Keston Cobblers Club delivers a joyous blend of traditional-feeling folk melodies, toe-tapping rhythms and a slightly quirky vibe. While comparisons to the early Noah and the Whale, Mumford & Sons and Beirut are inevitable, the British quintet’s take on English folk revival is unique and refreshing. The album opener, “The Children Who Wear Socks On Their Heads”, A Scene of Plenty (2013), leads with frenetic accordion and percussion is a high-energy foot-stomping musical extravaganza. “You-Go”, taken from the band’s debut album One, For Words (2012), is a delightful pop-folk gem. Don’t miss the band’s take on Vampire Weekend’s “Ya Hey!” with some vintage animation.
Infectiously joyful. Keston Cobblers Club – The Children Who Wear Socks On Their Heads Keston Cobblers Club – You-Go + Purchase/Visit
French pianist and composer Albin de la Simone is best known for his collaborations with Jeanne Cherhal, Vanessa Paradis and Keren Ann. Although Un Homme (2013) is his fourth solo album, de la Simone is still relatively anonymous among contemporary French chansonniers. His lyrics are clever and his melodies engaging, but what makes de la Simone stand out is his voice and remarkable subtle string and piano arrangements. “Moi Moi”, featured below, is a delightful duet with the lovely Emiliana Torrini.
Elegant songwriting with a dose of whimsy. Albin de la Simone & Emiliana Torrini – Moi Moi Albin de la Simone – Le Fuite + Purchase/Visit
Japan-based Lullatone’s latest EP Falling For Autumn (2013) is a soundtrack of adorable lap-pop (seriously, it’s a genre) tunes and minimalist arrangements for cold weather. The duo’s sound incorporates whimsical layers of samples, claps, whistling and toys that combine into delicate, meandering melodies, which will keep you warm and cozy. While you will have to trust us that the EP is best enjoyed as a coherent piece, here we only have two samples: “The Biggest Pile of Leaves You Have Ever Seen” and “Raindrops Plucking the Last Leaves from a Tree”.
Eric Hillman and Brian Holl author Foreign Fields that make me feel I am escaping within the grace of enthralling novels. Delicate trembles near calm rolling thunder are sung by a person immersed in ambient wonder on paths lit from acoustic guitar before being swept off his feet by flourishing strings and confessing secrets to a hopelessly romantic piano. Anywhere But Where I Am and the striking live set Tuscaloosa turn pages of intimate harmonies lending me free.
Yasmine Hamdan began her career in Beiruit in the late 90’s where she gained a reputation of a modern underground icon. Fast forward to past the naughts, Yasmine now resides in Paris where she teamed up with Nouvelle Vague’s mastermind Marc Collin for her album Ya Nass (2013). Throughout the album, Yasmine’s seductive and distinctly Middle Eastern vocals create an evocative blend of Oriental Soul, Dream Pop and acoustic folk. In “Samar”, Yasmine’s vocals seamlessly weave with swirling retro-synths and electronic vibes, while “Deny” is a mesmerizing dream-pop ballad.
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