April 24, 2013
Today's Hotness: Los Campesinos, ISAN, Speedy Ortiz
>> Cardiff-based indie pop heroes Los Campesinos delivered in a big way today on a surprise they've been teasing for a couple weeks. The news is the sextet is releasing a new live set titled It's A Good Night For A Fist Fight, and based on the preview track, a cracking version of "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed," it would seem the record is going to be a fireball. It's A Good Night For A Fist Fight was recorded live at Islington Assembly Hall in London on December 15th of last year (the collection takes its title from a lyric in the band's thrilling hand-clapper "By Your Hands"). According to this tumblr post, the London date was actually the band's second try at a live recording, an earlier attempt planned for a show in Seattle, WA in the US was scotched for reasons Los Campesinos doesn't elaborate on. The London show -- 21 songs across 90 minutes -- was played to a sold-out crowd of 800 fans; the performance was the final show to feature Ellen Campesinos, and it also featured an appearance by Aleks Campesinos, who left the band three years prior to concentrate on academics. It's A Good Night For A Fist Fight is available for pre-order now for five British pounds, and the files will be emailed to purchasers May 4; the band is also selling a poster print and various cool t-shirts that can be bundled with the album, so make sure to look over all of the offerings at its Big Cartel yert. Pre-orders are rewarded with an immediate download of the final song of the main set, "Baby I Got The Death Rattle." In what is perhaps even more exciting news, the band says it will begin recording its fifth record in June; its prior two records, Romance Is Boring and Hello Sadness, each landed prominent spots on Clicky Clicky year-end lists. Pre-order It's A Good Night For A Fist Fight right here, and stream the slamming version of "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed" via the Soundcloud embed below -- and scream along with the crowd when the line "THERE IS NO FUCKING FUTURE" rolls around.
>> We've found ourselves revisiting recently a lot of records that were released around the time we first began writing about music in earnest about 11 years ago. We were very excited at the time about the rising tide of IDM and ambient/minimalist electronic producers and electropop acts, many of which we first discovered by watershed compilations from Berlin-based label Morr Music such as the brilliant Slowdive tribute set Blue Skied An' Clear. A relatively veteran act of the then burgeoning electropop scene was the UK duo ISAN, which was founded in 1996 and is comprised of members Antony Ryan and Robin Saville. Morr Music has just announced it will re-release the pair's 1998 full-length debut Beautronics as a CD, and -- for the very first time -- vinyl. The vinyl issue will is a very, very limited gatefold double LP; it was previously made available on Record Store Day earlier this month, and at the time it drafted its press release Morr only had 30 copies left in its own warehouse. Samples of the entire 19-song album can be streamed via the player at this page, and a complete stream of the set's penultimate track "Xylomat" can be streamed via the Soundcloud embed below. "Xylomat" is a spare, echoing confection with subtle melodies whose click-pop sound was pretty much a template for quality ambient electronic and IDM music of the five years following its release. According to ISAN's web site, the song was one of four previously unreleased tracks added to Beautronics for this release. The duo, of course, continues to keep busy, and it recently composed music for a film soundtrack and last month released an EP of analog cassette loops titled Descette on a one-sided 12" via SecretFurryHole. Pre-order Beautronics from Morr via the ANOST store right here. Highly recommended.
>> Hotly tipped indie rock foursome Speedy Ortiz announced Tuesday that its pending debut full-length Major Arcana, which we first mentioned here a month ago, will be released by D.C.-based indie stalwart Carpark Records. While Clicky Clicky still mentally associates Carpark with the more experimental releases of yesteryear from acts such as Greg Davis and Ecstatic Sunshine, the label has been hitting hard more recently with the aggressive and guitar-centered sounds of Popstrangers and Cloud Nothings. In that latter context, of course, Speedy Ortiz is an obvious choice for the label, not to mention a feather in its proverbial cap. Carpark will issue Major Arcana, a 10-song collection, July 9. Next week the Northampton, MA-based quartet release the 7" single "Ka-Prow" b/w "Hexxy" via Inflatable Records, pre-orders for which are now being taken right here. The single is available in a limited edition of 500, with 40% of the vinyl coming in some combination of "piss yellow" and blue. Speedy Ortiz is in the middle of a stretch of tour dates that has them on the road through Sunday, and its live commitments going forward includes not only a stop at our alma mater's own WestCo Cafe in Middletown, CT May 8, but also a Boston show at Great Scott May 15. Stream the brawling gem "Ka-Prow" via the Soundcloud embed below.