Saturday, September 27, 2014

ESSENTIAL TRACKS BEYOND SUMMER 2014: Emile Haynie, lo sé, Electric Wire Hustle,....



Being busy with this music festival for the past 3 months doesn’t mean that I turned a deaf ear on new music.No need to go back to where I left, even if there were a lot of releases that you can find here.
Let’s keep only a few songs, really worth listening, issued this summer and samples of September and October releases to build a disillusioned playlist, about love (loss, wait) and space (finding a way out from love, origins): “Essential Tracks Beyond Summer 2014”. To hear also directly from pleer here (for iPad users!).

1- Only a renowned producer could put together Charlotte Gainsbourg, Devonte Hynes ( Blood Orange) & Sampha on a track. Emile Haynie did it at the end of August with a first personal material, a single only “A Kiss Goodbye” on his soundcloud. Sampha’s fragile voice manages to render a simple track about love into a superb one.
2- Guy Baron, a Londoner behind Semi Precious, says that he is using “his (delicate) voice and two shifted-wrapped-chopped samples”. He can add that is also writing the lyrics! Here on “Man without a Head” out of the 6 tracks of his eponym EP out now on bandcamp, he is using "Orpheus" from David Sylvian and "I Love You My Hope" from Hird. Radiohead in the ears and speaking about Thom Yorke, now you can get a new album.
3- The Drums have lost 2 members but not that surf-pop feeling. The Brooklyn-based duo made of Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham is releasing this month of September its third album “Encyclopedia”. The slowest tempo track “I Hope Time Doesn't Change Him” works is an old catch-tune and speaks about homosexual love.
4- It’s rather “No lo sé” than “lo sé” regarding the real name of the Dutch producer lo sé. All we know about him are the singles on his soundcloud. The delicate track “Quick Crawl”, made of creaking guitar and spoons percussion, is taken from the “Fantasma”EP out now.
5- I already wrote about the Australian brother–sister 4 years ago, here. I still have the same comment about Angus & Julia Stone: the nicest tracks within the 15 ones of their third eponym album out in August are when they are singing as a body, like in “A Heartbreak”. Individually their voices are quite unpleasant: too sweetie for Julia and too nasal for Angus.
6- Manitoba, Caribou, Daphni are all band names carried out by Canadian artist alone, Daniel Snaith, and it is under Caribou’s moniker that his 7th album, “Our Love”, will be issued in a few days.The unstoppable voice of Ontario singer/producer Jessy Lanza, with whom Caribou is making an international tour, is featured over wavy, slightly dissonant synths on “Second Chance”.
7- For his eclectic second album “Wonder Where We Land” out now, English producer Aaron Jerome aka SBTRKT called on several singers, apart from long-time collaborator Sampha  (again)with whom he released the first single “Temporary View”:Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, Caroline Polachek from Chairlift and Ramona Lisa, Jessie Ware ( again),… and promising teenage rapper/songwriter Raury.
8- Now a duo, New Zealand’s Electric Wire Hustle enriched its “If These Are The Last Days” 2 tracks EP, including  the featured one ”Bottom Line”, out last June with 8 more tracks for the second album “Love Can Prevail”. After their hip-hop soul sound of “They Don’t Want”, with this new dense album, they are now into more experimental sound manipulations.
9- First single “Go Back”, from Tony Allen upcoming album, aptly named “Film of Life”, out in October, is another collaboration between the mythical Nigerian drummer and Brit genius, Damon Albarn, expressing their concerns about African immigrants. Unlike them, Tony Allen safely escaped from Nigeria and says here that he wouldn't go back there …to play music.
10- Newcomer 21 year-old Nick Klein, along with his
fellow Dutch citizen Ferdous Dehzad, escaped from the underground with one single, “ Break Away”, last month on his soundcloud. A minimalist and catchy R&B flow.Hope he will “take back control”.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

BEST INDIE TRACKS FOR MAY 2014 : Owen Pallett, Young Magic, Club Kuru,…



The music released this month of May 2014 was in a way, dramatic, epic, panoramic, melancholic and nostalgic so here below or directly from Pleer is the best of it. 
Another 10 indie tracks to say “so long” to this blog for the next 3 months. Loads of work ahead this summer. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be music around, just no time to upload songs, photos, make links….
Stay tuned!
1- Even if Owen Pallett, long -time collaborator with fellow Canadian musicians Arcade Fire or recently Caribou (as Daphni), and William Butler didn’t win the “Best original score” Oscar for “Her”, Spike Jonze’s last movie, the thirteen tracks of his fourth album” In Conflict”, out this month of May, are another proof of his skill to build a drama story with sumptuous musical arrangements.  Along with the 1st single “The Riverbed”, “The Sky Behind The Flag” shares the same emergency to express his personal experiences.
2- The six piece band from Edinburgh/ Scotland, Broken Records, released a 3rd album in May “Weights And Pulleys”, powerful, epic and consistent. Jamie Sutherland’s has the same passionate and aching voice than Jonathan Meiburg (Shearwater, and ex Okkervil River).

3- Brooklyn duo, Young Magic, dropped it's second album “Breathing Statues” this month. We know that, since “You with Air ”, they’re good at layers of percussions and “Holographic” is also made of increasing coats of instruments: first harp, rapid synth and crystalline beats. An exotic journey in hologram.

4- Ex Dreamers of the Ghetto, here in 2011, Luke Aaron Jones and Marty Sprowles recently formed Hunterchild and issued their first eponym album in May. “Time Traveling Lover” with the pulsing keys stands out of the 11 tracks.

5- Californian Jason Robert Quever has been around for a while now as Papercuts releasing a 5th album this month, “Life Among the Savages”. Always at ease with neat pop melodies with his voice soaring over strings, guitar hooks, and mellotron on “Still Knocking At The Door”.
 
