Los Campesinos ready next album
Rounding off a day of album news here on Hitsville, it’s a few days late but what the heck. Exciting times indeed. One of the most brilliant British bands of the past few years gearing up for album number four, more touring, Heat Rash #2 and releasing a hilariously zeitgeisty new t-shirt. Busy days ahead for Team Campesinos!
Los Campesinos ready next album
The result of a month’s recording in Girona, Spain earlier this year, Los Campesinos! will be releasing “Hello Sadness”, their cheerfully-titled fourth album, on November 14th. Freshly shorn of their violinist Harriet, the now-seven piece posted on their blog:
Conceived in Girona, Spain earlier this year, under the watchful eye of producer John Goodmanson, Hello Sadness is ten songs of love, loss and heartbreak nail-gunned to a back-drop of broken, tangled bodies, creeping, dead-eyed animals, suffocating, looming shadows and World Cup exits. It is an honest, bare bones documentation of breaking up and trying not to break up in the process.
The tracklisting for the album is:
- By Your Hand
- Songs About Your Girlfriend
- Hello Sadness
- Life Is A Long Time
- Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions)
- Hate For The Island
- The Black Bird, The Dark Slope
- To Tundra
- Baby, I’ve Got The Death Rattle
- Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt. II
The band are also offering a rather enticing pre-order bundle for the album, including a t-shirt, an early copy of the album before the release date, a making of DVD and more. Order it here.
WATCH /// LOS CAMPESINOS! - BY YOUR HAND
Gearing up for the release of their fourth album Hello Sadness on November 14th, Hitsville favourites Los Campesinos! have put the opening track from the album "By Your Hand", up on their blog for free download. It’s another step forward for the band, getting a little darker and moodier but even more brilliant. The video gets a little bleak too, but then that’s par for the course with Los Camp! these days. It also marks the first LC! vocal appearance from Rob Campesinos! (aka Sparky Deathcap). Artwork and lyrics for the track are also on the band’s blog.
A double header of Los Camp! news today. Along with the free download of “By Your Hand”, the seven piece have announced a ten date tour for this November. Taking in Britain, America and Japan, the tour will encompass the release of the band’s fourth album Hello Sadness.
The tour dates in full are:
- 7th November - LONDON - Kings College
- 8th November - BRIGHTON - The Haunt
- 9th November - CARDIFF - The Globe
- 10th November - GLASGOW - Oran Mor
- 11th November - LEEDS - The Cockpt
- 16th November - NEW YORK - Bowery Ballroom
- 17th November - BROOKLYN - Music Hall Of Williamsburg
- 18th November - PHILADELPHIA - Union Transfer
- 19th November -WASHINGTON DC - Black Cat
- 24th November -TOKYO - Unit Daikanyama
HITSVILLE HEROES #1 /// LOS CAMPESINOS!
Another week, another new feature on Hitsville eh? We sure do roll ‘em out. Hitsville Heroes is our way of honouring the best of the best in our eyes; the bands, artists, actors, directors, sportsmen and everything else who are, well, heroes to us. First to be bestowed the title, Los Campesinos!
LC! are something of a Marmite band. Some people pledge undying love to the band (myself included, LC!4LYF and whatnot), some people baulk at their decidely un-rock ‘n’ roll attitudes, indie pretentions and diary entry-esque lyrics. But it’s plain for anyone with the smallest knowledge that Los Camp are one of the most passionate, hard-working bands in the indie universe. Four albums in five years, countless tours, the Heat Rash fanzine (including all its add-ons); the band’s connection with their fans is closer than nearly any other band. They’ve take to blogging and Twitter like a group of ducks to water.
Musically, their sound evolves with every release. From the charmingly ramshackle, twee sugar rush of debut Hold On Now, Youngster… to the maturer, spikier We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, with third album Romance Is Boring adding post-rock touches to their sound and a blistering honesty to the lyrics. Upcoming fourth album Hello Sadness looks like building further on very sturdy foundations.
It’s become a cliché to say that a songwriter is the best since Morrissey, but in the case of Gareth Campesinos!, it’s quite true. To be more accurate, there’s hints of Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker in Gareth’s lyrics, documenting romantic failings and personal mishaps with painful honesty and a dark sense of humour. Who hasn’t felt like the oft-quoted line in "It’s Never That Easy, Is It? (Song For The Other Kurt)"?; "As if I walked into the room to see my ex-girlfriend/Who by the way, I’m still in love with/Sucking the face of some pretty boy/With my favorite band’s most popular song in the background/Is it wrong that I can’t decide which bothers me most?". Who hasn’t at one point agreed with the sentiment “Romance Is Boring”? "I cherish with fondness the day (before) I met you" should ring true with everyone going through a break-up. These are just three examples out of hundreds.
They’re also damn good live, always energetic and eye-catching, lovely people and a very special band, one of the best in a generation. I’ll stop now before delving (further) into fanboy frothing, but congratulations Los Camp!. You are Hitsville Heroes.
LISTEN /// LOS CAMPESINOS! - HELLO SADNESS
The title track from LC!'s upcoming fourth album, "Hello Sadness" isn’t quite as immediate as "By Your Hand", but if it’s indicative of the sound and feel of the record, we’re in for something quite epic and, dare I say, Arcade Fire-esque?
