April 12, 2008

Today's Hotness: M83, Johnny Foreigner, Ecstatic Sunshine

>> That new M83 single is brilliant, innit? Less bleary and more pop than the stuff we recall from the prior record, although we must admit having a hard time differentiating M83 and Amusement Parks On Fire in our memories. But "Graveyard" is a perfect synthesis of New Order and The Cure and big melodic washes and ringing guitars that we have been constantly searching for over the last 22 years (we date our interest in indie music to the release of The Cure's Standing On A Beach). Check out the video for "Graveyard" posted above. Mute unleashes M83's fifth studio album Saturdays = Youth, from which the single is taken, Tuesday. M83 plays The Middle East in Cambridge, Mass. Monday June 2; you can review all of the tour dates at the M83 YouTube page here.

Johnny Foreigner -- Eyes Wide Terrifed plus two>> So not only does Johnny Foreigner's forthcoming debut full-length now have a release date, it has a whole other market. The hotly anticipated Waited Up 'Til It Was Light will be issued in the UK June 2. On the same day it will also be issued in Japan on the Fabtone Records label, through a deal disclosed Friday. Fabtone has released in Japan records by notable Western indie rockers Dirty On Purpose and The Lodger. The Japanese release of Waited Up 'Til It Was Light will have two bonus tracks (we bet we know one of them, a cover, just guessing) and shmancier art work. We're sure we'll buy it for a crazy amount off EBay. To punctuate the Birmingham, England-based trio's conquest of Japan it will play the SummerSonic festival in Japan August 9. If you've read guitarist Alexei Berrow's March missive in DrownedInSound you know dude and his honchos Kelly and Junior just rock, smoke, drink and record rock, all with little rest and occasional illness. We can't imagine plying their wares is going to get Johnny Foreigner any more rest, but perhaps they'll be able to sleep on the plane? As we've reported over and over, Waited Up 'Til It Was Light will be preceded May 19 by the single "Eyes Wide Terrified," the video of which we posted below some days ago before our laptop exploded. See this little square picture to the left? It's the sleeve art for "Eyes Wide Terrified." 'Tis small, but it is obviously another Lewes Herriot design that we can't wait to see rendered in a seven-inch square. Anyway, what with the band's third single "Our Bipolar Friends" selling out, here's an MP3.

Johnny Foreigner -- "Our Bipolar Friends" -- "Our Bipolar Friends" b/w "The House Party Scene Is Killing You"
[right click and save as]
[buy the entire single at EMusic here]

>> The smoldering track "Herrons" from Baltimore trio Ecstatic Sunshine's newly released sophomore collection Way has been moving us this morning. We never reviewed the band's 2006 debut on Carpark, but we certainly listened to it a lot. And while Freckle Wars featured tunes constructed by trebly, slithering guitars, "Herrons" displays a decidedly murkier -- even Fennesz-esque -- Ecstatic Sunshine. The band's recently enlarged line-up (it had formerly been a duo) apparently hasn't resulted in more slithering. In fact, at this point the act touts only co-founder Matt Papich on guitar, while co-founder Dustin Wong and new-ish Kieran Gillan wrangle electronics and loops. "Herrons" was recently PantsCasted and you can catch the stream at IMeem here. Highly recommended. You can download Freckle Wars and the acclaimed EP Living from EMusic here, and we don't expect it will be too long before you can get the three-track full-length Way -- which was issued by Cardboard Records Tuesday -- there as well. Ecstatic Sunshine will be on tour from April 17 through May 17. There's no Boston date among those currently booked; review all of the dates at the band's MySpace cabin here.

>> As we reported previously, Glaswegian indie rock quartet Frightened Rabbit will return to the U.S. next month to support the release of The Midnight Organ Fight. The dates have now been disclosed and we post them below as a public service. The boys curiously start things off and round them out in Ohio on May 28 and June 11 respectively. Between those two dates Frightened Rabbit heads up and down, but not to either coast. Anyway, The Midnight Organ Fight will be released digitally this week; a manufacturing delay apparently is keeping the physical product off of North American shelves until April 29, which means you can use your tax return to pick it up. We reviewed the band's two recent Boston shows here and here respectively, and in the event you missed it, here is our review of the new record.

05.28 -- Cleveland, OH -- Grog Shop
05.29 -- Chicago, IL -- Double Door
05.30 -- Madison, WI -- High Noon Saloon
05.31 -- Minneapolis, MN -- 400 Bar
06.01 -- Chicago, IL -- Do Division Festival*
06.02 -- Kansas City, MO -- Record Bar
06.04 -- Dallas, TX -- Granada Theatre
06.05 -- Austin, TX -- The Mohawk
06.06 -- Houston, TX -- Walters
06.07 -- Baton Rouge, LA -- Spanish Moon
06.09 -- Birmingham, AL -- Bottletree
06.10 -- Nashville, TN -- Exit/In
06.11 -- Columbus, OH -- The Basement

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