Music Roundup: The Bewitching Brilliance of Esben and the Witch

Esben and the Witch (Photo by Angel Ceballos)

We fell madly for Esben and the Witch‘s goth-tinged soundscape upon hearing the eerie “Marching Song” last fall. And this week, the Brighton, England trio finally brings their long-awaited debut album, Violet Cries, to U.S. shores.

“Dread is what Esben and the Witch do best, yet they’re not about cheap shocks, and they’re not kitsch or hokey,” The Daily Telegraph. “Instead they create an uncanny, original mood that’s involving and weirdly contagious.” We couldn’t agree more. From the spellbinding electric guitars of “Light Streams” and “Chorea” to the slow burning vocal attack of “Euminides,” Violet Cries will haunt you over and over.

For some extra Esben and the Witch reading, check out Drowned In Sound for some of the band’s film score faves. Yes, Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet‘s Requiem for a Dream is a definite hands down!

“Warpath”:

In other music news:

Also out this week in the U.S. is Bella, the lovely new collection from British-born troubadour Teddy Thompson. Here, Thompson examines his love-struck side (like many of us often do) while searching for a remedy to soothe a broken heart. Prep yourself to warm up to plenty of radiant string arrangements and twangy guitars, as heard on earnest album standouts “Tell Me What You Want” (a stunning duet with folk-rock songstress Jenni Muldaur) and “Take Me Back Again.” Even on the melancholy “Over and Over,” a sunny outlook peeks through. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, right?

STREAM: “Tell Me What You Want”
STREAM: “Looking for a Girl”

- The beautiful Adele is coming stateside for a slew of springtime dates in support of her forthcoming album, 21. We cannot wait! (A Heart Is a Spade)

- Coldplay have been named as headliners for 2011′s Glastonbury Festival. The celebrated four-day music extravaganza will take place June 22-26, with the Grammy-winning foursome supposedly leading Saturday’s (June 25) bill. Apparently, the Rolling Stones were also offered a slot, but passed. U2 and Beyoncé may also be on hand. The remaining lineup is slated to be announced later this spring. (HitFix Blog)

- The Pet Shop Boys‘ score to the ballet adaptation of the beloved Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Most Incredible Thing, will be released in double-disc format on March 14 in the UK. As for the ballet itself, the three-act show opens March 22nd at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. (Slicing Up Eyeballs)

- Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire has spoken out in support of UK’s public libraries, which are currently undergoing severe budget cuts and closings. “One of the most amazing things about public libraries remains their utter classlessness,” he said. “They aren’t inhabited by the kind of people currently damning them. The closure of libraries in conjunction with tuition fees, the sell-off of our forests and radical reorganization of the NHS are symbolic of the blatant power grab of this fiasco of a government.” Fight the power, Nick! (The Guardian)

- Before the Arctic Monkeys return with their fourth LP, frontman Alex Turner will make his proper solo album debut with a mini soundtrack to the British comedy Submarine, which premiered at Sundance last month. The six-song EP arrives in March. (NME)

- On March 15, Cornershop will release their seventh album, Cornershop & The Double ‘O’ Groove Of. For a sneak peek, check out “United Provinces of India,” featuring Bubbley Kaur. Glad to see that Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayers are still plugging along with their infectious blend of Indian music and Britpop. Still incredibly tip-top after all these years.

What are you listening to this week?