We’re excited to announce that Alexis Taylor is heading to Japan to play his first ever solo show there at the end of this month. October 29th at Bar Gari Gari, 2-45-9 Daizawa Tobita Bldg B1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 155-0032. Ticket information here.
The 2 Bears new LP, The Night Is Young, is out today. Last week’s Album of the Week in the Guardian, The Night Is Young follows 2012’s hugely acclaimed Be Strong… here’s the story of how it all came together…
Two years ago The 2 Bears dropped a debut album that re-invigorated a genre and gathered music fans in the open embrace of house music. On October 13th they return with the second installment The Night Is Young, the eagerly awaited follow up released on Southern Fried. Where debut smash ‘Be Strong’ was rooted in their love for London, The Night Is Young takes on a more global vision. With a love for their home city still at its heart, the album pulls influences and experiences from across the world of dance music, drawing deeply from their trip to Africa last summer. As part of a project for Brixton based youth magazine Live, the duo played shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg and spent time recording in a studio run by BLKJKS’s Tsepang Ramoba. The lead vocals for Son Of The Sun were recorded there with a young singer called Sbusiso and Kwaito legend Senyaka, who also added his vocal to lead single Angel (Touch Me).
Speeding through multiple genres, often condensed into single tracks, The Night Is Young lifts The 2 Bear’s famed, eclectic DJ sets to higher realms, shifting the imperative to lose both body and mind distinctly up a gear. ‘I love tunes that disguise things,’ says Joe. ‘A really sweet melody with a really dark sentiment. Money Man is meant to be like that, you can have those glossy reggae records that still say something. We didn’t want to just be in that culture of not saying anything, where it’s all a fantasy world and everyone just goes and gets f****d up but no one says anything.’
It’s a stark contrast and one that cleverly moves the full-on party hedonism of their debut forward, without sacrificing any of its unadulterated disco charm. The record undulates, it’s like a taster menu; courses of hard house, soft reggae, punchy ragga, piano tear-jerkers, funk and soul, all made crystalline with the typically high level of production and the passion of Raf’s voice. The Lambsbread & Weepers EP showed the diversity of TNIY with the aforementioned Money Man, the soulful Get Out + bonus track Which Way.
Honing their craft with all the care and attention paid to a well-groomed patch of facial hair, Raf and Joe have bounced from Brixton to Tel Aviv via Cape Town, sharing the decks ever since their fateful incarnation, delivering a memorable blend of house, techno, ragga and more to almost every continent. A bearded pilgrimage if you will, and one that has coloured in the bold dancefloor-centric shapes of their second album The Night Is Young.
The 2 Bears take The Night Is Young on the road for their first ever UK live tour at the end of this month. Click here for ticket details. The dates are:
OCT 28 The Haunt, Brighton
OCT 29 Islington Mill, Manchester
OCT 30 Tufnell Park Dome, London
NOV 1 Opium Rooms, Dublin
NOV 4 King Tut’s, Glasgow
DEC 19 The Warehouse Project, Manchester
Before those dates – this Thursday in fact! – the Bears play a one-off instore at Rough Trade East. For ticket info, visit the Rough Trade shop site here.
Felix Martin & Al Doyle’s band New Build have signed a record deal with the label Sunday Best and their album ‘Pour It On‘ is released on October 20th. “The Sunlight” is the first song to be released from the new album and now Sam Lawlor & Lindsay Pollock, close friends and collaborators with both New Build and Hot Chip, have created a beautiful and strangely haunting video for the track.
Video made by Sam Lawlor & Lindsay Pollock at Lanark Studio 2014. Taken from ‘Pour It On’, out October 20th on Sunday Best Recordings.
Hot Chip have covered Arthur Russell’s all-time classic, Go Bang (originally released under the name Dinosaur L) for a compilation of new versions of Russell’s songs. Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell is released on Yep Roc with all profits going to the Red Hot Organization. The album features recordings by Sufjan Stevens, Robyn, Jose Gonzalez, Scissor Sisters and many others.
The 2 Bears have announced details of their forthcoming second album. The Night Is Young. The record is due for release on Southern Fried on October 13th and is available to download from iTunes, Amazon and the 2 Bears website. The tracklisting for The Night Is Young is:
1. Get Out
2. Angel (Touch Me)
3. Money Man
4. Not This Time
5. See You
6. Son Of The Sun
7. Unbuild It
8. Modern Family
9. Mary Mary
10. Run Run
11. My Queen
12. The Night Is Young
Check the brilliant video for Money Man featuring Stylo G below.
Alexis recently played a full-band live show supporting Damon Albarn at the Days Off Festival in Paris – you can watch the whole thing online here.
‘Tender, intimate ballads and more exploratory folk-pop pieces’.
Metro – 4*
‘Not for nothing is he among the most quietly clever indie-pop stars around’.
‘An ornate and edifying musical adventure’.
Daily Mirror 4*
‘Spacious, introspective and completely genre-defying, these tracks have a floating, dream-like quality, complimented by Taylor’s pleasantly reedy voice.’
‘This is an album full of wistful, careworn emotions and a sense of quiet profundity.’
Daily Telegraph – 4*
‘To hear a record which builds such rich mood and character in so unshowy a fashion these days is a rare treat.’
Scotland On Sunday – 4*
‘Quirky and diverse…’
Mail On Sunday – 4*
‘It brims with never-ending tenderness… gorgeous’
The Sunday Times
‘Await Barbarians is a trove of sentiment and intricacy’
The Line of Best Fit
‘A beguiling and downbeat gem’.
Drowned in Sound
‘Lo-Fi gold… Priceless musical masterpieces… this is f***ing MINT.’
Weekend Sport – 5*
‘A more confident and coherent sound than before. He moves effortlessly from a claustrophobic and dry soundscape into a palette that is spacious, warm and inviting.’
‘Await Barbarians honestly boasts Taylor’s talent as a musician, and should be praised for un-conventional music it beholds.’
Slate The Disco
‘…one of the country’ s most idiosyncratic songsmiths…’
Dot And Dashes
‘Showing a different side to himself with downbeat, introspective songs about booze, love and growing old.’
Curious Animal 9/10
Joe Goddard heads to Paris for a one-off Greco-Roman party on Friday 20th June. Discus takes place at the Social Club, 142 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris from 11pm til 6am. Joining Joe on the night are: A Guy Called Gerald, Lxury, Greco-Roman Soundsystem and the Svens. For more information, click here.