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Five albums in a decade is a pretty good batting average, but I'm always a little cautious when an album is described as a "return to form". It's with that attitude that I approached Band Of Horses' new record Why Are You Ok. I've rarely been disappointed with the output of Ben Bridwell's band, which has continually produced thought-provoking, occasionally explosive moments of aural bliss. If revisiting the predominantly quiet grandeur of 2010's Infinite Arms is considered the best that Band of Horses can offer, then perhaps Why Are You Ok is a triumph of sorts. Personally though, I found it a very difficult album to love.
As a record Why Are You Ok is perfectly inoffensive, but perhaps that's part of my problem, there are far too few moments where the band actually feels energised. Many of these songs feel lethargic and caught in a suburban slumber. It's also rare that an album clocking in at just shy of fifty minutes feels like it got lost somewhere in its own plodding and meandering songs. That's certainly the case here, and when one of the high points is called 'In A Drawer', you realise quite quickly that these songs are focusing on the minutia of a pretty contented life, rather than a grander theme. It's an album that could probably lose ten minutes along the way and it would greatly benefit: not in culling the number of songs, rather pulling into focus some of the dreamy moments where brevity would be a blessing.
That's also the frustrating thing, there is a genuinely good album hiding in here somewhere. On the opening cut which spans seven minutes and effectively stitches two disparate songs together ('Dull Times/The Moon') Bridwell reminds the listener that "home is where the heart is". If that's the case, then why do so many of these songs sound devoid of warmth and homeliness? It may sound lazy, but I just found that the opening song title said it all really, dull.
Continue reading: Band of Horses - Why Are You OK Album Review
Listen to their new track 'Cumbia de Donde'.
With tour dates ahead of them and other miscellaneous events in the near future, Calexico are on the way to release their ninth album 'Edge Of The Sun', out on Berlin's City Slang in April this year and featuring various collaborators.
Calexico release 'Edge Of The Sun' in April
Calexico are set to unveil 'Edge Of The Sun', which follows up their 2013 live release 'Spiritoso' and the previous studio album 'Algiers' from 2012. In true Calexico spirit, as they are well-known for their ever changing line-up and huge touring band ensemble, 'Edge Of The Sun' features a huge variety of special guests, beginning with Iron & Wine's Sam Beam - having previously worked on their 2008 album 'Carried to Dust' - who features on the track 'Bullets and Rocks'.
Recommended Albums... New York garage-rock new-wavers The Strokes are on album number five and Comedown Machine marks a return to form for Julian Casablancas & co. Whilst they may not be trying to replicate the pared down sound of their now-iconic debut This Is It, they have at least re-captured some of that raw energy. With a sound now owing as much to 80s synth bands such as A-Ha and Human League as it does to their beloved garage rock idols.
As a result, The Strokes, circa 2013 finds the band fully rejuvenated and seemingly enjoying themselves. They may struggle to regain the popularity that they enjoyed when the band first emerged but they have at least done themselves proud with Comedown Machine.
Mid-set, alongside Crazy Horse, Neil Young announced that “We’re joining forces up here,” just as Foo Fighter's Dave Grohl and Dan Auerbach graced the stage to collaborate with Young on an adrenaline and feedback fuelled rendition of "Rockin’ in the Free World."
Neil Young, Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters joined Band Of Horses and The Black Keys among others to perform on the Grand Lawn at Central Park in New York City. This was all in aid of the Global Citizen Festival which supports a plethora of charities including World Vision and World Food Program USA.
As well as bands and solo artists, the event held brief speeches between sets from outspoken celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Olivia Wilde of House and TRON:Legacy fame. Dave Grohl seemed to love every second of their performance, lamenting however, that it may be a while before they take to the stage again, saying “We don't have any shows after this. This is where we play as many songs as we can in a short period of time, because, honestly, I don't know when we're gonna do it again”, as reported by Rolling Stone.
Central Park in New York set the stage for a rock triple threat in the shape of Neil Young, The Foo Fighters and The Black Keys, all of whom banded together for a benefit mini-fest, Great Lawn Saturday night, in aid of putting an end to global poverty.
