April 3, 2013

AlunaGeorge

alunageorgeThe London-based duo of singer Aluna and DJ George has grown on indie electro pop charts for about a year now – and keeps on growing. There hasn’t been another recent act who’s able to combine the contemporary genre blends of future garage and electro-rnb into one, and adding such a truly unique, stunningly sweet female voice!

Like the entire industry of internet-based newcomers tend to do these days (Rhye, Woodkid,…), AlunaGeorge tease their new-found web fans by releasing single, highly polished videos in regular intervals.

One of their best tracks feature another incredible new UK artist: White Noise by Disclosure.

Beware: This will definitely make you hit the repeat button for the rest of the week…

“You’re body is like music, baby, I wanna play it again.”

If their LP Body Music can keep up with this high quality, AlunaGeorge will have no troubles getting shortlisted for album/artist of the year.

Plus, their latest video for Attracting Flies:

Don’t forget to check out their tourdates which are coming up soon.

Advertisements
July 9, 2012

Full Album Stream: Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough?

Today, 23 year old Lianne La Havas from London has released her highly anticipated soul/folk singer-songwriter album Is your love big enough?

About time to have a closer look at this promising new talent. Lianne’s style is a blend of soul, folk, pop and classic singer-songwriting pop. The multi-instrumentalist focuses on her guitar and virtuously perfected voice, telling stories close to her life, accompanied by choral backgrounds.

x

The best news: Her entire album is available for streaming on The Guardian’s website.

x

Most outstanding tracks: The album opener Don’t Wake Me Up convinces with strong acoustic chorals, gentle electronic guitar sounds and an orchestral yet intimate atmosphere.

Is Your Love Big Enough? – the title track – stands out for its energy, showing what Lianne’s voice is capable of:

Another energetic track is Forget, a break-up song supported by a colorful video:

The playful, blues song Age tells the entertaining story of being attracted to a man “old enough to be my father”, but “ready to love me as the woman that I am”. Watch a very good perfomance on Later…With Jools Holland:

Still want more? Watch a brilliant full concert for the anniversairy of BBC 6Music in London:

You can also get limited vinyls of her new LP on her website.

February 18, 2012

Bon Iver – AIR Studio Sessions

This video is a must-see for any fan of Bon Iver and worth more than the usual recommendation for all other music lovers.

A recorded album is an experience of close intimacy with a compilation of songs, infinitively repeatable as the same version, put in a storytelling order and mastered to perfection. Seeing a Live performance brings your physically close to the artist – and to hundreds of people with the same feelings for his music.

The rather new trend of recording studio sessions is a great blend of both, giving you something between album and live performance.

Bon Iver‘s latest studio sessions at the AIR Studios in London are a masterpiece. As a collaboration between 4AD and Jagjaguwar, they present five captivating versions of old and new songs. Equipped with two Steinway & Sons grand pianos, Justin Vernon and Sean Carey interpret these tunes in a minimalistically pure, yet classical way.

Vernon’s high-pitched vocals and the characteristic instrumentation generate a thick atmosphere of airlessly floating intensity. Nevertheless, its highlight certainly is a stunning cover of Bonnie Raitt‘s I Can’t Make You Love Me, unfolding itself as the centerpiece at 8:10 minutes. At this point, no one will doubt the weight of Sean Carey’s voice, giving an almost angelic touch to Bon Iver’s unique style.

Take 25 minutes of rest for this one – they are more than worth it.

1. Hinnom, TX
2. Wash.
3. I Can’t Make You Love Me
4. Babys
5. Beth/Rest

X

February 3, 2012

Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka feat. Abigail Wyles – Halo

Spheric minimal electronic tunes from Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka, an English producer duo, born within Modeselektor‘s label 50weapons. Their collaborative long player They! Live  has just been released last week.

Watch their video for Halo with mysterious images within a dark setting (including the symbol for former Eastern German automobiles, a beige Trabant). Their distinct, light and drop-like beats and obscure soundscapes remind you of Modeselektor or Moderat just as much as of Burial and Four Tet. Overall, it achieves an interesting balance between sophisticated, ambient melancholy and dancefloor-ready techno. Abigail Wyles enriches this and two more tracks on the LP with her vocals, providing them with some higher pitches and a distinctively dreamy appeal.

