Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Artist-Billie The Vision & The Dancers
Album-I Used to Wander These Streets
Genre/Style-Chamber Pop/Indie Rock
Album-The Beautiful Light
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Laura Veirs (http://www.myspace.com/lauraveirs) is set to her summer tour in UK together with Alex Guy (http://www.myspace.com/ledtosea). Here below is the time and location. Please be shown up if you like her and her music.
July 4, 2008 Green Room in Welwyn Garden City, England
July 6, 2008 O2 Wireless Festival at Hyde Park in London, England
July 7, 2008 The 12 Bar in Swindon, England
July 8, 2008 Glee Club in Birmingham, England
July 9, 2008 Winchester Discovery Centre in Winchester, England
July 10, 2008 Musician Live Music Venue in Leicester, England
July 11, 2008 The Cellars in Portsmouth, England
July 12, 2008 Big Day Out Festival in Bracknell, England
July 14, 2008 Telford’s Warehouse in Chester, England
July 15, 2008 The Duchess in York, England
July 16, 2008 Norwich Arts Centre in Norwich, England
July 17, 2008 Cambridge Junction in Cambridge, England
July 19, 2008 Lovebox Weekender in London, England
Album-With Arrows, with Poise
Release Date-May 2008
Review-Reviewed by CCMMagazine. Like many artists who’ve made it big through grassroots support, Seattle-based rockers The Myriad had prime TV show placement to help get the proverbial ball rolling. In addition to placement on “The Real World: Denver,” the band sealed its “Emerging Artists” status by getting handpicked by MTV for the “Dew Circuit Breakout” challenge, which The Myriad ended up winning, thanks to several million voters.
So to say that expectations are high for the band’s Koch Records’ debut, With Arrows, With Poise, is a serious understatement. But thanks to a pitch-perfect set list packed with one clever song after the next, rock & roll fans won’t leave the listening experience disappointed. In fact, there’s not a dud in the 12-track bunch, a rarity in our singles-driven, iPod age.
What makes these songs really pop is an intuitive knack for melody (see “Forget What You Came For” for the band’s best work) and the polished yet decidedly artsy production from Michael Ilbert (The Cardigans, Kent, The Hives). Just when the listener is expecting the song to head in a certain direction, there’s one surprising turn after the next, which leads to a rewarding listening experience that should easily cement the band’s status as “one to watch.”
Album-For Emma, Forever Ago
Review-Bon Iver is the work of Justin Vernon. He isolated himself in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for almost four months, writing and recording the songs on For Emma, Forever Ago, his haunting debut album. A few parts (horns, drums, and backing vocals) were added in a North Carolina studio, but for the majority of the time it's just Vernon, his utterly disarming voice, and his enchanting songs. The voice is the first thing you notice. Vernon's falsetto soars like a hawk and when he adds harmonies and massed backing vocals, it can truly be breathtaking. "The Wolves (Acts I & II)" truly shows what Vernon can do as he croons, swoops, and cajoles his way through an erratic and enchanting melody like Marvin Gaye after a couple trips to the backyard still. "Skinny Love" shows his more of his range as he climbs down from the heights of falsetto and shouts out the angry and heartachey words quite convincingly. Framing his voice are suitably subdued arrangements built around acoustic guitars and filled out with subtle electric guitars, the occasional light drums, and slide guitar. Vernon has a steady grasp of dynamics too; the ebb and flow of "Creature Fear" is powerfully dramatic when the chorus hits it hard not to be swept away by the flood of tattered emotion. Almost every song has a moment where the emotion peaks and hearts begin to weaken and bend: the beauty of that voice is what pulls you through every time. For Emma captures the sound of broken and quiet isolation, wraps it in a beautiful package, and delivers it to your door with a beating, bruised heart. It's quite an achievement for a debut and the promise of greatness in the future is high. Oh, and because you have to mention it, Iron & Wine. Also, Little Wings. Most of all, though, Bon Iver.
