Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remix-Acoustic Sunday

Metric's album Fantasies is out on April 7th, the single "Help I'm Alive" is everywhere now.  I have a soft spot for anything that Emily Haines does, especially when it features her and a piano.  Love this version.

A Bit Of An Animal

Very rarely I find pieces of art of music that I feel I would be committing a great disservice by assigning words to describing. This is one of them, the video for Animal Kingdom's demo single, "Chalk Stars":

They're signed to a Major and have already supported Snow Patrol so let's enjoy this in its unadulterated form before it gets re-released and incessantly overplayed...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Passion Pit Keeps Canadians Reeling

Passion Pit announced Tuesday that they have cancelled their scheduled Canadian dates.  So, first they were postponed a couple months, now cancelled.  Starting to seem like the boys in the Pit have it out for Canada.  My guess is management forgot that travelling to Canada requires passports and visas.
In the mean time, BTA has the new single of their forthcoming album Manners, due May 18th.  Maybe we should teach Passion Pit some manners, a week's notice is much too short.  This is one disappointed BTA contributor.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Music Monday: Black Hat Brigade

Don't know how many of you own the first EP release from Black Hat Brigade, but it's well worth your coin.  I had the pleasure of seeing this very talented group open for the Handsome Furs a couple weeks back and I was impressed.  Energetic and on point, these guys have knotted some tight tracks.
Got my hands on some exclusive tracks from the upcoming Fathers EP as well as a great acoustic version of "Zombie City Shake".  The boys are using the sampler as a way to raise money to finance the release of the EP.  You can contribute here, $5 gets you a sampler and a thank you in the liner notes, $10 gets you the sampler and a pre-order copy of the EP.  Help these good-looking boys out!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Five

The Lovely Feathers - Lowiza
Montreal's The Lovely Feathers will offer up their third album, Fantasy of the Lot, in late May through Sparks Music. Their first LP My Best Friend Daniel was one of my favourite albums ever so I've got pretty high hopes for the new material. I've managed to get hold of this track from the new album and so far, so good.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Shampoo
Last week's stellar eponymous release from Elvis Perkins in Dearland has been making waves and 'Shampoo' is a testament to the quality of the Mr. Perkins' sophomore effort. Londoners can catch him at the ICA on April 6th.

Black Lips - Let It Grow
While lucky North Americans were able to get their greedy hands on the new Black Lips album last month, we lowly Europeans weren't able to pick up a copy of 200 Million Thousand until this past Monday. It was worth the wait - this shambolic, low-fi romp is one of my top albums of 2009.

Malajube - Ursuline
How did I miss the fact that the second album from Malajube (yet another fantastic Montreal group - this time francophone) has been available for over a month? Thankfully, a recent CBC Radio 3 podcast featuring interviews and live versions of the new material from Labyrinthes got me up to speed. Have a listen to opener 'Ursuline' and check out the aforementioned podcast here.

Bat For Lashes - Daniel

New Bat For Lashes drops on April 6th; this is a fresh cut from Two Suns.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


BTA is very excited to report that Think About Life have news.  This BTA fave has a habit of coming and going with furor.  This week TAL announced that they will be touring with Ratatat from Mar. 21st - Apr. 1st.  Unfortunately there won't be any Canadian dates.  Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal will have to wait until late May.
With this news is the release of their latest video for Wizzzard.  We'll still have to wait until May 26th for the official release of Family
Here it is:

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Music Monday: Official Secrets Act

BTA first became acquainted with Official Secrets Act early last year supporting Art Brut, when their first impression demonstrated considerable promise. Thanks to our friends at One Little Indian allowing us to preview their debut album, "Understanding Electricity", we now have the opportunity to satiate our curiosity and assess if they've delivered on these expectations.

Without question, they have. This is impressively tight, Xfm-friendly indie-pop throughout with deceptively simple melodies which enhance their accessibility. Lead single, "So Tomorrow" launches us into a frenetic spasm, with angular guitars and vocals that recall some of David Byrne's finest. However, it's "Hold The Line" which provides the album's centerpiece, commendably walking the tightrope to convey warmth without appearing overly saccharine. It's also blessed with the wonderfully endearing opening lines:

I like to watch her do these things / I like to watch her as she sings / And as the world collapses around our ears / I play guitar to Tears for Fears

Before launching into a stream of consciousness descriptive opus of the femme fatale on display. It's these moments where they transcend their influences that ensure the album's longevity.

"Understanding Electricity" is out on 30th March, and the band are touring widely around the UK from the end of the month.

