Posts tagged ‘guitar’

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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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 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.

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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.”

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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!).

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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 23, 2011

2:54 – Scarlet EP

Introducing another promising young band from London: 2:54.

Creating something in between psychedelic noise rock and lo-fi indie pop, with its smooth and creeping female vocals, 2:54 might just well be able to fill a musical niche.

The four band members around sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow have only played live for their first time last year, but have already been touring with stars like Blood Red Shoes, Melissa auf der Maur or Warpaint (and soon on stage with The Maccabees and The Big Pink).

Check out the clip for Scarlet, in its visuals perfectly matching the dark, foggy and haunting aura of the song (which itself seems to be missing a climax to release the built up energy, though).

2:54’s debut album is due to hit the stores next spring while the new Scarlet EP is hitting the blogosphere these days. For a lighter, but more straight-forward track, take their previously released Cold Front:

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.

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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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