sat 15/06/2024

New Music Buzz

Jenny Hval – When Viscera takes control

Kieron Tyler

Viscera, the new album by Norway’s Jenny Hval, is a striking, often disturbing, surreal examination of how the body can take control, winning out over thought. Hval enfolds her explicit, literature-inspired lyrics in music that suddenly shifts from the impressionistic to the surging. Her voice can be disquietingly detached, narrating, as she puts it, “a partly uncomfortable listen”.

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Freaked-out Brazilian musical treasures rediscovered

Kieron Tyler

Sometimes it seems as though every bit of music from the past has been disinterred, no matter how obscure or outré it is. But, of course, surprises keep on coming and the Psychedelic Pernambuco compilation is a reminder that great stuff still lurks out there. Collecting material recorded for the Brazilian independent Rozeblit label, Psychedelic Pernambuco roams through weird folk, post-Tropicália strangeness, fractured instrumentals and more.

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Jet Harris, the original Shadow RIP

Kieron Tyler

Jet Harris was one of the architects of British rock'n'roll. His death rams home just how distant that era now seems. A former skiffler, he joined The Shadows after a spell backing Terry Dene, British rock's first bad boy. In time, Harris became a bad boy too, setting the template for the self-destructive lifestyle that would become a cliché. But his moody image will survive too. His rumbling bass guitar will forever be synonymous with those evocative Shadows' hits.

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First UK show for Arnaud Fleurent-Didier

Kieron Tyler

Arnaud Fleurent-Didier’s La Reproduction was one of the most striking albums of last year. The news that he and his band are playing the UK for the first time next week at the Institut Français is exciting as La Reproduction was more than great musically. It was also a cultural benchmark, putting the Mai 68 generation under the microscope and taking them to task for being inward-looking – they made great mayonnaise at the expense of paying attention to their kids.

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R.I.P. The Acid King

Thomas H Green Soundman and psychedelic chemist Owsley Stanley

One of the great adventures of the 20th century is the story of LSD. A warped, unlikely slice of history not taught in schools, it has flavoured many aspects of life to this day. The countercultural explosion of the Sixties influenced the broader Western world - art, music, politics, religion, social issues and much more - and at its vanguard were key figures who believed that enlightenment might be found through the use of psychedelic drugs. These utopian mavericks were from all sorts of...

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New Band: She Keeps Bees

Russ Coffey She Keeps Bees: Like PJ Harvey in Tennessee during a full moon

The White Stripes may have just announced their retirement but theartsdesk can report that the boy/girl two piece is still alive and well in the form of She Keeps Bees, a Brooklyn-based band currently on a mini-tour around Britain and Europe. Here it’s the girl, Jess Larrabee on guitar, and boy, Andy LaPlant on drums. The sound is superficially similar to The White Stripes with Larrabee delivering gutsy blues rock guitar, but vocally she sounds more like...

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Competition: Band of Horses box sets

Russ Coffey

To mark the release of their new single "Dilly" theartsdesk has limited-edition box sets of Band of Horses album Infinite Arms to give away. The box sets have a CD version, a vinyl version and artwork unique to the set. All potential winners have to do is to answer the four questions below, and just to make it easy the answers will be found by following the embedded links.

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Tim Buckley’s musical prehistory unearthed

Kieron Tyler

Tim Buckley might have died in 1975, but he’s lived on through re-evaluations, reissues and, by default, through the music of his also-dead son Jeff. This new Rhino Handmade version of Buckley senior’s debut Elektra album is significant as the second disc collects never-before-heard recordings by his first band, The Bohemians, and a set of pre-Elektra demos.

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BBC Folk Awards: Chris Wood, Bellowhead, Donovan winners

Peter Culshaw

Mark Radcliffe was on good form, saying how he had seen Donovan at the Whitley Bay Ice Rink (and nipped out to the car park to keep warm) and met Donovan’s manager, who when the singer retired asked if Donovan was going to bed. “Donovan doesn’t go to bed – he crashes,” said the manager.

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John Barry, 1933-2011: Musician with the Midas touch

Adam Sweeting

“When you write for film, the dialogue is like the voice, if you like, and I always consider that as part of the music,” said John Barry, who died on 30 January. “Certain orchestral textures have to match the texture of the scene. You deal with the lightness and darkness of the scene when you write music for cinema. The film is a part of the score, and you can't get away from that.

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