Bat for Lashes’ haircut:
Natasha Khan took an exceptionally long hiatus in-between her last album and her most recent – and brilliant – release The Haunted Man. This was probably because she had to completely remake herself: the henna, spirit-worshipping talisman have been replaced with a slick, Ryan McGinley-photographed slice of confidence and Bat for Lashes – music included – is all the better for it. SEE:
So Yeasayer released a third studio album last year (Fragrant World) and it’s really not that good. I mean, it’s OK and if it were any other band I would probably tolerate it, but because it’s Yeasayer and because their previous two albums are INCREDIBLE, I simply can’t. Seriously, between the unashamedly anthemic pop of ‘O.N.E’ and the African-chic introspection of ‘2080’ they’re one of my favourite contemporary acts and so I say: forget 2012 and play all the songs I want! OK thanks.
Two piece Canadian punk band Japandroids burst onto the international music radar (yes that is a thing) a couple of years back with their pun(k)chy debut Post Nothing, and they’ve just released a refined, mature follow up (Celebration Rock). I was lucky enough to discuss their album with drummer David Prowse and you know what? They just seem so pumped to be a band (and particularly to play live for their fans), that there is no way this won’t be all kinds of awesome. Thanks to modern technology we don’t have to speculate, either.
Japandroids 'Fire Highway' live:
Dan Boeckner’s new project, Divine Fits.
When BOTH of Dan Boeckner’s amazing projects, Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs announced their discontinuation last year, you acted similarly to me–weeping for days alone in a dank, curtain-drawn room listening to Apologies from the Queen Mary on repeat – right?
Well anyway, I awoke from said catatonic state to a new Dan Boeckner project, a ‘supergroup’ even, with Spoon frontman, Britt Daniel. The resulting album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, sounds exactly like what would happen if you mixed Handsome Furs and Spoon together (read: great) which I guess is the whole point.
The New Zealand contingent!
Did you know that New Zealand music is GOING OFF right now? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is, and the Laneway team have picked the finest festival-worthy acts to play on January 28th. Lawrence Arabia will perform tracks from his lilting latest album The Sparrow (and, having seen him perform in the middle of the day at a festival while drunk (me, not him) once before, I can confirm this is a revelatory experience), The Eversons will belt out their brand of Kiwiana college rock, Deer Park will lull us into an alternate reality in which trumpets rule supreme, and, AFTER ALL OF THAT, The Phoenix Foundation better play ’40 Years’, arguably the best NZ Festival Song ever written!
The Eversons ‘Could It Ever Get Better’
Lawrence Arabia ‘The Listening Times’
The Phoenix Foundation ’40 Years’
For more interviews, tracks and videos from these artists head here: www.undertheradar.co.nz