Official Secrets Act - Hold The Line

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Five

Here are some tracks rocking my world.
Yeasayer is such a great band and this track come from the solid compilation Dark Was the Night.  The album was put together in support of the Red Hot Foundation which is an AIDS-related charity.  Great cause and I'm psyched to hear something new from these Brooklyn boys.
Crystal Antlers' 2008 EP is on regular rotation on my Zune, but this track is huge!  Also anticipating the release of full-length release Tentacles.
Such feel good music.  The Pains... reminds me of the first time I heard Peter, Bjorn and John's "Young Folks".  I immediately wanted to sing along.
Handsome Furs kinda sounds like Wolf Parade, for obvious reasons, but substitute the prominent keys for sampling.  Really loving the new album Face Control.  Sheer danceable rock music.  If you have a chance to see this group live, DO IT.  Last night I saw them here in Ottawa and it was one of the most energized shows I've seen in a while.
She's Quebec's answer to Adele.  I know she was featured on Perez Hilton and Coeur de Pirate is not for everyone, but I love the feel-good vibe and her voice is cute as hell!
Have a great weekend ladies and gents!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wolfgang Amadeus Awesome

Good Gawd, can Phoenix ever write a catchy song. The French band's last release, It's Never Been Like That, was one of my favourite albums of 2006 and it appears that LP number four Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is already destined to claim a place in my top picks of this year. Set for release on May 25th (but already leaked online - c'est la vie) Wolfgang's first official single will be the album's first track, "Lisztomania". In the meantime, the band has made the ridiculously awesome track "1901" available for free download at their snazzy new website in both standard and multitrack versions. That's right, kids: it's DIY-remix time. The first of two London shows are now sold out, but tickets for Koko on June 1st are still available here.

La trackliste:
  1. "Lisztomania"
  2. "1901"
  3. "Fences"
  4. "Love Like a Sunset"
  5. "Lasso"
  6. "Rome"
  7. "Countdown"
  8. "Girlfriend"
  9. "Armistice"
Phoenix - 1901
Phoenix - Armistice

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Inbox Wednesday: Carly Maicher

This edition of Inbox Wednesday comes with a twist.  I stumbled across this great YouTube video of a family skating on a highway.  The accompanying music struck me and after a bit of googling I came across the promising Carly Maicher.  She's a bleeding edge artist, with a haunting folk feel. 
Excerpt from her bio, "Carly Maicher is a singer/songwriter originally from Manitoba keeping content by hiding out on a tiny fishing island in the middle of the Atlantic sea. She writes songs about dreams of water and waves and playfully sings about abandonment. "
Hope to see more great things from Ms. Maicher.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Feb Gig Mix

I've finally emerged, still sweaty, reeking of JD and buzzing from the live music equivalent of the London marathon, which February's gig circuit represented. Following the creed of any self-respecting indie-kid, I've chosen the creation of a mix tape of the highlights as the most appropriate method of marking the accomplishment. And now that it's passed BTA's rigorous quality control procedures (thanks a.m.p.m!), it's deemed worthy of publication. You'll find a few acts here who've previously graced BTA with their presence, as well as a number of new discoveries.

Download it here:
G.R.O. Feb Gig Mix

1. 4 or 5 Magicians - Ideal Man
2. The Soft Pack - Parasites
3. Favours for Sailors - I Dreamt That I Dreamt That Your Loved Me In Your Dreams
4. Black Daniel - Say Hello
5. Women - Black Rice
6. The Manhattan Love Suicides - Kessler Syndrome
7. The Crystal Stilts - Converging In The Quiet
8. Left With Pictures - Secretly
9. My Sad Captains - Great Expectations
10. S.K.G. - Voodoo Talk
11. White Lies - Farewell To The Fareground
12. Friendly Fires - Jump In The Pool
13. Wintersleep - Weighty Ghost
14. Lights - Box Of Stones
15. First Aid Kit - You're Not Coming Home Tonight

It'll only be up for a week so grab it quick

Let me know what you think, could make this a semi-regular feature if you so decree...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Inbox Wednesday: The O'Darling

This week's featured group is The O'Darling.  Made up of Eastern and Western Canadians, this group has a great jazz-folk thing going.  It's not quite like anything I've heard of late, surely that's what made it intriguing.  
The group's release A Nice EP is buoyed by the excellent multi-instrumental arrangements and the beautiful female vocals.  The tracks are paced, with soft horns and strong strings.  From listening to the release, I get the impression The O'Darling must be a treat to see live.
If you're in Toronto tonight catch The O'Darling at The Concord Cafe.