Hercules and Love Affair's 2008 eponymous debut album was an absolute gem, one that I still play on a consistent basis. One song stood out above the rest, though, and that was "Blind", the band's collaborative track with Antony Hegarty. The track still stands as the band's best. But, those who have seen Hercules and Love Affair live will know that the two parties have never performed the song together in a live setting, until now. Last night at London's Meltdown Festival, Hercules and Love Affair were joined onstage by Antony, who belted out a fantastic rendition of "Blind" backed by the full band. Check out fan footage of the performance above, along with fan footage of them performing "Raise Me Up" after the jump.
Alright kiddies! Time to pick out your best outfit complete with ultra rad sunglasses! Chromeo is hitting the road!!!
Seriously though, their set during SXSW this year was probably my favorite show of the whole trip down there. This is something you do not want to even consider missing. I mean, not only are you getting Chromeo, but for select dates you get Mayer Hawthorne OR Breakbot on top of that! You gotta hear that and say to yourself "I want to go to there," right!??!
In addition to the upcoming tour, the guys are releasing a remix EP on July 26th for "When The Night Falls", which will feature remixes from Hercules & Love Affair, Lifelike, Breakbot and a cover from Mayer Hawthorne.
Since none of us are into waiting patiently, you can grab the Breakbot remix now below, thanks to the lovely people at Pitchfork.
Tour dates after the jump!
'NIGHT FALLS' TOUR DATES
9/14 DALLAS, TX - House of Blues
9/16 HOUSTON, TX - House of Blues
9/17 AUSTIN, TX - Austin City Limits *
9/18 NEW ORLEANS, LA - House of Blues
9/20 MIAMI, FL - Fillmore
9/21 ORLANDO, FL - Beacham Theater
9/22 ATLANTA GA - Masquerade (Heaven Stage)
9/24 MONTREAL, QC - Metropolis (Pop Montreal) *
9/26 DETROIT, MI - Majestic
9/27 COLUMBUS, OH - Newport Music Hall
9/28 PITTSBURGH, PA - Stage AE
9/30 CHICAGO, IL - House of Blues *
10/3 MILWAUKEE, WI - Turner Hall
10/4 MINNEAPOLIS, MN - First Avenue
10/6 BOULDER, CO - Boulder Theater
10/7 DENVER, CO - Ogden
10/8 ASPEN, CO - Belly Up
10/10 SEATTLE, WA- Showbox Sodo
10/11 PORTLAND, OR - Roseland
10/12 ARCATA, CA - Arcata Community Center
10/13 RENO, NV - Knitting Factory
10/17 SAN DIEGO, CA- House of Blues **
10/18 TEMPE, AZ - Marquee Theatre **
10/20 KANSAS CITY, MO - Midland Theater **
10/21 TULSA, OK - Cain's Ballroom **
10/22 OXFORD, MS - The Lyric **
10/24 ST. LOUIS, MO - The Pageant **
10/25 NASHVILLE, TN - Cannery Ballroom **
10/27 RICHMOND, VA - The National **
10/28 ASHEVILLE, NC - MoogFest *
10/31 PHILADELPHIA, PA - Electric Factory **
11/1 BOSTON, MA - House of Blues **
11/2 TORONTO, ON - Sound Academy **
* without Mayer Hawthorne
** with Breakbot
Hercules & Love Affair are set to release another single from their Blue Songs album in April in the form of “Painted Eyes”. Along with the single though will be a B-Side, a cover song, a cover of The xx's "Shelter" to be precise. The cover isn't a simple wash and repeat, play it as it was, H&LA add some electronic sounds and mix around with it a little. Putting their own little additions to the mix. As you can imagine with The xx's tracks it was hard to portray anything but bleakness from most of their tracks which was what they did best, and all credit to them for it, so in turn the underlying melancholy and outlook remains in tact on the Cover version. Check it out for yourselves below and a hat tip to the good people at Prefix for the heads up and Moshi Moshi Records for the upload.
Back in 2008, New York DJ Andy Butler came together with Kim-Ann Foxman and Antony Hegarty to form the instantly distinct group Hercules and Love Affair. Their self-titled debut album was released in March of that year, blending together the sounds of the iconic 80s house genre with sweeping vocals, modern techniques and a unique presence. Once again, Andy Butler is back, and this time, along with Foxman and minus Hegarty, the group has found new members. Newcomers fan-turned-band-member Shaun Wright and singer Aerea Negrot provide vocals throughout Hercules and Love Affair's sophomore album Blue Songs, adding a new dimension to the already unique style of the band. The return to the iconic house style was what made their debut album stand out, and that presence continues in Blue Songs. With a few big guest appearances and a ton of new flavour, their sophomore outing shows the increasing development of an already amazing band.
Right from the get go Blue Songs brings you into the hypnotic, flowing world of Hercules and Love Affair with the song "Painted Eyes." The subtle bass lines, striking violin notes, and synth work all come together to make on of the most memorable songs on the album. Following "Painted Eyes" is "My House," which brings the house influence to the forefront. The synth work, the vocals, the simple-yet-catchy-as-hell bass; all of it takes that house background and infiltrates your eardrums.
The song "Answers Come In Dreams" is the perfect example of how the group has taken their house foundation and built upon it. Just by adding elements of funk, they turned this song into an upbeat, and simply kick ass song. "Boy Blue" and "Blue Song," with their slow pace and diverse instrumentation, also show off the increasing breadth of the band's abilities. Even the album's last track, "It's Alright," shows how the band has grown in terms of pacing, with each song being very well placed in comparison to those that came before and after. On the other hand, the only song on the entire album that felt a little disjointed was "Visitor," which felt like it was thrown in at the last minute and feels altogether uninspired compared to the rest.
Perhaps the best song on the album, in my opinion, is "Step Up," also features the most notable guest appearance. Kele Okereke (of Bloc Party fame), steps in to provide lead vocals on the track, which is also the most house-centric on the entire album. The simplicity of every synth key, every transition from verse chorus and back to verse, every hit from the drum machine; it all comes together perfectly. Kele is especially amazing on vocals, adding his style to the track that sets it apart from the rest on the album.
It's fantastic to see when a band develops so significantly from one album to the next, and Hercules and Love Affair stuck to what they did best and kept getting better. Blue Songs is a step in the right direction for the band, who are taking the house genre and giving it a fresh new face. By blending new genres in with a rather simplistic electronic genre, the sounds and styles produced by Andy Butler and his group are something entirely their own, and that is something they should continue to strive for.
Hercules and Love Affair, a nu-disco group created by New York DJ Andy Butler, has been fairly quiet since the release of their amazing debut album Hercules and Love Affair back in 2008. Today, though, that all changed with the brand new single "My House" from their upcoming sophomore album Blue Songs, due out January 31, 2011. The song is entirely reminiscent of the new age disco style that the band adopted, and the wailing falsetto of band newcomer Shaun Wright adds just the right touch to this awesome, bass-bumping track. Check it out below (via the NME Daily Download blog) and look forward to the release of Blue Songs in January.