Album-Life is Sweet
Release Date-May 27, 2008
Genre/Style-Indie Rock/Indie Pop
Review-The Lodger's debut album, Grown-Ups, was a fine slice of indie pop that called to mind stellar groups like Orange Juice, the Wedding Present, and Heavenly, while making a case that they might someday be mentioned in that same class. Life Is Sweet is a step forward in both sound and song, and goes a long way toward making this thought a reality. The newly configured trio is driven as before by Ben Siddall's ace songwriting and intimate vocal style, but on Life Is Sweet, the songwriting has gotten a bit sharper, trading some of the wordiness that often derailed Grown-Ups for a more refined approach. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on the punchy and lyrically austere track "The Good Old Days." It's the kind of song that could overshadow the rest of the album, taking post-Postcard Orange Juice as inspiration, it sounds like a jumped up version of "I Can't Help Myself" with some thrilling falsetto and a huge hook. Luckily, the rest of the record is strong enough to withstand the threat of being swamped by the presence of such a monster song, and there are a few (the opening "My Finest Hour," the rocked-out "The Conversation," the brief but ultra-catchy "A Year Since Last Summer," and the country rocking of "Nothing (Left to Say)") that come close to the same rarefied air as "The Good Old Days" occupies. It helps too that the songs are played by a trio that is tighter than a baby tee, sounding at times like the Jam in the taut and ferocious attack. Unlike most indie pop bands, they choose to keep the sound pretty insular; apart from a slash of pedal steel here and a violin there, the sound is guitars, drums, and keys, and this focus creates a unified mood from song to song. Often a recipe for blandness, here the band's energy and craft keep things interesting and lively. With only a couple minor stumbles (like the overly wordy "Honey"), the solid and often thrilling Life Is Sweet is a confirmation of the promise made by Grown-Ups that firmly plants the Lodger at the head of the class of indie pop in the late 2000s.
Album-Alas I Cannot Swim
Release Date-Feb 11, 2008
Review-Due to her youth (16 when she first hit Myspace, 17 when signed to an imprint of EMI, and 18 when her debut album came out), perky-cute looks and extremely British diction, singer/songwriter Laura Marling got a lot of comparisons to Lily Allen in her early buzz, but the quietly compelling Alas I Cannot Swim is not at all a frothy pop confection. A folk-tinged AAA pop record based on Marling's alluringly husky voice and graceful acoustic guitar, Alas I Cannot Swim would be more aptly compared to the likes of Feist, Keren Ann, or Regina Spektor. (In the album's press kit, Marling reveals her primary influence to be Bonnie "Prince" Billy, which also seems appropriate.) Although not to draw too forbidding a comparison, opening track and first single "Ghosts" is most strongly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell circa For the Roses, both in Marling's expressive vocal phrasing and the expert shifts in the arrangement between solo acoustic passages and full-band sections, not to mention an excellently deployed string section. That old-school '70s singer/songwriter vibe predominates throughout the album, in fact. There's one straight-up pop song here, the deceptively chipper-sounding "Cross Your Fingers" ("...hold your toes/We're all gonna die when the building blows" continues the sweetly sung chorus), but aside from that, Alas I Cannot Swim is the kind of album that takes a couple of listens for its charms to completely sink in. Rather than swath every track in prominent, ear-grabbing hooks, Marling and producer Charlie Fink choose to keep the decorations off in the distance on songs like "The Captain and Hourglass," where swells of pedal steel stay buried deep in the mix under Marling's hypnotic guitar line and quietly insistent vocals. There's every chance that Laura Marling will get lost in the shuffle as the unexpected commercial success of Feist's The Reminder leads major labels to unleash hordes of similarly talented female singer/songwriters, but Alas I Cannot Swim is far better than the average coffee house-endorsed girlypop.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Album-The Nautilus Years
Release Date-Mar 10, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Album-Here Comes the Wind
Release Date-Feb 18, 2008
Review-Envelopes are the kind of band who if asked to draw a line, would grab three brightly coloured pens and squiggle them simultaneously about the page. Their songs are wilfully wayward, full of pretty guitar melodies that suddenly go skronk, flailing drums and keyboards that skitter about like hyperactive toddlers. Perhaps inevitably, there are moments when their second album is all bluster without purpose: Put on Hold, in particular, lacks focus, while I'm in Love and I Don't Care Who Knows It is cute but inconsequential - not least because the Swedish-French quintet sound like street buskers when they play it. But these are balanced by moments when the Envelopes' aesthetic is realised fully and brilliantly: on Party, a wonderful, awkward-indie-kid anthem in which Henrik Orrling quotes from Bonnie Tyler and pleads pathetically, "If there's a party, can I come?"; and, better still, on Boat, Audrey Pic's tenderly sung tale of a mother's fear of mortality, set to a plangent soundtrack of gurgles, shimmers and heartbeats.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Los Angeles indie group "Bodies of Water" will release their third album "A Certain Feeling" in July. Here are two tracks downloadable in the album and pre-order your copy here.
