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Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

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16musiciansfeature Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

Don’t get us wrong; we know the difficulties surrounding the logistics involved in touring the United States, especially when the artist or band in question’s from overseas. Or worse, foreign and obscure. Just as with our piece on acts from the United Kingdom, we don’t wish to put the onus on the artists. Rather, consider this an open letter of lament, or perhaps a wishlist to the promoter equivalent of Santa Claus. Without further ado, here are 15 artists from the UK, Japan, Sweden, and beyond that we are especially anxious to see grace these American shores.

The Knife

The Knife

Remember The Knife’s Silent Shout tour? Probably not, since the American leg only consisted of venues in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco way back in 2006 that proved too small to satiate the demand. By the time this brief tour ensued, the legend of the next-level nightmarish visuals and seizure-inducing lights had grown, with the album itself being one of the year’s best reviewed and eventually topping Pitchfork’s annual list. Just a warm-up to further spread the hype before the real tour in 2007, complete with a festival appearance or two, right? Nope.

Fast forward to 2013 and The Knife is finally back on the road, but it’s not what people expected. The Shaking the Habitual tour challenges audience expectations of what a live performance can be, taking the focus off themselves for the sake of a collective experience. In short, expect Karin Dreijer Andersson, Olof Dreijer, and friends inducing sensory overload by jumping around in elaborate costumes to a mostly playback set. Fan reaction has been sharply divided, as if sliced by a sharp piece of cutlery, but the one aspect that comes as a surprise to no one is that the tour has been exclusive to Europe. Coachella 2014, perhaps? –Frank Mojica

Kodaline

kodaline Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

First signposted on CoS in November 2012, the last nine months has seen Dublin ROI four-piece Kodaline hit a fast track elevator skywards. Top Three positions for the band’s debut album, In A Perfect World, in both the UK and Ireland underlined the rapid growth of its new fan base. A tumultuous Glastonbury appearance quickly followed and it can only be a matter of time before US promoters sign the band up for a tour. Other than a brief stopover for SXSW, the USA has yet to see Kodaline, but the outfit’s set of credible songs with cinematic scope and memorable hooks is bound to resonate. What’s more, the boys are Irish and blessed with boy band good looks, so half of America will love them before the boat even lands. –Tony Hardy

Boredoms

boredoms Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

One can never have too many drummers, can they? Boredoms have been making ears bleed since before many of our readers were born. Infamous for the occasional numerology-obsessed event with an absurd amount of drummers (88 on 8/8/08, for example) that soon appears modest and practical following the next one, it’s been quite a while since we’ve had the chance to have our minds blown away. In fact, the psychedelic noisesters have not appeared stateside since the Flaming Lips-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2009 and a wider tour the year prior. –Frank Mojica

OOIOO

OOIOO

Speaking of Japanese bands of an unpredictable variety that are rarely seen in America, there’s also OOIOO. Led by Boredoms drummer and battler of pink robots Yoshimi P-We, this side project also defies classification as they take their fun, noisy experiments in tribal, spacey, and “wait, what?” directions. The band performed a handful of U.S. dates back in 2007, but there’s been none since. A tour in support of Boredoms would be quite the mindfuck. –Frank Mojica

Boards of Canada

boardsofcanadafeat Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

Masters of the ambient and the electronic Boards of Canada recently surprised everyone by releasing Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first studio album since 2005. As cryptic as ever, the album’s release was preceded by a mysterious, viral marketing campaign that included extremely-exclusive, unannounced Record Store Day releases, projections in Tokyo, and a listening party by a trailer in the middle of the California desert. Will the hysteria conclude with a performance in a certain other hot, dry locale, or perhaps somewhere else? It’s been three albums and 12 years since their last live performance, so don’t hold your breath waiting to see what kind of warm, emotional experience their soundscapes would invoke in a live setting. –Frank Mojica

Hjaltalín

Hjaltalin

Hailing from Reykjavik, Hjaltalin’s website takes minimalism to extremes with a single video and iTunes link all that is currently visible, but any hint of simplicity stops there. Visually and musically, the band does little by half measures. Known for its collaborations with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Hjaltalin offers an eccentric take on the classic rock band, with bassoon and violin augmenting a more familiar guitar, keys, bass and drums set-up. Vocals are shared between guitarist and Rick Wakeman lookalike Högni Egilsson, and the theatrical balladry of Sigríður Thorlacius. The seven-piece then somehow blends elements of jazz, pop, prog rock, orchestral and easy listening music into something that is oddly cohesive and immediately engaging. It’s a heady mix that deserves to be experienced outside Europe. –Tony Hardy

