TAS In Session: Flashback 2010 (Part Two)
Last week we gave you the first part of TAS In Session: Flashback 2010, looking back at many of bands and musicians who passed through Studio A over the past year and highlighting some of the songs played in live performance. We also updated you on what these artists have planned for 2011, from tours to new recordings to free downloads you can find this very minute on their websites. This week, the promised Part Two of our reminiscence and we've rounded up another collection of 2010's live performances from Stornoway, The Walkmen, Field Music, The Morning Benders, El Guincho, The Tallest Man on Earth, Stars, Lost in the Trees, K-os and many more.
Stornoway, "Zorbing" (from a session posted in August 2010)
Stornoway's debut album Beachcomber's Windowsill hurled the Oxford-based band into the limelight this year, not only in their native UK, but in the States as well. The quartet just wrapped up a North American show this month and are on vacation until they gear up for an Australian tour in February. An April tour through Europe is also booked. Chatty on their blog, the band has also become avid fans of the kids of PS 22's chorus in Staten Island.
The Walkmen, "Angela Surf City" (from a session posted in September 2010)
New York natives The Walkmen played a triumphant hometown show at Terminal 5 with School of Seven Bells and Tennis earlier this month, but bassist Walter Martin admitted to us just recently that they were most excited about gigging in Lisbon, Portugal, the namesake of their latest album Lisbon. The Walkmen are currently offering up a free Christmas single on their site, called "The Christmas Party," and are also giving away "holiday megamixes" to fans. Tours in the States and the UK follow beginning in January.
El Guincho, "FM Tan Sexy" (from a session posted in November 2010)
Barcelona's inventive electronica dabbler Pablo Díaz-Reixo, better known as El Guincho, not only released the warm, sunshine-splashed Pop Negro this year, he's also starring in a film called "Bombay," to be released in 2011. You can find out more about the flick, directed by Nicolás Mendez here; El Guincho also wrote the music for the movie.
Blitzen Trapper, "Taking It Easy Too Long" (from a session posted in August 2010)
Although Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley wasn't the most loquacious of guests, the music more that adequately spoke for the band. Currently giving fans a free download of their track "Christmas Is Coming Soon" on their site, Blitzen Trapper supported Guided by Voices in the fall on many dates; no new tours are slated quite yet for the new year.
Chief, "Breaking Walls" (from a session posted in September 2010)
Just wrapping up a December tour supporting their Domino Records debut Modern Rituals, Chief released a new video earlier this month for their third single, called "The Minute I Saw It." Leave it to a California band to release a beach 'n' bikini reverie (there's horses too) just in time for winter.
Field Music, "Let's Write A Book" (from a session posted in May 2010)
Brothers David and Peter Brewis returned in 2010 with the wildly eclectic and experimental double album Measure, just when it seemed, a mere two years ago, that they might abandon Field Music to focus on their own solo projects. The band spent the better part of the autumn touring the US, Europe and the UK and were invited by Belle and Sebastian to play All Tomorrow's Parties this month in Minehead, England. According to a recent interview, the band is letting Field Music lay fallow for 2011 and will concentrate on building a recording studio.
Fyfe Dangerfield, "Faster Than The Setting Sun" (from a session posted in July 2010)
Guillemots' frontman Fyfe Dangerfield used his band's brief hiatus to quickly record his first solo album, Fly Yellow Moon, which was released at the very beginning of the year. As he told The Alternate Side, Guillemots have been working on their next album and in early December, the band played their first gig in two years in London, featuring some of those new songs. Look for more details on the new record, the followup to 2008's Red, quite soon (especially if you sign up to the band's mailing list).
Stars, "How Much More" (from a session posted in July 2010)
Montréal's Stars, led by the equally enigmatic and outspoken Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell have had a very eventful year. Aside from releasing a new album, The Five Ghosts, and touring heavily in support of the record (they just wrapped touring in December), Millan is presently expecting a baby with bassist boyfriend and fellow Stars member Evan Cranley (she's due in a few months). Last year, Campbell and his wife became first-time parents to a daughter. In addition, Campbell also released a new album earlier this month with his side project Dead Child Star. The album, called Cold Hands, Warm Heart, also features Julian Brown, Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle), Jimmy Shaw (Metric) and Minotaur Shock.
The Morning Benders, "Promises" (from a session posted in July 2010)
The Morning Benders wrapped their final North American tour supporting their sophomore album Big Echo in November and while the band is taking a holiday hibernation, they've loaded up their store with all sorts of goodies for fans, including a deluxe digital package of Big Echo with almost 40 tracks.
Horse Feathers, "Thistled Spring" (from a session posted in June 2010)
Portland folk rockers Horse Feathers finished up their North American tour this month after a fall on the road with Anais Mitchell and Y La Bamba, supporting their third, critically-praised album Thistled Spring. For the band's latest single, though, they veered away from the album, choosing an interesting cover instead - Nirvana's "Drain You" - with a B-side of a new original song, "Bonnet of Briars."
Plants And Animals, "The Mama Papa" (from a session posted in August 2010)
The trio of Plants and Animals cheekily announced on Boxing Day that the trio was away on individual "cheese retreats" in Halifax, Montréal and Toronto, but the band, who had a high profile North American tour with Frightened Rabbit this fall, are already gearing up for 2011 with an frozen Canadian tour kicking off this February . And a few days before Christmas, Nicholas Basque, aka DJ Count Basqulus, released a series of ringtones for fans, pulled from their latest album La La Land.
K-os, "Burning Bridges" (from a session posted in May 2010)
Like fellow Canadians Plants and Animals, rapper K-os, who released The Anchorman Mixtape in August, is staying north this winter; he plays the Freezing Man Festival in Edmonton, Alberta on January 29 along with Broken Social Scene and Chromeo. Rapper Shad, another fast-rising Ontario rapper, recently praised K-os in Spinner, calling him "one of the best artists in the world, period." And via K-os' tweets, you can check out snippets and leaks from his next album BLack on BLonde, due out next year, as well as upcoming mixtape singles with Drake and Sebastien Grainger.
Shout Out Louds, "Four By Four" (from a session posted in April 2010)
While some bands are headed north, others head down under in the winter; Stockholm's Shout Out Louds launch a brief Australian tour on December 29, ushering in the New Year at the No Years Festival in Brisbane with Neon Indian. A European tour follows in March, still supporting their album Work. Plus you can download the Punks Jump Up remix of "Show Me Something New" on their official site.
Lost in the Trees, "For Leah and Chloe" (from a session posted December 2010)
Ari Picker's slow-burning, darkly autobiographical songs were the catalyst for the formation of the orchestral pop collective Lost in the Trees, but the starkly honest content of Picker's lyrics are beautifully uplifted by shimmering arrangements and a hopeful undertow. A wintertime tour supporting the North Carolina's band's Anti- debut, All Alone in an Empty House, begins in New York on January 7.
The Tallest Man On Earth, "Tangle in This Trampled Wheat" (from a session posted in December 2010)
Kristian Matsson dropped by TAS to talk about his autumnal EP Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird, which followed quickly on the heels of his 2010 album The Wild Hunt. The pensive, gruff Swede has a string of European dates in May. We suspect that he'll pass through North American again as well.
Active Child, "She Was A Vision" (from a session posted in August 2010)
Active Child, the moniker of harp-strumming songwriter Pat Grossi, released a flour-dusted video for his single "I'm In Your Church At Night," from his Curtis Lane EP, in November and will have a pleasantly busy February, opening for White Lies in the UK. He also tweeted recently that he'll be headed into a studio this January to finish work on his debut album, likely due out this spring.