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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anoraak To Release Eclectic Debut Album This Fall

THIS is how you make a music video. Anyone can fill a club up with extras and perform on a stage lit with strobe lights and glittery disco balls. Anoraak and his video for °Above Your Head° is something different...something cool...something unique and I dig it.  From his forthcoming new album Wherever The Sun Sets, "Above Your Head" is conceptual video art at it's coolest.  Shot by acclaimed director/artist Milosh Luczynski, the video was filmed in 360°with 8 cameras. Never seen that before in a music video, have you? Alright Anoraak...I'll bite.


After testing out the indie rock scene for a while, Anoraak (born Frederic Riviere) quickly grew bored and began looking for his true calling as a solo artist. Moving to the West of France and joining some friends in "the most livable spot in all of Europe," Nantes, Riviere found inspiration in this new locale, helping to launch the Valerie Collective/blog (Russ Chimes, College, Minitel Rose, The Outrunners, Maethelvin).  The "Anoraak" project actually began 8 years ago in Riviere's own bedroom as he was searching for work as a sound engineer. After finding nothing but bar work, it was time for something bigger.  Firmly reestablished in Nantes Riviere put out an EP Nightdrive With You, a "buzz-stirring attempt at everything from moon-lit club music to Boards of Canada-inspired IDM."  Seems like with this "buzz-stirring" first attempt Anoraak was onto something.  The EP's title track received the remix treatment from Grum, Jupiter, Saycet, Minitel Rose and Fear of Tigers. Tremendous vote of a support from some of the big names in electronic music, no? (Download the remixes HERE).

Now nearly 2 years after the release of the Nightdrive With You EP, Anoraak is back with a full length album, Wherever The Sun Sets, due out digitally on September 21st and physically on October 26th via Naive Records.  The 11-track album features a mostly "feel good" sound sprinkled with traces of melancholy.  Sounds like a well-balanced album. 
 "A seamless blend of live and programmed elements that's essentially an electronic take on the SoCal rock LPs that Riviere loved as a kid growing up in the South of France."  
Sounds intriguing, right?  Throw alt.-disco diva Sally Shapiro on one of the tracks and you have me completely sold.  But wait! The intrigue doesn't stop there!  Another song features guest vocals by Scottish folk singer Siobhan Wilson.  This is sounding more and more like a musical mixed bag, and I'm all for it!  The album features an eclectic mix of sounds - everything from Italo-disco and "Motown-schooled funk" to "sepia-toned pop music" this is looking to be one INTERESTING LP. Listen to a selection of songs and check out the track listing below:

Track Listing:

01 Above your head
02 Try Me
03 Can’t stop
04 Don’t be afraid (feat. Sally Shapiro)
05 Crazy eyes
06 Long hot summer night
07 You taste like cherry
08 Dolphins & highways (feat. Siobahn Wilson)
09 Cloud | Rain | Love
10 Midnight Sunset
11 Here you go

Download the new track "Above Your Head" now for free HERE.  You can also download the new EP Try Me which features remixes of "Above Your Head" by Enola and remixes of the title track by the We Have Band, Michael Cassette and RAC.

Check out Anoraak on the web:
Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//Twitter

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Get Familiar With: Van Go Lion

Van Go Lion is a group that you need to familiarize yourselves with. The Portland-based electro-pop duo consists of Amy Paige on vocals and Josh Loerzel on keys.  A lot of electro-pop today is lacking in the vocal department.  All too frequently too much energy and attention is paid to the production and beats, leaving the vocalist swallowed up by the sound.  Amy Paige is NOT that sort of vocalist. A beautiful, strong voice combined with crystal clear annunciation and delivery, her vocals persevere, enhancing the beautiful melodies produced by her classically-trained pianist partner, Loerzel. The importance of their partnership isn't lost on Amy.
"Pop music can be fun, but it can have more substance. If you really listen to the songs and what Josh is playing, it's really involved stuff -- a lot of these tracks are classical at the core. Just because its pop doesn't mean it's throwaway."

The band saw it's start after Amy moved cross-country from New York City to Portland, answering Josh's Craigslist advert looking for a singer for a band.  The two bonded over a mutual love for Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" and decided to split from the band and go off on their own 80s/90s inspired direction.  The debut self-titled EP features six songs written by the pair and really only whets my appetite for more.
"It's pretty clear we're a couple of 80's dorks when you hear our music. It's quirky, it makes you dance, and if you do it right, there's nothing better than a good pop song. We listen to a lot of Prince, Tears for Fears, Hall and Oates, Eurythmics and early Madonna."

Every song on their MySpace player is a catchy electro-pop smash. Standouts for me include "The Ache," "Glow" and "Excuses, Please" the latter of which is available on their debut digital EP, on iTunes now.  Van Go Lion is a sweet, synthy, surprise.  Listen to "The Ache" below:

Check out Van Go Lion on the web:

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Indie Band Sky Larkin Back With New Skills, New Passion, New Album

If you haven't yet heard of Sky Larkin, you better jump on that NOW. Sky Larkin is an indie band from the UK currently signed to Wichita Recordings The band includes lead vocalist/guitarist Katie Harkin, Doug Adams on bass and Nestor Matthews on drums. Their new album Kaleide featuring the single "Still Windmills" was just released digitally on August 10th, with a physical release to follow on October 12th.

Kaleide is released 18 months to the day their debut album, 2009's The Golden Spike was released.  Recorded in Seattle with producer John Goodmanson (Death Cab for Cutie, Hot Hot Heat, Blondie) the new album "is a strident record that takes everything they shot for as a newer, greener three-piece and pulls it into shape."

Between releases a lot of bands keep busy writing songs but Sky Larkin has been busy honing their craft, learning new things and improving upon the talent they already possess.  For example, bassist Doug Adams has been busy learning to play new instruments, Nestor "continues to break cymbals and invent new grimaces" and Katie is playing "harder than ever."

How can you NOT like this band?  They have a song simply titled "Anjelica Huston" (one of my favoirite actresses growing up).  The song is not lyrically complex at all, in fact it revolves around one phrase repeated over and over again:  "When the train pulled out of the station, the light hit your face, like Anjelica Huston."

According to Katie, "It's greatest strength isn't narrative, but if I wanted to tell a story I'd write a book. If I want to communicate an intensity of feeling, I should write a song that makes me feel it." Well said.  Check out the video for "Still Windmills" below:

Still Windmills from Sky Larkin on Vimeo.

Check out Sky Larkin on the web:
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