Posts from 2008


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
buy mp3s


Monday, December 15th, 2008 by Andrew Ladd

jazz // turntablism

Several bands have called themselves Kobayashi, but for now let’s stick to the Montreal jazz/funk/hip-hop outfit that broke up (d’oh!) before I managed to blog ‘em. They’re still a gritty earful, though, with explosive blasts of horn, a plucky bass, and big, huge buckets of speaker hum that slosh around the drums; they also have a nifty female vocalist (not featured here) who sounds like a cross between Beth Gibbons and Blossom Dearie. Worth your holiday moolah!

Dark and brash and full of drive
Kobayashi – Shasta
Kobayashi – 2 Cent
buy this cd

The Juju Orchestra

Saturday, December 13th, 2008 by Julija

tango // bossa nova

The German-based producers and DJs of the Juju Orchestra make a mean cocktail of styles with great hooks and irresistible beats. As the trio blends live instruments and a variety of samples, “This Is Not A Tango” brings an uptempo Argentine dance interpretation evoking the smoky and passionate sound of Gotan Project. The softly funky Bossa groove of “Nâo Posso Demorar” reflects the influences of such music icons as Caetano Veloso and Stan Getz, while its easy going vibe makes it the perfect lounging tune. (Thanks, Philipp!)

Soulful tropical beats mixed with retro appeal.
The Juju Orchestra – This Is Not A Tango
The Juju Orchestra РN̢o Posso Demorar feat. Katia B (stream only)
buy mp3s

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
buy mp3s

Kitty Hoff & Forêt-Noire

Thursday, December 4th, 2008 by Julija

bossa nova // retro swing

The retro feel of Kitty Hoff’s album Blick Ins Tal (2007) recalls the elegance of classic bossa nova and vintage swing. While it might be difficult to imagine a language like German playing well with the bossa tempo, “Toc-Toc-Toc” carries graceful vocal lines and laid-back grooves in a light, rhythmic and relaxed pace. The tasteful arrangements, lovely piano and solid bass of “Psychenswing” create a unique sense of nostalgia and style.

Unexpectedly charming.
Kitty Hoff & Forêt-Noire – Toc-Toc-Toc
Kitty Hoff & Forêt-Noire – Psychenswing
buy mp3s

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
buy mp3s

The Menahan Street Band

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 by Julija

soul // funk

Lead by multi-talended producer Thomas Brenneck, The Menahan Street Band offers a solid blend of instrumental funk, late sixties sounding soul, latin grooves and afrobeat. Back in 2007, long before the group’s debut album, the Brooklyn based ensemble drew attention for their outstanding “Make The Road By Walking” track, which was sampled for the ubiquitous Jay-Z’s hit “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)”. “Home Again!”, a mid-tempo composition from the recently released Menahan album embodies warm guitar melodies and tightly structured horn arrangements.

Entirely instrumental soulful goodness.
The Menahan Street Band – Make The Road By Walking
The Menahan Street Band – Home Again!
buy mp3s

Coeur de Pirate

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 by Julija

french acoustic // indie pop

The debut album of an 18 years old Quebec-based musician Béatrice Martin delivers a collection of colourful and charming piano-driven pop songs. As the album ranges from melancholic notes to playful tones, the standout track “Comme Des Enfants” carries sincere joyfulness, sweet vocals, whimsical piano, organ and string arrangements. Equally enjoyable “C’était Salement Romantique” offers lovely organic nuances and a delicate instrumentation of the finest kind.

From subtle innocence to mature melodies.
Coeur De Pirate – Comme Des Enfants
Coeur De Pirate – C’était Salement Romantique
buy this cd

Obi Best

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 by Michelle

electropop // indie pop

Obi Best’s debut album, Capades, is a startling and addicting collection of refined pop songs. Whether it is the more orchestral ballads or synth-driven electropop that make up Capades; the record is equally dreamy, witty and infectious. Alex Lilly’s capricious lyrics are tempered by tight musical arrangements, resulting in a playful and most importantly, fun sound. Lilly’s sweet and pellucid vocals, backed by Bram Inscore (keys), John Wood (keys) and Barbara Gruska (drums), elevate the carefully composed and surprisingly complex songs of Obi Best.

Dreamy, whimsical electropop.
Obi Best – Nothing Can Come Between Us
Obi Best – Swedish Boy
buy mp3s

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?
buy this cd