Posts from 2012

Rachel Sermanni

Sunday, April 29th, 2012 by Julija

dream-folk // scottish singer-songwriter

Rachel Sermanni’s EP Black Currents (2012) may only offer 4 tracks, but it certainly earns the Scottish songstress a spot among the most promising talents of the year. Rachel’s ethereal, some times husky Sarah Blasko-like vocals ride the delicate guitar, breezy strings and subtle piano arrangements of her debut EP. The lead track “The Fog” showcases Rachel’s rich vocal range from delicate to haunting dark tones. Don’t let this gem slip under your radar.

Heartfelt, refreshing debut.

Rachel Sermanni – The Fog
Rachel Sermanni – Breathe Easy
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Eastbound Jesus

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 by Kyle

northern rock

Whether digging country roots or rocking guitars, these hearty rascals from Greenwich, NY produce incredibly appealing tight rhythms, choral elation and rollicking stomp. Eastbound Jesus has a vibe I cherish at bluegrass festivals: kids running freely, families sharing meals, camping areas for jamming all night, and tents for free lessons. People are real and their good nature is alive. Thoroughly uplifting, Holy Smokes instills a sense of everything being alright even if you’re far from it. Songs reveal boyhood girl troubles, the workingman’s plight, and helpful lore with a refreshing dash of revolt. Open your windows and doors; feel sun-fueled air kite stymie issues. Hang laundry, clean dishes – dance, sing, paint! Let pieces puzzle together as you lead where life takes you.

Folksy romp with humble foundations.
Eastbound Jesus – For the Ride
Eastbound Jesus – Without You
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Bottom Rhythm Jam

Sunday, April 15th, 2012 by Kyle

jazz // thunder

Hopefully your speakers can fully embrace the percussive salvo of Bottom Rhythm Jam. Featuring Indigo Jam Unit‘s drummer, Takehiro Shimizu, and pianist Yoshichika Tarue, led by Kosuke Tsuji, with Gandhi on contrabass, this is the hardest hitting, relentless pounding jazz I’ve ever enjoyed. A ferocious and awesome Encounter binding earthly tremors to your body.

Explosive jazz from Japan.
Bottom Rhythm Jam – Crisis
Bottom Rhythm Jam – Core G
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Hindi Zahra

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 by Julija

acoustic jazz // world

Moroccan-born, Paris-based songstress and multi-instrumentalist Hindi Zahra is truly a world artist. Her debut album Handmade (2011) embodies the spirit of American jazz and blues traditions, Django Reinhardt’s gypsy guitar rhythms and North African beats. Sung nearly entirely in English with occasional Berber whispers, Handmade ranges from smoky ballads to soulful urban blues. In “Beautiful Tango” Hindi’s sweet vocals, acoustic guitar, light hand percussion, and overall easy jazz style steal your heart away.

Soulful grooves with a tinge of Morocco.

Hindi Zahra – Beautiful Tango
Hindi Zahra – Imik Si Mik
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Amanda Rogers

Saturday, April 7th, 2012 by Kyle

piano // singer-songwriter

Hollowed by tragedy’s teeth, deep down an echoing well, locked in a space heavy enough to quit my job for six months to deal. Seeking a place, a mirror, a word to bring my next step. Something to hold on to or in me. I look at you. Familiar retreats yield no avail: not Rage, not Björk, not Mezzanine, not Pumpkins not Fiona; nothing is felt. I sift through new. Wasteland post rainforest until I find Something Borrowed, Something Blue. A parallel spilt from her veins; blood, tears, scars pulsating my open wound ravine. Beauty melting, stunning and floating, her lifting fingertips stay or leave. Intensity composed to continue, as rain’s gift is beneath its gloom, in more than a lovely sound.

