Archive for September, 2009

Weekly Indie News: Brian Harnetty & Bonnie Prince Billy, The Limes, Port O’Brien

Brian Harnetty & Bonnie Prince Billy - Silent CityThe LimesPort O Brien - Threadbare

Check out 3 worthy records out this week:

BRIAN HARNETTY & BONNIE “PRINCE” BILLY – “Silent City” (Ruminance Records. Already out on Atavistic Records). A contemplative collection of field recordings, quiet songs and instrumentals. See the video of “Some Glad Day” below.

THE LIMES – “s/t” (Sauvage Records). Interesting debut album for the Franco-American super-group including members of Toy Fight, Orouni, and Mina Tindle. Listen to the first 2 songs, “Beyond Blue” and “The Snake“, and order the album here. Paris pub Le Motel will host a release party this Tuesday, Sept. 29.

PORT O’BRIEN – “Threadbare” (City Slang). 2nd studio album of the enthusiastic folk-rockers. Listen to “Sour Milk / Salt Water“.

Taxi Taxi! Swedish Duo Releases Debut Full Length

Taxi Taxi! Still Standing At Your Back DoorEfterklang’s label Rumraket have announced the Scandinavian release today of “Still Standing at Your Back Door“, first full length of Taxi Taxi! This Swedish duo composed of 19-yr-old twin sisters Miriam and Johanna had already enchanted us back in 2007 with an untitled EP on Rumraket (and Talitres in France).

Fierce Panda will take care of the release for the rest of Europe on October 12th.

Download “More Childish Than In a Long Time” (MP3), 2nd track of the album.

Weekly Indie News: Lisa Germano, Le Loup, Noah And The Whale, Volcano Choir

Lisa Germano "Magic Neighbor" / Rachel Grimes "Book Of Leaves" / Islands "Vapours" / Le Loup "Family" / Noah & The Whale "First Days Of Spring" / The Twilight Sad "Forget The Night Ahead" / Volcano Choir "Unmpa" / Why? "Eskimo Snow"

Pretty exciting week ahead, with a bunch of new releases out:

LISA GERMANO – “Magic Neighbor“, new album on Young God Records. Listen to “Snow” (MP3).

RACHEL GRIMES – “Book Of Leaves” (Karate Body / Ruminance). First piano solo album from one of The Rachel’s core members. More info and MP3 here.

ISLANDS – “Vapours” (Anti). The Canadians seem to have lost most of what once made them interesting. You may still listen to “Vapours” on their MySpace to prove me wrong.

LE LOUP – “Family” (Hardly Art / Talitres). Much expected follow-up to their 2007 magical debut LP. Listen to “Beach Town” (MP3).

NOAH AND THE WHALE – “First Days Of Spring“. Sophomore album and accompanying film are coming out this week in France (already out in the UK; 2 more weeks to wait for the US release). See the trailer below.

THE TWILIGHT SAD – “Forget The Night Ahead” (Fat Cat).

VOLCANO CHOIR – “Unmap” (Jagjaguwar). Intriguing debut of Bon-Iver-mastermind Justin Vermont’s more experimental band. Listen to “Island, IS” (MP3).

WHY? – “Eskimo Snow” (Anticon).

Thomas Mery’s September Shows

Finally some news from our dear singer-songwriter Thomas Mery, as he played his first gig in a long time, last week in Lille, and has 2 more in Paris this month.

Catch him this Sunday for a short set among many acoustic performances at Boutiques Sonores and Monster K7’s party, or on Wednesday, September 30 with Blackthread and Thos Henley at la Cantine de Belleville. A nice opportunity to hear some of Thomas’ new songs, as a foretaste of his upcoming album, expected for -hopefully- 2010.

Biggest BS Acoustic International Party, L'International, Sept. 20

Blackthread - Thomas Mery - Thos Henley

Read Thomas Mery’s interview on

Tiny Vipers’ Life On Earth: The Transfiguration Of Jesy Fortino

Snaking away from the indie pop accents of her debut Hands Across the Void, Jesy Fortino aka Tiny Vipers releases her second full-length album on SubPop and risks her folk inheritance to higher spheres: an immense step up.

