Music

Buraka Som Sistema

Rolling African plains, herds of galloping Zebras heading towards a watering hole, chants of the Massai in the distance. What does this have to do with Buraka Som Sistema? Absolutely nothing. Buraka Som Sistema are the first wave of Kuduro producers to gain worldwide notoriety. Hailing from Lisbon and Angola, the foursome have picked up some loyal and high profile followers like Diplo, Switch, Hot Chip and M.I.A. who count themselves among the legion of BSS fans.

MTV Europe Award nomination… CHECK!

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Everyone likes …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. If you like indie music, you like them. If you like metal, you like them. If you like radio-friendly music, you like them. So if everybody likes them, why aren’t they on North American FM airwaves? Sometimes those in charge have no clue as to how to market a band with potential and a massive following. If you’ve got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and Trail of Dead are a white hot rivet, holding up a futuristic ivory tower full of music’s fist pumpers and noblemen.

The Handsome Furs

“The way this record is presented is more honest as what we are as a band,” says Dan Boeckner of The Handsome Furs’ latest album Face Control. Dan, who also co-fronts Wolf Parade, and music/life partner Alexei Perry’s personas and music stand out from their indie-rock comrades. Face Control, their follow-up to 2007’s Plague Park, is a brusque force. Their inspiration, drawn from Russian techno and their travels across Eastern Europe is evident in every aspect of Face Control.

The Pains of Being [Pure at Heart]

“Good bands will find a way to make it work,” says an excited Kip Berman on the telephone from his self-proclaimed “dirty” home in Brooklyn. Kip is the kind of young man you would dream about as a teenager in the Nineties who would swoop into your town with his collection of Sonic Youth cassettes and his love of all things precious. His band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is the kind of band you wished existed your entire life, and he feels the same.

Ladyhawke

Pip Brown is sitting in her hotel room in Melbourne, waiting for another call. Today the girl known as Ladyhawke is more like Rapunzel. She waits for the phone to ring, and for a voice to appear on the other end of the line, from the other end of the world, and for it to ask the same questions that until months ago, the bashful singer had grappled to answer.

When Pip released her self-titled debut album, in September, she lit up the music industry’s radar. The more she was labeled The One to Watch, the more she became the one to talk to.

We Are Wolves

There are a lot of reasons why one could shrug off We Are Wolves without ever listening to them. There’s no denying they are a trendy and arty wolf band from Montreal. Yes, we all got pulled aside at some point last year by some astute observer of culture who said you might not be aware of this but there are quite a few bands with “wolf” in their name out there these days. As off-putting as this may be, there are a lot more reasons why you should embrace Les Loupes and their spazzy, dance floor friendly electro-rock.

Stereo Total

They play with an abandon that is unmatched by acts who embrace and emulate them. A retro-art mentality, sexy lyrics, and a wanton rebel-child’s soul are the foundation of what makes this band such a permeable force across the globe. Writeups read like amped, deifying expressions of a multi-lingual duo that uses eclectic instruments and influence the art world, all played out in youthfully translated text. This sort of thing has surely become all too common for Berlin’s Stereo Total.

Caribou

Creative process is a tricky thing. It’s different for everyone, but for most, there’s an element of escapism; of going to that “happy place” where everything just clicks. For Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, that happy place is Andorra.

Tegan and Sara

What’s better than Tegan and Sara? Why, Tegan and Sara squared of course. The Canadian indie darlings have doubled the fun by planning not one, but two headlining tours. Throughout the summer, the duo will take their band to intimate theatre venues and then finish off with a two and a half month North American theatre tour in the fall. All three of their hometowns—Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal—will be visited with room to spare. It’s often that two strong-willed individual personalities can transfer their emotions so well into their music without clashing and eventually breaking up.

Justice

If you blinked at some point in the late ‘90s you might have missed it, but electronic dance music was cool for about a year. In January 1997, two Frenchmen in robot costumes, Daft Punk, released their groundbreaking debut, Homework. Though a decade old now, Homework hasn’t aged a day and it easily rivals the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack as the most influential dance music album of all time. The album inspired some of the greatest music videos ever made and, consequently, Homework was a crossover hit that got huge airplay and introduced legions of people to dance music.

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