February 27, 2008

Today's Hotness: Fields, Johnny Foreigner, The Notwist

>> Now London-based indie rock act Fields has resurfaced with news about line-up changes and a new record. Fronter Nick Peill reports via MySpace bulletin that lead guitarist Jamie Putnam has left the quintet, and a new line-up will greet fans when Fields tours to support its forthcoming sophomore set. Peill and drummer Henry Spenner shortly embark on a trip to New York, where the duo will apply "finishing touches" and mix the songs. The as-yet-untitled collection was tracked during the last few months in a bedroom studio referred to as The Woods which the band cobbled together in Peill's East London apartment. The resulting music is allegedly "less dense and more optimistic." As we liked the density, we're not sure what to think about this. Watch Fields' MySpace wigwam for demos of the new material soon. We reviewed the band's 7 From The Village EP here, and named it one of our favorite records of 2006 here. Then the band finally played Boston last May after releasing their somewhat over-polished debut Everything Last Winter, and we reviewed the show here. In case you've forgotten what all the hubbub is about, here's the band's sublime indie pop strummer "Brittlesticks."

Fields -- "Brittlesticks" -- 7 From The Village EP
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[buy Fields records from Newbury Comics right here]

>> So, remember Johnny Foreigner? Biggest band in the world right now, yeh? The Birmingham, England-based trio's forthcoming single "Our Bipolar Friends" b/w "The Houseparty Scene Is Killing You" -- which we wrote about exhaustively [1, 2, 3] last month -- will finally be issued by Best Before Records March 10 on 7" vinyl and via digital storefronts. The vinyl is limited to 1,000 copies, and 200 of them are signed. A MySpace bulletin from the band suggests pre-ordering from RecordStore.co.uk here to get your hands on a signed copy, so perhaps in our haste to pre-order last month (from HMV) we inadvertently screwed ourselves. Oh well. If you keep your fingers crossed and wish really hard US fans may be able to snag the digital version of the single at EMusic, as the band's stellar 2007 EP Arcs Across The City was sold through the site despite Johnny Foreigner having no US label deal in place. Directly following the single release Johnny Foreigner will be wowing crowds in America at the annual South By Southwest music industry confab, and we noted the specifics here last week.

>> The increasingly indispensible Notwist-Ultras blog has posted fresh information here about the still-untitled forthcoming set from Bavarian futurerock geniuses The Notwist. The band's new record will be issued in Germany on City Slang May 2, and will feature 11 tracks. You can read all the track titles at the link above, as well as some roughly translated impressions of each song as published recently by a German blogger named Walter Wacht, who was afforded the distinct pleasure of a preview listen. May is not so far off... although we don't relish the prospect of paying import prices. Which label will step up and release the set in North America? Whoever it is, we likely won't be able to wait for the deal to be worked out, so we're beginning to horde spare change now. Them Euros are 'spensive.

>> We've already written our review of standout Glaswegian trio Frightened Rabbit's forthcoming sophomore set The Midnight Organ Fight. The record is dynamite. But as the disc isn't out for another six weeks or so, we're holding off on posting it. Although we hate to keep things sitting around, so we imagine we will run it next week. In the meantime you can watch a new video for the hot track "Head Rolls Off" right here.

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