soul posts

Saravah Soul

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 by Julija

afrobeat // tropical funk

Summer is the time for everything to slow down. While many of you are enjoying the warmth and summer festivals, cold beverages and roof parties, Saravah Soul will provide you with that kind of perfect Afro-meets-Brazilian vibe for the ultimate summer soundtrack. In their recently released album Cultura Impura (2010), Saravah Soul blends together West African melodies, 60’s funk and Brazilian rhythms. Their richly intense compositions are build around horn arrangements, vibrant bass, Pifano (bamboo flutes) and Berimbau, interweaving with hypnotic choruses.

From Afrobeat to carnival in Rio.
Saravah Soul – Alforria
Saravah Soul – Funk De Umbigada
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Duke Special

Friday, June 25th, 2010 by Julija

bohemian retro ballad // singer-songwriter

Belfast artist Duke Special, a.k.a. Peter Wilson, is a de-facto Vaudeville revivalist. Duke’s songwriting is highly theatrical and colourful, somewhat recalling the aching beauty of such artists as Rufus Wainwright and Antony Hegarty as well as the Dresden Dolls’ cabaret extravaganza. In “Our Love Goes Deeper Than This” Duke merges a variety of inspirations such as melodramatic Vaudeville, big band and Bebop with rich and bouncy piano, clarinet, trumpet, drums and quirky sound effects. “Wanda, darling of the Jockey Club”, taken from his latest release The Stage, The Book And The Silver Screen (2010), parades the jaunty and retro swinging side of Duke’s song crafting.

Bittersweet Vaudeville melodies.
Duke Special – Our Love Goes Deeper Than This
Duke Special – Wanda, Darling Of The Jockey Club
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Lizzy Parks

Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Julija

nu-jazz // british soul

Praised by such music figures as Laurent Garnier and Gilles Peterson, Lizzy Parks is mostly known to a wider audience for her collaboration with Ben Lamdin and his Nostalgia 77. In her solo work, Lizzy blends singer-songwriter tradition with modern day jazz. While Nostalgia 77’s influence is evident, it does not overshadow Lizzy. Taken from her album Raise The Roof (2009), “Take Care” embodies complex nu-jazz arrangements, rich vocals and excellent Lamdin’s production. Her cover version of Etta James’ “Seven Day Fool” is a real old-school R&B meets funky jazz treat.

Simple soul-jazz elegance.
Lizzy Parks – Take Care
Lizzy Parks – Seven Day Fool
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 by Julija

soul // blues // french acoustic

The story of Okou begins in a Parisian bar. Tatiana Heintz, originally from the Ivory Coast, and Gilbert Trefzger, a Swiss guitarist with Egyptian roots, are truly world artists. Their debut album Serpentine (2010) blends sounds from around the globe. Serpentine captures the spirit of soul, blues and roots music, evoking the best American folk traditions and New Orleans’ sound with a delicate European touch. The acoustic guitars and banjo arrangements with the somewhat old-fashioned groove make “To The Bone” a perfect road trip soundtrack. Seductively mellow, French sung “A L’aurore” is a real West Africa meets New Orleans musical gem. The outstanding song carries rich instrumentation that includes strings, banjo and tuba.

Soulful southern yet cosmopolitan vibe.
Okou – To The Bone
Okou – A L’aurore
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The Living Sisters

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 by Michelle

vocal harmony // close harmony // country-folk

The Living Sisters might be releasing their debut album Love To Live, next month, but they certainly aren’t new to the scene. LA-based singer-songwriters Inara George (The Bird And The Bee), Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Eleni Mandell have been performing for years with their own respective projects. Mandell first proposed the idea of a harmony group to Stark in 2005, and George jumped on board the following year. Since then, the trio has been working on The Living Sisters in rare stolen moments when all three were available, and the result is well worth the wait. Love To Live is a gorgeous collection of songs with nods to classic country harmony groups and a healthy splash of gospel, soul and folk for good measure. Throughout the album their crystalline voices take the spotlight; the trio’s heartfelt and pure harmonies give an intimacy to each song, and the end result is lovely and effortless. Take a listen to “Double Knots,” a sweet doo wop-inspired track, to tide yourself over until Love To Live becomes available in March.

Pure, unfiltered loveliness.
The Living Sisters – Double Knots
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 by Kyle

Downtempo // Jazz

Adam Scrimshire‘s music fascinates me with a quality of being patient with the listener. As if built from maps referencing harmony’s emotions, an introspective and worldly odyssey flourishes with sublime enrapture and plush vitality. It’s spacious and grand, uplifting and cinematic, yet personally affective to cadence nestled deep inside. Along came the Devil one night… transpires awe, friendly accord and console; a beautiful achievement by a gracious music lover and maker.

Mellifluous embodiment of music.
Scrimshire – All Roads Lead You Home
Scrimshire – Springtime (with Claire Laurent)
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Mélissa Laveaux

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 by Julija

folk // acoustic blues // world

Soul, folk, jazz and creole influences shine throughout Camphor & Copper (2008) — the first full-length of self-taught guitarist and singer-songwriter Mélissa Laveaux. On her debut album Mélissa displays impressive musical range and clever lyrics. Mélissa’s folk-blues arrangements, catchy hand claps, whispery vocals and her unique percussive finger-style guitar will be appealing to the fans of Ayo and Aurgasm featured Asa. Of special quality is Mélissa’s sharp and powerful cover of Elliott Smith’s “Needle in the Hay”.

From world music rhythms to brutally honest blues.
Melissa Laveaux – Needle In The Hay
Melissa Laveaux – Koud’lo
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Tony Allen

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 by Andrew Ladd

afrofunk // jazz

The opening to “Too Many Prisoners (Elewon Po)” sounds like it could be taken right off an Isaac Hayes record (one extremely well-known one in particular…), which is funny because Hayes is one of the few people not commonly listed as an Allen influence (viz. Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Fela Kuti, etc.). After that, though, the Shaft theme is quickly dropped for something more like Pucho Brown: a breezy, carefree collection of bass, vocals, and the drumming for which Allen is most renowned. The single was released May 11 and is available on iTunes; the album (Secret Agent) comes out June 8. (We also covered some of Tony’s other work way back in August 2007.)

Bright and flavorful
Tony Allen ““ Too Many Prisoners (Elewon Po)
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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 by Paul Irish

neo-soul // remixed rockl_a73d843ce3bebbed7632755a194ddca2

Sometimes on a fluke I’ll pick a song I like, and google the title along with “remix”. Generally it turns up plenty of results, but a dearth of quality. But I think I struck gold when looking around Radiohead’s “15 Steps”, as I found this cover by Amplive, a Bay Area remix specialist, and half of the hiphop duo, Zion I. Amplive put out Rainydayz Remixes, a solid collection of tracks, build from In Rainbows samples, and layered with hip hop vocalists. Featured in the Fukstronaut mix, “15 Stepz” is the most polished—Codany‘s baritone playing off an irresistible bassline.

Monsieur Yorke meets Bay Area soul.
Amplive – 15 Stepz (feat Codany Holiday) [Aurgasm quick edit]
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Sunday, December 21st, 2008 by Julija

pop // soul

Scheduled to release in 2009, Anjulie’s forthcoming debut album is more than promising. “Boom”, from her recently released EP, encompasses classy 60’s vibe, catchy phrasing, smooth horn arrangements and overall excellent production. The seductive quality of her sound and delicately teasing style is comparable to Bitter:Sweet’s Shana Halligan. Anjulie comes as a charismatic and intriguing up-and-coming singer.

Refined arrangements and sultry vocals.
Anjulie – Boom
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