in today’s trouser press:
- surprise new album from Ane Brun
- surprise new album from The Baird Sisters
- Neko Case names upcoming album
- Q Awards nominees announced
- Sia to release new single in October
- hear new Dido!
- Britney will be at the VMAs after all
- new live album on the way from Rodrigo Y Gabriela
- the yolk’s on Dandi Wind
- is Jessica Lea Mayfield America’s answer to Laura Marling?
- Love Is All reveal new album details
- Jessica Simpson owes it all to Dolly Parton
- fan letters keep Pink in the game
- Kate Winslet to play John Lennon’s mother
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Don’t you just love it when your favourite artists suddenly announce a new album and then, *whoosh*, before you’ve even finished reading the press release, there it is, giving the eye to your credit card. Without so much as a whisper of a warning, luminous Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun this week brought us a lovely surprise with the release of Sketches, a collection of demos of all the songs from her recent album Changing Of The Seasons (which still hasn’t had a proper physical release in the UK – come on people!), plus two new songs.
Performed mostly with just voice and guitar or voice and piano, Sketches brings the breathless intimacy of an Ane Brun concert to your living room. The two new songs, ‘Miss Moaning’ and ‘My Baby’s Arms’ were originally recorded for inclusion on Changing Of The Seasons but didn’t really fit with that album’s overall themes and so were discarded. Until now. Sketches is exclusively available through www.klicktrack.com and through Ane’s website.
A best-selling, award-winning artist in Scandinavia, Ane Brun plans to follow this year’s two album releases with a new concert DVD, due to be filmed at Stockholm’s Konserthus on October 3rd with a view to getting it out by the end of the year.
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Also pulling a surprise release out of their hat is Espers vocalist and solo sensation Meg Baird. Teaming up with her sister Laura for the follow-up to 2006′s The Baird Sisters At Home, Meg brings us the traditional and contemporary folk sounds of Lonely Town, available from iTunes and eMusic now. The album was recorded less than a month ago by Jeff Zeigler, live off the floor at Uniform Recording in The Baird Sisters’ native Philadelphia. Meg and Laura sing and play guitar, banjo, mandolin and mountain dulcimer.
01 Sugar Baby [traditional]
02 Silver Raven [Gene Clark cover]
03 Lavender Gray
04 Spinning Wheel / Rocket
05 The Three Babes [traditional]
06 Over The Waterfall [traditional]
07 Little Maggie [traditional]
08 Flowers For Your Hair
09 Lonely Town
10 In The Morning
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Neko Case will release her fifth solo studio album next March, almost exactly three years since the critically revered Fox Confessor Brings The Flood hit the shops. Like its predecessor, Middle Cyclone will be released through the Anti- label. Performing at the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle last weekend, Neko played three new songs and a cover of Harry Nilsson’s ‘Don’t Forget Me’ rumoured to be included on the upcoming album. You can watch an audience taping by festivalgoer Katie Parker here. Neko sounds amazing.
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Even though Wears The Trousers writer Rod Thomas is featured in their current issue (his single Same Old Lines is out later this month [video]), it has to be said that Q Magazine is hardly a reliable bastion of taste these days. And so they have proved yet again with the unveiling of the shortlist for their annual awards. Female artists are well represented in the minor categories, with Duffy, Adele, Santogold, Gabriella Cilmi, The Ting Tings, Goldfrapp and, er, Katy Perry, all getting nods. The Ting Tings are the biggest contenders, up for three awards including Best New Act, Best Track and Best Video (both for ‘That’s Not My Name’).
Fans can vote for their favourite bands on the shortlist and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on October 6th at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Go here for the full list of nominees.
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Eccentric Australian singer Sia releases new single ‘Soon We’ll Be Found’, the latest track to be lifted from her recent album Some People Have Real Problems, as a digital download on October 13th. A video directed by Claire Carré (Rainer Maria, The Spill Canvas) features Sia and friends using sign language to tell the story behind the lyrics. “I’ve always been obsessed with the beauty of sign language,” says Sia. “The movement and expression just appears, to ignorant-hearing-me, as a dance…a beautiful, emotive dance. But the real beauty is that, hidden in these perfect shapes, is communication.” The video is expected to premiere soon.
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After a long absence from coffee tables across the nation, Dido is due to make a comeback in November with the release of her third album Safe Trip Home – not the most inspiring title for someone who is, perhaps, the very definition of ‘safe’. But wait! She’s co-produced the album with unconventional studio whizz Jon Brion – the man behind that version of Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine – and her brother Rollo Armstrong. This could be interesting after all. Listen to the new single ‘Don’t Believe In Love’ and judge for yourself. You can also download a free MP3 of another album track, ‘Look No Further’, courtesy of AOL. Safe Trip Home is released on November 4th.
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Few things over the last few weeks have been less interesting than the will-she-won’t-she saga surrounding Britney Spears and this year’s MTV VMAs, due to be held on Sunday at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Thankfully the whole issue has been put to rest with official confirmation that, yes, Britney will be there but, no, she won’t be singing. In a statement Spears said: “MTV has long played an important role in my career. How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs? I’m excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans and to be nominated.”
