Singer-songwriter Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir, a.k.a. Lay Low, has been named as one of the most promising new artists back in her home country Iceland. On her album Farewell Good Night’s Sleep (2009) Lay Low captures the essence of blues, country and folk, concocting them all into music that feels like a perfect soundtrack for a cross country road trip. One of the album’s highlights, “Last Time Around”, unfolds sweetly with her soft crooning, melancholic bluesy sound and a hint of Iceland and Nashville in it.
Fredrik Karlsson, a.k.a. Solander, a part of Aurgasm-featured Fredrik, has his own solo project and it’s the one project you were all waiting to hear about, without even knowing it. Similar to Fredrik’s compositions, Solander’s debut Since We Are Pigeons (2009) carries a distinct Scandinavian, unique yet familiar sound. The album infuses hushed vocals, fragile strings arrangements and warm electronics with just a hint of experimentalia. In “Looking For Gold” Solander slowly builds up the mood by layering off-beat guitar with beautiful orchestration and hypnotic vocal harmonies. Definitely one of the most promising indie projects coming from Sweden this year.
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.
More and more, I’ve noticed I’m absorbing great music via video; the Carl Sagan ‘A Glorious Dawn’ video is an addictive example. VJ’s are demanded for parties, Processing and OpenFrameworks are making it easier to create, and now video appears to be the preferred medium for delivering audio online. Above, Ethan deftly blends oscilloscope visuals with light paint and timelapse, while underneath burbles some glitchy and fuzzy funk. Thanks to my friends at Echonest for the tip.
We started our morning with the hypnotic strings and vocals of Anomie Belle. Anomie Belle is classically trained violinist and songwriter Toby Campbell, who toured North America with such artists as Little Dragon, The Album Leaf and legendary trip-hop artist Tricky. “Down”, featured here, displays her Trip-Hop experimental aesthetics, while its production brings to mind the clear and smooth downtempo vibe of Zero 7.
Oren Lavie Featured on Aurgasm two years ago, Israeli born Oren Lavie gave a warm and intimate performance that didn’t disappoint. Attached below is Aurgasm’s favourite track “Her Morning Elegance”, which was recently featured on Brian Williams’ “Inside the Obama White House” Special on NBC.
We were happy to catch probably the most playful and colourful show of the festival, Aurgasm’s favourite Lenka. Despite Franz Ferdinand playing at the same time, Lenka had a full house and her music was received with much support and enthusiasm.
Hey Marseilles, previously mentioned on Aurgasm as one of Michelle’s SXSW discoveries, warmed the hearts of the crowd on a cold and cloudy morning. Seattle’s Hey Marseilles play fresh and magical orchestral folk tunes that are both melancholic and genuinely cheerful. With piano, violin, trumpet, cello and accordion their stage presence is a miniature extravaganza. Barely known outside Seattle, these guys are definitely worth to keep an eye on.
The Dusty 45s
Another pleasant discovery today was the Dusty 45s. Their energetic performance covered a variety of styles ranging from rockabilly to powerful Balkan notes (think Devotchka), from alt-country and Americana to classic Rock & Roll fun.
Silverlake’s Local Natives have been making their way around the blogs lately, and understandably so. The quintet’s unique brand of indie folk highlights their tight vocal harmonies without sacrificing on rolling guitars, keys and percussion or sharp lyrics. Their laid-back and layered folk is a perfect way to wind down the rest of summer — a warm, blooming cocoon of sound. The boys were kind enough to take some time from their hectic schedule to lay down this exclusive acoustic version of “Camera Talk” for us.
Not since TrentemÃ¸ller has an electronic artist approached his music with such delicacy. But while the Dane kept your brain busy measure to measure, the sole member of Bersarin Quartett, Thomas, makes no bones about holding you rapt in a piece of steady, twirling music for up to sixteen minutes. Natural strings, arpeggiated synth and raspy drums combine to construct a cinemascape of melancholy and thought.