabbit. No big deal.

It’s midterm season. You may have realized this because of my lack of blog posts; if you follow my Twitter, you’ll have likely discovered the positive correlation between tweets about coffee and tweets about Plato, racial politics, and/or social democratic welfare states. This is a scary part of the semester for students, as all the reading left undone in previous weeks comes back to haunt us like so many scholarly ghosts.

Thankfully, ASUC Superb, UC Berkeley’s campus entertainment organization, gave me something to look forward to. A throng of caffeine-addled students–self very much included–came out to support Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit this past Monday, as they performed a free(!) show on Berkeley’s outdoor Lower Sproul Plaza.

Frightened Rabbit has been on a steady rise over the months, promoting their critically acclaimed third studio album The Winter of Mixed Drinks. I was fortunate enough to see them in San Luis Obispo, CA at a tiny brewing company in May, five days before their US television debut performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Since then, the band has more than made up for their canceled Coachella gig with extensive touring–from festivals (Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, and more), to larger venues, including the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco (and a secret show at Rickshaw Stop, filmed by Revision3).

Judging by the crowd of extremely enthusiastic students, the band’s work is paying off. They opened their set with second album Midnight Organ Fight‘s “Modern Leper”, and then launched into the first Winter of Mixed Drinks single, “Nothing Like You” (check out the adorable music video). From foot-stomping anthems like “Living In Colour” to heartfelt offerings like “Backwards Walk”, the hour-long gig showcased the band’s unique blend of unbridled energy and frank sincerity. Their ability to affect an audience was nowhere more noticeable than during “Poke”, a simple acoustic account of a relationship’s demise. Lead singer Scott Hutchison’s stirring rendition silenced the crowd–a tricky feat, particularly in the midst of the outdoor campus thoroughfare. Equally chill-inducing was the closer, “The Loneliness and the Scream”, which is the band’s latest single. The song’s video was also released on Monday, exclusively at NME.com. “Loneliness” embodies everything Frightened Rabbit does best: lyrics simultaneously straightforward and poetic, melodies anthemic and gripping. Despite a ‘big’ sound, the band tells beautifully honest and personal stories. Monday’s gig was anything but intimate, but they still managed to draw us in, create a world in which we couldn’t help but move and be moved. As “The Loneliness and the Scream” ended with the crowd’s exuberant rhythmic clapping, it became clear that Frightened Rabbit’s journey upward is just beginning.

Photo courtesy of Superb.