In the words of Neil Diamond, “hello again” and welcome along to another edition of My Four presented by myself, Mark Sharpley. Let’s get into full on musical mode and start this week with…
California’s Will Butler is our first recommendation this week with the release of his new solo album, Policy. And he is a familiar face too, being part of Arcade Fire along with his brother and lead singer, Win. This is his first solo outing but not the first time he has ventured out of the Arcade Fire bosom, as he and Owen Pallett worked on the soundtrack for the movie, Her. It earned them a Best Original Score nomination at the 86th Oscar Awards. Add the position of poetry editor of Northwestern’s literary magazine Helicon, and you have a man of some great various talents. Available on the Merge Records label, this is a cut from the album called, “Anna”. www.butlerwills.com
Hailing from Toronto, hardcore punk outfit Cancer Bats are this week’s second choice with the release of their new album, Searching For Zero. This is the fifth studio album from the band but they also have an alternative guise as well. They have toured and recorded as Bat Sabbath and as you may have established they are a Black Sabbath cover band to go with their regular day job. They did post a ‘to the point’ reason on their website on the lack of material for a while, stating that “the reason we’ve been gone for so long was to craft our 5th full length! We worked our asses off making a serious banger that we could all party the f**k out of! We even went down to Venice Beach to record with Ross Robinson so it would sound extra dope…which it does!”. Which I am sure it will. Available on the Metal Blade Records label, this is the video for, “Satellites”. www.cancerbats.com
Originating from Haugesund, Norway, heavy metal uberlords Enslaved are the third choice this week with the release of their new album, In Times. The band has been around since 1991 but have only had a settled line up since 2004 after many line up changes. The previous albums have been released in English and Norwegian, including some songs in Icelandic using Old Norse excerpts too. This is also their 13th studio album release and it sticks to the traditional heavy metal sound they are known for, having had their music compared to black metal and Pink Floyd over the years. Would make an interesting combo. Available on the Nuclear Blast Records label, this a cut from the album called, “One Thousand Years On Rain”. www.enslaved.no
MARINA & THE DIAMONDS
And finally this week, it’s Marina and the Diamonds and the forthcoming release of their new album, Froot. This album is available on March 16, but it could have been April 3 if it wasn’t for several leaks of the album on the internet. Nevertheless, the album has been in the works since 2013 but in a recent Q&A on Facebook, it was revealed that the song writing begun in 2012. It was also announced in February that the band would tour and Marina Diamandis (the Marina of the band) has big hopes for the merchandise stands, which will include scratch and sniff t-shirts, eye shadow and nail varnish modeled after Diamandis’ colour palette, and glow in the dark t-shirts so everybody who goes to the shows can literally be a part of it. Sounds like a blast! Available on the Neon Gold/Atlantic Records labels, this is the title track of the album, “Froot”. www.marinaandthediamonds.com
And that is that for this week. I am off on my holidays for two weeks, but the column will be here and will be in the capable hands of my fellow Fourculture colleague, Paul Davies. So enjoy his company, whilst I work on my tan (kind of).