Quite what opening the show will entail remains a mystery, but given that the star has three nominations (for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year for ‘Piece Of Me’) and has never won before, it’s bound to get people talking whatever happens. I mean, they already are, right?
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With the huge success of their 2004 concert album, Live In Manchester & Dublin, behind them, Mexican ex-pats Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero follow 2006′s frenetic, eponymous, instrumental studio album with a second live document. Live In Japan (nothing like telling it how it is!) is a 2CD+DVD set recorded on the eve of their first ever Japanese gig at Tokyo’s Duo Club at the end of March. It hits the shops on October 20th.
Live In Japan (audio)
01 OK Tokyo
02 Juan Loco
08 Take Five
10 Gabriela Solo
11 Rodrigo Solo
12 Stairway To Heaven
14 Diablo Rojo
Live In Japan (video)
05 Diablo Rojo
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If you name your child Dandilion Wind Opaine you’d better hope that she (or he, I suppose) has the creative nous to make it worthwhile. Canadian multimedia artist Dandi Wind has already proven her creative chops over the course of several singles, EPs and the excellent Concrete Igloo. Expect her new album Yolk Of The Golden Egg (out September 23rd in Canada) to go even further. Listen to four new songs and watch the accompanying short animated film by photographer John Londono on her Myspace.
Yolk Of The Golden Egg
01 Battle Of Verdun
02 A Lifetime
06 Baying Of The Hounds
07 Silver Lying
08 Midget Palace
09 Yo Pinok
11 The Foundling Circle
12 Dance Of The Paralytic
Wind Opaine. Ha ha. I just got that.
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Is Jessica Lea Mayfield America’s answer to our very own Laura Marling? The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has a similar wise-beyond-her-years outlook, with a country twist. Her debut album, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, which Pitchfork describes as “bootgazer country tunes about young love and deep scars”, was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and is out in the States on September 16th.
With Blasphemy So Heartfelt
01 Kiss Me Again
02 For Today
03 I Can’t Lie To You, Love
04 We’ve Never Lied
05 I’m Not Lonely Anymore
06 Hold You Close
07 Call Me
08 Greater Heights
09 The One That I Love Best
10 Bible Days
11 Is This Love?
12 You’ve Won Me Over
Download ‘Kiss Me Again’ for free, courtesy of Pitchfork.
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Nine songs that sound the same, or nine songs about the same thing? That question surrounded Love Is All’s noisy pop debut Nine Times That Same Song but was soon forgotten in the shuffle of our own feet. Three years down the line they’re challenging us to come up with a century of plausible reasons for insomniac behaviour. The Swedes’ new album, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, was produced by former Aislers Set guitarist Wyatt Cusick and is out November 10th. A brief European tour is in the offing from next week but they’re giving the UK a wide berth for now. Expect them back soon though.
A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night
01 New Beginnings
02 Give It Back
03 Movie Romance
04 Last Choice
05 Sea Sick
06 Wishing Well
07 When Giants Fall
09 Big Bangs, Black Holes, Meteorites
10 A More Uncertain Future
11 19 Floors
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Dolly Parton’s involvement in Jessica Simpson’s transition to country ‘star’ has been well documented, but in a new interview Jessica revealed that she owes more than just the title track of her new album, Do You Know, to Dolly. Simpson says she nearly gave up singing altogether after a particularly damning incident in which the CBS TV network edited out her performance of ‘9 To 5′ from a ceremony to honour Dolly’s lifetime achievements, deeming it too bad to be aired, but Dolly saved the day. Damn! So close.
“Dolly totally took me under her wing and helped me up and over the cares of the world,” Simpson told E! Online. “She told me she’s never been more proud of anything in her whole life. And I have it written down in her handwriting! I do owe a lot of my confidence to her.”
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Jessica isn’t the only one who considered quitting music. Pink recently told The Sun newspaper that a letter she received about a 13-year-old fan’s sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather stopped her from throwing in the towel. In the letter the girl urged Pink to “never stop” making music because it gave her a reason to live. “I get chills even talking about it,” said Pink. “I have 50 of the most insanely awful letters that remind me that this job isn’t about me.”
“It’s crazy. Some people may say the new songs are heartache bullshit, but somebody out there is going to get through their pain a little easier, and that makes me feel better,” she added. Her new album, Funhouse, is out October 27th.
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Finally, something that’s not strictly within the Wears The Trousers remit but we kinda like her (despite that ‘What If’ song) so here goes…Kate Winslet is set to play John Lennon’s mother Julia in an upcoming biopic directed by filmmaker, artist and celebrity photographer Sam Taylor-Wood. Julia’s love of music was a strong influence on Lennon in his teenage years, and the film follows him through that time to the formation of proto-Beatles, The Quarrymen, with Paul McCartney and George Harrison. BAFTA-winning writer Matt Greenhalgh who recently worked on the Joy Division film, ‘Control’, penned the screenplay that the major studios will be bidding over later today at the Toronto Film Festival.
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Tagged ane brun, britney spears, bumbershoot, dandi wind, dido, dolly parton, fiona apple, jessica lea mayfield, jessica simpson, john lennon, jon brion, laura baird, laura marling, love is all, meg baird, neko case, pink, q awards, rodrigo y gabriela, sam taylor-wood, sia, the baird sisters, the ting tings