Artist-Avishai Cohen Trio
Release Date-May 20, 2008
Review-Reviewed by John Henry
Bassist/composer Avishai Cohen was one of the jazz musicians from Israel to gain attention in the U.S. He has played with Chick Corea, Latin bands, pop artist Alicia Keys, and has performed concert works with the London Philharmonic and Boston Pops. He started his own record label in 2003.
This disc may look like the same old piano trio, but it’s not. Pianist Maestro has a similar background to Cohen’s - being trained in both classical and jazz piano. Both are experienced with a wide spectrum of jazz, but also influenced by the musics of North Africa and the Middle East, which gives their work a special world music tinge that differs from the Scandinavian folk influences on some European jazz. Two of the 11 tracks here are based on traditional folk melodies, two are collaborations of the entire trio and all the rest are original by Cohen.
I love the album’s title - seems somehow perfect and it does successfully communicate the general emotional feeling of the music therein. Cohen’s bass work is quite amazing; he makes the hulking string instrument into a true melodic voice in many of the tunes. Variations in G Minor, as its title suggests, comes from the players’ strong classical background, and builds to an exciting and propulsive classical/jazz mix. The Cohen Trio demonstrates without a doubt that there can be many unique varieties of the seemingly boring old piano trio format - especially the ones assigning larger roles to the bass and drums in the trio - adding to the contributions of others such as Keith Jarrett’s, Brad Mehldau’s and The Bad Plus.
Album-Into the Trees
Release Date- May 20, 2008
Review-Defiantly lo-fi and beholden to the past, by rights Sybris should slot neatly within the current crop of such retro acts as the Hold Steady. But even though they exhibit the same nervous energy and juttery rhythms, the Chicago quartet are just as enthralled with the early indie scene as the post-punk era. And the differences don't stop there, for Sybris' signature is their misty atmospheres, evoking the likes of Ride and Slowdive. Into the Trees is wrapped in them, a gauzy veil that blankets every track within, even "Old Tyme E" and "Saint Veronica," the brightest songs on the set. The former has a svelte '60s feel, all excited beats and bouncy guitars, the latter glides from a dreamy pop feel into a hard rock segment, then soars heavenward on a sea of chimes and drones. That post-punk drone is prominent throughout the set-diving "Safety City," "Something About a Dark Horse or Whatever," and "Gin Divides Us." At times, "The Mary"'s a good example, the guitars aren't actually droning, they just sound that way thanks to the band's profligate use of reverb. On that number Sybris play off the drone against lilting guitar riffs, a juxtaposition that also defines their sound. "Mary" has more than a touch of New Order about it, elsewhere the Cure, U2, and Siouxsie & the Banshees play an inspirational role, as does the art-rock scene. The latter is particularly evident in the jumpy rhythms of "Burnout Babies" and "Gin Divides Us." There again, even the band's most downtempo numbers have a nervousness around the rhythms and a tension to the auras, a jittery feel that vocalist Angela Mullenhour feeds. Varyingly fragile, tough, sweet, dreamy, and caterwauling, she is the bastard child of Björk and Siouxsie Sioux, more tuneful than the former, more childlike than the latter, her clear tones sweeping and soaring over this set. From lullabies to indie rockers, gloomy goth rockers to bright poppers, Into the Trees takes one deep into a forest of aural delights.
Album-Zodiac Girls (single)
Review-“Armed with an arsenal of vintage keyboards (monosynths, polysynths, mellotrons, Fender Rhodes’ and more), Black Moth crafts mind-blowing, interstellar psychedelic pop” - Rolling Stone.
Hailing from a city which is unexpectedly known for it’s avant-garde sensibility, Pittsburgh’s Black Moth Super Rainbow intricately infuse a psychedelic pastiche that seamlessly weaves between the world’s of folk, electronic and pop.
2007 was a big year for the band, not only did they release the critically acclaimed album ‘Dandelion Gum’ - which garnered accolades from such publications as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Village Voice and MTV - the band also scored opening slots for acts The Flaming Lips and Aesop Rock.This limited edition 7” (limited to 500 copies) features two brand spanking new tracks from these innovative rockers. Side A ‘Zodiac Girls’ and Side B ‘The Fields Are Breathing’ are choc full of the band’s signature sound of electro, synth-pop rock.
7” includes a coupon for a free download of the single in MP3 format.