Aurgasm@Bumbershoot 2010

September 21st, 2010 by Julija


This year Seattle’s Bumbershoot marked its 40 years anniversary with an outstanding lineup of both critically acclaimed and up-and-coming musicians. Legendary Bob Dylan, folk goddess Neko Case, funky soul performer Jamie Lidell and the Mediterranean Balkan Beat Box are just a few to name. Following the Aurgasm spirit, below are a few acts we wanted to share with you.

The Budos Band
Aurgasm featured The Budos Band grabbed our attention for their truly irresistible afro-funky groove back in 2007. It’s a must-catch act for the fans of Menahan Street Band, Antibalas and the likes. Enjoy the soulful funk vibes of “Unbroken, Unshaven” taken from their recently released album The Budos Band: III (2010).

The Budos Band – Unbroken, Unshaven

Pete Molinari
UK’s Pete Molinari plays quirky folk-blues with a retro feeling to it and a good dose of British humour. “One Stolen Moment” delivers wistful melody and genuinely melancholic arrangements. “For Eliza”, A Train Bound for Glory (2010), displays Pete’s distinctive, melodic voice. From Presley-esque tunes to vintage Americana, it’s simply charming. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for Pete’s upcoming shows.

Pete Molinari – For Eliza

Ra Ra Riot
Mentioned already around the blogosphere, Ra Ra Riot were among the festival highlights on Sunday. From breezy pop to energetic indie rock, they won the hearts of the Seattle crowd.

Ra Ra Riot – Boy

Vienna Teng
Vienna Teng could be easily named the loveliest and audience-friendliest singer-songwriter of the festival. California-born Taiwanese-American pianist, Vienna actually is a software engineer who frequently performs across Europe and US. Vienna shared the news about going to grad school this fall, so unfortunately, we’re not going to hear from her any time soon. Enjoy her enchanting piano melodies:

Vienna Teng – Harbor

Lay Low
On the last and rainy day, Aurgasm darling Icelandic songstress Lay Low played an intimate acoustic set. Lovísa played songs from her latest album “Farewell Good Night’s Sleep” including a few lovely tunes in her native Icelandic.

Lay Low – Last Time Around

Bomba Estéreo
Colombian Bomba Estéreo set the stage on fire with the rhythms of cumbia, champeta and bullerengue mixed with danceable electronic beats. A little on the edgy side, the psychedelic effects seamlessly blend into glamorous electronic carnival. Unstoppable energy!

Bomba Estéreo – Fuego

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond, another pleasant discovery, are Portland-based chamber pop ensemble. We all already know that plenty of good music comes from Portland, so here comes another treat to keep us convinced. Loch Lomond blends folk melodies with soaring vocal harmonies and instrumentation of acoustic guitar, banjo, flute and vibraphone to create a sound of forest fairytale. Somewhat enigmatic, captivating baroque pop.

Loch Lomond – Wax And Wire

Photos by Yoav

Laura Veirs

August 16th, 2005 by Paul Irish

singer songwriter //indie folk

My roommate “hates” this song. She had to leave my room because it was worsening her headache. Oddly, I would think the calm nature of this song would have the opposite effect. In fact, I’m rather taken with Miss Veirs’ songwriting ability. She’s on the impressive Nonesuch Records roster and is touring with Sufjan Stevens now. “Fire Snakes” comes off her upcoming release “Year of Meteors” and delivers a deliberate and weighted musical message with minimal, but effective, instrumentation. The first two seconds will capture you. The deep bass at 0:40 will make you want to stay a prisoner of this song. Some subtle bird-like electronic elements mingle into this song, but allow the middle cello line to force this beautiful song onto you.
‘Careful, word-conscious, narrative, neither foggy nor overwritten

Laura Veirs – Fire Snakes
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December 5th, 2004 by Paul Irish

somber vocal downtempo // pensive indie rock

This song isn’t about Faultline. It’s not about how as a child he blew out his left lung while playing clarinet in orchestra. No. What distinguishes this song from the rest of the tracks on Faultline’s recently re-released album is the melancholy voice of Coldplay’s Chris Martin. It’s bare, fragile, and leaking wistful emotion at the sides. This should have been the hidden track on Rush of Blood to the Head.
You listen, you lose focus, and you beat yourself up over why you let her leave; why aren’t you holding her tight right now?

Faultline – Your Love Means Everything (Part 2)

Ana Tijoux

January 20th, 2011 by Julija

urban eclectic // hip-hop

There’s a surprising gap between MTV mainstream hip-hop and the uber-coolness of what’s actually happening to the music nowadays. Unknown to the mainstream audiences, French-born Chilean MC Ana Tijoux may very well be that elusive next best thing in hip-hop music. Ana’s album 1977 pays tribute to the old-school hip-hop, mixing organic vinyl scratches, urban grooves, jazzy horn samples and Latin sounds. Ana’s voice is velvety and smoky, some times whispery, yet always seamlessly flowing with the the beats. One song standing out is the largely autobiographical title track “1977” with its strong melody, Mexican trumpets, dynamic rhythms and truly excellent production.

Spicy urban beats.
Ana Tijoux – 1977
Ana Tijoux – Sube
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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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Allie Moss

June 14th, 2009 by Julija

folk // singer-songwriter

Some of you might have seen Allie Moss performing with the lovely Ingrid Michaelson. Her debut EP Passerby (2009) reveals Allie to be a strong and promising singer-songwriter on her own. The extremely captivating “Corner” displays Allie’s songwriting skills as well as her sweet vocals and clever phrasing, setting the tone for the rest of her EP. From bittersweet to soft and melancholic, Passerby is a solid and well-crafted collection of folk-pop songs.

Gorgeous melody carried by pitter-patter production.
Allie Moss – Corner
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Baby Mammoth

June 12th, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

downtempo // jazzy electronica

My ex-girlfriend gave me Baby Mammoth’s Seven Up for my birthday one year, after we had broken up but before the novelty of remaining friends with your ex had worn off for her. If that sounded bitter, it probably was, but only because it’s irreparably tainted the easy-going charisma of an otherwise extremely appealing album. Downtempo, chilled electronica in the same vein as 9 Lazy 9 and Fila Brazillia (with whom Baby Mammoth shared a label for a time), Seven Up starts with a real corker; simply titled ‘1’, it’s an uncluttered symphony of chillout staples, whispery drums, twangy riffs, and foamy keyboards. The album hits a hump after such an auspicious start, but if you can work through the next two tracks, you’re rewarded with more of its impressive, crisp clarity.
A sanguine collection of syrupy electronica.

Baby Mammoth – 1
Baby Mammoth – Pink Elephants (Live)
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Yasmine Hamdan

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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Miriam Bryant

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
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June 24th, 2007 by Paul Irish

french folk fusion // musette waltz

While I typically prize innovation in music, this music seems flatly derivative of another favorite artist of mine. And yet, I’m still completely floored by how good it is. If you’ve enjoyed the music of Amelie, you’ve consumed the unique arrangements of Yann Tiersen, who has a delicious repertoire that includes Good Bye Lenin and Les Retrouvailles, etc. Until now, I’d call his music starkly unique, but Detektivbyran’s recordings seem to mimic the instrumentation and style of his alluring recordings. Toy piano, glockenspiel and squeezebox sprinkle across the mad hatter’s workshop of sound. (Thx Christian! A lot!)

Majestic yet innocent. Whimsically complex.
Detektivbyrån – E18
Detektivbyrån – Nattöppet

UPDATE 2007.11.25 ‘Nattöppet’ has been spotted in a new Sprint commercial. Woo!

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