Still relatively independent (in attitude if nothing else), 4AD keep up the impossibly high standard of signings by inking a deal with the much-fancied The National, the Ohio quintet who have impressed critics and music-heads alike with previous epic albums such as 'The National' and 'Alligator'. It's not a huge move for the band - they have been signed to 4AD's house-mates, Beggars Banquet, since 2004 so it's a short walk down the corridor (metaphorically speaking).
In line with this, The National will be releasing a new album in May 2010 to follow up their last opus 'The Boxer' in 2007. Their most recent new material was on the AIDS charity compilation 'Dark Was The Night' and marked their 4AD debut with the grandiose song, 'So Far Around The Bend'. In addition and in support of the album, the boys will be playing one UK date on May 6th at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Judging by the reverie the band are held in, I imagine this will be a very special night indeed and tickets go on sale from 9am on Friday 29th January for £21.50 upwards.
Gang Gang Dance
So, what other little treasures await your ears from this most eclectic of labels? Gang Gang Dance have previously come to prominence with the album 'Saint Dymphna' on Warp in 2008 but have in fact been a part of the New York scene that has also spawned label-buddies TV On The Radio and also Animal Collective (without sounding much like either). They have an album and dates planned for later this year.
Tune-Yards is the clatter n rattle-funk project of one lady, Merrill Garbus, who has issued one smart DIY project called 'Bird Brains'. If you yearn for the days of experimental pop, disco and rhythm a la Liquid Liquid, Defunkt and ESG then this may having you palpitating. Her new single 'Real Live Flesh', will get a review on this very site soon. Meanwhile, there are some tasty live dates coming up (see below) and mostly around the tenner mark!
The lovely Tindersticks have just released their new album (also up for a review soon) that is bound to be another languid set of heart-breaks and ball-aches. 'Falling Down A Mountain' will be supported by a cluster of UK dates in Edinburgh, Manchester and Shepherd's Bush (see below). Further live dates will be confirmed later this year (possibly including the odd festival appearance).
The Big Pink
The remainder of the roster promises much - last year's beauties included albums from the folk-rock ensemble Broken Records, Camera Obscura, M Ward and chart-botherers, The Big Pink. Looks like 2010AD is going to be a winner for 4AD.