An audience of over 60,000 squeezed into the massive green space in the middle of the Big Apple on Saturday (29th September) night for a five-hour concert, all for free! Well, there was one catch, but it only involved attendees having to register at the website 'The Global Poverty Project,' which looks to find a way to bring an end to extreme financial inequality across the globe. And if inviting 60,000 lucky guests along to the event wasn't enough, the concert was also streamed live online via a number of differing websites.
As well as the big three, which also involved an impromptu stage invasion by Dave Grohl during Neil Young and Crazy Horse's set, the line-up for the day also featured Band Of Horses and 'Wavin' Flag' singer/rapper K'naan. The night didn't lose track of what it stood for though, with celebrities including Selena Gomez and Katie Couric going up on stage between performances to discuss the ongoing financial struggle that is felt the world over.
First of all, how are you enjoying your time in London? What have you been up to?
Man, it's been lovely. We got in yesterday, I just rested a bit, and today we're back on the Promo-Train. Playing songs in parks and taking pictures in front of people who have no idea who we are. You know, just the usual s**t; we're just enjoying it. The weather's just as good as it gets at the moment too.
Continue reading: Band of Horses, Interview September 2012
RT @RedBullTV: We're live with @bandofhorses! https://t.co/yVfufkv1xv
RT @RedBullTV: 2 Hours until we're LIVE with @bandofhorses! Stream their set here 👉 https://t.co/yVfufkv1xv
Friends, we'll be performing at the @kroq @redbull #soundspace TODAY 1pm PT via @RedBullTV - https://t.co/F7TXof4dQp https://t.co/yD8Conu3Wq
RT @kroq: .@bandofhorses perform live in the #kroq @redbull #soundspace TODAY @ 1pm PT via @RedBullTV! https://t.co/ZvEEJ38dd9 https://t.co…
Sending love to Ed and all @TheOhanaFest for a great day out of doors. Raddest festi line-up ever!!! Thank You for having us.
RT @kcrw: .@bandofhorses’ performance of blues ballad “Am I A Good Man?” will make you feel feelings https://t.co/5nqhaBvUSA https://t.co/C…
RT @erikavaldez10: I just witnessed two grown men who were complete strangers hug each other during The Funeral. Your impact @bandofhorses.
RT @Interscope: Join the #CasualParty and pick up the new @bandofhorses LP #WhyAreYouOkay, on sale at @AppleMusic for just $5.99 https://t.…
RT @sfmasonic: Join us tonight for Band of Horses! Doors open at 7, @TheWildFeathers at 8, & @bandofhorses at 9... Tickets at the door. See…
RT @brookeethacook: they are playing Casual Party at Sonic i am groovin so hard with my slush rn @bandofhorses
RT @chstunage: Just downloaded the new @TheHingesMusic single #Rainhead," and wow. Just incredible. Produced by @bandofhorses' Ryan Monroe,…
AUSTIN! @aclfestival Late Night Show at @StubbsAustin on 10/6. Tickets on sale Friday @ 10a: https://t.co/6zNw7LpK6X https://t.co/NgzilL3DfZ
@Ben_Innocent hey man, shoot us a DM when you can
RT @kroq: Enter to win tickets to see @bandofhorses in the #kroq @redbull #soundspace next Monday! https://t.co/EXkhQmsOJp
RT @kristendrum: .@bandofhorses in the @SkypeLiveStudio https://t.co/Og26IAulTK
RT @QuestionAnders: The Equine Shined Tonight https://t.co/bzQ5khMjPt
RT @mmmelia: @bandofhorses way to leave it all on the stage tonight. You earned your day off! #YRUOK https://t.co/qPjpSiqhyL
RT @GamboaCon: @bandofhorses properly referenced Tragically Hip at the jump, then proceeded 2 properly play a diverse, amazing set https://…
Sending love and respect to #TheHip tonight from Vancouver 💪❤️🇨🇦
RT @JeffYocom: Tough to beat an outdoor summer concert in Portland. @bandofhorses back in the PNW. https://t.co/7hfv86AjoY