Despite an arduous genesis Sleigh Bells' fourth album, Jessica Rabbit, is more conventional than you might expect. The Noise Pop pioneers seem to have settled on a sound that leans heavily on the latter of those two genres. Stripping their music of the more abrasive tendencies of previous releases certainly leads to a less schizophrenic and more cohesive record. I must admit though, I do miss some of the more visceral thrills that regularly punctuated their songs, and which are deployed more sparingly here.
Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss haven't jettisoned the swagger they've always brought to the party, but the gestation of Jessica Rabbit has taken almost as long as their previous three albums combined. It's unsurprising then that these songs feel less spontaneous and more engineered for a purpose. That could of course be down to the involvement of producer Andrew Dawson; echoes of the ear splitting beats he's unleashed previously with Kanye and Jay-Z are in full effect here. Then there's the collaboration with Mike Elizondo on five of the tracks. He's another Hip-Hop alumni, who has helped to shift the focus away from the monster guitar riffs that dominated Treats and Bitter Rivals. Retreating towards the mainstream from the extreme fringes of sonic experimentation may on paper be a commercially sensible idea, but Jessica Rabbit ends up feeling tamer and less inventive as a result.
Let's be clear though, a Sleigh Bells album is unlikely to be an absolute dud. There are so many ideas thrown at the canvas that you can't fail to find something to love. While Krauss' lyrics are still brimming with anger and angst as she regales us with tales of unrequited love. It's actually her vocal performance itself, which is the highlight of the record. Her multi-layered contributions are higher in the mix than they've ever been and she's channelling Pop royalty with her powerful delivery. 'Lightning Turns Sawdust Gold' for example, sees her giving Taylor Swift a run for her money. Krauss' lyrics themselves may be darker in tone than her contemporaries, but she proves that Sleigh Bells greatest strength may have been hiding under all that noise in the past. "I'm waiting around for moments like these" she sings on opening track 'It's Just Us Now', if she's been waiting to step into the spotlight, her moment is certainly now.
Continue reading: Sleigh Bells - Jessica Rabbit Album Review
Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krausse and Derek Miller have argued that Lovato's 2015 hit sampled their own 'Infinity Guitars' without crediting them.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a complaint filed on Monday (August 22nd) in a federal court in California claimed that Lovato’s 2015 track ‘Stars’, which was released on her album Confident, features elements of bass drum and hand-clap rhythms taken wholesale from Sleigh Bells’ own track.
Demi Lovato's 'Stars' is at the centre of a copyright infringement lawsuit
Continue reading: Demi Lovato Sued By Sleigh Bells For Copyright Infringement Over 'Stars'
Sleigh Bells performing on stage at the 2016 Billboard Hot 100 Festival. New York, United States - Saturday 20th August 2016
It looks like it's going to be an epic weekend with Big Guava 2014's quality line-up.
Arguably what could be Florida's most fun-packed 3-day event of the year, Big Guava Music Festival makes its debut today (May 2nd 2014) with an impressive line-up headlined by Outkast, Vampire Weekend and Foster The People.
There's a lot of things we like about Florida, and we reckon Big Guava's inaugural event will definitely be one of them. Set against the glorious city backdrop of Tampa, this festival is bound to be the highlight of your year as it arrives at the Florida State Fairgrounds and Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre. As well as 40 awesome bands on 4 different stages, you got your craft beers, your diverse food trucks and your epic fairground rides (which are free, by the way) that will keep you busy in between performances from a line-up that prides itself on its quality over quantity. Having said that, we still think you're going to be spoilt for choice with this lot.
This year's CounterPoint Festival kicks off next weekend.
Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring campgrounds, a food court, bars (including a draught house), carnival rides, free water stations and its very own arts village. Oh, and then there's the music line-up.
This year's bill is headed by hip-hop stars Outkast, who make their hugely anticipated hometown return. Elsewhere, we'd have to point you in the direction of the blu Freedom Stage on Saturday (April 26, 2014) which boasts a pretty fantastic line-up starting with Wild Cub and St Lucia. As evening approaches, Janelle Monae will take to the stage, followed by J. Cole and headliners Foster the People.
Continue reading: CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return Of Outkast
We look over the crowd-pleasers of New Orleans' Buku Music And Art Project 2014.
When people think of Spring in New Orleans, most are looking forward to the annual Jazz Festival - something that the city has arguably become all about, music-wise. However, an equally astounding event also made its mark this month; the Buku Music + Art Project. This is most certainly a one of a kind festival offering astounding musical line-ups, great food and breath-taking artwork along with a range of other on-site activities.
Atoms For Peace and Beck to headline this year's Treasure Island Music Festival on October 19th - 20th.