Though Halo it the centerpiece of the album, many of its tracks are much more techno and house-affine, for example Creeper:

If you’re more into their smooth, obcure side and Abigail’s gentle voice, take Battleships as another great song:

X

January 20, 2012

Emmy the Great – Paper Forest

Time to present a bit of another great, yet far too unknown singer-songwriter.

Hong Kong-born and London-based Emmy the Great (aka Emma Lee-Moss) released her first LP First Love in 2009. Her songs are sweet guitar tunes, yet terribly direct and honest in their words.

Paper Forest (In the Afterglow of Rapture) is the second single from Emmy The Great’s second album Virtue, released last September. Fast-paced lyrics, a moving rhythm and Emmy’s sweet voice dominate the song, while its video tells about the struggles of becoming older.

X

Mistress England was recorded during The Observer Sessions – it’s a beautifully sad song of grief for all the English mothers who have raised their daughter to marry Prince William – and failed.

Finally, Gabriel is a song off her debut album. More playful, more childish, but maybe more orignal and certainly made to sing along, her first LP is definitely worth its time, as well.

For further recommendation, listen to the rather sad, but irresistable songs Absentee or Edward is Dedward, both are telling a touching story about coping with the the death of a loved one.

X

January 11, 2012

Art Documentary: PressPausePlay

An unmissable documentary about art in the digital age for any passionate art and music lover: PressPausePlay. Fully available on Vimeo or their homepage.

As the production studio House of Radon describes the video:

“The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities. But does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out? A Film About Hope, Fear and Digital Culture.”

It shows the various chances and benefits of the digitalization and democratization of arts and creative industry, yet it doesn’t neglect negative aspects and risks (yes, these actually exist!). 

“Cultural democracy or mediocrity?”

It is a high-quality, 1,5h video containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators in music, movies, photography and advertising, including Ólafur Arnalds, Apparat, Moby, Bon Iver, Hot Chip, Keith Harris, Lykke Li, Robyn, authors from Pitchfork, or Napster-founder Sean Parker, underlined with beautfiful tunes and  powerful eye-candy.

X

X

January 5, 2012

Danger Mouse (feat. Norah Jones & Julian Casablancas)

Introducing another highly creative, innovative and versatile artist and producer: Brian Joseph Burton, aka Danger Mouse from New York. Having produced albums by Jay-Z, Gorillaz or The Black Keys, Burton has gained pace in music business.

One of the best albums of last year is the collaboration between Danger Mouse and Italian Hollywood-composer Danielle Luppi: A ‘soundtrack without a movie’ called Rome. Getting the voices of Norah Jones and Jack White (formerly performing with his sister as The White Stripes) onboard during a five-year period of production let this album rise into high quality.

Largely reminiscent of classic Italo-Western movies, it’s been produced with the help of many musicians originally playing on the scores for composer Ennio Morricone.

Listen to Season’s Trees, featuring Norah Jones.

Another recommendation is the incredible Two Against One with Jack White.

X

Quite different from the collaboration on Rome, another track definitely worth listening to is Little Girl, involving a strong guitar solo and much more energy. Taking the well-known voice of the The StrokesJulian Casablancas and the instrumental expertise of the US-band Sparklehorse (who broke up in 2010…), this song lets listeners wait for more from the same menu.

“You tortured little girl, showing them what love is all about.
Where did all the time go? Everywhere it’s gone, gone, gone.”

X

X

The third piece is the collaborative project Broken Bells, involving Danger Mouse and The Shin‘s singer James Mercer. Their self-titled LP was one of the best indie releases in 2010. Watch the sci-fi video for their song The Ghost Inside, starring Christina Hendricks, best known for her main role as a secretary in AMC‘s 50’s show Mad Men (By the way, this is a strong recommendation, too!).

X

X

January 2, 2012

Best of 2011

Without losing too many words, presenting the soundepiphany Best Albums of 2011!

