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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Midweek Round-up #15/4: New Deer Tick, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Crystal Castles + More

I spent the first half of this week locked-up at The Ranch Recording Studios in Southampton recording my band's first EP (more news on that coming soon), but despite this minor pre-occupation taking up twenty four hours of my last three days - what filtered through the blogs and news services in terms of new music certainly didn't pass me by. Monday saw the fantastic announcement from Reading Festival organisers that Surfer Blood, Girls and Wild Beasts were to be added to the already improved 2010 line-up; one which has already seen Yeasayer, Crystal Castles and Phoenix booked in on the Radio 1 Stage. The festival was at no point going to compete with the provisional Glastonbury, Great Escape, or even Bestival line-ups for this Summer, but perhaps in the light of these further announcements, my vain and naive hope that Reading Festival might become a collection of great musicians as well as a festival of under-age drinking, becomes ever so slightly more realistic.

Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes (MP3) from Astro Coast - Out Now

On the subject of Girls, in the lead up to Mates of State's projected release of 'Crushes (The Covers Mixtape)' - they've dropped us a cover of Laura from 2009's 'Album' to wet our appetite - and although slightly cringey at times, the boy-girl harmonies from the Peter Katis produced duo certainly bring out a different side to the surf-pop anthem. The National, yet another band on that coveted Katis roster, had news of their own this week when they revealed the star-studded collaboration list that May's High Violet will feature. According to The Quietus Justin Vernon is the main harmony on 'Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks' and Richard Reed Parry from the Arcade Fire also features heavily on the record. Sufjan Stevens also personally revamped 'Afraid of Everyone' on what is promising to be The National's strongest instalment yet.

Mates of State - Laura (Girls Cover) (MP3) from Crushes (The Covers Mixtape) - Summer
The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio (MP3) from High Violet - May 11

In terms of new tracks, the biggest news of the week came from LCD Soundsystem, whose new songs are sprouting up across the blogosphere. A radio-ripped version of erratic dance track Dance Yourself Clean politely reminds us that James Murphy belongs with Hot Chip, and official single I Can Change is sounding equally as good, if a bit Caribou-esque. Murphy has stated that 'This Is Happening' is most likely the last LCD Soundsystem album. As mentioned in the post title, Deer Tick also dropped a new track last week from his upcoming album, The Black Dirt Sessions. 20 Miles features a twangy acoustic guitar and soulful blues/country vocals. The new one is out May 8, 2010 via Partisan Records

LCD Soundsystem - I Can Change (MP3) from This Is Happening - May 17
Deer Tick - 20 Miles (MP3) from The Black Dirt Sessions - May 8.

As pictured at the top, my next update deals with new London based band The Shimmer, who have already created quite a stir with their lo-fi rock tracks No Surprise At All and Lovers Void. In return for your email address, they've agreed to hand over another free download - Crash. Its not got quite the same pop-vibe as the former tracks, but with a dark overdriven bassy sound, and distant vocals - The Shimmer use the Kasabian electronica formula to create captivating shoegaze pop music.

The Shimmer - Crash (MP3)

Crystal Castles aired their new track Doe Deer on Radio 1 this week, and I found a Radio 1 Rip this morning on We All Want Someone To Shout For. The post has got it pretty spot on, its short, bad sound quality and tagged up by Radio 1 DJs - but at least its food for thought for those of us too eager and intrigued to wait until Record Store Day to find out what the band have been up to musically since 2008. The song sounds like electro-thrash, with a short repetitive riff clipping the sound quality joined by aggressive and inhuman screams from Alice Glass. You have to hear it to believe it, the new album is definitely going to be interesting. Joining Doe Deer is the Midnight Conspiracy Remix of Crimewave, an airy French Disco influenced take on the 2008 hit from the Chicago-based remixers.

Crystal Castles - Doe Deer (MP3) (Radio 1 Rip via We All Want Someone To Shout For) from Crystal Castles - June 7, 2010.

Crystal Castles - Crimewave (Midnight Conspiracy Remix) (MP3)

Search for Crystal Castles

Finally, if you're a regular reader, you'll appreciate my love for Technoir MA. This week, they've dropped a new video for their track 'Sparks', shot in Boston and Somerville, Massachusetts by Evan Ragon. You can watch it below or read my 2/B EP Review, which the duo released themselves in 2010. (for some reason Youtube's embedding is failing today, however the link is well worth a click)

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