Treasure Island Music Festival returns to San Francisco, California this October for two days with an impressive selection of live music and other entertainment at a stunning location on this popular man-made island.
Headlining Saturday, October 19th is Radiohead singer Thom Yorke's supergroup Atoms For Peace - a band with a dream team line-up in itself who released their debut album earlier this year - who will be joined by the likes of dancehall DJ Major Lazer and British duo Disclosure. Sunday 20th sees yet more great sets from exclusive headliner Beck, as well as Animal Collective, hyped band of the moment Haim, London indie group Palma Violets and pop duo Sleigh Bells. What's more, you don't have to miss out on any of this incredible music as bands will be spread out on two stages, with no-one playing at the same time and, more importantly, no interruptions.
The seriously good tracklist was released this week, with the album coming out shortly before the film.
Sofia Coppola’s upcoming film The Bling Ring is one of the summers most exciting prospects in cinema, and with it's release date fast approaching movie execs at Paramount have released the playlist for the movie's official soundtrack. Oh yeah, and did we mention that the soundtrack is ridiculously good?
The line-up features a veritable who's who of contemporary modern music, with 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Sleigh Bells, Phoenix, Frank Ocean, Azealia Bank, M.I.A. and Kanye West, and if that wasn't good enough then there's even some krautrock brought into the mix, including Klaus Schulze and Can. The only problem with this major line-up is now we're not sure what we're looking forward to the most, the movie itself or the soundtrack (who are we kidding, its obviously THAT scene with Emma Watson in the nightclub that everyone is looking forward to the most).
Watch the Bling Ring Trailer!
On top of the glittering line-up on the soundtrack, Coppola has also hooked up with Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never) to score the film; so expect an exciting electronic undercurrent to accompany the a-list soundtrack (which also features a track from Lopatin). In case you're wondering how all these great act will fit into a movie about a group of young criminal stealing from the rich and famous of Los Angeles the you need only to check out the song names, all of which are very fitting for the theme of the movie.
Continue reading: 'The Bling Ring' Soundtrack Might Actually Be Better Than The Film
This crime drama flick sees teen delinquents Nicki, Rebecca, Marc, Sam and Chloe set out on a mission to get rich and beautiful by targeting celebrity houses and raiding their belongings. It's based on a true story whereby a group of kids known as the Bling Ring were arrested having been involved with numerous burglaries with their victims including such stars as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge and Orlando Bloom. The trailer for the movie has now been unveiled with Sleigh Bells driving tune 'Crown on the Ground' as the soundtrack and sees actors Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann, Israel Broussard and Katie Chang in their roles as they help themselves to various celeb valuables, with Emma displaying her pole-dancing skills and generally being a far cry from her teacher's pet role in the 'Harry Potter' movies not to mention from her less glamorous 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' character.
Sleigh Bells sound exactly like absolutely nothing you've never ever heard before. Sleigh Bells are pop taken to a conclusion that is simultaneously the most logical and the most insane. Guitars jangle and scream over stripped down, simple beats bassy enough to rattle the snot out of your nose, and all the while a female voice glides effortlessly through it all; a calm, ghostly presence spouting gibberish in gossamer light breaths that cut through the fuzz in a masterful piece of sound mixing. It's punk, it's pop, it's disco, it's R 'n' B, it's glam... It's all of those things and absolutely none of them, and it doesn't matter because it's just so damned good.
It's very hard to discuss Sleigh Bells without getting into hyperbole overdrive. The two piece had already whipped up a frenzy about their music before the release of 'Treats', and I think it's fair to say that the album lives up to expectations. Treats is a masterpiece of sound design from the off: Every song sounding raw and absent of the over-keen polish that plagues pop records, but somehow the bowel-shuddering kick drum never cuts off the vocal lines, guitar lines pop, and dynamic diversity is introduced perfectly at the moments when you just can't conceive of the song getting any more intense - 'Infinity Guitars' illustrating this perfectly by ending in a fashion that could crush buildings.
It might not come as a surprise to readers when I say that I really like this album. Aside from 'Rachel' (Which just sort of writhes around like a skinny girl in granny knickers - almost sensual and sexy, but just... not), the album is damn near faultless. It's perfect for the summer - Open a window, stick a speaker out of it and tell your neighbours to go and do something horrible to a part of their own anatomy while this pair of psychopaths from Brooklyn take you on the best psychedelic freak out trip you can go on without ingenious use of the medicine cabinet and a bottle nail varnish remover. If you've not heard Sleigh Bells before, do yourself a favour and check them out. They might not be your thing (Imagine the Ting Tings trying to take down the music industry from the inside) and you may well hate them, but I guarantee if you like them this album will be very firmly rooted in your 'Best of 2010' list.
What, people do keep those, right?
Continue reading: Sleigh Bells, Treats Album Review