Entries for 'Mark Townsend'
Originally published by Mark Townsend on July 20, 2009
Adam and Darcie are a husband and wife team from Provo, Utah. Having released their debut The Valley Where I'm From, a couple of years ago, they recently signed to Irish record label Indiecater Records. Their new album California Trail is out on July 24th.
The new album is out next week. How do you feel in relation to it and, perhaps, the public reacton to it? Confident? Nervous? A bit of both?
Adam: The process of writing, recording, and producing the album was a wonderful yet demanding journey, so having it done and ready for people to hear (and hopefully enjoy) is a good place to be. I guess I'm also cautiously optimistic. These are some of the more personal songs we've released, but I hope they will resonate with others in a way that is unique and personal to them.
Darcie: We've put a lot of time and emotion into the album and I'm indeed proud of it. That doesn't mean I think everyone is going to listen to it exclusively for the rest o... [Read on]
Originally published by Mark Townsend on May 03, 2009
A review of the album 'Understanding Electricity' by Official Secrets Act
Review Snapshot: Reasonable debut from the London art-rockers - with synth-stylings of the New Romantic era allied to the post-punk guitars of Franz Ferdinand, this release suggests a decent future for the group. However, given the lack of moments of true genius, one wonders if this album will truly catapult them into the indie stratosphere.
The Cluas Verdict? 6.5 out of 10
Good God, it’s like the ‘80s never went away. The last time the country struggled through such an economic crisis, the airwaves were populated by a plethora of dubiously-attired, synthesizer-based acts.
Arriving on the scene with their meticulously-coiffed hair, Adam Ant facepaint and clipped English accents, it would be very easy to dismiss Official Secrets Act as an anachronism, a hark back to a bygone age of legwarmers and Spandau Ballet. (Although they’re back too, aren’t ... [Read on]
Originally published by Mark Townsend on April 27, 2009
A review of the album 'Swoon' by Silversun Pickups
Review Snapshot: Competent but slightly dull sophomore release from the California-based four-piece. Following on from the success of ‘Carnavas’, their debut album, ‘Swoon’ is polished and well-played but lacks the irresistible hook of their early single ‘Lazy Eye’.
The Cluas Verdict? 5.5 out of 10
So long as Brian Aubert sings angst-filled lyrics in a reedy-voiced manner to the background of heavily-distorted guitars, there will always be a Smashing Pumpkins reference waiting to be mentioned when discussing Silversun Pickups. From the opposite side of America they may be, but aside from the voice, guitars, female bass player and the same initials (am I stretching this?) there was the gorgeous ‘1979’-esque mellow groove of their breakthrough single ‘Lazy Eye’.
With their second release Silversun Pickups seem to have edged away slight... [Read on]
Originally published by Mark Townsend on April 21, 2009
An interview with Leeds-based Official Secrets Act
Formed in 2006 in Leeds' Official Secrets Act are a new sharply dressed indie fourpiece. Combining the angular riffs of Franz Ferdinand with the synth-based melodies of the 80’s New Romantic era their new CD Understanding Electricity is out now.
The new album is out and you must be delighted with it. Was it an arduous process to record or was it quite easy and natural?
The challenge with making a first album is whether you record the 12 best songs you've ever written as a band up until that point, or whether you select songs with the concept of an 'album' and some kind of consistency in mind. For us, with the recession kicking in and thoroughly disillusioned with the fruits of our education, we were determined to choose songs that we could use to combat our overwhelming scepticism, with romance and escapism. After that it was a question of pushing each song as far as it could go until it found it... [Read on]
Originally published by Mark Townsend on April 10, 2009
Larry Beau, or Declan Burke as he is known to some, is a singer/songwriter from Galway. A singular and unique talent on the Irish music scene he is a man of many guises. A wandering minstrel with baroque tendencies(if you will) Larry’s sound is a difficult one to pin down. It’s best to listen yourself and form your own definition.
Tell us about the album. How long you worked on it? What snags you hit along the way, and how did you overcome them? Looking back now, is there anything you'd change?
After about 5 different titles I finally settled for I Dream of Tiger Rose. The album is back from duplication now so it’s unlikely that I’ll fickle my way towards another name change. It took me a while to be satisfied with the final canvas but now I think I have an album that will age pretty well, something that I won’t drop-kick with shame 3 months down the line. I aimed for a music project that was old and new at the same time, a melody world that ... [Read on]
Originally published by Mark Townsend on March 31, 2009
A review of the album 'Grace/Wastelands' by Peter Doherty
Review Snapshot: Rambling acoustic album from the pen of Peter (not Pete anymore) Doherty. Devoid of the energy and drive of his earlier work, this is a meandering, middle of the road piece which, despite occasional moments of elegance, is frequently bogged down by dull mid-tempo acoustic guitars and Doherty’s increasingly unclear vocal delivery.
The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10
You always run the risk when mentioning the name of Mister Pete(r) Doherty of offending someone. He has always been, and one suspects always will be, a name that divides public opinion. To some he is nothing other than a genius. To others he is merely a talentless junkie.
But one charge that can be levelled at the man, and which even his most ardent fans may struggle to dispute, is that he has never produced a consistently brilliant piece of work. Even his best albums with The Libertines and Babyshambles s... [Read on]