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Karen O at The McKittrick Hotel (September 9, 2014)

By Will Oliver, September 10th 2014

1_Karen O_McKittrick Hotel

Last night the prolific Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O played a super intimate show at The McKittrick Hotel’s Manderley Bar. The show was the first in a three night run at the venue, with the fourth night coming at Le Poisson Rogue. The performances are celebrating the release of her debut album, Crush Songs, which came out this week. The record was actually recorded seven years ago after a bad breakup, but was never released. But here we are in 2014, and O has finally decided to share the album with the world via Julian Casablancas’ label, Cult Records.
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Karen O - Crush Songs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has finally announced her first solo album. It’s titled Crush Songs and it’s coming out on September 9 via Julian Casablancas’ label Cult Records. The solo album feels overdue, after various guest contributions and soundtrack appearances over the last few years (such as the lovely Moon Song for last year’s fantastic film Her).

The album was actually recorded back in 2006 and 2007, described as an intimate lo-fi bedroom recordings, similar to the style of “The Moon Song.” O describes the album in a letter that she posted on her site. Find that below.

We’ll have more on the album shortly. I’m very excited to hear it.

The Moon Song KCRW

Karen O and Spike Jonze’s “The Moon Song” is one of the many magical moments of Her and has (rightfully) been getting lots of love of late. We just saw a fantastic duet version with Ezra Koenig, and now we have a lovely live version performed by Karen O and Spike Jonze live on KCRW. They’re also joined by Her’s production designer KK Barrett.

Enjoy the performance below.
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Karen O – The Moon Song (Feat. Ezra Koenig)

By Will Oliver, February 17th 2014

The Moon Song

Her was one of my favorite films of 2013 (read my review here), a wonderful movie from Spike Jonze that I can’t recommend enough. In the film there’s a lovely duet with Joaquin Phoenix’s character and the operating system he falls in love with (Scarlett Johansson).

A solo version of the song was recorded by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who actually co-wrote the song along with Jonze. Earlier in the week Rolling Stone premiered a new version of the song that features a duet between Karen O and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. It’s a part of The Moon Song EP which is available now on iTunes.

The team-up creates a truly magical result. Check it out below. Read the rest of this entry »

Walter Martin (of The Walkmen) – Sing To Me (Feat. Karen O)

By Will Oliver, February 13th 2014 — with 1 comment

Walter Martin

It’s still hard for me to accept that The Walkmen will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future. But hey, at least we will be getting solo records from nearly all of the band’s members.

The band’s very own Walter Martin has made the first move. His debut album is titled We’re All Young Together and will come out May 13 via Family Jukebox. He described it as a family record:

I’m calling it a family record and I tried to fill it with warmth and humor because that’s the kind of art I like – stuff that makes everyone feel welcome. To me it’s a serious record disguised as a not serious record.

He started working on the album around the time when The Walkmen were finishing up work on their last album Heaven and while his wife was pregnant with their first child. With fatherhood looming, Martin wanted to challenge himself. He had co-written songs for the band since they had formed in 2000 and now it was his time to write for himself.

The first song to be released is a rather lovely song called “Sing To Me” that features guest vocals from Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s a soft and gentle offering that features a sort of country-style duet between the two that is sweet and tender.

In addition to Karen O, the album will feature guest appearances from the likes of Nick Zinner (also) of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Matt Berninger of The National, Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Kat Edmonson, and fellow The Walkmen bandmates Hamilton Leithauser and Matt Barrick.

Find “Sing To Me” posted below.
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[new]: Karen O – The Moon Song

By Will Oliver, August 29th 2013 — with 1 comment

Karen O - The Moon Song

Spize Jonze’s upcoming film Her stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely man who falls for a computer operation system voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Watch the trailer for the film here.

As if we weren’t excited already about the film, we’ve found out that Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ front-woman Karen O recorded a song called ‘The Moon Song” for the film. It’s not the first time Jonze and Karen O worked together, as she did the soundtrack for Jonze’s 2009 film, Where The Wild Things Are.

They are offering up 10,000 free downloads of the track on the soundtrack page, and after that its back to stream only. So hurry and get on that.

In the film, Phoenix and Johansson will sing the song together. So until the film comes out (December 18), enjoy Karen O’s beautiful version.

[new]: Karen O – Strange Love

By Will Oliver, August 24th 2012

Karen O recorded a new song called “Strange Love” for the soundtrack of the upcoming Tim Burton film, Frankenweenie. The song sounds a lot more upbeat than you would expect based on the film, but she works in all kinds of magic as the song progresses.

While speaking to Rolling Stone, Karen had this to say about her inspiration for this song:

My music inspiration came out of the same era of B-movie fright film references sprinkled throughout the film. I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically because it’s quirky, good vibes music of that era, and when you throw in a Theremin solo, it’s a marriage made in heaven. I remember Beetlejuice introducing me to the genius of Harry Belafonte’s calypso record, so I wanted to give a nod to that, too.

Listen to a radio rip of “Strange Love” below

Here’s the trailer for the film as well:
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