by Ed Biggs Canadian experimental artist Tim Hecker has, by degrees over the course of 15 years, got to a point where his albums are being anticipated by a wider circle of listeners than simply ‘those who bought the last one’. After all, a man with a PhD in ‘urban noise’ (!) and who used to be a university lecturer in ‘sound culture’ is almost bound to be pigeonholed as an
by Ollie Rankine It’s nearly four years since the release of Efterklang’s Piramida, and after recently recruiting Finnish percussionist, Tatu Rönkkö the Scandinavian trio have eventually returned under their new name Liima with debut album, ii. Following four week-long bouts of writing in Finland, Berlin, Istanbul and Madeira, Liima have matured from Efterklang’s previous four albums by establishing a far more complex sound.
by John Tindale Not To Disappear, the sophomore release by London indie-folk band Daughter, comes two and a half years after the commercially successful If You Leave, an album which saw no less than six songs used for advertisements. In Not to Disappear, the three-piece now have the problem of having to address the successes of their past while also striving to create something which shows progression – unfortunately Not To
by John Tindale Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, has been going through a period of reflection over the three years since the release of last album Visions, a low-budget bedroom record of spectral synths that has had a seismic impact upon the sound of mainstream pop ever since. During this time, Boucher scrapped an album for being too “depressing”, but more importantly she wrote a song for Rihanna (‘Go’) that was subsequently
by Matthew Langham Respectively of The National and Menomena / Ramona Falls, Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf make up EL VY, a pressure-free side project which features the baritone vocals of Berninger, but combined with a more upbeat pop sound which is a step away from his duties as vocalist of the celebrated indie masters. However, it’s Knopf’s multi-instrumentalist abilities which truly come to the forefront throughout the album.
by Ed Biggs American indie auteur Bradford Cox has recovered very quickly from a serious car crash in December 2014 to record and release his seventh album with Deerhunter. The accident gave him “perspective” and cause to ruminate on his own mortality, even more than he does so already (Cox suffers from Marfan syndrome, a condition where his mere physicality poses a threat to his life). Fading Frontier therefore has an
by Matthew Langham Cards on the table here – I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve never really taken to electronic artists who solely use laptops – particularly in a live setting. I’ve often thought the physical art of making music and mixing has instead been removed by the laptop. For all I know they could be doing anything while pretending to DJ – I guess I just like
by Ed Biggs Three years after their exceptional debut album Shrines, the world has now just caught up with Purity Ring. The Edmonton duo’s quirky, sparse brand of electro-pop seemed to suggest a future that had not yet arrived but was just around the corner. Along with similar minimalist artists like Grimes, they’ve influenced the aesthetics of pop and hip-hop in the time they’ve been away. Despite triggering a frenzied