Posts tagged ‘folk’

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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.”

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November 9, 2011

Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP

“That secret that you know, but don’t know how to tell.
It fucks with your honor and it teases your head.”

One of Justin Vernon‘s most beautiful songs, again creating that distinct Winter atmosphere. His songs seem to be even more enchanting with chilly Winter air and snow surrounding you…

Blood Bank has only been released on an EP, but it might just triumph over Bon Iver’s long players, especially since it includes two more brilliant tunes:

Babys is dominated by a high-pitched piano, only giving rest for the words “Summer comes, to multiply!” The (almost) acoustic song Woods starts slow and with repetitive lyrics, then growing to immense heights.

Enjoy Blood Bank it with a well done fan video:

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October 6, 2011

Laura Marling: A Creature I Don’t Know

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Dear Laura,

you’re having the honor of this very first post. Yes, this is might be letter of admiration. (Hardly a secret anymore, though.)

I am inhaling every tune and verse of her recently released third album A Creature I Don’t Know – quite an output considering your debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim only dropped four years ago. Yet I’m amazed how a 21 year old can not only write unique tunes but is capable of telling stories most grandmothers would envy to have in their repertoire.

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So what’s new?

What has always enchanted me most is her mature voice, combined with her pragmatic view on love and life. “I know how you feel, I know it’s not right, but it’s real” as she sings in her latest single Sophia, is expressing this as much as her older lyrics: “Lover please, do not fall to your knees, it’s not like I believe in everlasting love” in one if her first songs, Ghost.

Hardly having much of a presence onstage, Laura Beatrice Marling has now grown into her role of a live singer, showing much more confidence than four years ago. There, her guitar had seemed like the companion she desperately needed to keep herself above ground. As she stated in an interview with The Guardian, this grown assertiveness is also reflected in the making of her latest LP where she is finally taking charge of her own production: “Well, I’ve got the confidence now, and I know what I want it to sound like, so before anybody else gets their grubby mitts on it, why don’t I put my stamp on it?”

Her distinctive metaphors and allusions to nature and death prevail, but Laura now shows much more strength and security in showing these darker sides. Her charismatic words may reflect this just as much as the way she sings them. The powerful contrast of her upper and lower voice, which can switch in a single line, is now carried with the appropriate confidence, making A Creature I Don’t Know a mature piece of art.

Selectives

The epic 6-minute-song The Beast, a “balancing act between wanting and needing” as she said herself, might be the most energetic of her new songs – leaving me breathless listening to it for the first time. Another, melodious and simplistic, yet again dark song, is Night After Night. A classic folkish one certainly is All My Rage, building up from a strong solo to a rattling orchestral ensemble. As Laura is telling a story throughout her album, the songs certainly appreciate not being isolated from each other, though.

Accompanied by strong tunes from pianos, cellos, tubas and even choirs, but much less banjo, Laura’s album is moving a bit more towards rock and away from her older classic folk songs, which have been much influenced by her fellow artists Noah & The Whale and Mumford & Sons. Now she is very much able to stand for herself, already selling out her concerts within days. In perspective, Laura Marling’s development as a singer and songwriter is astonishing, leaving me anxious for her future releases.

Yours truely ;)

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