Lifting their name from one of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed plays is an indication that Jersey-bred Titus Andronicus have massive cajones and don’t shy away from grand ambition. Their brand of punk epics recall everyone from Neutral Milk Hotel to Bruce Springsteen. 2010’s The Monitor, loosely based around the concept of the Civil War, is at once sprawling, sloppy, raw and glorious. Putting on one of the best shows of the Pitchfork Weekend, Titus are a wake-up call to synth-pop indie excess and a return to rock that really matters and can make grown men weep.
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The Southern pop duo the Foxymorons return after five years with their latest long player, Bible Stories next week. Their gentle, pastoral pop ideally suits these waning days of summer, made all the more ironic given that these tunes were recorded during the cold winter months in frosty Nashville basement. Today we have the pleasure of premiering the video for the single “This Too Shall Pass”. Foxymoron’s David Dewese talks about the video’s creation: “We made the video ourselves, but some of the little details might be cool to mention. As with the long distance nature of our band, we each filmed footage in separate states using only our iPhones. Fort Worth represents the introspective and lonesome footage, while Nashville represents good memories and hope. We also edited from afar using iChat’s screen-share program to fumble our way through an antique version of iMovie. We can’t wait to refine the process and try it again.”
Belle and Sebastian
Belle and Sebastian Write about Love
Releasing: 12 October
It was only a few months ago that Belle and Sebastian were recording a new album in Los Angeles and Tweeting about Trader Joes indulgences. Stuart Murdoch and co. must’ve found a lot of inspiration in those knock-off gourmet treats, since they’ve just announced that their first full-length in four years, Belle and Sebastian Write about Love, is slated for release on October 12 via Matador. Posting two different duotone album covers and a slick video that gives only a brief glimpse of a new song, “I Want the World to Stop”, the Belles, despite the layoff, remain ever the teases.
Add another color to that crayon box.
Highlighting yet another facet of the vocal versatility she exhibited on Crayons (2008), Donna Summer delivers a late-summer dance floor delight with her valentine to “The City of Light”. Penned with her longtime collaborator Bruce Roberts, “To Paris With Love” instantly conjures the glamourous aesthetic and catwalk rhythm of the world’s fashion capital. Peter Stengaard, who also produced Summer’s last one-off single “I Got Your Love” in 2005, is the mastermind behind the track’s infectious groove and dreamy ambiance.
Of the numerous vocal styles in her considerably colorful palette, Donna Summer paints the song with her falsetto. Her voice floats above Stengaard’s beats like a warm breeze at sunset. “Been around the world,” she intones before chanting “Lous, Louis, Louis Vuitton” as a coy nod to the legendary fashion house and paragon of Parisian panache. Lyrically, “To Paris With Love” emphasizes the city’s renown for romance, a veritable post card that promises finding love in a café or along the Seine. “You’ll fall in love when you make Paris your home”, she whispers before a high-pitched organ suggests the suspense of two sets of eyes meeting for the first time.
As the season of Kylie, Katy, and Kelis dims on the dance floor, Donna Summer’s game-changing return to the clubs is a welcome cocktail of class, style, and sophistication. Between the stratospheric orientation of Summer’s voice and the fluid pound-and-pulse of Stengaard’s production, “To Paris With Love” is one of the definitive gems of 2010, n’est-ce pas?
The single is currently available on iTunes via www.donnasummer.com. Donna Summer also embarked on a 10-city tour on 16 August that continues through 4 September.