Posts from 2007

Julia Kent

Friday, October 19th, 2007 by Kyle

classical // experimental

Cellos excitedly dance and play as subtle sounds find their way; like clouds taking shape in the sky, a vivacious harmony is perceived as Julia shares her Delay. She’s contributed music to Leona Naess, Devendra Banhart, Rufus Wainwright, among many others, and is currently performing with Antony and the Johnsons. If her name seems familiar elsewhere, you may remember her as an original member of Rasputina. All tracks on Delay were composed and performed by Julia, at home, in-between touring and traveling for about a year. An abundant warmth and persistence bellies this music; making most songs feel like a soundtrack in themselves.

Cellos folding like clouds rolling.
Julia Kent – Idlewild
Julia Kent – Dorval
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Vincent Delerm

Thursday, October 18th, 2007 by Julija

chanson française // singer-songwriter

Vincent Delerm revives French chanson tradition by incorporating certain retro elements with his eccentric tendencies and the feeling of melancholy. Catchy, jaunty piano driven “Il Fait Si Beau” is vibrant with enthusiasm, while “Natation Synchronisée” charms with its whimsical string arrangements, Vincent’s calm, relaxed voice. Pianist, composer and singer, Vincent possesses a good sense of humour, and his elegant songwriting style keeps the chanson compelling and modern.

Surprising blend of youthfulness and nostalgia.
Vincent Delerm – Il Fait Si Beau
Vincent Delerm – Natation Synchronisée
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Cary Brothers

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 by Michelle

singer-songwriter // indie folk // soundtrack maven

Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, chances are you’ve heard at least two of his songs. “Blue Eyes” and “Ride” were both featured on the soundtracks for “Garden State” and “The Last Kiss,” respectively. Don’t let that deter you. Cary has the incredible ability to home in on a variety of emotions, whether it’s heartache or defiance or a little of both. Each feeling is magnified, and while listening it’s as if at any moment you’ll burst into a million pieces.

If you had your own soundtrack, he’d be on it too.
Cary Brothers – Honestly
Cary Brothers – If You Were Here (Thompson Twins cover)
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Yael Naim

Sunday, October 7th, 2007 by Julija

pop folk // soft r&b

When Paris-born, Israeli-raised Yael Naim met David Donatien, a West Indian drummer, the two sat down to share their rich musical experiences. Combining Yael’s classical education and love of pop and jazz, this collaboration lead into recording 13 beautifully arranged compositions, mostly sung in Hebrew, with instrumentation of piano, guitar, cello, bass and percussion. While the mood ranges from melancholic to sweeter and hopeful notes, she carries intimate feeling throughout her songs.

Never-fading optimism that leaves you smiling and humming along.
Yael Naim – New Soul
Yael Naim – Pachad

UPDATE 01/16/2008: “New Soul” is featured in Apple’s ad for the Macbook Air (thx, zelnox!)
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Emma Salokoski Ensemble

Monday, October 1st, 2007 by Julija

bossa nova // finnish folk

Light-hearted rhythms of various bossa nova interpretations come from all over the world, yet one could not expect such seamless recreation of summery vibes coming from the land of gloomy winters. In their album Kaksi Mannerta (Two Continents), the members of Emma Salokoski Ensemble easily mix the essence of bossa nova aesthetics and traditional Finnish folk. Richly melodic Caetano Veloso’s Brazilian pop, Madredeus’ modern folk influences, and Emma Salokoski’s bright voice, singing in her native Finnish, caress the ear, and certainly is the perfect antidote to chilly autumn air.

Unique synthesis of Nordic attitude and tropical flavours.
Emma Salokoski Ensemble – Mina Maneira
Emma Salokoski Ensemble – Sua Jos Aattelen
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Gwyneth Herbert

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 by Andrew Ladd

jazz // folk // acoustic

At the Fringe venue where I work most summers, the name Gwyneth Herbert has always lurked deep in the music program, and this year I finally decided to check her out. This is what I wrote about the show at the time:

She is stop-you-in-your-tracks, shoot-you-in-the-face fantastic. Her lyrics are tight, her voice elegant, her manner onstage masterful; and it was all backed up by some really superb guitar by Al Cherry.

These tracks are from her latest LP, Between Me And The Wardrobe, which has just been picked up by Blue Note UK. They’re full of beautifully sparse instrumentation over which her vocals get to really gleam and shine. Do yourself a favour and buy the album.

Quiet and beguiling.
Gwyneth Herbert – Lay You Down
Gwyneth Herbert – Sweet Thing
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Emily Loizeau

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 by Julija

chanson française // singer-songwriter

Influenced by such French chanson classics as Serge Gainsbourg, the melancholic vein of American music idols, such as Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, and inventive Andrew Bird’s compositions, Emily Loizeau carefully crafts her tuneful melodies. Charming with her sincere joyfulness and wit, piano-playing singer and composer, Emily brings so much warmth and quirky freshness to nouvelle scène française. The playfulness of her debut album L’Autre Bout Du Monde (2006), its catchy choruses and certain cabaret pop moments, is infinitely enjoyable.

Whimsical piano fueled songwriting.
Emily Loizeau – Je Ne Sais Pas Choisir
Emily Loizeau – Boby Chéri
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Monday, September 17th, 2007 by Paul Irish

abstract hiphop // blip-hop

Los Angeles producer edIT has done his fair share of remixes and edits (natch!), but when Hefty commissioned him to throw together a mix mashing their electronic catalog against some hiphop jams, his production talent had a 40 minute showcase. After 18 months, the man is back with his LP “Certified Air Raid Material”. Collabs with TTC and Busdriver keep the mic burning hot while edIT’s impeccable production delivers. In addition to the track below, “Crunk De Gaulle” and “Battling Go-Go Yubari…” stand out in the 2007 scene, too.

Crunchy and gritty hiphop from a squeaky-clean production.
edIT – Artsy Remix (feat. The Grouch)
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Habanot Nechama

Thursday, September 13th, 2007 by Julija

israeli acoustic indie reggae

Clapping my hands and swaying from side to side, I enjoy listening to the sunny sounds of Habanot Nechama. Warming and comforting, as Hebrew word nechama indicates to consolation, the trio of experienced Israeli singers combines soothing and joyful tones in their music. The nechama girls’ soulful vocals, minimalist arrangements of acoustic guitars and drums, carrying reggae infusions, and the overall vibe of optimism, deliver more than a lovely reminiscence of fading summer. (Thanks dirkhaim!)

Uplifts the spirit, and makes it summer anytime.
Habanot Nechama – Hakol Kashura (Everything’s Alright)
Habanot Nechama – So Far Lihiot (To Be)
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Mexican Institute of Sound

Monday, September 10th, 2007 by Andrew Ladd

latin hip hop // turntablism

If you’re currently living in the UK and enjoy watching Pizza Hut ads, you’ll have heard Mexican Institute of Sound fairly recently ““ but it deserves a little more recognition than just as a tool for hawking pizzas. The ‘Institute’, though indeed Mexican, is in fact only one man ““ Camilo Lara ““ who cuts and mixes a who’s who of samples into a fun blend of hip hop and cha cha. Pinata is his second album and boasts shades of Esquivel and early De La Soul, though the two tracks here show a definite character of their own.

Playful and unabashed pastiche.
Mexican Institute of Sound – El Microfono
Mexican Institute of Sound – A Girl Like You
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