The good news is the quality of the latest acts announced.
The 23rd edition of the Netherlands' Lowlands Festival sees yet another wave of incredible artists hit the bill ahead of the date this summer. Hot Chip and Kendrick Lamar are among the major new additions, with seventeen more acts also announced.
Following the enormous success of his worldwide number one third album 'To Pimp A Butterfly', Kendrick Lamar is bringing his hip hop talent to the festival circuit with Lowlands just being the latest in a string of gigs this summer; he will also be playing Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Outside Lands and Reading Festival in the UK. Hot Chip will be supporting their own new album, 'Why Make Sense?', which is set to be released on May 15th 2015.
Continue reading: Lowlands 2015! We Have Good News And Bad News...
Ride and The Strokes will be joined by The Black Keys, Patti Smith, The Replacements and more.
Fans and hopeful attendees of Barcelona's Primavera Sound were delighted to discover that the preview app they downloaded was a video game displaying the full line-up for the festival's fifteenth anniversary.
Already announced were Friday and Saturday's headliners Ride and The Strokes, and now they've been joined by a host of other equally incredible artists. Thursday sees The Black Keys leading the bill alongside The Replacements, who are hitting Spanish stages for the first time and Antony and the Johnsons, who've been doing plenty since their last Barcelona gig. Bringing some variation to Thursday proceedings are electronic virtuosos James Blake, Richie Hawtin and Simian Mobile Disco.
Continue reading: The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!
Coachella 2015 brings some fantastic artists - new and old - to Indio, California.
It's that time of year again as the full line-up announcement for Coachella 2015 arrives following some spectacular headliners: AC/DC, Jack White and Drake will all top the bills at the two-weekend event in April.
Well known for its diverse collection of rock, pop, electronic, hip hop and indie artists from around the world, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is yet again set to arrive at the Empire Polo Club fields in Indio, California. Kicking off with the first event from Friday April 10th - 12th, the festival will repeat the following week from April 17th - 19th.
Dom Gourlay's Top Albums of 2014
10) Soft Walls - No Time
Multi-talented musician-cum-producer Dan Reeves divides his time playing in several bands with running a record label. This effort, his second as Soft Walls ranks as his finest collection to date. Although heralded as one of new psychedelia's finest releases, 'No Time' owes as much to Phil Spector and Suicide as it does anything else, and sounds all the more accomplished for it.
9) Temples - Sun Structures
Having spent the best part of two years touring the songs that would eventually go onto become 'Sun Structures', it was perhaps somewhat inevitable that the album would be every bit as good as we'd hoped. What happens next will be key to Temples long-term future, but for now 'Sun Structures' is a fitting document of the band's inaugural stages.
8) Cheatahs - Cheatahs
This cosmopolitan four-piece might display their influences quite brazenly. However, this debut bears all the hallmarks of a classic. Referencing the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver and Teenage Fanclub at regular intervals yet retaining a distinctive edge all the same, 'Cheatahs' is the sound of a band discovering an identity and using it to their advantage.
Continue reading: Dom Gourlay's Top Albums of 2014
The prevailing narrative surrounding Interpol is that they have been a band in perpetual decline since the arrival of their critically-acclaimed debut 'Turn On The Bright Lights' in 2002. While such a narrative may be unfair, sophomore record 'Antics' and its follow-up 'Our Love To Admire' both enjoyed commercial success and largely positive reviews, their fourth LP 'Interpol' was less successful. An album that seemed bereft of spark and vitality, 'Interpol' became muddled in its own intricacies leaving fans and critics nonplussed.
When bassist Carlos Dengler left the band following the completion of their fourth record, it looked like Interpol as a band could be on the ropes. The argument that Interpol's best days were behind them seemed more persuasive than before. Fast-forward to 2014, however, and things have changed. If anyone thought that the departure of Carlos Dengler was the final nail in Interpol's coffin, 'El Pintor' shows those predictions to be premature. Bristling with the tense energy and slick style which has characterised Interpol's best work, 'El Pintor' is exactly the shot in the arm the band needed.
Towering single 'All The Rage Back Home' channels Interpol's trademark intensity; screaming tremolos sounding out over a tight rhythm section that's clinical in its execution. 'My Desire' reveals a previously rare glimpse of singer Paul Banks' falsetto, giving the song the added texture it needs to keep Interpol's sound fresh and interesting. In fact, Paul Banks' falsetto proves to be something of a hidden weapon which permeates the whole of 'El Pintor'. It doesn't always work, on 'Ancient Ways' it sounds forced, sudden and uncomfortable, but when deployed effectively on 'My Desire' and 'My Blue Supreme' in particular, it provides a contrast to Banks' default baritone which allows Interpol to add a strong new dimension to their sound.
Continue reading: Interpol - El Pintor Album Review
For the aging music fan it's almost a little depressing to see special edition re-releases. 10 years since Turn on the Bright Lights? Really... What on earth have I been doing with my decade? The album's original release tour is still not all too dim in my mind.
Whether the disbelief registers or not, it has indeed been ten years since the NY quartet released this landmark debut album. Considering their career in retrospect, Turn on the Bright Lights has been to Interpol equal parts blessing and curse: one which at the time cemented them as worthy, gloomy adversaries to the likes of The Strokes or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and yet it was for some a high watermark which the band have struggled to reach again. Reading most critical appreciation of their catalogue since will at some point lament upon Interpol's inability to revisit this envisioned summit.
The problem is of course that TOTBL was created and released in the rubble of 9/11. It shouldered the post-apocalyptic feelings of a city in ruins oh-so-neatly upon its haunting 12 tracks of post-punk and became an instant classic which, as classics albums tend to, took on a life of its own. Even Paul Banks disjointed lyricisms and monotone delivery, seen best on 'Obstacle #1' or 'PDA,' seemed to speak of the aftermath of tragedy. When people look back at TOTBL, they see not through rose-tinted spectacles, but black sunglasses.