Posts from 2012

Hidden Jazz Quartett

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 by Sjoerd

Jazz // SoulHidden Jazz Quartett band picture

Dedicated to presenting original raw jazz straight out of Germany’s Hannover, Hidden Jazz Quartett‘s organic sound breezes your way in crisp tumbling rhythms and versatile sax. They combine styles from both ends of the spectrum: hard-hitting drums underpin laid-back melodies in “High Heels,” with its off-kilter beat in perfect contrast to the silky colours of Omar’s voice. Instrumental jazz from the top shelf is served in “Wälzer” as a strong groove that evolves into a swirling river braved by ballsy brass solos.

Grooving jazz uplifts your mood.
Hidden Jazz Quartett – High Heels (feat. Omar)
Hidden Jazz Quartett – Wälzer
+ Purchase/Visit


Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Julija

soul // r&b

Critically acclaimed and award-winning Danish pop-soul singer Nabiha Bensouda already won the hearts of music fans all over Scandinavia and most of Europe. Nabiha’s album, More Cracks (2012), the international re-edit of her debut, falls somewhere between Amy Winehouse’s retro-soul, Janelle Monae’s fast-paced funky rhythms and M.I.A.’s powerful beats. You are bound to recognize the chorus of Nabiha’s “Never Played the Bass” from Womack & Womack’s hit ”Teardrops”, while its incredibly catchy up-tempo beats will have you dancing around the room. Another favourite, “Trouble” stands out with its infectious frenetic energy, funky dance beats and Nabiha’s sultry vocals.

Funky, soulful and totally irresistible.
Nabiha – Never Played The Bass
Nabiha – Trouble
+ Purchase/Visit

Oskar Schuster

Sunday, August 12th, 2012 by Julija

german composer // instrumental

The sound of Berlin-based composer Oskar Schuster is probably best described as dreamy escapism. His delicate piano, Parisian accordion, tender glockenspiel and music box create a perfect late-night soundtrack. Oskar’s soft, elegantly structured compositions evoke certain similarities with such artists as Yann Tiersen and Detektivbyrån, yet evolve into his own captivating soundscapes. “Sneeuwland”, featured below, was recorded for his SellaBand promo video to crowdfund his new album.

Dreamy soundscapes to carry you away.

Oskar Schuster – Sneeuwland
Oskar Schuster – Les Sablons (from Les Valses Invisibles)
+ Purchase/Visit

The Bombay Royale

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 by Sjoerd

Bollywood // Funk

Everything about Melbourne outfit The Bombay Royale screams over the top, too much guilty pleasure. A crazy mash-up of genres you would find in a Tarantino soundtrack propells the Hindi and Bengali vocals. Synth sounds on the border of hypnotism and cheese, mexican trumpets battling tabla rhythms, surf guitars flowing into cinematic string arrangements, all completed with a dash of hammond soul. This genre-defying joyride should never work but is evidently forged with such a love of music that it sounds awesome.

Hitting you in the guts like a vindaloo of funk.
The Bombay Royale – Monkey Fight Snake
The Bombay Royale – Sote Sote Adhi Raat
+ Purchase/Visit

Tino Contreras

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 by Kyle

latin jazz // tropical

First appearing on Jazz in MexicoThe Legendary 1954 Sessions, pioneering Mexican drummer and composer Tino Contreras was born in 1928 in Chihuahua, Chih., and has recorded over 40 albums to date. El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras (2011) showcases his ingenuity of styles absorbed from world travels – containing ritual chants, waltz, psychedelia, devout choirs and microtones to name a few. However, the successful arrangements of Jazz Tropical (1962) is my aurgasm as double bass swings through proclaiming horns, congas are aplenty, and occasional shouts propel excitement. Tino’s drum solo in “Conversacion” is a highlight, while the cascading piano from his take on Ernesto Lecuona’s “La Malagueña” and the lively swagger of “Night in Tunisia” is exquisite.

Invigorating Latin flavors.
Tino Contreras – Noche en Tunisia
Tino Contreras – La Malagueña
+ Purchase/Visit

Shelly Fraley

Monday, July 30th, 2012 by Julija

pop-folk // singer-songwriter

Hush (The Secrets Project) (2012), Shelly Fraley’s latest album, has everything to satisfy your pop cravings for the summer. It’s sweet, yet far from sugary. It’s catchy, yet sophisticated. Essentially, it’s everything you could want in a pop song. Shelly’s album ranges from mid-tempo piano ballads to upbeat acoustic tunes, all brimming with the cleverly crafted hooks. The opening track “Hush” would most certainly appeal to the fans of Lenka, while the lovely “Just Don’t Wanna Be Alone” shares similarities with such pop-folk darlings as Rosi Golan and Katie Herzig.

Sweetest pop perfection.

Shelly Fraley – Hush
Shelly Fraley – Just Dont Wanna Be Alone
+ Purchase/Visit

Miriam Bryant

Friday, July 27th, 2012 by Julija

pop // soul

Miriam Bryant’s debut single “Finders, Keepers” (2012) might label her as a potential Sweden’s answer to the British soul invasion. However, while vocal comparisons to the critically acclaimed Adele are definitely due, Miriam’s songwriting is more in line with Paloma Faith’s jazz glamour with an added touch of Amanda Jenssen‘s sing-along soul-pop. “Finders, Keepers” is a truly emotive ballad that evolves around dramatic piano and strings, and Miriam’s powerful vocals. She’s one songstress I’ll be keeping a keen eye on in the future.

Strong, emotive songwriting.

Miriam Bryant – Finders, Keepers
+ Purchase/Visit


Thursday, July 5th, 2012 by Julija

french vocal // soft soul

From the very first track of her debut album Jusqu’aux Oreilles (2008), Quebec native Amylie enchants the listener with her soft-toned and subtle sound. The soulful vibes of “Espace” evoke similarities with critically acclaimed Les Nubiennes’ Princesses Nubiennes, while its lush instrumentation and clean hypnotic production reminds the sound of Zero 7. Catchy, uptempo and playful “Mes Oreilles” brings to mind the debut album of French chanteuse Camille.

Fresh, sweet-sounding and vibrant.
Amylie – Espace
Amylie – Mes Oreilles
+ Purchase/Visit


Friday, June 1st, 2012 by Kyle

electronic // downtempo

Supple beats marry shimmering coral chords in seaside bliss amid warming, caressing petals of sky to rendezvous your senses and massage on contact. Transposed emotions from Melbourne form piano flute cloudscapes, dazzling luminous sunsets, and curious blips washed in reverb flowing uptempo or downbeat. Jack Vanzet’s Voyages blossom into euphoric rewards for your ears, and his Unfinished Business is a 19-minute dopamine symphony of calming awe.

Dreamy audio estuary.
Thrupence – Synchronous Bloom
Thrupence – Folds
+ Purchase/Visit

Bev Lee Harling

Monday, May 7th, 2012 by Sjoerd

Jazz // PopBev Lee Harling 'junk' PR shot by Hannah Daisy

An intriguing personality shows in the words and music from Bev Lee Harling. Songs about expectations, modern life & love are matched by a diverse production which is sometimes tongue in cheek, but always spot on in presenting the song eloquently. Don’t be fooled by the sweetness of her voice; she conceals a dark twist and wickedness underneath her cute appearance. “Private Life of a Puppet” sees a fine balance between innocent & dark, while “Barefoot in Your Kitchen” has you guessing whether it is a smart analogy or just a loving tribute.

Jazz pop with an intriguing twist.
Bev Lee Harling – Private Life of a Puppet (acoustic)
Bev Lee Harling – Barefoot in Your Kitchen
+ Purchase/Visit