Eating your heart out.
Amanda Rogers – Infinitely
Amanda Rogers – Lovestricken
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Miss Li

Monday, March 26th, 2012 by Julija

swedish pop // cabaret-jazz

Swedish pop is flourishing and the world can’t seem to get enough. At Aurgasm, we always want to give you more. Chances are, you might have heard Miss Li & Amanda Jenssen’s adorably catchy “Bourgeois Shangri-La” featured in Apple’s iPod nano campaign back in 2009. Here’s another opportunity to enjoy the groove. Miss Li’s latest release Beats & Bruises (2011) certainly shares current Swedish pop tendencies with such artists as Hello Saferide, Maia Hirasawa, Veronica Maggio and Laleh. Yet her vocal delivery, particularly in the standout “Forever Drunk”, brings to mind the velvety torch-style of Shivaree.

Late-night bittersweet serenades, delicious pop melodies.

Miss Li – I Can’t Get You Out Off My Mind
Miss Li – Forever Drunk
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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 by Sjoerd

raw funk // soulFunkshone band portrait

Some people say funk is all about the drum breaks. Mike Bandoni IS drum breaks. Funkshone is built up from behind the drum kit with heavy hitting snares, a whirlwind of hi-hats and a kick drum so fat it shakes your booty for you. On their second album 2, Bandoni and partner in crime Nino Auricchio go from cinematic funk to full on screaming soul no holds barred. Funkshone dishes it all out with raw energy and endless attitude.

Banging grooves, exploding soul.
Funkshone – It Ain’t Never Gonna Work
Funkshone – Soul Survivor, Pt. 1
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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 by Kyle

80’s rock // 90’s rnb

Booming kick-ass aerobic fusion of rock anthem prowess laced by R&B harmonies atop honeycomb percussion, sung with authority and confidence bonded by sisters – Alana, Este, Danielle Haim (rhymes with time) merge generations of trial and fun on their free Forever EP. A breathtaking flux of sonic elements cures every moment with first kiss big crush excitement; creating rhythmic floods of emotion highlighted by pivotal layering of vocals transforming singular force to airy chorus in glowing precision.

Haim – Better Off
Haim – Forever
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Electric Guest

Monday, March 5th, 2012 by Kyle

indie pop // eclectic

Cruising toward widespread status, Asa Taccone & Matthew Compton are the scrumptious and charming Electric Guest from L.A. A Dangerous Mouse is the secret ingredient in their addictive confections; giving us a catchy, carefree, Motown-tinged strut on “This Head I Hold” followed by a 9-minute capsule of slow-release, pop ballad pleasure in “Troubleman” – morphing around curves on a summer’s coastal drive lending twilight to moonlight. Adding the uncanny trip-hop-esque “American Daydream” piques my interest for the unboxing of their Mondo debut on April 24th. (thx, Divya)

Contemplative pizazz.
Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
Electric Guest – Troubleman
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The Soul Snatchers

Monday, February 27th, 2012 by Sjoerd

Retro // Soul // Funk

The Soul Snatchers are a retro funk/soul band from the Netherlands, who are built around rhythm section and producers Ton v/d Kolk (Bass) and Phil Martin (Drums). The two are also responsible for other funky outfits like AIFF (Afro Influenced Funk Federation) and Laura Vane and the Vipertones. Ton and Phil are dedicated to bringing back the vintage soul sound known from the sixties and seventies. The Soul Snatchers have an emphasis on the funkier side, lush with syncopated drums and punchy horns and mostly vocalised by Jimi Bell Martin and Curtis T. The contemplative slow groover ‘Who I Am’ is included above from their second LP Scratch My Itch. ‘Good Foot Down’ and ‘I Can’t Stand It’, two uptempo tracks from their first LP Sniffin and Snatchin, pull you to the dancefloor and are a clear nod to the master himself: James Brown.

Dutch funk with a strong groove.
The Soul Snatchers – Good Foot Down (feat. Curtis T.)
The Soul Snatchers – I Can’t Stand It (feat. Jimi Bell Martin)
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