A round-up of the week's music news, including the Scottish Album of the Year Awards.
AGAINST ME!’s LAURA JANE GRACE FORMS NEW BAND
Laura Jane Grace, the frontwoman of long-running punk outfit Against Me!, has announced details of an album and tour with a newly formed band. Titled Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, the group is planning its debut full-length release at an as-yet-unconfirmed date in the autumn via Chicago label Bloodshot Records.
However, as an introduction, a handful of seven live dates around the Midwest have been confirmed throughout November.
The three-piece group consists of existing members and associates of Against Me!, who have released seven albums since their debut LP in 2002. Laura Jane Grace plays guitar and is lead singer for both acts, and Atom Willard is the drummer, while the bass parts in the new outfit will be by Against Me!’s regular producer Marc Jacobs.
Laura Jane Grace with Against Me!
DAVE GROHL UNVEILS DOCUMENTARY TRAILER
Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl this week unveiled a trailer for a two-part mini-documentary series titled ‘Play’.
Released to streaming platforms on August 10th, ‘Play’ promises to showcase the process behind and recording of a new 23-minute solo song, in which Grohl plays every single instrument. Interactive software later released will allow viewers to focus in on Grohl playing a specific instrument. Sheet music will also be available soon to allow people to play along, and a special edition vinyl of the resulting song will also be released in due course.
TOTO REPAY WEEZER WITH COVER VERSION
After a fan petition caused Weezer to cover Toto’s ‘Africa’, beloved by millennials everywhere, the ‘70s legends have decided to repay the favour in kind by doing a version of Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’.
Toto broke into the version of Weezer’s 2001 hit during a gig in Vancouver this week, and are set to undertake an official recording and release soon.
Explaining they originally wanted to do ‘Beverly Hills’, the band told LA’s KROQ: “I thought ‘Hash Pipe’ had a better melody. I love the message, you know what I mean? We wanted to do it justice… We wanted to do our thing to it, but still pay respect to it. And we added a couple of our kitschy little things to it, which I hope that they laugh [at]. We wish we could be in the room when they hear it!”
MYSTERIOUS APHEX TWIN ARTWORK APPEARS IN CITIES
The enigmatic figure of Aphex Twin – aka Cornish-born producer and electronic artist Richard D. James – is one of the most inscrutable figures in British music of the last 25 years. Rarely does he conform to any of the music industry’s standard practices, and the last week has been no exception.
On Monday morning, strange 3D artwork of Aphex Twin’s distinctive logo appeared at the Elephant & Castle underground station in London – reminiscent of the cryptic campaign that preceded his last studio album Syro in 2014. A sign of imminent new music, hopefully!
MUMFORD & SONS PLAY SECRET FESTIVAL SET
The organisers of Newport Folk Festival did a great job at concealing their secret Saturday night headliner last weekend, with Mumford & Sons taking to the stage to surprise music fans.
Marcus Mumford and his band were joined onstage by the likes of Mavis Staples, Maggie Rogers, Brandi Carlile and newcomer Phoebe Bridgers for a memorable set on July 28th.
Marcus Mumford in 2017
SCOTTISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2018 LONGLIST REVEALED
The 20-strong long-list for the 2018 Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) prize has been announced. Mogwai, Young Fathers and Franz Ferdinand are among the big names on the list.
Scotland’s thriving folk scene is represented by albums from Catriona McKay, Blue Rose Code and Chris Stout among others. Indie-pop comes from Babe, Martha Ffion and Neon Waltz, while rock act Catholic Action are also nominated. C
reative Scotland’s head of music, Alan Morrison, said the list was testament to “the fantastic new generation of talent that’s pouring out of Scotland. This award is also a vindication for independent and grassroots labels whose releases continue to overshadow the majors when it comes to sheer quality of music.”
A panel of 100 judges will select nine of the shortlist nominees, with the tenth decided by public vote, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony on September 6th at Paisley Town Hall.
SLAVES RELEASE NEW VIDEO
Ahead of their upcoming third album, Kentish punk duo Slaves released a brand new music video for next single ‘Chokehold’. Acts of Fear and Love is released on August 17th via Virgin.
LIL KIM UNVEILS ‘NASTY ONE’ VIDEO
A couple of weeks after announcing her new single ‘Nasty One’, returning rapper Lil Kim has unveiled a brand new music video. Her fifth album is rumoured to be coming up in November.