Beware, it’s a colorful mix between Indie Pop, Folk, Electronic, Rock and even R&B and HipHop tracks.

The list is rather softly ordered and slightly biased since some albums grew on better over time and some diminished in its significance. Folk, female vocalists and electropop are dominant.

20. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting

19. Wild Beasts – Smother

18. Kimbra – Vows

17. Cloud Control – Bliss Release

16. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

15. Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix

14. Florence and The Machine – Ceremonials

13. James Blake – James Blake

12. Apparat – The Devil’s Walk

11. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhythms

10. Slow Club – Paradise

9. Drake – Take Care

8. Feist – Metals

7. Moddi – Floriography

6. Metronomy – The English Riviera

5. Oh Land – Oh Land

4. Bodi Will – What?

3. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

2. Laura Marling – A Creture I Don’t Know

1. SBTRKT – SBTRKT

Albums that didn’t make it: Plan B – The Defamation of Strickland Banks; New Look – New Look; Marian – Only Our Hearts To Lose; Those Dancing Days – Daydreams and Nightmares.

And some LPs that didn’t quite make it, simply because they’ve just recently been released or because I’ve discovered them too late – and don’t want to make quick judgements:

The Roots – Undun; PJ Harvey – Let England Shake; Girls – Father Son Holy Ghost; St. Vincent – Strange Mercy, Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi – Rome; Destroyer – Kaputt; Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra.

In my humble opinion, 2011 has been an incredible for good music. Especially those artists mixing elements and styles of differents genres have grown in support. Considering female vocalists, several important artists have released new, brilliant LPs this year, from Lykke Li, Feist and Laura Marling to Oh Land and of course Florence and The Machine.

May the next year be just as good for music! Happy New Year!

December 2, 2011

King Charles – Mississippi Isabel

This man is gonna be big! Perfect song to tralala along – from London-based indie pop newcomer King Charles! His formula for success (in that order!):

  • The most potent – his hair!
  • Lyrics that are just as crazy as they need to be to get stuck in your head all day,
  • happy electric guitar sounds and piano tunes,
  • sunshiny video clips in fields of ripe wheat fields.

X

“I roll around on my bicycle all the way in the rain.
She kissed me once, I took her out for lunch and she never kissed me again.”

X

More? Check out the video for the much more rock-ish track Love Lust, already talking about the infamous Mississippi Isabel:

” Never let a woman go even when you know
she can always be replaced, she can always be replaced.
Oh, lust only grows like anger and revenge
beauty comes and goes but love stays until the end.”

X

November 30, 2011

SBTRKT, Sampha & Jessie Ware

Pardon my French, but: Oh my f***ing god, this is beautiful!

Jessie Ware and Sampha collaborate in the 2 minute short, but intense love tune Valentine. Both are best known for having provided their voices to one of this year’s best new artists, SBTRKT (see below).

Somewhat unsurprisingly, this track is much softer than the usual, bass and synth-focused stuff from SBTRKT. Sampha, with a voice smooth like silk, is one of the most important factors of SBTRKT’s latest success. Mandatory for a song with a name like this, it’s available on heart-shaped vinyl, on the label Young Turks.

SBTRKT (read Subtract) is symbolizing a musical identity independent from a single person. Hence, his alter ego, London-based producer Aaron Jerome, is always performing behind a charismatic mask. For anyone who doesn’t know his  self-titled album yet, check out a fan-made video for Hold On featuring Sampha and the track Right Thing To Do featuring Jessie Ware.

X

SBTRKT’s style is combining electronic and distinctive R&B elements in a unique, innovative manner:

“The main thing are the synths, arrangement and syncopation. I tend to play around with chords or pads first, and then start applying some drums to it. Even though I guess I write ‘bass music’ I tend to add bass in last; rhythm and arrangement are most important for me. A lot of people seem to mention ‘2 step’ alongside my name guess it’s just because of the syncopation that genre entailed.”

In that sense it is much like The XX or even Little Dragon. After all, Little Dragon’s singer Yukimi Nagano has given her voice to SBTRKT’s best known track Wildfire:

X

%d bloggers like this: