The Pastels announced, yesterday, that the band will release its first album in 16 years. Their last work came in the form of a 2009 collaboration with Japanese duo Tenniscoats. The new album will be released on Domino Records and is entitled Slow Summits. The Pastels offered up snippets of the new material in the short video found below. Domino had this to say about the record:
“We are extremely excited to be able to announce a new Pastels record for 2013. Slow Summits is the record we waited so long for, wondered about, pencilled in then pencilled out, and now finally, triumphantly can pencil back in… but not with a pencil, with a flourish, with a fountain pen. Because it’s that kind of record. Recorded in Glasgow and mixed in Chicago, Slow Summits is already bringing some much needed optimism to 2013, why not let it do the same for you? Here’s a trailer they cut for it with their friend, Blair Young from The Forest Of Black. Check it out.”
The Pastels first formed in Glasgow, Scotland around 1982. The band spent its first few years churning out a string of singles for a handful of independent UK record labels, before releasing its debut LP Up for a bit with The Pastels in 1987. Both The Pastels’ unique sound and the formation of founder Stephen Pastel’s 53rd and 3rd record label provided a launching pad for acts like The Vaselines, The Shop Assistants and Belle & Sebastian. Slow Summits will be the band’s first studio release since 1997’s Illuminations.
I shared a smoke with Minneapolis’ Night Moves after the band’s July 14 opening set for Father John Misty at Schubas Tavern in Chicago. After some time spent gushing over Minneapolis’ burgeoning indie rock scene, lead singer John Pelant informed me of their debut LP Colored Emotions, due to drop on October 9. The album’s second single “Country Queen” arrived late last week. Listen below. Night Moves is scheduled to hit the road with Lord Huron for the entire month of October. All available dates are featured below.
09-29 Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre $
10-02 Denton, TX – Dan’s Silverleaf *
10-03 Austin, TX – Stubbs Jr *
10-05 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn *
10-06 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 *
10-07 Washington, DC – Black Cat Backstage *
10-08 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie *
10-09 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge *
10-11 Allston, MA – Great Scott *
10-12 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands *
10-13 Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place *
10-15 Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern *
10-16 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry *
10-18 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge *
10-19 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court *
10-20 Boise, ID – Neurolux *
10-21 Seattle, WA – Barboza *
10-22 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge *
10-24 San Francisco, CA – The Independent *
10-25 Los Angeles, LA – The Satellite
10-27 Phoenix, AZ – Sail Inn
$ w/ Dirty Projectors
* w/ Lord Huron
Written by Rob Peoni
We often spend far too much time searching for the next best thing rather than enjoying and acknowledging what we already have. There is a certain allure, or even sexiness, to the unknown, whether it be music or the opposite sex. It’s not so much the inability to enjoy what we already know, but rather the thought that what we don’t know could be better. If you’re one of these people who constantly find themselves in predicaments like this, you probably fear normalcy and commitment. The catch 22 of all this is of course, if you can’t ever be happy with the normal, you are never going to have anything sustainable. The search is what you crave, not so much the result. And in the end, you could very well end up never finding anything.
London’s Hot Chip released their fifth studio album In Our Heads last week. The first follow up to the critically acclaimed One Life Stand in 2010, the album represents a culmination of sorts for the band. No longer the younger, brash group from the early 2000’s whose songs were as much about quirkiness as they were dance, life has happened to the group and that change is reflected in their music. They have wives, kids, houses…in short they’ve done what we all do, age. Just looking at the song titles when compared to their major label debut Coming On Strong in 2004. On that album you have songs entitled “The Beach Party”, “Playboy”, and “Crap Kraft Dinner”. Now, you are songs like “Don’t Deny Your Heart”, “Always Been Your Love”, and “Ends of the Earth”. Sense a bit more seriousness in their craft?
That’s not to say this album doesn’t deliver what Hot Chip wants to. In the end, this is still “get those feet moving” dance music that you’d expect at your favorite club on a Saturday night. “How Do You Do” and “Don’t Deny Your Heart” are perhaps the most perfect examples of this on the album. They are your classic Hot Chip material: a fast driving electro beat that pushes the song and catchy hooks. But this album features the band continuing to dive into a slower, more methodical, style. “Look at Where We Are” is a beautiful 90’s R&B slow jam that is last dance prom music for hipsters. In a similar style, “Flutes” features seven minutes of build and tempo before getting to the ultimate point that “One day you might realize, that you might need to open your eyes.”
But perhaps the best song on In Our Heads that truly symbolizes the sound of this album is the lengthy “Let Me Be Him” which features the “moment” on this album where at the 4:30 mark Alexis Taylor belts out amongst a church like chant, “Let me be him. My soul, my love, is running away with me, and I won’t leave it all to you.” The album comes to a close with the soothing “Always Been Your Love” which resembles a church congregation chant of unity and togetherness. And perhaps that what a band like Hot Chip wanted to accomplish with their voice and thousands of fans…a feeling and knowledge that we’re all in this together. And that’s precisely why you can’t continue to chase the unknown, because when all is said and done, you’ll be the only one left standing their alone.
Written by Greg Dahman