First mp3 from Sonic Youth hits the blogosphere!

Excellent, excellent, excellent. I have been waiting for something along these lines for ages, and finally, on the last day of my holidays, it appears.

Sonic Youth’s new album The Eternal will be released on June 8 (June 9 in North America). It’s one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year, not just here at 17 Seconds, but across the blogosphere in general.

Matador, their new label, have just released this very day the first track from the album. It’s the opening track on the album, and it’s brilliant. ‘Sonic Trickster’ is prime Sonic Youth and I’m very excited to hear it. It has been described as “a 2:10 out-of-the gate hardcore matinee track with Kim singing salutes to French painter Yves Klein and Western Massachusetts noise artist Noise Nomads.” I can’t wait for The Eternal.


Sonic Youth -‘Sonic Trickster.’ mp3

For more on Sonic Youth check their official website, their myspace, and their site as part of Matador Records.

In case you’re interested -and why the hell would you not be! -this is the tracklisting for the album:

1. Sacred Trickster
2. Anti-Orgasm
3. Leaky Lifeboat (for Gregory Corso)
4. Antenna
5. What We Know
6. Calming The Snake
7. Poison Arrow
8. Malibu Gas Station
9. Thunderclap For Bobby Pyn
10. No Way
11. Walkin Blue
12. Massage The History

The album art was done by none other than John Fahey, btw…

Does there have to be a reason?

…well, it was an exciting match, especially in the last ten minutes or so, but ultimately, Hibs lost to Rangers at home. Ach well, never mind.

This seems like an appropriate song, under the circumstances.

But it’s a classic, so there doens’t have to be a reason to post it, really, I guess…

Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush -‘Don’t Give Up.’ mp3

Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush -‘Don’t Give Up.’

Presenting The Official Secrets Act


Where the heck did this appear from? I know next to nothing about this band, though I now want to, rather a lot, actually…They have just released an album called Understanding Electricity, and this will be the next single from it, as I understand. This appeared this afternoon, and I just had to share it with you.

Official Secrets Act -‘Bloodsport.’ mp3

Official Secrets Act myspace

Record Store Day tomorrow


Yes, folks, it is indeed, and should you be in Edinburgh (Scotland, obviously, just in case there are any other Edinburgh’s anywhere else!), Avalanche Records on Cockburn St, the finest record shop will be having a live performance from 17 seconds Records’ Ex Lion Tamer at 3PM!

They will also have Broken Records in at 4:30 PM and Withered Hand at 11:00 AM.

Ex Lion Tamer -‘Life Support Machine.’ mp3

If you haven’t seen our Tony yet, you really oughta…

Make friends, especially if you’re into strange pedigree dogs…

Album Review: St. Vincent


St. Vincent -‘Actor’ (4AD)

How to describe the second album by St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark)? Damn fantastic, that’s how. She doesn’t even cast a disdainfl raised eyebrow in the look of those ten-a-penny confessional singer-songwriters and instead heads straight for the leftfield of wonder.

And I mean that. Actor shows her to be the missing link between Laurie Anderson, Joanna Newsom and Bjork. A fair bit of this album is completely bonkers, but -and here’s the catch – bonkers in a way that makes you have to go back and investigate the album again and again. With first single ‘Actor Out Of Work’ you feel here is a track that could shake up the mainstream as much as the aforementioned Anderson did back in 1981 with ‘O Superman.’ I genuinely hope it does, it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve heard this year.

Having been a member of the Polyphonic Spree, Sufjan Stevens’ backing band and performed with Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestra, here is a performer who takes her own notions of the avant garde and produces something beautiful, that requires repeated listens and commands your respect. Bring it on!


Actor is released on May 4 on 4AD

St. Vincent -‘The Strangers.’ mp3

St. Vincent -‘Actor Out Of Work’ video

Presenting…The Big Pink


If the name ‘Big Pink’ makes you think of The Band’s album Music From Big Pink or Bob Geldof’s character in Pink Floyd: The Wall…well, fair enough, but you’re quite wrong here, as it happens.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the above named acts, but The Big Pink are in a different league. In some ways, it seems like thye’ve arrived that they’re almost so perfect you wonder why no-one came up with the idea before. A two-man act comprising Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze, though augmented by another four musicians live, they are set to be absolutely massive. They take their cue from the Velvet underground, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, shoegazing and electronica…but there’s something here that seems distinctly theirs.

They’ve so far released one limited single ‘Too Young To Love’/’Crystal Visions’ which can be streamed on myspace. Their next single ‘Velvet’ is a serious contender for track of the year. They’ve already won the Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards this year, and I genuinely believe these guys deserve to be massive. They’re signed to 4AD, which seems like their spiritual home. My latest band to fall in love with…

The Big Pink -‘Too Young To Love.’