6- The Black Keys eighth long player, another one co-produced with Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, on which Dan Auerbach’s voice is going more on falsetto, is loaded with hooky songs. “Turn Blue” is still a favorite, for the blues elements and killer guitar riffs.
7- Since Sharon Van Etten beginnings in 2009, we understood that writing and singing is a catharsis for her. The American singer songwriter is becoming more confident on her fourth album “Are We There”, out in May, adding piano and organ. 
On the first single out of it, “Taking Chances”, she sings “you break for your sake” about the long- time relationship she had, that’s just ended. Languishing and intimate.
 
8- No matter if Londoner Laurie Erskine (despite the first name, definitely a man, as starred in the video, aka Club Kuru) made  to disappear “Loot” and “Long Drive” songs from last year, there is the last one “All the days”. Beginning is indolent with the singer fragile voice and the crescendo ends tragic.
9- Dexter Tortoriello, frontman of the Chicago band “Houses , has a solo project, formerly known as Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross, without the voice of Megan Messina, releasing a first EP “Blow in 2011. 3 years spent in Diplo’s Mad Decent studio in LA, and it’s now Dawn Golden debut LP “Still Life”, labelled “Sad Bangers” and boosted by the first single “All I Want”. True: the 10 tracks are melancholic, sorrowful. “I Won’t Bend” sounds like a mantra.

10- Joakim Bouaziz, aka Joakim is a multi -talented French artist, classically trained musician, record label co-founder (Tigersushi and Crowdspacer for vinyls), electronic producer, illustrator who dropped his sixth album “Tropics Of Love” this month, a 12 tracks record of down tempo fluid melodies with thumping beats. “Man Like Moon” is a favorite for the whiff of jazz featuring Joakim’s voice with a reverb and not the dated vocoder he is using.

Friday, May 23, 2014

BEST INDIE SOUL/R&B TRACKS 2014 SO FAR : Flamingo, Knox Brown, Jack Garratt,...



The music trend of Soul/R&B/Electro fusion is not over yet. It was quite clear in these posts, if you put them all together: the 1st part of Best Indie Songs 2013, and Blurred Lines. Smooth, easy listening, the down tempo side might be the new genre of lounge music. The upper tempo rhythm is definitely the new pop music these days. 
Every week, some new artists are trying to fit in this still “emerging” music genre. Avoiding the mellow, syrupy, sticky, here below or directly from Pleer is another playlist of 10 soulful voices worth listening, with experimental touches. Worth mentioning: the 3 first bands are all coming from Australia.
1- With his first “Heavy Steps” EP out in April, the Adelaide/Australian trio, Flamingo, perfectly match the “Soul Lounge Music” concept with Casey Heidt impressive vocals. Between the 4 tracks, the choice is difficult. “Heart,My” was the first single of the EP already out last year.
 
2- Melbourne musician, Nicholas James Murphy aka Chet Faker has been around since 2012 but actually, his long awaited debut album,“Built On Glass”, was released in April. Second single “1998, doesn’t represent the whole mood of this low key album, so here is “ Gold”, a song subtly crafted between handclaps, falsetto and deeper voice.
3- The Sydney trio Movement, already featured in the 1st part of the 2013 Best Indie Songs, has now a 4 tracks EP out in May. Lewis Wade has this intense, profound, incredibly sexy voice that makes the whole difference. On “Ivory”, an unexpected guitar solo breaks the spell of it. Never mind, rewind.
 
4- On the same vocal register, Kidepo,  a 23-year-old London-born singer/songwriter/producer with Ugandan roots, is a new comer.From Brooklyn now.With only 2 songs on his soundcloud.Well only 1 left now: “Reds”.Simple and effective.
5- “1992”, the first EP from Londoner with Indo-Pakistani roots, Ben Khan, gained an incredible amount of listeners on his soundcloud only in a few days. Rising fast but at 22 years old, he’s been already making music for a couple of years now. Some earlier songs, “ These Walls”, “Writer”, “Fear, disappeared from his soundcloud. Too bad, the soulful voice was already there. Production is funkier, provocative now, especially on “Youth” with gun trigger sounds and explicit shouts. The video clip shows his passion for weapons.
 
6- With only 2 distinctive tracks on his soundcloud, “Water” getting 100 k play in just a few days, the London-based singer-songwriter/producer, Jack Garratt is the guy to watch in the near future for his passionate singing and sophisticated music arrangements.
7- With also 2 songs sounding quite different on his soundcloud, drummer and founding member of Los Angeles band The Neighbourhood, Bryan “Olivver” Sammis, gone solo since last January, give us a sample of what he is good at: melody and surprising good vocals for a drummer. “ Attica 71” is the most recent track, smooth & funky.
8- Dutch creative talent Nick Van Hofwegen, aka Young & Sick is first an illustrator with albums artwork for Foster The People, Mikky Ekko, Maroon 5 ,Robin Thicke,…and a musician based in US now. His eponym debut album, dropped in April, is a soul synth pop one."Twentysomething” is not a Jamie Cullum cover but it represents this new generation of nu-soul singers like Allen Stone or Bernhoft.
9- On the blues side of soul, Irish singer-songwriter, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, or simply Hozier, made an astounding debut last year with his first EP “Take me To Church”. He continues his religious procession with “Work Song” taken from his second EP "From Eden”. Dark and divine.

10- Born in Jamaïca, British soul man Knox Brown doesn’t have
a lot of time for his solo project, producing for Jay Z, Mary J Blige, and Aloe Blacc. Even if “Redemption Song” disappeared from his soundcloud, by adding this month “Harry’s Code”, everybody is wondering if it’s a reference to Dexter.Deeper into blues.
 
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