Posts from 2009

Marit Larsen

Sunday, December 27th, 2009 by Julija

folk-pop // acoustic

Some of you might be familiar with Marit Larsen as a former member of Norwegian teenage duo M2M, known for their hit “Don’t Say You Love Me” (1999). Following the duo’s break up Marit has shifted from the sugary sweet pop to a subtler and more mature kind of songwriting. Her second solo effort, The Chase (2008), is all about the rich yet unpretentious arrangements and memorable melodies. Featured below, “Steal My Heart” is one of Marit’s slow paced numbers and a great example of her orchestral pop crafting. The song evolves around the gorgeous strings and overall delicate instrumentation that carries Marit’s soft vocals.

Sweet melody to melt your heart.
Marit Larsen – Steal My Heart

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Meaghan Smith

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 by Michelle

singer-songwriter // indie folk // holiday

After hearing Canadian songwriter Meaghan Smith’s sweet and carefree songs it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she grew up in a house of music, with her piano-teacher mother, bassist father and three talented sisters. Her affinity for the sounds of the “˜20s, “˜30s and “˜40s features heavily in her music as well. While the jazz-influenced indie folk of Meaghan Smith embraces instrumentation from older eras, the Canadian songwriter gives it her own contemporary twist (Meaghan herself dubs it “modern vintage”). Regardless of what you’d like to call it, her unique take on the holiday classic, “Silver Bells” and her original winter song, “It Snowed” is just what you need to get you in the holiday mood!

Traditional holiday songs go “modern vintage”.
Meaghan Smith – It Snowed
Meaghan Smith – Silver Bells
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Fredrika Stahl

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by Julija

jazz // pop // chanson

The repertoire of Swedish singer-songwriter Fredrika Stahl consists of elegant jazz compositions and dreamy vocal textures. “Monumental Mismatch”, the opening track of Tributaries (2008), possesses this certain element of playfulness and simplicity that works so well with Fredrika’s flirtatious jazz approach. Accompanied by accordion and delicate piano arrangements, lyrical “Pourquoi Pas Moi” is a true homage to French chanson, while her yearning vocals bring to mind the critically acclaimed Lisa Ekdahl.

Gentle jazz for a wintry afternoon.
Fredrika Stahl – Monumental Mismatch
Fredrika Stahl – Pourquoi Pas Moi
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SomethingALaMode

Saturday, December 12th, 2009 by Paul Irish

strings // electro // soul

It seems easy to assume that two prized string players, recognized as some of the finest young French musicians would be influenced by the Parisian electro scene, like Ed Banger and Institubes. They would, naturally, then set out to create electro infused with the graceful cello and viola lines. At first listen, this is what you might hear. But SomethingALaMode (or SALM) has pushed that further; the result is less novelty, more solid songwriting. A few samples from their varied and impressive debut: “Little Bit of Feel Good” delivers some mighty soul vocals; “GString” is a bit more familiar electro-fare, but with a very distinctive feel.

Music mastery; on the strings and the synths.
SomethingALaMode – Little Bit of Feel Good (feat. Adam Joseph)
SomethingALaMode – GString
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Laleh

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 by Julija

swedish pop // singer-songwriter

Laleh’s album, Me and Simon (2009), shines with pure pop energy and good fun. There are no experimental edges for avant pop lovers, yet there are enough memorable melodies and clever hooks to keep your attention. Iranian-Swedish artist Laleh crafts vibrant pop songs, sweet lullabies and ballads, sung mostly in English with the occasional French and Persian (not to be confused with Arabic) ear candy. Laleh’s stand-out track and my personal favourite is “Simon Says”. With its lovely arrangements, subtle multi-layered vocals and playful lyrics, this one you will carry and hum for the rest of the day.

Strong melody and a somewhat naive quirkiness.
Laleh – Simon Says

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