NEWS /// LOS CAMPESINOS!’ HEAT RASH ISSUE 2 REVEALED
Not strictly what you’d call news (although more newsworthy than most of what’s on NME.com), but here’s the cover of the quite-delayed second instalment of Los Camp's fanzine Heat Rash. Alas, no news on the exact release date. That pic on the right is the artwork for the accompanying 7” vinyl single, the tracklisting for which follows:
- Dreams Don’t Become You
A collaboration between Tom Campesinos! and Zac Pennington of Parenthetical Girls
- I Love You (But You’re Boring)
A cover of The Beautiful South
So here we are, Los Campesinos!' fourth album (don't give me any of that extended EP rubbish). The Cardiff-based eight piece are possibly the biggest cult band in Britain, tying only with Johnny Foreigner, and with the back catalogue to back up the feverish fan worship. But prior to the release of Hello Sadness, there may have been one question floating around longtime listeners heads. Following three great albums in two years, as well as relentless touring and the time and work going into creating the Heat Rash fanzine, could the band possibly be burnt out or at a loss for ideas? In short, nope.
In the band’s own words, the album is "ten songs of love, loss and heartbreak nail-gunned to a back-drop of broken, tangled bodies, creeping, dead-eyed animals, suffocating, looming shadows and World Cup exits… an honest, bare bones documentation of breaking up and trying not to break up in the process." Essentially, the playful twee charm of Hold On Now, Youngster has morphed into something darker, edgier and, for lack of a better word, mature. Gone are the long, slightly pretentious song titles, the glockenspiel, the cutesy boy-girl vocals, in come brutally honest and just a little bit bitter lyrics more at home in a secret diary and song dynamics far removed from the sprightly melodies and joyful pop of their earlier work.
On to the music itself then. The songs released before the record, "By Your Hand" and the title track, stick out like two sore thumbs in that they’re the only two on the album that could reach the indie disco staple status like “You! Me! Dancing!” and “Romance Is Boring” before them, and even then, finding a club that would play the latter is a stretch. In fact, it sounds a little like Funeral-era Arcade Fire; an ramshackle, anthemic wall of sound.
Upon first listen, Hello Sadness can be something of a dense, opaque listen; there’s little silver lining to the dark clouds of the album. The middle of the record, comprised of “Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions)” (the now-requisite LC! album track referencing football) and "Hate For The Island", is particularly bleak and slow-paced. I imagine a certain mood, experience or state of mind is required to fully appreciate the miserabilia on offer. That said, the following "To Tundra" creates a moving anthem with a similar grand negativity. Overall, Hello Sadness is a clear representation or artisic growth. You’d never have expected the indie scamps of “Death To Los Campesinos!” to come up with something as darkly brilliant as "Baby I Got The Death Rattle", which stands up as one of the band’s finest songs to date, and certainly Gareth Campesinos!’s best lyrics ("Not headstone/But headboard/’Swhere I wanna be mourned" and "You’re an angel and that’s why you pray/and I am an ass and that’s why I bray"). Likewise, the imagery and honesty of songs like "Songs About Your Girlfriend", a tale of spite, cigarettes and football shirts, is enough to make a fool out of people who don’t think he’s one of the best British lyricists of recent times.
Break-up albums are tricky. Most of them often come out sounding soppy or read like sixth form poetry. Thankfully Los Camp! steer clear of such cliches, coming up with their best but most difficult album yet. It’s not a cheerful listen. That’s not to say their previous LPs were laugh riots, far from it in fact, but the heartbreak that inspired the album casts a rather large shadow across the album. But if melancholy made for bad albums, we wouldn’t have had Joy Division, the Manics would lose half their sound and The Smiths would’ve been fucked. Luckily, LC! make it sound exhilirating, euphoric and life-affirming.
WATCH /// LOS CAMPESINOS! - HELLO SADNESS
Welcome to the weird world of Los Campesinos!. The bloody good title track from the Cardiff-based band’s fourth album gets a rather weird video, featuring all sorts of degradation and what could probably be termed torture porn, as well as what seems like the least fun wedding ever. If MTV wasn’t breaking the Trades Description Act and still showed music videos, this would be the sort that only aired after 1AM.
20. DRAKE - TAKE CARE
19. ELBOW - BUILD A ROCKET BOYS!
18. MASTODON - THE HUNTER
17. SLOW CLUB - PARADISE
16. NICOLA ROBERTS - CINDERELLA’S EYES
15. JAMES BLAKE - JAMES BLAKE
14. PJ HARVEY - LET ENGLAND SHAKE
13. THE CHAPMAN FAMILY - BURN YOUR TOWN
12. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB - A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIX
11. LOS CAMPESINOS! - HELLO SADNESS
A dectet of big names and heavy hitters here. Just missing out on a prestigious top ten place are the likes of Drake, Elbow and PJ Harvey. Nicola Roberts surprised everyone by being the best member of Girls Aloud in the solo stakes, whilst Bombay Bicycle Club continued to evolve and mature on their third album. Los Campesinos! provided us with the best indie break-up album in quite some time, as well as their best album yet. The divisive Drake gave us Take Care, which earned a 5/10 from us, but has been festooned with praise by others. The Chapman Family finally emerged with their debut album and rocketed up to 13th place; clearly the Stockton four piece are worth the wait. Mastodon came up with the metal album of the year and James Blake became the big name in dubstep, if he wasn’t already before.