God Help the Girl

“Come Monday Night” MP3

May 07, 2009

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The material for the 2010 film God Help the Girl started rattling inside Stuart Murdoch's mind while Belle &Sebastian toured for 2003's Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Murdoch explained the new music/film project's genesis story on the official God Help the Girl site earlier this year: "I was out for a run and I got this tune in my head and it occurred to me that it wasn't a Belle & Sebastian song. I could hear female voices and strings, I could hear the whole thing, but I just couldn’t envisage myself singing it with the group.” Though Murdoch claims these new songs have very little to do with Belle, you can certainly hear the iconic Glaswegian band's indie-pop stamp in God Help the Girl's first single, "Come Monday Night" (out May 11th on Matador). The polished single's music video recalls '60s girl groups and the quieter moments nestled into your favorite Hollywood musicals. Catherine Ireton's voice is the clear powerhouse here. Karen Carpenter anyone? Likewise, she appears on most of the forthcoming soundtrack's cuts. Unfortunately, the acting during the Gentle Ben-watching intro scene reminds you a little too much of college films. Small quibbles though, since these are singers first and foremost. It's interesting the ladies are watching Gentle Ben because "Come Monday Night" has the kind of lived-in ethos that a cozy book/TV series about a boy and his bear would possess.

And boy is the singing phenomenal. God Help the Girl also features vocals by Asya, lead singer of the Seattle teenage indie band Smoosh, and Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy. A competition (shown here in this earlier clip) helped Murdoch choose the some of the other female voices that join Murdoch and various Belle & Sebastian alum. Murduch asked hopeful singers to add their own vocals to the demo recordings of Belle & Sebastian's "Funny Little Frog" and "The Psychiatrist Is In" and post their results on the iMeem social networking site. This attracted roughly 400 entries. The contest victors included Brittany Stallings and Dina Bankole, as well as Celia Garcia and Alex Klobouk. The God Help the Girl soundtrack will be released in the U.S. on June 23rd (Matador) and on the 22nd in Europe (Rough Trade).

 

Jenny Lewis

“See Fernando” (Live on Craig Ferguson) Video

May 06, 2009

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Holy mustachioed backup band Batman! Jenny Lewis and the dudes trailblaze through through Acid Tongue's '70s rocker "See Fernando." The 2008 cut gets a slightly more locomotive tempo as the band throws in some furious solos. Lewis definitely seems like she's having a ball up there with her main squeeze, Johnathan Rice, singing backup. The band's website announced last week that Jenny and Co. is hitting the road for a quick burst of tour dates (May 27 to June 9). Ms. Lewis had a cover feature in Under the Radar's Fall 2008 issue.

Franz Ferdinand

“No You Girls” (Live on David Letterman) Video

May 06, 2009

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Everybody's favorite dance-rock quartet visited the late night show circuit this week. The arty Scotsmen flounced through Tonight's huge single, "No You Girls," because as Dave quips, "if it was tomorrow night they wouldn't be here." There was a Detection feature on Franz Ferdinand in the Winter 2009 issue of Under the Radar.

Bat For Lashes

“Daniel” (Live on David Letternman) Video

May 06, 2009

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This Bat For Lashes' performance of "Daniel" is from last week but it's certainly worthy of the belated attention. Even Dave's usually perfunctory introduction is spot-on, as he regales his audience in a hilarious tangent about how he got totally smashed at a pub after getting lost on those "silly" roundabouts on the way back from a Des O'Connor appearance. Letterman may have have never made it to Brighton but Natasha Khan certainly takes us on her magnificent trek. When she finally starts her live entry in the heated race for song of the year you'll melt into your seat, "Cloudbusting" style. Bat For Lashes was our cover girl for the current issue of Under the Radar. It's on stands now, so check it out!

Grizzly Bear

“Two Weeks” (live on Later With Jools Holland) Video

May 06, 2009

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One of Vecktaimest's many grand tunes (there are many) recently received a stately live rendition on the U.K.'s "Later With Jools Holland." "Sorry about the 'evaluation copy' on the video, that's what happens when you use a free trial of a video editing system," warns the YouTube info box. Despite the irritating disclaimer, Jools proves (yet again) that he knows how to pick 'em. Grizzly Bear was the cover band for the Winter 2009 issue of Under the Radar.

Sally Shapiro

“Miracle” MP3

May 06, 2009

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My Guilty Pleasure, the follow-up to Sally Shapiro's Disco Romance, is out in late summer/early fall. And what a way to come back. First single "Miracle," written and produced by Johan Agebjörn and Roger Gunnarsson, is out officially via Paper Bag Records on June 16 but you can hear Sally's synth thunderstorm now. It starts with a diaristic spoken word in French before a thunderclap and then comes the rain. Beautiful stuff. Shapiro's still got that Italo disco sound. According to her official site, Sally's main songwriting partner, Johan Agebjörn, is keeping busy with various solo DJ gigs on the weekends. Under the Radar featured Shapiro in our Winter issue's Most Anticipated Albums of '09 section. My Guilty Pleasure was under a working title then but it seems the duo's hard work is starting to coalesce into a very dreamy project.

The Soundcarriers

“Time Will Come” MP3

May 06, 2009

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Nottingham, England's The Soundcarriers started as an instrumental rock group with jazz leanings but after discovering the music of Can and early Pink Floyd, they've taken on a distinctly psychedelic edge. Their hazy new single, "Time Will Come," drives that home. A high-in-the-mix jazzy drum kit builds around a stately piano figure before the full band lays into a distinctly downtempo lilt.That their debut ( Harmonium) shares its title with a 1992 Stereolab single may be no accident. It's the first available track from Harmonium, which is set for release on May 25, via Melodic. It will be available on CD, double gatefold vinyl and digital download. Here's a link to Harmonic's pre-order site. You know the drill by now folks: the digital download is available now; physical copies will land on your doorstep two weeks prior to the release date. (www.thesoundcarriers.com)

Previously On Lost

“LOST In 2 Minutes” MP3

May 06, 2009

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Brooklyn's Previously On Lost take fan fiction to a whole 'nother level. Adam Schatz and Jeff Curtin have already recapped every episode of ABC's Lost into bite-sized They Might Be Giants-like pop songs. Now they've tackled everything that's happened to the survivors of Oceanic 815 up until last week's episode. It's hilarious, manic, and only reminds you of Weird Al sometimes. The duo is inviting Lost fans to make their own YouTube videos for "LOST in 2 Minutes," plus the POL boys and Brooklyn Based will host a Season 5 finale party at Bell House on May 13th. Also, here's an older YouTube clip of the twosome recreating the Oceanic plane crash of Oceanic 815 and performing "The Tale of Season 4 and the Oceanic Six" live at New York's Knitting Factory. Lost into bite-sized They Might Be Giants-like pop songs. Now they've tackled everything that's happened to the survivors of Oceanic 815 up until last week's episode. It's hilarious, manic, and only reminds you of Weird Al sometimes. The duo is inviting Lost fans to make their own YouTube videos for "LOST in 2 Minutes," plus the POL boys and Brooklyn Based will host a Season 5 finale party at Bell House on May 13th. Also, here's an older YouTube clip of the twosome recreating the Oceanic plane crash of Oceanic 815 and performing "The Tale of Season 4 and the Oceanic Six" live at New York's Knitting Factory.