Oh, hey, lookie here, U2 sprung a new album on us! The Irish superstars surprised the world with the release today at an Apple press conference for the new iPhone 6, which concluded with a performance of the opening track “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).” The thirteenth album (and their first in five years) is titled Songs of Innocence and is available for FREE, as a gift from Apple, to anyone with iTunes. I mean, why not? It’s not like either of them need your $12.99, right? It’s being credited as the largest album release of all time.
The album was recorded over the past two years in Dublin, Los Angeles, and New York, with a crew of talented producers including Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood. Lykke Li adds some guest vocals to the track “The Troubles.” In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, Bono said, “We wanted to make a very personal album. Let’s try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.”
A physical version of the album comes out on October 13th including a 24-page booklet. The deluxe edition also includes acoustic versions of the album’s songs along with four bonus tracks: “Lucifer’s Hands”, “The Crystal Ballroom”, “The Troubles” (alternative version) and “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight” (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake). The vinyl release will include an exclusive remix of “The Crystal Ballroom” by Tchad Blake.
Watch the band perform at today’s press conference below.
Indicators of Autumn: cooler weather, it’s getting darker outside earlier, and the new releases list is getting more robust! Just look at this week’s list. We get the long-awaited new album from Interpol. KEXP’s Music Director Don Yates notes, the “New York-born band’s fifth album (and first without bassist Carlos Dengler) is a rock-solid return-to-form of brooding post-punk with strong song hooks, ringing angular guitars and pulsing rhythms accompanying Paul Banks’ gloomy vocals and often-dark, enigmatic lyrics.” Ryan Adams also returns with a new album, “steeped in the sounds of ‘80s mainstream rock, particularly Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, combining sleek guitars, atmospheric keyboards and mostly mid-tempo rhythms with Adams’ plaintive vocals and often-melancholy lyrics.” Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O shares her debut solo release, “a sparse, lo-fi set of intimate love songs that she wrote and mostly recorded alone in her New York apartment around 2007, with most just featuring skeletal guitar lines and aching vocals.” This morning’s in-studio guest Avi Buffalo release their latest today, “another well-crafted set of roots-tinged psych-pop with a warm, beautifully detailed sound combining electric and acoustic guitars, piano, various horns and more with Avi’s breathy, falsetto-laden vocals and often-melancholy lyrics.”
But wait! There’s (a lot) more! Denver-based duo Tennis release their third album, “an expansive, smartly crafted blend of ‘60s girl-group pop, ‘70s funk-pop, folk-rock, electro-pop, psych-pop and more. With production split between three producers (Richard Swift, Spoon’s Jim Eno and The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney), the album still manages to sound cohesive while also being the band’s boldest statement yet.” Canadian pop-masters Sloan return with “a double album with each of the band’s four members taking the singing and songwriting lead for one of the album’s four sides, moving from the Beatlesque pop of Jay Ferguson’s first side of the record to Chris Murphy’s jangly pop, Patrick Pentland’s chunky power pop and closing with Andrew Scott’s ambitious 18-minute pop suite.” On their fifth album, Durham, NC group Hiss Golden Messenger feature “a strong supporting cast including William Tyler along with members of Megafaun and Mountain Man, the album combines a warm, ‘70s-influenced sound with Taylor’s literate, often-dark lyrics.” Read More »
The past couple days have been very busy for The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas. Just yesterday he released his newest single “Where No Eagles Fly,” and today he’s shared the official music video. It won’t be remembered for being a high-concept or polished video, but it’s still extremely captivating. [CoS]
Considering his past, The Lightness of Being might be a suitable alternative to name Hiss Golden Messenger‘s new album, The Lateness of Dancers. Whether he’s has found answers to the questions haunting his darker, folkier albums or just accepted the mystery and moved on, the Durham, NC, songwriter M.C. Taylor has stepped out into the sun with this more relaxed and optimistic LP, his fourth overall and first on Merge Records (out today!). So, it couldn’t have been more fitting for us to meet up with Taylor at the Bunny Glade last month during Pickathon to record three new songs from Lateness in the early morning sunshine. Enjoy!
Anyone who’s ever seen a show at Fremont Abbey could tell you that it’s a beautiful, intimate setting; it’s one of a handful of music venues in Seattle that is available to rent for wedding receptions, and when it does host gigs, they’re primarily acoustic shows and songwriter showcases. But Deep Sea Diver hasn’t been a solo project in some time, and their musical output generally consists of electric, full-band arrangements, so for them to celebrate the release of their new EP, Always Waiting, the band certainly had something up their sleeve – and they did. The first of Deep Sea Diver’s two EP release shows felt thrilling not only because of the band’s vital performance of the new songs, but also because, as the night went on, it felt like something bigger than a gig marking the release of the EP – a snapshot of a band that returned from the studio rejuvenated and a tantalizing peek into their next steps.
Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Hang My Head In Shame” by Pete Molinari from the 2014 album Theosophy on Clarksville Records/INgrooves.
Sounds like nowhere you’d want to be, and as far a band names go, maybe not something you’d want to hear, but believe us when we tell you, Diarrhea Planet rules! Six guys from Nashville – four of them playing guitar! – live the credo of “Shred ‘Til You’re Dead” by blasting a fiery torrent of riff-heavy good times in a reverently irreverent mix of garage, punk and 80′s rock. Those of us watching could barely hold it in as the band tore up our tiny studio at KEXP last month, ripping licks with their teeth and high-fiving and all the while. Run, don’t walk, to check out Diarrhea Planet now.
KEXP has our TV eye set for this week in late night television. Set your DVR, TiVo, or just drink some coffee to stay awake for these musical guest performances on your favorite talk shows. Here are the highlights:
Monday, September 8th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Spoon
Last Call with Carson Daly: Tinariwen (R)
Tuesday, September 9th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Interpol
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: The Replacements
Last Call with Carson Daly: You Won’t (R)
Conan: Wiz Khalifa (R)
Wednesday, September 10th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Death From Above 1979
Last Call with Carson Daly: Washed Out (R)
Thursday, September 11th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Ryan Adams
Friday, September 12th:
Last Call with Carson Daly: Midlake (R)
Saturday, September 13th:
Austin City Limits: The Head and the Heart / Gomez (R)
Time heals all wounds: NBC is lifting a 30-year ban on The Replacements, allowing them to play The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 9th. The band got banished from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 1987 after a particularly rambunctious performance on Saturday Night Live, which you can watch below: [Spin]