Entries tagged with: Simon Raymonde

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The above photo of an alleged 2015 Primavera Sound music festival lineup is making the rounds. It claims Aphex Twin, who announced a new EP today, will finally take the stage again along with an amazing list of performers. If it's fake, which it probably is, it's a great fake because artist count and "Sleafor Mods" typo aside, it's somewhat believable and would be awesome. Most awesome of all would be the part that says "Cocteau Twins" who broke up in 1997 and haven't been heard from again (though they almost reunited in 2005 but then cancelled it).

Curious, we reached out to Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde for an answer. We were hoping of course that he would come back and tell us it was true, or that he couldn't comment. We expected him to just flat out deny it. What we got was sort of none of that. Here's what he said:

Simon Raymonde to BrooklynVegan:

Really? I'm in the studio producing an album with The Duke Spirit at the moment so not looking at my phone much I'm afraid so I've managed to avoid this particular rumour so far!

There can't be many more bands left to reform can there, so I guess we are ripe for these kinda spoofs? I recently freaked out when I got an alert from my Bandsintown app telling me "Talking Heads are playing soon". It was sadly just a poetry night with the band name as the subtitle for the evening's entertainment. Crushing disappointment. So I can only imagine the potential anxiety level for our lovely loyal fans who will always yearn for our reunion even though they all understand it is as unlikely as a veteran Michael Gira performing a nightly residency at The Aladdin in Las Vegas. (A few of us might pay to see that though!)

Simon x

Note that he hasn't actually denied it.... Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, Primavera Sound (which happens May 28-30 in Barcelona) has confirmed that both Ride and The Strokes will be playing. We'll have to wait for the official announcement to find out who else on that poster will really be there.

Simon Raymonde, who continues to run the label Bella Union that he co-founded with Robin Guthrie, released his own music as Snowbird in 2014.

Ride are also playing Coachella and Terminal 5 in NYC.

Palehound @ BV SXSW 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)

Record Store Day 2014 is just a couple weekends away (Saturday, April 19) and even if you aren't one of the ones clamoring for RSD exclusive releases, you can partake in teh festivities via free in-store performances. Rough Trade NYC has announced it's slate of RSD live music performers: Amen Dunes, Betty Who, Fear of Men, Mark Mulcahy, Milagres, Nothing, Palehound, and The Rails. Additionally, the day will feature DJ sets by Bella Union's Simon Raymonde, the folks at Daptone Records, Justin Strauss, and Deano Sounds of Cultures of Soul Records. Set times have not been announced but the performances are free to attend.

The Rails, which features Kami Thompson (Richard & Linda Thompson's daughter), plays London's Rough Trade East in the morning and flies to NYC immediately after for her show at the Williamsburg location (shades of Phil Collins at Live Aid there).

Fear of Men play another free show in NYC the night before (4/18) at Brooklyn Night Bazaar, with Beverly, Alvvays and Beach Day.

If you are one of those looking for RSD14 exclusive releases, Rough Trade has published their list of what they're getting in the store. On Record Store Day, Rough Trade NYC opens at 9 AM.

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Marissa Nadler / Mt. Royal / PINS @ Baby's All Right 3/19/2014
Marissa Nadler
Mt. Royal

UK label Bella Union launched a North American extension earlier this year and Wednesday night (3/19) had a coming out party at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right, with four of their artists playing. The night was headlined by Marissa Nadler (who's signed to Sacred Bones over here) who played with cello backing. By that point in the evening -- after three rock bands and imbibing -- the crowd was a little chatty for Nadler's delicate style but, pulling from her new album July, she sounded great nonetheless.

The rest of night's line-up were all fresh from SXSW, the best of which was undoubtably Mt. Royal, the new project from Celebration singer Katrina Ford. Their widescreen, ethereal strain of pop is not dissimilar to Blonde Redhead or Beach House, but Ford's magnetic presence and powerhouse pipes distinguishes them immediately. I always liked seeing Celebration live, but Mt. Royal make music I want to listen to at home, too (their debut EP is great).

The night opened with two international bands: Manchester, UK's PINS, who seemed to have raided Dum Dum Girls' wardrobe, make scratchy, scrappy indiepop; and Berlin-based trio Ballet School, who make anthemic techno-rock (I kept thinking of Laura Branigan's "Gloria"). In between sets, Bella Union domo (and onetime Cocteau Twins bassist) Simon Raymonde kept the crowd entertained as DJ. Pics from all of last night's bands are in this post.

More below...

