Song Of The Day: Purple Mountains – Darkness and Cold

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After a lengthy break, former Silver Jews frontman David Berman is back with Purple Mountains, a new project that finds him backed up by members of Woods.

“Darkness and Cold,” one of the standout numbers off Purple Mountains’ self-titled debut, tells the tale of a relationship falling apart with the video featuring Berman as a sad sack alternately moping around the house and hovering about like an unseen ghost as his partner prepares to go out. “The light of my life is going out tonight,” he sings, though clearly not with him.

Purple Mountains is out now on Drag City Records. Check out the video for “Darkness and Cold” below:

Concert Review: Psychedelic Furs and James, July 31, The Orpheum, Vancouver

Posted on by Martin Alldred in Concerts | Leave a comment

Psychedelic Furs

Co-headlining tours are always funny ones, as you get half the audience really interested in one band and half the audience really interested in the other. Last night, unfortunately, the Orpheum was only half full, so you had a little less than a quarter of the seats filled with James fans and a little over a quarter filled with Psychedelic Furs fans. I’m not sure why this gig wasn’t at a smaller venue – it would have been perfect at the Commodore Ballroom.

James came on first, and performed a set of material mostly from albums they have recorded since they reformed in 2007. They sounded tight and Tim Booth’s voice has not lost any of its power. It was disappointing to not hear more of the old favourites, “Come Home” being the only song they played from back in the day. It sounded fantastic, and only made it more disappointing that they didn’t play one or two more. They finished with “Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)”, their last single before they broke up. They invited audience members up on to the stage, with 30 or so people joining them. It was a great end to the show, but without “Sit Down”, “Laid”, “She’s A Star”, “Gold Mother” or “Born of Frustration”, the audience were left feeling a little frustrated.

Psychedelic Furs were the opposite. They started with “Love My Way” and played hit after hit, including “Heaven” and “Pretty In Pink”. Bassist and founding member Tim Butler even sang along with the crowd to the big tunes. Singer Richard Butler’s voice was as clear and powerful as ever, and the saxophone player, Mars Williams, played his sax like a lead guitarist, powering through tune after tune, and he was even joined by James’ trumpet player on “Sleep Comes Down”. The audience were mostly of an age where they would remember both bands from the heyday of their career, but what the audience lacked in youth, they made up for in enthusiasm.

The Furs did a short encore and the crowd left happy – the one good thing about the theatre not being very full is you get out of there super quick without much of a queue!

Song of the Day: Of Monsters and Men – Alligator

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It has honestly been years since I’ve listened to Of Monsters and Men. My instinctual reaction was a shocking reminder of that temporal alienation. Two of their new singles, “Wars” and “Wild Roses”, are as far-removed from the jangling, cobblestone path of folk goodness of “Lakehouse” as presidential tweets are from essays on the principles of responsible governance. This is, of course, my fault for not keeping up. Have I really aged so much to lose both my hearing and the taste for change? In order to claw back some semblance of courage, I present to you, Florida’s state reptile.

“Alligator” is the transitional fossil on their third album Fever Dream, that I use to assuage myself how people have not abandoned evolution in favor of instantaneous transformation. Traces of “Little Talks” can be found here and there. But if you still dig that folksy feeling, it would take much more than unearthing an early 20th century picture of 4 Nordic men. This is a very short introduction to the new species Of Monsters and Men: moody and prone to outbursts, yet still full of raw energy. I do like the 2:15 tone change in “Alligator”, far be it from me to subject all of us to the well-advertised-surprise explosion of emotions/volume in “Wild Roses”. Looking at their performance on Jimmy Fallon was all the proof that I needed: as their sound system crackled, what would have destroyed a folk song simply enhanced the new single, and it felt like the transformation was complete.

Song Of The Day: Torche – Admission

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Over time, the genre lines between shoegaze and metal have become a bit blurred and more and more cross-pollination has occurred as bands like Deafheaven and Alcest have incorporated shoegaze elements into their sound. And really, when you get right down to it, it’s hard to argue against the fact that OG shoegazers My Bloody Valentine, while definitely not a metal band, are absolutely heavy in their own way (as anyone who’s seen their live show could attest) so it’s hardly a surprise that bands on the heavier end of the spectrum have taken influence from shoegaze.

And now sludge metallers Torche have joined in on that tradition, with the band going full shoegaze on the title track off their recently released fifth album, Admission. Check out the video for “Admission” below: