singer-songwriter posts

Lucy Schwartz

Saturday, April 11th, 2009 by Michelle

indie pop // singer-songwriter

Lucy Schwartz, whose songs range between stripped-down ballads, jazz-inspired pop and indie folk, is that rare combination of talented songwriter and skilled performer. Lucy’s debut album, Winter in June (2007) offers a glimpse of this young singer-songwriter’s burgeoning talents. The delightfully catchy “I Don’t Know A Thing” is a shockingly self-aware admittance, delivered with a carefree shrug and smile. Lucy continues to surprise, displaying raw vulnerability as well as youthful exuberance in her songs. “Gone Away” is a tender and aching ballad, delicately crafted with a sensibility that belies her young age. Keep an eye (and ear) on this one.

Sweet and lovely pop gems.
Lucy Schwartz – I Don’t Know A Thing
Lucy Schwartz – Gone Away
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Russian Red

Friday, March 27th, 2009 by Kyle

precious folk melodías

I once spent a week in Madrid; feeling more comfort there than any place I’ve ever been. Leaving on a whim, I learned words and phrases concerning food and direction after arrival. Most of this trip I was alone; wandering in pursuit of distant intrigue: a hill, a park, a museum, or the oldest restaurant; curiosity fulfilling me. Nourished by surroundings, I found heightened sense of romanticism, joy, wonder, play, friendship, detail.. so much vibrant detail in art and life; flourishing endeavors, hellos and goodbyes, zest and woe. Lourdes Hernández‘s I Love Your Glasses encompasses all of my experiences in her hometown; dazzling me in abundance and passionately reminding me of a time felt dearly like home.

Mazzy Star meets Neko Case for tapas.
Russian Red – Nice Thick Feathers
Russian Red – Take Me Home
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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 by Michelle

singer-songwriter // indie folk

Cohen’s music is unmistakably one of a photographer and filmmaker: cinematic and bursting with story. His songs reflect a relationship of light and sound, and above all strive to reflect the beauty around us. Delicate and pure, each track is marked by the joy of simply making music. Whether he is playing the guitar (banjo, bass, ukulele or sitar), or photographing nature, Cohen’s art mirrors the simple beauty that surrounds all of us.

Delicate narratives and melodies.
Cohen – Owl Said
Cohen – I Have A Dream
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Theresa Andersson

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 by Julija

folk // singer-songwriter

Recorded in New Orleans with fellow Swede, producer Tobias Fröberg, Theresa Andersson’s album Hummingbird, Go! (2008) delivers a distinctive Swedish pop sound alongside a soulful southern vibe. Well-crafted retro-pop number “Birds Fly Away” showcases Theresa’s multi-instrumental skills as she uses everything from the looping vocals, violin, catchy hand claps to the funky drum sample of Smokey Johnson. DIY to the extreme, in her song “The Waltz” Theresa actually plays water-filled soda pop bottles in her kitchen.

Incredibly fresh, quirky folk melodies.
Theresa Andersson – Birds Fly Away
Theresa Andersson – The Waltz
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Thao Nguyen

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 by Michelle

alt-country // indie folk

Thao Nguyen’s songs leap with a frantic life of their own. Energetic, honest and raw, the songs off We Brave Bee Stings and All, Nguyen’s sophomore album, are immediately engaging. Her talents as a songwriter are more than matched by her adeptness on the guitar. This talent translates into her own brand of indie folk that recalls elements of alt-country and blues, with the guitar chops to match. Whether alone, or with her backing band of The Get Down, Stay Down, Thao Nguyen is a force to be reckoned with. “Bag of Hammers” has been making the rounds on a number of mp3 blogs, but we thought this one was too good not to post.

Dynamic indie folk with a swagger.
Thao Nguyen – Bag of Hammers
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Sophie Hunger

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 by Julija

singer-songwriter // folk

Sophie Hunger’s debut album Monday’s Ghost (2008) delivers well crafted, haunting and atmospheric folk. As the album captures the ear for its melancholy sensibility and Sophie’s beautifully fragile voice, the peculiar arrangements and sound effects recall the ethereal style of Stina Nordenstam and emotional depths of Anna Ternheim. With “House Of Gods” and “Walzer Für Niemand” the Swiss singer-songwriter creates a certain chilly feeling and a rather enigmatic atmosphere. (Thanks, Philipp!)

Distinctive and hypnotic compositions.
Sophie Hunger – House Of Gods
Sophie Hunger – Walzer Für Niemand

[Editor’s Note]: Sophie’s label doesn’t want this to be a download (‘stream only!’), but Sophie herself is fine with it. What do you all say? Is it important to download the mp3 or no?
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Sylvie Lewis

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 by Julija

folk // jazz // singer-songwriter

Exposed to music at an early age, a graduate of prestigious Berklee School of Music, London-born and Rome-based Sylvie Lewis displays a sweet, clear voice and remarkably literate songwriting skills. Musically, Sylvie’s charming style varies from simple folk melodies to the subtle and sophisticated arrangements. Vocally, it ranges from the light-hearted to the moody crooning. “Starsong… What Became Of Us”, an opening track from her latest album Translations (2007), captures the ears for its appealing, catchy vocal lines and Sylvie’s clever, warm phrasing.

Tasteful singing, reflective songwriting.
Sylvie Lewis – Starsong… What Became Of Us
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Robert Francis

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 by Michelle

singer-songwriter // folk // americana

One By One, the debut album from L.A. native Robert Francis is deceptively simple and sparse — unexpected considering his contributions to the record were not limited to guitar and vocals, but also included percussion, piano, banjo, glockenspiel and bass. Despite this multi-instrumentation, the album never overwhelms, but provides space for his often heartbreaking lyrics to breathe. Through his gravelly voice and artful songwriting, Francis presents us with songs of loss, heartache and nostalgia with an authenticity that is startling for his young age.

An aching, leisurely trip on rural back roads.
Robert Francis – Little Girl
Robert Francis – Alice
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Ben Sollee

Saturday, June 21st, 2008 by Michelle

cello pop // acoustic folk

Ben Sollee, cellist for the band The Sparrow Quartet, recently released his aptly titled debut, Learning to Bend. Whether he is plucking the strings, or playing his cello like a percussive instrument, Ben’s truly unique playing style belies his classically trained background. Though the entire album wanders between bluegrass, folk and jazz, his deep Southern influence is unmistakable. Soulful vocals, combined with his sharp lyrics (seen in his politically critical “A Few Honest Words” and adaptation of “A Change Is Gonna Come”), result in a deeply honest, playful, and ultimately hopeful debut album.

Soulful vocals and unexpected melodies.
Ben Sollee – A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover)
Ben Sollee – How To See The Sun Rise
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Wallis Bird

Saturday, May 10th, 2008 by Julija

singer-songwriter // folk

Currently living and working in London, Irish singer-songwriter and a self-taught guitarist Wallis Bird has travelled the world and began her career in Germany, where she formed a band with her musician friends. Wallis approaches her music with bold honesty and integrity as she moves beyond the female singer-songwriter stereotypes with her style ranging from grunge folk to buoyant and lively pop. Original and fresh enough to appeal to a wide variety of listeners, “Counting To Sleep” brings to mind the strength and openness of Ani DiFranco.

The strong melody and clever wit.
Wallis Bird – Counting To Sleep
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