The Big Pink -‘Velvet.’

The Big Pink website/The Big Pink Myspace

Album Review: Camera Obscura


Camera Obscura -‘My Maudlin Career.’ (4AD)

This has to be one of my most longed for releases of the year and this does not disappoint one iota. The follow-up to 2006’s Let’s Get Out Of This Country, Camera Obscura’s fourth album is finally here. Recorded once again with Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen in Sweden, it’s another fantastic album from the band responsible for the best album of 2006.

Whilst there are still people who keep comparing them to Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura prove here once and for all that they are standing in no-one else’s shadow and are firing on all cylinders. There’s the familiar touch of malancholy, and even more of a country and soul influence across the album, as a whole. First single ‘French Navy’ was, according to lead singer Tracyanne Campbell a song she wrote for Al Green to sing. I think he’d like it. The title track also features Abba’s grand piano, which is appropriate, as Camera Obscura are one of the few bands who can do sad like Abba could.

In her notes, Tracyanne Campbell talks about the relationship difficulties she’s had that have influenced this album lyrically. But you don’t feel like a voyeur listening in and reading these, rather privileged that she’s sharing it with you. And whilst there is a Camera Obscura ‘sound’ emerging, tracks like ‘James’ show that there are more, new ideas.

Don’t rush the follow-up guys, on this evidence, it’s been worth the wait.


My Maudlin Career is out on April 20 on 4AD.

I’ve posted these before here, but, well, why not?

Camera Obscura -‘French Navy.’

Camera Obscura -‘My Maudlin Career.’ mp3

Camera Obscura website/Camera Obscura myspace

Bill Callahan – not an album review


(Smog) frontman Bill Callahan has just released the second album under his own name, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle. This follows on from his 2007 release Woke On A Whaleheart.

However, despite the fact that I was sent a review copy – of an album I definitely want to hear, I’m actually going to have to wait until I’ve gone and bought the album. The reason for this is not that the album doesn’t play – but rather , in an attempt to make sure that the album was not leaked onto the internet, the review copies were helpfully sent out with beeping and honking through it, which makes the album – which sounds quite nice under it all (I think, from what I can make out) – too hard to actually properly assess.

Added to which, Callahan’s myspace page is a ‘sod you myspace page’ (he puts it rather more bluntly), and there is no music to be streamed there. Riiiiight.

However, Drag City on their website have made one track available for download ‘Eid Ma Clack Shaw’ which doesn’t seem to be beset with beeping and honking and is as good as anything I have heard by Mr. Callahan. Enjoy this, and maybe when I can afford it I’ll buy the album, and review it, even if part of me feels that this is treating reviewers with something bordering on contempt.

Bill Callahan -‘Eid Ma Clack Shaw.’ mp3

…and Franz Ferdinand’s continued return


I know I haven’t reviewed Franz Ferdinand’s third album here (yet!) but I do think it’s very good, and it’s always a pleasure to have them around.

last week, they recorded a cover of Britney Spear’s ‘Womanizer’ for fabulous Radio 1 FM, and as this track has not had an official release, to the best of my knowledge, I thought I would share it with you:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Womanizer (Britney Spears cover).’ mp3

…and as a treat, some other FF rarieties:

from the soundtrack of Hallam Foe:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow.’ mp3

A cover of David Bowie’s ‘Sound and Vision:’

Franz Ferdinand -‘Sound and Vision (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

An acoustic take on a single:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Walk Away (acoustic).’ mp3

An early demo:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Tell Her Tonight (demo).’ mp3

The b-side of their very first single, ‘Darts Of Pleasure’ (six years ago this August!) and one of the very best things they have ever done:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Shoppping for Blood.’ mp3

And a remix:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Take Me Out (Naum Gabo remix).’ mp3

It should go without saying that if you like these tracks you should go and buy the albums, see the band live etc..

Franz Ferdinand ‘s website
/Franz Ferdinand’s myspace

The return of Kasabian…


In keeping with the spirit of the times, Columbia Records have made a track from Kasabian’s forthcoming third album, The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, entitled ‘Vlad the Impaler,’ available for free.

Well, sort of. They gave people four days to download it and then removed it, which seems an odd way of going about promoting a new album. But their bizarre practices aside, it is one of the best thing’s that Kasabian have ever done, IMHO. (the track, not their record company’s supposition that everyone would be able to be near their computers on those dates).

See what you think…

Kasabian -‘Vlad the Impaler.’ mp3

They have also made a video for at least part of the song, featuring Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh:

As always, please let me know what you think!

Kasabian website/Kasabian myspace