Everything’s coming up Rose’s

Photo by Marc Atkins (www.marcatkins.com)

I’ll make this quick. I am in Chicago, stealing an hour between design concept meetings and wedding rehearsals to write this. It’s been a busy weekend so far and I still have another 48 hours and 400 mile drive to look forward to. I’ll be honest with you, I’m exhausted. Wednesday, I made the seven-hour drive here after working a full day. At least I had the Pipettes to keep me company for the last 250 miles of my trip (the album that is, not that I would have minded if one or all of them had decided to tag along). And after all that quality time together, I thought it was only fair that I give the post-Pipettes work of Rose Elinor Dougall a more substantial share of an entry than I did last time.

If you know the Pipettes, you probably love them just as I do. This really isn’t anything like that. It’s not the 60s girl-group sound with an edge that the Pipettes execute so well–and I don’t think I would be as enamored with it if it was. Her solo work is more atmospheric: swirling guitars (“Fallen Over”), synthesizers, unorthodox chord changes that extend phrases just long enough to hold your attention, and more frequent use of minor tonalities give the music a darker character. Of special note is the balled “False Hopes” in which sequential modal piano fills and masterfully placed dissonances combine to create a song that is cathartically heartbreaking.

To date, she has released three singles (“Another Version of Pop Song”, “Fallen Over”, and “Start/Stop/Synchro”) which are still available for purchase at here. More recently, however, the folks at Vinyl Junkie have put together a compilation called Singles 1,2,3 featuring the first three singles plus an additional demo, “First Time This Year”. And, in case you were wondering, work on a full-length album is being “tied up in a lovely ribbon” as I write this. In the meantime, head over to MySpace to hear a handful of tracks while you wait for the real thing. Still, I am hoping they’ll finish tying up that ribbon soon, because, honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I can survive without this record.

The preliminary sketches for the T-shirts look brilliant. I think I’m in love. I’m not going to show them to you just yet–not until we finalize a few more details–but in the meantime, check out some examples of Brittney’s work and also her Etsy shop. I’m pretty sure she’s a genius.

Here’s the video for “Start/Stop/Synchro”:


Kristin is taking a week off.

Yesterday was Kristin’s birthday and because she is my friend and I have been slacking off lately, I suggested she take the week off. (Also, I am too cheap to buy her a real present.) Sorry folks, you’re stuck with me for the week, but at least you’ll get a brief respite on Wednesday, because I have another guest submission from Dan Holloway. I guess every cloud really does have a silver lining.

But wait, it gets worse. I have been crazy busy lately: the Dublin Irish Festival last weekend followed almost immediately by four and a half days out of town (that’s a lot of hours in my car and even more scones). Consequently, I have had very little time to explore and have been listening almost exclusively to Julie Fowlis, Tilly & the Wall, and the Pipettes. (In the process, I learned a beautiful Scots lullaby, which I will be happy to sing to you, if you are a girl.) So, unless you really want to hear more about one of those artists, you will have to content yourself with the news contained in this article.

In case any of you actually expressed interest in the initial clause of that last sentence, you may be interested to know that Rose Elinor Dougall, formerly Rosay of the Pipettes, is in the process of releasing her second single as a solo artist, with plans to put out a full LP some time in 2010. Also, Gwenno Saunders, currently of the Pipettes, had some success with Welsh and Cornish language electropop before joining the band.

Word from Cardiff is that The School are in post production of their debut LP. Mastering and production work were completed on Wednesday. From what I hear, all that is left to work out are the singles, artwork, and that sort of thing, hopefully to be completed in time for an October release.

Not to mention, we are but a fortnight removed from Fun’s Aim and Ignite and Imogen Heap’s Ellipse. Of course, you knew that already. What you may not know is that you can stream Aim and Ignite on MySpace right now.

Even more pressing, however, is the imminent release of the new album, Silent City (featuring Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, on three tracks), by Columbus, Ohio’s own Brian Harnetty. That is, it comes out tomorrow. For you locals, there is a release party at Rumba on Friday. Super Desserts will also be playing. I’ve heard Brian perform once before, in a local used record store. It was a low-key affair, but I was transfixed. He is Paste’s “Artist of the Week“, and deservedly so.