Posts from 2013

Keston Cobblers Club

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 by Julija

english folk // pop

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
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Albin de la Simone

Monday, November 18th, 2013 by Julija

pop français // singer-songwriter

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
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Lullatone

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 by Julija

bedtime beats // pajama pop // indie folk

Shawn James Seymour and Yoshimi Tomida make up the husband and wife duo, Lullatone, from Nagoya, Japan. Lullatone’s first album was comprised of lullabies written by Shawn for Yoshimi, and their freshly recorded album is a collection of new lullabies for their child, Niko. Their appropriately self-dubbed “pajama pop,” is a playful blend of whispered vocals, unique instrumentals and carefully spaced beats. For the album, The Bedtime Beat, they mixed the ambient sounds of bedtime rituals, such as splashing bathwater and gentle snoring. Notably, in the song “Goodnight Train” they used a xylophone played with a violin bow to imitate the chug-chug of a train. Conceptual but not distancing, their comforting and alluring sound is far from boring. Rather, Lullatone’s songs are delightful gems that capture the familiar essence of home.

Sweet homemade lullabies.

Lullatone – The Bathtime Beat
Lullatone – Goodnight Train
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Foreign Fields

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 by Kyle

folk // ambient

Eric Hillman and Brian Holl author Foreign Fields simulating an escape within the grace of enthralling novels. Delicate trembles near calm rolling thunder are sung while immersed in ambient wonder on paths lit from acoustic guitar before being swept off feet by flourishing strings 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.

Conjures inner odyssey.
Foreign Fields – Mountaintop
Foreign Fields – Anywhere But Where I Am
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Yasmine Hamdan

Friday, July 12th, 2013 by Julija

middle-eastern // electro-dream-pop

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.

Smoky, spine-tingling vocals.

Yasmine Hamdan – Samar
Yasmine Hamdan – Deny
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Caroline Lacaze

Monday, July 8th, 2013 by Sjoerd

French soul // German funkCaroline Lacaze in car window

Sensual but tough, French chanteuse Caroline Lacaze’s sings from the heart on her debut ‘En Route’. After moving to Hamburg to write and sing her own music, she hooked up with Germany’s finest in Funk; The Mighty Mocambo’s aka The Mocambo Electric Sound Orchestra. She unifies a French style with mod revival; singing from the coeur about love, passion, anger and sadness. A full pocket of stories with lo-fi production that comes off as an honest homage to the seventies. Brash and bright, play this out loud to boost your day.

Gritty romance in Nouvelle Chanson
Caroline Lacaze – L’Etrange
Caroline Lacaze – Toujours Lui
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Carmen Souza

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 by Julija

world jazz // cape verdean

The music of Lisbon-born and London-based songstress Carmen Souza is hard to categorize, but easy to love. In her recent studio-album Kachupada (2013), Carmen embodies the influences of traditional Cape Verdean sounds, American jazz, Latin, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more. Carmen’s remarkably soulful voice is the center of it all, as she easily swings through exotic beats and mellow jazz tones with a feeling of saudade. Her version of Charlie Parker’s bebop classic “Donna Lee” sounds festive, danceable and extraordinary original.

Jazz-tingled tropical musical adventure.

Carmen Souza – Donna Lee

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Waylon Thornton

Monday, May 13th, 2013 by Kyle

gothabilly // folk

In my hunt for a loud, abrasive sound, I found Waylon Thornton’s raw guitar drum pounding garage surf Lake Butler, Florida grit to finally satisfy. After listening to the 20+ albums he’s unleashed over the span of five years, the instrumental Black Salt became my favorite.. for a time. Eventually storms subside and I mosey along; catching inspiration or simply exploring until I’m somewhere. Drifting down New River Vol.1, parting clouds shape imagination and cooling water splashes my face as I lay on a raft of improvised twangy acoustic tunes. Their scenic, contemplative spirit holds freedom, struggle, wisdom, and genuine splendor.

The essence of music’s magic.
Waylon Thornton – Coffin Nails (Black Salt)
Waylon Thornton – Four (New River Vol.1)
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Willy Moon

Monday, April 8th, 2013 by Sjoerd

Rock & Roll // BeatsWilly Moon b/w

If the ’50s had sampling, New Zealand export Willy Moon would be a flashback. But at the age of 23, his brash mix of rock & roll’s early days and contemporary sampling turns the clock forward to a bold new charm. Before settling into his new home of London, UK, this autodidact ditched school at 16 and shaped his raw sounds with sojourns in Valencia, Morocco, and Berlin; evolving from hip-hop and club into sonic sledgehammers having sole-blistering effect. Willy’s supercharged collage of well-known samples, combined with his unique retro vocals, makes a fiercely catchy package, and his visual style looks equally well mastered in a slick ‘Rat Pack’ refined naughtiness.

Smokin’ hot throwback beat explosions.Willy Moon – I Wanna Be Your Man
Willy Moon – Railroad Track
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Lia Ices

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 by Julija

minimal folk // avant-pop

The avant-garde pop songstress Lia Ices possesses the theatrical glamour of Florence Welch, while her husky, half-whispered vocals are reminiscent of Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush and Cat Power. Lia’s album Grown Uknown (2011) offers minimalist folk music with hand clap percussion, baroque strings and her cuttingly sweet voice. It’s the kind of record probably best listened to as a single coherent work and it’s been my soundtrack for the long cold winter nights.

Majestically haunting folk.

Lia Ices – Grown Unknown

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