Posts Tagged the national

American Alt Giants Share This Week’s #1


Two of the greatest alternative American bands Today, Vampire Weekend and The National share that rare gift in contemporary music that is longevity; as well as the same release date for their long awaited new works and very strong standout tracks. The merits of ‘Ya Hey’ and ‘Sea Of Love’ are so similar that we’ve decided to make them share Top of the loop honours on this occasion.

Recent Rober award winners The Weeknd and Julia Holter‘s new tracks make the highest entries, next to the latest from Liars; Daughn Gibson; the triumphant return of legendary producer Giorgio Moroder, on the wake of Daft Punk’s all conquering album; and the second volumen of celebrated dance compilation ‘After Dark’ well represented by Glass Candy.

Check this week’s edition here. Read the rest of this entry »

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#10-THE NATIONAL-High Violet (4AD)

After even breaking into the charts with ‘Boxer’ – a Rober Award nominee as album of the year – and their charity project for the Red Hot organization, ‘Dark Is The Night’; the band from Cincinnati took their time to create a work of impeccable facture without any noticeable flaw. ‘High Violet’ amply fulfilled that goal. Matt Berninger’s baritone vocals kept on underlining their highly emotive stories, whereas their commercial appeal kept on going stronger. The only possible criticism their fifth record could bear is that instead of attempting any changes, The National seem to have taken advantage of their new found popularity by digging deeper in the foundations of their characteristic sound; as if it was collection time of all the plaudits they’ve been earning until now.

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#60-THE NATIONAL-Bloodbuzz Ohio (4AD)

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The Week That Was(24-04-2010): New Records Streaming Bonanza

This has been another bumper week for new albums. Many of the season’s most anticipated records finally hit the web and could be streamed. The highlight among them was THE NATIONAL’s fifth work ‘High Violet’, already a candidate for record of the year. It offers one of the most impressive collection of songs we have heard in a while. Hopes are sky-high for The National to break once and for all into the mainstream, following the steps of Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, etc. in consolidating as not only one of today’s best bands, but also one of the most popular.

Another vocalist blessed with a distinctive baritone voice, JOHN GRANT, has been on hiatus for years since his former band The Czars split up. The artist has created another work of intense and sad beauty, infused in 70’s vibes, maybe borrowed from fellow label and tour mates Midlake, who convinced the singer to get back to the studio and record the songs that now form ‘Queen Of Denmark’.

NPR kept on being the best destination for pre-release albums. This week they unveiled the new BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE album. The Canadian alt-rock collective have left on hold their multiple solo projects to finish their third offering ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’. Also on NPR, Mark E. Smith’s new opus with his band THE FALL, called ‘Your Future Our Clutter’.

In British Shores, STEVE MASON, formerly the leader of the deceased Scottish band Beta Band has also readied his solo debut, ‘Boys Outside’, in which he updates his songwriting by courting with today’s trends, without losing his melancholic vocal touch.

Back in the States, wunderkind Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg debuts with his band, AVI BUFFALO, eponymous record, halfway between the classy alt-americana of Wilco or Band of Horses and the lush psychedelia of Flaming Lips, but with a fresher and simpler approach. The sub-pop signees have made a record that’s definitely worth checking.

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo by subpop

And comeback of the week goes to Courtney Love, who helped by Billy Corgan and Linda Perry has managed to rescue her old band HOLE and releases a new record titled ‘Nobody’s Daugher’. Whether she is or not still relevant in these times remains to be seen.

On a lighter and more summery note, uber trendy Basques DELOREAN release their first international album ‘Subiza’ through the True Panther label -home of Girls & Harlem among many others-, full of shimmery, balearic dream-pop (the album can be listened on Spotify).

And last, but not least, another highly rated American band, THE HOLD STEADY, is back! Acclaimed for the bravery of bringing traditional ,earnest Springteen-like rock and roll back into trend, ‘Heaven Is Whenever’ offers few changes and is another compact work that will please all their fans.

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The Cheapskate: The National; Latin American Indie; Phoenix…

This week has brought us a few top quality freebies for all you saving conscious music lovers: Track wise The National were giving away ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, the surprising first single –we thought it would be the already leaked ‘Terrible Love’- from their forthcoming fifth album ‘High Violet’.

Ex-Beta Band frontman Steve Mason provided another taster from his solo debut, ‘Lost And Found’, a trendy Active Child remix of which can also be downloaded for free. And Madonna’s mates and gipsy rockers Gogol Bordello began their way towards world domination with ‘Pala Tute’, taken from their Rick Rubin produced new album.

Leftfield Latin American bands were given an online boost this week with both Pitchfork and Club Fonograma giving away samplers of the most interesting up and coming new artist in the Spanish speaking continent. Pitchfork has compiled a mix to celebrate the MTYMX festival to be held soon in Mexico City–highlights include Jovenes Y Sexys; Chikita Violenta; etc. Meanwhile, Club Fonograma offered the seventh volume of their regular ‘Fonogramáticos’ compilation, covering the most adventurous sounds across the Latin world –Dominican Rita Indiana; Spanish indie band Los Punsetes and Chile’s new folkies Los Mil Jinetes are some of the best moments.

On the live stages, Phoenix gave away a full live album recorded in Sidney a few weeks ago during their current world tour. It offers renditions of eight out of the nine songs that formed their acclaimed ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’.

Just a stream, but equally interesting, Joanna Newsom is letting her fans to check the sound of her current tour by showcasing one of her recent shows via NPR radio.

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Brooklyn-based act The National used to be dismissed in Europe as a US version of the Tindersticks; maybe due to Matt Berninger’s similar baritone vocals. That perception began to change with the arrival of “Alligator”, an incredibly solid album that will reveal one of the strongest bands of the second half of the noughties. “Abel” was its epic highlight.

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Listen to the new Red Hot compilation curated by The National

Until its release on February 17th, The Red Hot Organisation – an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS, founded on the premise that even without a cure, AIDS remains a preventable disease and music is a great vehicle to raise money and awareness for it – will be streaming one new song a day from their latest project Dark Was The Night; curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, who have gathered together an impressive group of artists and a total of 32 exclusive tracks recorded for the compilation. It will be available as a double cd/triple vinyl/download. You can listen to the tracks here.

This is the 20th year of Red Hot, and this is the 20th release, since their first iconic and Rober award winner “Red Hot + Blue” in which artists such as Neneh Cherry, David Byrne, kd Lang, Les Negresses Vertes, Neville brothers and many others covered Cole Porter’s standards hoping to help the audience gaining awareness about the disease and its prevention.

The tracklist goes as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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