Laetitia Sadier with band

Laetitia Sadier Interview

Laetitia Sadier has just released her mesmerizing album Something Shines, and will be touring Europe and the UK in November and December; perfect music to accompany the late autumn mists and fogs. Autumn has always been a fertile time for revolutionary spirit as well, from Guy Fawkes to 1989 to the Occupy movements, with significant waypoints in between. The former member of Stereolab isn’t coming over here at the moment, and Northern Transmissions wanted to know more about the ideas expressed in the album and the artistic spirit that infuses the music. Alice Severin sent a message in a bottle and it came back on a wave, filled with sparks of inspiration and sharp, observant comments on the political and creative landscape of our time. Sadier shares her thoughts here.

Laetitia Sadier: Something Shines was made over a long period of time compared to the other two, which were made very quickly and in a state of urgency. It has a more experimental quality. I wanted it to mature, to let time do its thing so to give the music time to give off its own elements of fermentation, which is a process of transformation I find fascinating. So it came to be in a slow process.

My interview with Laetitia Sadier (ex-Stereolab) on the new album and the state of the world.

Laetitia Sadier - Something Shines

Review of Something Shines – Laetitia Sadier

Laetitia Sadier, most well known for her presence in Stereolab, is a vocalist and musician who has always inspired respect and a sense of wonder among her fans. The new album, Something Shines, continues to offer an artistic space unlike any other. A constant theme has been the works of Guy Debord and the Situationists, and there are allusions to this on the new album. A short explanation of him might include a description of a melancholy pessimist, who was a central figure of engagement with cultural politics. It could be a description of Sadier here as well.

Influential but underrated is the banner of those few musicians who have a sound that is all their own…

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Royal Blood

My interview with Ben Thatcher of Royal Blood

Royal Blood have definitely had an interesting summer. Number one album, UK tour sell out in two minutes, nominated for a Mercury Prize, front covers, general fame and glory, that kind of stuff. So Northern Transmissions was very pleased to be able to talk to the extremely affable Ben Thatcher about the crazy ride he’s on and what’s really important about playing music. Alice Severin coaxed him away from the beautiful wild creatures he was communing with and got him to share a little taste of what it’s like to be on the road in America when your band is exploding everywhere.

Northern Transmissions – Hi, how are you doing?

Ben Thatcher – I’m very well, having a day off today.

NT – You’re touring the US now. Where were you last night?

BT – (laughs) I don’t even know where I was. Uh, St. Louis last night, tomorrow I’m in Houston.

interview with Royal Blood this way…

King Tuff

King Tuff Interview

King Tuff is releasing their new album, Black Moon Spell, and Northern Transmissions got to catch up with Kyle Thomas, and find out how the magic happens. According to the Sub Pop website, “for some reason, no one can really explain how the Black Moon Spell came to be. It just appeared one day…” So when Kyle began to speak, we waited for revelations to emerge. With a laugh that comes out of nowhere, so big and contagious, if a little spooky, he had a warm way of making anything seem possible. Alice Severin had intended to ask a lot of practical questions, but before she knew it, she was learning about ants and where to buy records in LA, and how to be a personal witch. She managed to copy down some notes before the words mysteriously faded.

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Climate March

Off to climate march. I hope that everyone is doing something that helps the climate.

It’s shocking to me that it’s become a partisan issue in this country, as though dirt and air and birds somehow had leanings in one direction or another. It’s also surprising that after having been through Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and the near decimation of eagles and other birds of prey, and the realization that lead in gas was not a great idea, or lead in paint, or that a river on fire perhaps meant we’d all gone a little too far in terms of contaminating our water, there are still people that don’t take it seriously, or need to be convinced – again. I don’t want to eat corn that creates its own pesticide, or read about plastic zones in the Pacific. The photographic evidence is there of shrinking glaciers, violent storms, rising sea levels. The BP disaster in the Gulf should have been enough, but some people seem to think destroying fish and wildlife and the fishing industry is just the price we pay for being able to drive to work.

For me, it’s the memories of things that are gone. The monarch butterfly, nearly eradicated thanks to Monsanto and pesticides that kill not only what they eat, but attack their health as well. I have a memory of driving down a road in the country at twilight, and there were so many butterflies that they were hitting the windscreen. I picked one off the bumper, and saved it, guilty that we had killed one of the hundreds that were flying in the darkening sky. Then the numbers began to fall, slowly, quickly. Every summer, there would be a few, we would be surprised and delighted, then surprised again that we were surprised. Now there are none. I’ve seen no evidence of the orange and black wings that used to be a gift of beauty, part of the fleeting tenderness of summer, a wonder that something so delicate could survive.

We seem to think that the poisons we scatter liberally into the atmosphere, into the water, and into the soil won’t affect us, as though we were superior beings not bound to the same cellular truths as the rest of the living beings on this planet.

Anyone who had a history class must remember how the Romans were held up as an example of a people with a fatal flaw. How could they not have realized that the lead in the pipes, in the makeup, was killing them?

If there’s anyone left in the future to read about this time, I have no doubt that they will ask the same questions. Why did they poison themselves? Why did they let companies dictate policy based on risk management and acceptable human loss? Why did they not notice the weather patterns changing? Why didn’t they realize that they needed bees for their food supply, instead of watching them all die off?

Off to march, before they off all of us.

The Access Series - Alice Severin

Books on Sale

Cheap as chips, as they say. And highly recommended by the lovely women of Totally Booked Blog.


The ACCESS series by Alice Severin is only 99c/77p a book and we can’t recommend this rock star series highly enough! ♫

♫Access All Areas

♫Access Restricted (The Access Series Book 2)

♫Access Unlimited: Book 3 of the Access Series

TB Reviews:

Interview with Slow Magic

Speaking to the enigmatic and mysterious Slow Magic…
only requires moderate vetting with just a few levels of security. Luckily, we passed, and Northern Transmissions was able to talk about the long awaited new album, How to Run Away, and find out what drives the Slow Magic project. Ranging from autobiography to animals to magic powers, we also find out where you might want to run away to. Alice Severin peeks behind the mask.

SM – There’s a lot of preparation, a lot of behind the scenes mask building and repairing, and things like that (laughs). And also, it’s fun. I’m usually pretty stressed and working late into the night before the tour. I just want to make it as good as I can. There are a few new things for the tour that I’m going to be doing as far as new music and also some new drums and different stage setups. So I’m excited to share that with everyone.

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