Einstürzende Neubauten

Einstürzende Neubauten

Well, this one almost happened in late 2010. Einstürzende Neubauten were set to go on a 30th anniversary tour of the largest cities in the US, and then the powers that be fumbled. The villain of this story is none other than the US Department of Homeland Security. In the German industrial pioneers’ own words: “While the US Department of Homeland Security did issue approvals for the band’s visas, it was not done in time to secure the appointments at the overseas embassies and consulates that represent the necessary final step in the process.” Another tragic tale of horror involving the logistics of touring America, surely, and to add extra sting to the loss, the tour was never rescheduled due to it being a “time-sensitive production.” –Frank Mojica

jj

jj600 Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

Singer Elin Kastlander and sound-maker Joakim Benon of Sweden, aka jj, are one of the most mysterious pairs to hit the genre of indie-pop. While their innovative first album, jj nº 2, gained critical acclaim, they challenge the idea of genre through multiple mixtapes and the implementation of balearic beat. The duo recently released a new track, “FÃ¥gelsÃ¥ngen”, which winks both at the past to their earlier, more successful work and the future to a possible upcoming album (and tour?). –Zander Porter

Morton Valence

mortonvalence600 Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

London five-piece Morton Valence has been ploughing its independent, spirited furrow for the best part of a decade as early adopters of crowd funding as a means of getting its music out there. The band’s sound has moved on from dance and electronica origins towards what it now describes as “urban country”. Its debut album, Bob And Veronica Ride Again, was accompanied by an absurdist novella penned by MV main man, Robert “Hacker” Jessett. The follow up, Me & Home James, took you on a cab ride across London’s urban mythology and a third, due later this year, is tentatively titled 10 Country Classics. Morton Valence offers an affectionate, sometimes louche, take on the genre and it will naturally be fascinating to see what kind of reception waits in the home of country music. –Tony Hardy

Paavoharju

Paavoharju

Finnish experimental collective Paavoharju is an esoteric wonder here in the States, and admittedly likely to remain that way. Their music is a strange thing of cool, fragile beauty, blending folksy stylings with found sounds, spoken word, church hymns, and all things ambient in a manner that is uniquely Paavoharju’s and merits at least a booking at one of our more left-of-center festivals. –Frank Mojica

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Often dubbed “the Japanese Kraftwerk”, Yellow Magic Orchestra (more commonly referred to as simply YMO) share responsibility in spawning synthpop, as well as influencing hip hop and all things EDM. Since 1980, however, the electronic music innovators have only performed in the states twice: Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2011. By all accounts, the gigs were thrilling, and synth- and sample loving- American audiences are overdue for a history lesson. –Frank Mojica

Revere

Revere

London post-rock collective Revere has garnered a committed UK following and some critical acclaim while patiently awaiting the bigger break its artistic integrity and endeavor ought to deliver. With a reputation for slow-build epic tunes topped by the majestic “The Escape Artist”, the seven-piece has balanced its live offering by introducing some shorter, more immediate songs. Lead singer and guitarist Stephen Ellis remains the band’s focal point, welding theatrics to his passionate and expressive vocals while the band’s female wing add subtlety and dynamics through violin, cello and natural beauty on stage. The word “rinse” is used by Revere to describe itself in full flight with cacophonous sound levels and instruments ablaze. It’s a sight and sound demanding a transatlantic trip pronto. –Tony Hardy

Nisennenmondai

nisennenmondai 620x300 Fifteen More Acts That Need to Tour America

Krautrock acolytes Nisennenmondai recently released N, their most stellar EP yet. The Japanese trio’s American tour history consists of a visit to CMJ in 2005 and a support slot with Battles a couple years ago. Here’s hoping such a tour will happen again soon, because if N is any indication, their unique way of blending noise and repetition into sway-along grooves should be more enthralling than ever live, and every lover of dissonant intensity needs to witness Sayaka Himeno unleash some jaw-dropping drum obliteration in person. –Frank Mojica

The Field

Axel Willner

While it’s true that Axel Willner, the man behind the downtempo sounds of The Field, came to America alone recently, it was only a surprisingly peaceful, ambient performance. As the only recognized song played was “Then it’s White”, dance-hits like “Over the Ice”, “Is This Power”, and “It’s Up There” were truly missed. He tours with a band when he’s in a dance-floor mood, and it’s been a number of years since America’s last seen that. –Zander Porter

The Avalanches

the avalanches 2011

Following up something as unique and exhilarating as Since I Left You is an unenviable task, but 13 years later, The Avalanches’ second album is becoming the new Chinese Democracy. Whenever there’s been a peep of information from a member or collaborator, cautious hopes for a new record or tour have reliably turned into hysteria before becoming inevitably dashed by the crushing defeat of nothingness for nearly a decade now. The end of purgatory just might finally be upon us, however. Not only did The Avalanches release a demo last year and perform a couple DJ sets in their native Australia in 2011, but The Guardian‘s Nosheen Iqbal also reportedly heard some of the new tracks and stated that the album will surface February 2014. Did you hear that festival promoters? –Frank Mojica

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