Monday, July 16, 2007

Lightspeed Champion


I was never much of a Test Icicles fan (though the Braxe/ Falke remix of What’s Your Damage was amazing) so I wasn’t too disappointed when they called it day last year before everyone was expecting. I actually quite admired their decision to stop because they weren’t really into it anymore. I wish so many other bands would do that and save everyone from hearing them flogging the same old horse to death repeatedly.

Anyway, I don’t know if former Test Icicle Dev Hynes had always harboured a desire to go alt-country, but in any case, now that’s he’s gone solo as Lightspeed Champion he has. And to be honest, this new direction is more to my taste. From what I’ve heard his new stuff is pretty good, perhaps influenced by the likes of Bright Eyes. It seems Conor Oberst has been a bit of a mentor to Dev, what with bringing him over to Omaha to record his album with Mike Mogis, and having him as support on Bright Eyes’ recent UK tour.

Have a listen to the new Lightspeed single Galaxy of the Lost on his myspace. Then listen again. Don’t you think that the lovely harmonies totally make the song? It’s decent enough in its basic form, but these sweet backing vocals take it to another level. No surprise then that they’re provided by none other than Emmy the Great.

Last Friday Dev and his band were live in session on Marc Riley’s Brain Surgery show on BBC 6 Music. They played three songs, which are all posted below. The version of Galaxy doesn’t feature Emmy the Great, but it does have Flo from Florence and the Machine doing a very fine job of the harmonising. Fact fans may also be interested to know that the violin was provided by Mike, formerly of Hope of the States, now of Troubles.

Mr Fisk was a bit of an exclusive for Marc Riley. It’s a song about a relationship written by Dev using comic book characters to represent the real people. That might seem like a rubbish concept, but it’s a great tune. What’s more, it may never make it onto a physical release, so snap it up quick!

Download: Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy of the Lost (live on BBC 6 Music)
Download: Lightspeed Champion – No Surprise (live on BBC 6 Music)
Download: Lightspeed Champion – Mr Fisk (live on BBC 6 Music)

Galaxy of the Lost was originally meant to be out this week (on Domino), but according to myspace, it looks like it’s been put back to 30 July. So order/buy from the usual outlets. In the meantime, enjoy the live version. It’s much the same.

Incredibly, the new album isn’t out till January 2008. Seems a long time, eh? ‘Specially since it’s all recorded and (seemingly) ready. I’m guessing that No Surprise is going to be on it. Read more about the album on the Domino website.

6 comments:

jessicajlee said...

Do you want a not-live copy of Galaxy of the Lost? I got one off myspace the other week. Or am I just confused.

The Daily Growl said...

You probably did, though I'm surprised he put his soon-to-be released single up for free! In any case, I'm quite picky about these myspace files - they tend to be a bit low quality (I could be wrong on this count, so feel free to correct me). So I'm happy to wait till the single comes out. But thanks for the offer...

Andrew said...

mr growl! do you know lightspeed champion with emmy is playing at 229 Len an Cliff's bar this thursday? am heading along and have spare tix if anyone is going, although they're prolly still available...

The Daily Growl said...

I do know about this gig, and I would have been so there, but having a very little baby has put paid to my gig-going of late. That's not going to change for a while yet I reckon. I just hope that he's not playing horrible big venues by the time I get to see him...

Anonymous said...

..hmmm .. in nyc he's at bowery ballroom and maxwells? there's a great interview with dev here
http://www.uncensoredinterview.com/artists/168-Lightspeed-Champion

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