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Shaun Curran

For Shaun Curran's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Gruff Rhys follows ancestor's path on 'American Interior'

Feb 26, 2015

Gruff Rhys follows ancestor's path on 'American Interior'

For his fourth solo album, “American Interior,” Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys went the extra mile. Or more accurately, the extra 1,800 miles. Following in the footsteps of his distant relative, 18th-century Welsh explorer John Evans, Rhys precisely retraced the long journey taken ...

Royal Blood reigns over British rock

Jan 13, 2015

Royal Blood reigns over British rock

The dressing room of Camden’s Electric Ballroom in London is hardly the most glamorous of settings at the best of times, and for Royal Blood it is the early evening after the night before. The previous night, the blues rock duo played its biggest ...

Britain's alt-j finds inspiration in Miley Cyrus and Nara

Jan 6, 2015

Britain's alt-j finds inspiration in Miley Cyrus and Nara

An un-Googleable delta symbol name (∆), genre-hopping, challenging sounds and esoteric lyrics inspired by Japanese deer are not the usual recipe for surefire pop success. Yet when alt-j arrives in Japan for its debut headline show — catapulted by 1 million album sales, a ...

Pixies to bring 'Indie Cindy' to Summer Sonic

Aug 14, 2014

Pixies to bring 'Indie Cindy' to Summer Sonic

Sat on the upper deck of his band’s tour bus, Pixies frontman Black Francis shrugs his shoulders and screws up his face. This is, I’ve come to realize, how the man born Charles Thompson IV tends to field questions before, if and when the ...

Glasgow's Chvrches score a hit with debvt albvm

Feb 4, 2014

Glasgow's Chvrches score a hit with debvt albvm

Scratch beneath the surface just a little and Chvrches’ electro-pop becomes something of real substance. The Glasgow trio’s songs, which recall that genre’s golden era in the 1980s reimagined through meticulously modern production, initially appear throwaway in the truest sense but later reveal themselves ...

Franz Ferdinand gets it right on latest album

Nov 7, 2013

Franz Ferdinand gets it right on latest album

When I speak to Paul Thomson, drummer with Scottish art-poppers Franz Ferdinand, it is just over 36 hours since James Blake’s second album, “Overgrown,” was announced as the surprise winner of this year’s Mercury Prize, the award for the best record to come out ...

Suede plays it anew with 'Bloodsports' album

Sep 26, 2013

Suede plays it anew with 'Bloodsports' album

Ten years ago, Suede was in the process of fizzling out to a backdrop of apathy. For a band whose initial brilliance inadvertently help kick-start Britpop in the 1990s, it all seemed unedifying.