Continue reading "Marissa Nadler, Mt. Royal, PINS & Ballet School played a Bella Union party @ Baby's All Right (pics)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Marissa Nadler @ Glasslands - 2/8/14
Marissa Nadler
Marissa Nadler

Psych-folk singer Marissa Nadler just released her fantastic new album, July (her first for Sacred Bones), and celebrated it in NYC with a show at Glasslands over the weekend (2/8) ahead of her imminent tour. The Glasslands show was her first with her new band that includes viola/lap steel player Nina Violet and cello/synth player Janel Leppin. The new musicians also provided backing vocals, fleshing out Marissa's sound, and as you may imagine, made everything sound gorgeous. The show was opened by Zachary Cale and Marissa's Sacred Bones labelmate Amen Dunes, and pictures of all three artists are in this post.

Marissa will return to NYC to play a post-SXSW showcase that Bella Union (the label who put out July in the UK) is putting on at Baby's All Right on March 19. Marissa's headlining, and the rest of the lineup includes Celebration-related Mt. Royal, Berlin synth pop trio Ballet School, Manchester's PINS, and a DJ set by label co-founder (and former Cocteau Twins bassist) Simon Raymonde. Tickets will be on sale soon here. Flyer below.

Marissa also recently made a video for "Was It A Dream" off the new album. Watch that, along with the updated list of tour dates, Bella Union showcase flyer, and more Glasslands pics, below...

Continue reading "Marissa Nadler played Glasslands w/ her new band, playing Bella Union showcase at Baby's (pics, dates & new video)"

by Bill Pearis

Snowbird's Dosen

Snowbird, the collaboration between former Cocteau Twins bassist (and Bella Union head) Simon Raymonde and singer-songwriter Stephanie Dosen, will release their debut album, Moon, on February 4. You may have already heard "Porcelain" and if not you can stream it below. The LP will come with a bonus disc, titled Luna, with the entire record remixed by RX Gibbs that puts a dubby spin on Snowbird's featherlight creations. You can check out the video for the RX Gibbs remix of "Porcelain," which makes its premiere in this post.

Bella Union up to this point has been a UK label but has just set up a US outpost that will be the official American home for Snowbird, I Break Horses, Lanterns on the Lake and more. Bella Union US will throw a launch party on Monday, January 27 at The Bedford in Williamsburg with Raymonde DJing in the back room. It's free.

Speaking of, Swedish duo I Break Horses release their second album, Chiaroscuro, this week and if you liked the shoegazy, ethereal dance music of their debut, the new album stays within that dreamy world of sound. You can stream the whole thing below (via the Hype Machine).

Lanterns on the Lake, meanwhile, released their second album last week (1/14) and their short North American tour will hit NYC in February.

Flyer for the Bella Union US launch party, plus streams and videos, below...

Continue reading "Snowbird's debut comes w/ RX Gibbs remix LP; I Break Horses streaming 2nd LP; Bella Union US throwing NYC launch party"

by Bill Pearis


Simon Raymonde stays very busy running his label Bella Union which is the UK home of Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes, Beach House, John Grant, Midlake and more. But he spent the '80s and most of the '90s as bassist for Cocteau Twins, perhaps the quintessential 4AD band from that label's first decade. (His father, Ivor Raymonde, did arrangements for Scott Walker and Dusty Springfield.) Bella Union was set up to release Cocteau Twins albums and related projects and when the band broke up in 1997 the label took on a life of its own.

While Raymonde has produced some of his label's releases, he hasn't really made much music of his own since the Cocteaus broke up. That changes soon, though, with the debut album from Snowbird, the group he formed with singer Stephanie Dosen whose 2007 album for Bella Union, A Lily for the Spectre, he produced. The group was loosely formed in 2010, covering Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky" for a MOJO compilation CD (stream it below), but Moon will be their first album of original material. The first track from it, "Porcelain," will definitely remind people of his former band, with Dosen sounding remarkably like Cocteau Twins' singer Elizabeth Frazer (who was just in NYC playing with Massive Attack). Says Raymonde:

Stephanie was the first singer I had worked with since Elizabeth that I had a real musical empathy with. She could do anything. No one had ever sung with Midlake on record before Stephanie, while Massive Attack asked her to be their lead singer on tour --- ironic really given that Elizabeth had too! She also sang with Chemical Brothers. But we'd never written music together at home...

...I wrote every piece of music at night, in semi-darkness so that the space didn't feel like my living room. The moon was very important for the light it reflected.