Tiny Vipers - Life On EarthThe first play of this sixty-four minutes record will most certainly leave the hearer at a loss to tell one song apart from another, or to even discern any sort of conventional pattern in the composition of the eleven tracks. But if you think this sounds boring, the young viperidae from Seattle may prove you wrong.

Her influences include Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Nico, and Micheal Cashmore, and yes, from its mere primitive shape to more experimental ventures, the folk spirit quietly walks through the full length of the record. It is nevertheless difficult to label Life On Earth as a folk album, unless you think of it as a distorted and elongated entanglement of Joni Mitchell’s “Tin Angel” and Melanie Safka’s “Pebbles In The Sand“, remixed by Aidan Baker in a “Green and Cold” fashion. She inherited the almost medieval austerity of the first’s earliest works, the proto-Joanna Newsom-esque vocal figures and untechnical spontaneity of the second, and the surprising neo-classical approach to grimy contemporary pop of the last.

Yet, few comparisons will let you grasp the full horizons of Fortino’s Earth.

Only a long and worthy intimacy with her voice and minimalist guitar will help unravel its uncatchable personae and ever-changing sceneries. From the disarming introduction lyrics, “Do you remember when the world was still young…” in “Eyes Like Ours”, and the airy timelessness of “Dreamer”, to the nihilist sense of emergency and confusion of “Outside”, she ushers you through an imaginary mythology for an imaginary people, a lost volume in-between the Bible and the Verda; she tells you about death and ghosts, about the origins and future of the world, and of otherness, but, at the same time, through some fascinating and unaffected trick, leaves you the serene and immobile witness to the nearly organic attachment to memory, to the doubts and fears, and fascination for the beyond, to the unbearable self-consciousness and isolation of a thousand individuals, whose faces become blurred as centuries are swept by around you. If “Cm” sounds like a recess and is more in the traditional style of her early songs, the darkness and deconstructed frame of the following tracks, and especially the sinuous sine waves of “Twilight Property” will only hit you as a more fatal blow. There is no poison distilled in this nest of vipers though, only a miracle recipe of how to turn casual yet mysterious singing and songwriting into a mesmerising and modern ambient work.

Undoubtedly, Life On Earth is not an easy-to-share experience, but if it has not played a special part in your Summer already, it is high time you gave it a special place in your life, for it is a true and very secret gem.

Listen to “Dreamer” (MP3) on Sub Pop.

Buy Tiny Vipers “Life On Earth” on CD or digital release from Sub Pop Records.

Visit Tiny Vipers’ MySpace.

Rachel’s Rachel Comes Back With Solo Piano Album

Rachel Grimes - Book of LeavesBest known for sitting behind the piano of Louisville’s cult band Rachel’s in the 90’s and early 00’s, Rachel Grimes has recorded a whole new album on her own, Book Of Leaves, set to be released on September 22 in the US by Karate Body and October 12 in Europe and Japan by RuminanCe. 100 copies of a special edition vinyl will include the original score sheets; only 25 copies were still available for pre-order at Karate Body earlier this week.

Listen to 2 songs from the album on  Rachel Grimes’ website: Long Before Us and Every Morning.

Following the release of Book of Leaves, Rachel will bring her intimate songs on a Fall tour in the US, and is expected to fly to Europe in April 2010.

24 Sep 2009 – PianoForte Chicago, IL
25 Sep 2009 – PianoForte Chicago, IL
8 Oct 2009 – 21C Museum, Louisville, KY
9 Oct 2009 – WRFL Boomslang Festival, Lexington, KY
12 Oct 2009 – Le Poisson Rouge, New York, N
13 Oct 2009 – The Ethical Society, Philadelphia, PA
22 Oct 2009 – Good Shepherd Chapel, Seattle, WA
24 Oct 2009 – Swedish American Hall, San Francisco, CA