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.
By bringing together musicians from multiple generations and countries, Germany based Maxim Illion & Kitty the Bill’s Club des Belugas brainchild is contemporary, classic, and terrifically varied. On a relaxing, beautiful day, Swedish singer Anna.Luca will croon your fancy before Brenda Boykin’s California energy gets you swinging the night away. Other guests include Iain Mackenzie from London, Dean Bowman from New York, and Fred Astaire, whose “Puttin’ on the Ritz” gets remixed for their latest album, Swop!
folktronica // cut ‘n paste organic // electronic orchestral
The ‘folktronica’ name has been getting a lot of flack lately, though it may be well deserved. It’s a cheap cliché descriptor for music contructed with the aid of a computer. Yet this doesn’t differentiate from any other genre; we might as well call them hiphoptronica and indierocktronica. Synthesized sounds have a significant influence on nearly all modern music. Folktronica is just a naturalistic (and somewhat minimalistic) approach to songwriting that often uses samples such that you can hear they’re samples and develops a warm atmosphere of sound out of seemingly chilly sounds. Here, Pedro‘s labelmate Gavouna creates an organic textured array of these pastoral sounds into something listenable and lovable. Bare xylophone, lush violin sweeps, and a vision of idyllic contentment.
From the very first track of her debut album Jusqu’aux Oreilles (2008), Quebec native Amylie enchants the listener with her soft-toned and subtle sound. The soulful vibes of “Espace” evoke similarities with critically acclaimed Les Nubiennes’ Princesses Nubiennes, while its lush instrumentation and clean hypnotic production reminds the sound of Zero 7. Catchy, uptempo and playful “Mes Oreilles” brings to mind the debut album of French chanteuse Camille.
Being that you’re a fully committed Aurgasm reader, you’re no doubt fully fluent in the cuban music subgenre son. Not could you only write a four page paper on how the mountainous geography of Cuban affected the flat city of Havana’s music culture, but you’ve also forced your friends to watch the Buena Vista Social Club movie several times. Well today I’ve got a Moroccan version of Compay Segundo, god rest his soul. Rhany brings the full force of Buena Vista’s “Chan Chan” along with an Arabian twist.
Ethereal beauty preciously sewn from misty morning drops of dew; each wee sound held secret inside. New life, new day – blessed spell of flowers’ bloom; so hush their reverent chanting. Friendly trees begin to whisper in serene approach of Sun’s affection. Soft wings flutter above why and through clouds of gathered wisdom – adoring gazes abound. The bumble of bees a mere murmur as nestled hearts awake to unfettered confessions in Earth’s exhale.
From soul to funky guitar chords and bittersweet ingredients of r&b to surprising reggae twists, Asa (pronounced Asha) carries rich musical heritage and intensely spiritual strength. Asa was born in Paris and raised in Lagos, south-western Nigeria, where absorbing influences of jazz and African music, transforming it into a fresh sound, she constantly craved for singing her heart out. As her first eponymous album flows with ease, groovy rhythms and emotion, Asa projects positive values and her honest point of view on today’s realities.
british singer-songwriter // pop folk // folk-baroque
Although Notes On: Love (2005) is the debut album, recorded with the former Verve guitarist Simon Tong, Petra Jean Phillipson has years of experience in music, writing and collecting songs for about eight years. Unavoidably, her vulnerability and emotionality reminds me the beautiful sadness of Nina Nastasia, yet Petra Jean has the strength of Polly Jean Harvey and Shannon Wright. Her honest lyrics, haunting murmurs, choruses and melodies, and overall powerful sound, balances between spooky and bewitching.
Just like Sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music” and Archie Bell and The Drells’ “Tighten Up”, this track has an additive instrumentation structure. James calls for the bass player first, followed by the drummer, and then gets some organ action stirring up that pot. Once some horns drop into the groove, you know the hot game is on. This group didn’t make a big record, but they were considered the “number one Miami and Miami Beach band of the funk era.“ And if you listen closely to Shadow’s “Mongrel…Meets His Maker” off Private Press, you’ll spot a sample from the Butlers’ track “Fantasy World”. (danks t’my main cat, Delassus on this track) A simmering soul number that gets you moving.
Josh Ottum, a Seattle-based musician and songwriter, has been making his tiny-bedroom-music for 4 years before composing his debut album Like The Season (2007). To put it in his own words, Like The Season is a twelve song journey into the hallways, bedrooms, dining rooms and garages of popular music. Josh’s “The Easy Way Out” evolves from sweet, coherent and easy-on-the-ears harmonies to a rhythmically driven complex production. With layered arrangements of multiple drums, repetitive piano, catchy horn lines and quirky phrasing Josh builds “The Easy Way Out” to a charmingly dynamic indie-pop song.