You can stream "Porcelain" (which has a little This Mortal Coil vibe to it too) below. Adding to the old school feel, legendary 4AD graphic designer Vaughn Oliver did the album cover. Raymonde also got a few other Bella Union artists to contribute, including Phil Selway (and his Radiohead bandmate Ed O'Brien), Eric Pulido and McKenzie Smith of Midlake (who play NYC tonight), Jonathan Wilson, and Paul Gregory of Lanterns on the Lake (who'll be in NYC in February).

Look for Snowbird's Moon in January. Streams below...

Continue reading "Snowbird = Simon Raymonde & Stephanie Dosen; debut LP features mems of Radiohead, Midlake and more (stream)"

Nick Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse will be in NYC next week for CMJ, opening for Lee Fields & the Expressions at Webster Hall on October 18. It's an early show, Nick's on at 6:30 PM and tickets are still available. The day before that (10/17) he'll be at the MOSCOT store on the Lower East Side for a solo set. He's on at 7 PM and it's free but you do need to RSVP.

After the Lee Fields show, Nick is sticking around NYC for a special CMJ edition of Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap & Dance Off party at Brooklyn Bowl on October 19. Nick will be the Guest Selector for the evening, and guest judges include Simon Raymonde (Bella Union/Cocteau Twins), Jacco Gardner, Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult), Christian Peslak (Saint Rich), Maria Juur (Maria Minerva), and Sandra Vu (SISU/Dum Dum Girls). Tickets are on sale now and you can also get in with your CMJ badge.

by Andrew Sacher

Jessica Pratt at Maxwell's - 5/17/13 (via @cbruno1983)
Jessica Pratt

Loner folk devotee Jessica Pratt just wrapped up a tour supporting Father John Misty, which hit the NYC-area this past Friday (5/17) for a show at Maxwell's, where FJM played solo acoustic, unlike his theatrical performance at The Great GoogaMooga the next day. Jessica played backed by a keyboardist and sounded delicate and wonderful as ever. Check out a video from her set below.

As mentioned, Jessica is about to do a few dates with Grouper, including one in NYC on June 2 at Le Poisson Rouge with Raajmahal and a DJ set from onetime Cocteau Twins bassist (and current Bella Union label head) Simon Raymonde. Tickets for that show are still available. Jessica has since added her own NYC show happening a day earlier (6/1) at Union Pool with Gambles (aka ex-Levy member Matthew Siskin) and Zachary Cale. Tickets for the Union Pool show are on sale now. Show flyer below.

And as discussed, Jessica will return to Le Poisson Rouge on July 12 to open for Julia Holter, which is one of a few shows the two musicians are playing together that month. Tickets for that show are still available

After she wraps up her run with Julia Holter, Jessica will do some West Coast dates with White Fence. Updated dates are listed, along with the Maxwell's video and Union Pool show flyer, below...

Continue reading "Jessica Pratt played Maxwell's w/ Father John Misty, playing more shows (updated dates & video)"


BEAUTIFUL NOISE is an in-depth exploration of a music movement in the late 20th century, a fascinating period when some innovative musicians mixed guitar noise into conventional pop song structures while maintaining a philosophy of letting the music speak for itself.

Although many of the people interviewed are notoriously press shy they have opened up about their music and experiences from over 20 years ago; how they defied the rules and became sonic innovators that have inspired so many.

Currently the documentary is in the final stages for worldwide release, and we need your help to raise the $75,000 to pay for limited run licensing and finishing costs to distribute in Film Festivals and on DVD/Blu-Ray.

This documentary will finally be released only if the fans of this music believe in this project and contribute.

Legendary shoegaze/dream pop bands My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and The Jesus and Mary Chain are subject of new documentary, Beautiful Noise, who have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money for the film to be distributed in film festivals and released on DVD/Blu-Ray (via Pitchfork). In addition to those three bands, the film will feature interviews with/appearances by members of other shoegaze pioneers like Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Curve, Swervedriver, Medicine, Pale Saints, and more, plus appearances by Wayne Coyne, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, and Robert Smith, and performance videos (and some interviews) with current bands like Sigur Ros, M83, A Place to Bury Strangers, Grouper, Serena Maneesh, and others. The Kickstarter campaign has reached just over $17,000 of its $75,000 goal as of this post, and is open until December 15. More info and rewards details at the documentary's Kickstarter project page.

This comes shortly after the news that My Bloody Valentine plans to release an album by the end of the year.

Campaign video below...

Continue reading "My Bloody Valentine, JAMC, Cocteau Twins, Ride and more feature in shoegaze doc that launched Kickstarter campaign"