France’s Emilie Simon has conquered her home country with hit records and three Victoires de la Musique wins, which is the akin to the Grammys. A restless soul, she’s moved to Brooklyn to begin the next stage of her musical adventures. Her latest album is The Big Machine and “Rainbow” is the new poppy single. Guests on the record include Kelly Pratt and Jeremy Gara from Arcade Fire, and Jon Natchez from Beirut. As a transplant to the Big Apple, Simon has an outsider’s fascination with the city and has described the intent of The Big Machine as “the transcription of the impression I had of New York, with both a black and white musical feel to it, urban, heavy on bass and drums and with explosions of colour and light from the synths.”
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Berlin/London/Bristol-based Anika captures the fractured cultural decadence of the Weimar Republic and the musical wandering of the ‘80s post-punk era while miraculously sounding resolutely futuristic. It’s quite the hat trick and her music has been beguiling critics and audiences alike in growing numbers over the past year. This live performance of “I Go to Sleep” beautifully illustrates that simultaneously historic and timeless aesthetic. Anika released her self-titled debut this past December via Stones Throw and had none other than Geoff Barrow of Portishead / Beak> handling the production. She has a number of upcoming DJ gigs that will be happenings, so find your way to one of these listed below.
Charlie Louvin was never one to shy away from spiritual concerns. The Louvin Brothers’ best-known album, Satan Is Real, was released in 1959, and half a century later, Charlie released Ships to Heaven. Now those spiritual matters take on a new resonance, as Louvin died on Wednesday, January 26, of pancreatic cancer.
Louvin, born Charles Elzer Loudermilk, and his brother Ira, became popular country & western and gospel artists in the 1950s. Ira, an alcoholic, was himself killed by a drunk driver in 1965. After Ira’s death, Charlie struggled through the next decade as a solo artist. From 1982 until 2007, he did not release any new recordings. But as a couple generations of Americana artists discovered the Louvin Brothers and were influenced by their close harmonies, Charlie became something of a living legend. In 2001, the Louvin Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Charlie’s self-titled 2007 comeback album featured contributions from George Jones, Jeff Tweedy, and Will Oldham.
Today, we here at PopMatters are excited to bring you the first in what will be a lone line of video interviews, starting today with Tim Kasher, the Cursive frontman who we caught on the penultimate performance of his solo tour for The Game of Monogamy.
Backstage at Chicago’s historic Vic Theatre, Kasher was candid and open with us, discussing why he chose not to write two more Ugly Organ‘s, how he deals with the frustration of those who feel somewhat betrayed by his songs not being autobiographical, and—after coming clean with soem of his regrets—how getting to open for The Cure was one of the highlights of his life ...
When discussing Between the Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers, the topics most frequently discussed are his frenetic yet soulful keyboard skills, and the delightful contrast between his unearthly growls and gorgeous clean singing. However, not many people seem to realize just what an integral part of Between the Buried and Me’s songwriting and composition he is. Rogers is out to blow perceptions away, though, with his new solo album Pulse, issued under his given first and middle name of Thomas Giles. Arranging, composing, producing, and performing the entire album on his own, this dynamic and intelligent musician delivers a powerhouse album of progressive and experimental rock, enlivened by elements of techno and electronic included in the mix. The first single from the album, “Sleep Shake”, displays just how much effort went into Pulse, with shots of Rogers performing every single instrument and singing. With echoes of Trent Reznor permeating every second of his music, Thomas Giles Rogers is making his presence felt now more than ever before.