Posts from 2010

Folded Light

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 by Michelle

indie folk // alt pop

It’s hard to believe that the intricately layered melodies of Folded Light are the product of two friends (and not say, a legion of musicians), but it’s true. Steve Damstra and Jaffe Zinn make up the Los Angeles-based band, who released their self-titled debut in 2009, and Kelly earlier this year. Folded Light’s deceptively simple and catchy soundscapes belie the complexly woven arrangements beneath them. There is an oddly cinematic feel to Folded Light’s music; “Landscape” in particular conjures up images of open roads and rolled down windows. (It doesn’t come as a total surprise to learn that both Zinn and Damstra have other film-based projects: Zinn is currently finishing post-production on his first feature length film and Damstra composes music for television and film). Summer might be winding down, but take a listen to two of my favorite songs from Kelly, and see if you can’t extend the feeling a bit longer. The hints of lo-fi fuzz amid rolling guitar licks made “Kelly” one of my summer jams, while “Landscape” is a delightfully woven fabric of intricate melody, sweet vocals and humming instrumentals.

Delicately fuzzed-out melodic harmonies.
Folded Light – Kelly
Folded Light – Landscapes
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Natalia Clavier

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by Julija

latin // downtempo// dub

You are most likely not familiar with name, but you might recognize Natalia Clavier’s vocals from the Aurgasm featured Federico Aubele’s album Panamericana (2007). Argentinian songstress, Natalia is the first and only female artist of Washington DC based legendary Thievery Corporation’s label Eighteenth Street Lounge Music. For those of you who enjoy the repertoire of ESL Music, Natalia’s album Nectar (2008) is a real treat. Nectar offers a journey from Buenos Aires tango-tingled melodies to the sublime Barcelona late night vibes, all wrapped in top quality production.

Smooth downtempo with a distinct Latin flavour.
Natalia Clavier – Ay De Mi
Natalia Clavier – La Mitad
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Luísa Maita

Monday, August 9th, 2010 by Julija

brazilian fusion // urban

Brazilian songstresses are a significant part of the abundance of Brazilian produce you have been hearing over the last few years. Critically acclaimed CéU and Cibelle as well as lesser known to a wider audience Aurgasm-loved honey-voiced Aline de Lima or Ana Martins already found their audience in both the US and Europe. Now it’s the turn of São Paolo based Luísa Maita. Fusing tropical rhythms and more urban grooves, her debut Lero-Lero (2010) is a mixture of relaxing bossa, capoeira rhythms, funky beats and soulful vocals. Let the mellow vibes caress your ears for the rest of the day.

Soothing and danceable, unmistakably Brazilian vibe.
Luísa Maita – Lero-Lero
Luísa Maita – Fulaninha
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Katie Herzig

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 by Julija

acoustic // folk // singer-songwriter

You might have heard Katie Herzig’s lovely vocals by now on Grey’s Anatomy, NPR or KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. Katie embodies the qualities of a true Aurgasm darling: appealing voice, captivating songwriting skills and a Southern charm. While the work of the Nashville-based songstress carry country influences, her repertoire is much richer than that. “I Want To Belong To You”, Apple Tree (2008), displays Katie’s melancholic yet playful, intimate and emotive songwriting. “Two Hearts Are Better Than One”, from her Live in Studio: Acoustic Trio (2009) release, delivers charming whistling, rhythmic verses and Katie’s sweet vocals.

Whimsical Southern folk melodies.
Katie Herzig – I Want To Belong To You
Katie Herzig – Two Hearts Are Better Than One
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William Fitzsimmons

Sunday, August 1st, 2010 by Paul Irish

singer-songwriter remixed

The incredible mastery of Pink Ganter’s production is inescapable. The track opens with an analog hum introducing a steady beat, waves of female vocals hit you like deliberate but soft sun rays. The rhythm guitar soon goes underwater to let William’s soft voice tell the story. Take this song into the sunshine with you. (thank you, Chrissy)

Matching production precision to lyrical aplomb.
William Fitzsimmons – So This Is Goodbye (Pink Ganter Remix)
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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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Scotch & Sofa

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 by Paul Irish

chanson // beatbox

Scotch & Sofa is comprised of a Miss Chloé Monin and Sir Romain Preuss. Chloe went to the jazz school of Montpellier; and then sought a bandmate. On the walls of the school, she passed an ad: “seeks guitar”. As a self-taught musician, Romain developed the “finger picking” technique while listening to Joe Tex, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding or Thelonious Monk. He saw Chloe’s post. Months and months later and we can now enjoy this video. (thx Christophe!)

French’s sublime sound, 11 years after Les Nubians’ “Makeda”
Scotch & Sofa – Visite des recoins (video)
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Caro Emerald

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 by Paul Irish

vocal cabaret jazz // swing

So much music from the Netherlands and Sweden stays landlocked and never breaks past political borders. Luckily, a member of the Aurgasm community tipped us off to the incredible Caro Emerald, a singer, with a full jazz band, from Amsterdam. Her music has a nostalgic 40’s feel to it, but is infused with an energy that drives the melody, and your feet, to the beat. (thx zeno van der kist)

Danceable, snappable, and simultaneously terribly romantic.
Caro Emerald – That Man
Caro Emerald – Stuck
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Arms & Sleepers

Monday, June 28th, 2010 by Paul Irish

post-rock // cinematic ambient

The cinematic aural experience that post-rock can create is really quite unique to the genre. Arms and Sleepers have previously toured with Aurgasm favorite, The American Dollar, but they were spotted back when I went to an event called Split/Signal. There, bands performed live, providing score to silent short films. Unquestionably, Arms and Sleepers’ performance was the most stunning. The songs below come from their older work; vocals fans may enjoy their newest release, Matador.

Equally divine in both fore and background listening.
Arms And Sleepers – The Motorist
Arms And Sleepers – Runner Misplaced
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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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