Saturday, 28 July 2012

Vol 39

Bloodbuzz Ohio : OH LAND

You have to hand it to the Danish ... they have a way of twisting things away from the norm to make something even more interesting.  For example, this sounds like a band but it is, in fact, one Nanna ├śland Fabricius - a female singer / songwriter based in Brooklyn. 

And she didn't write this song. It is a classic of those doyens of Americana, The National.  Not that you might recognise it as such, because her ethereal whisper replaces the baritone of the original, and there are synths. The National would never allow synths on their records

As I said, damn clever these Danish

Changing Times : IWAN RHEON : from the EP Changing Times

I am sure Iwan will need no introduction as you will all be familiar with him from his role in Welsh-language soap Pobol Y Cwm ... No?

OK .. introduction needed then ... He's Welsh ... he's an actor .... he can sing and write a cracking tune

Have a listen

After The Party : GOOD OLD WAR : from the album Come Back As Rain

Hailing from Pennsylvania, this lot take all the ingrediants of classic Americana ... country, folk and rock .... and add a pop slant to the mix. Described as "Crosby Stills & Nash for the next generation", these youngsters sound like old pros and really nail those harmonies. Great track from a great album

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Volume 38

Alpaca Socks : MAX Min : Free to download here

Can tell you absolutely nothing about this artist save that he makes minimal pop for maximum pleasure and this this is an excellent track

Blood On My Boots : ELIZA CARTHY : From the album Neptune

This lady has the most impeccable of pedigrees; the daughter of Martin Carthy (ex-Steeleye Span amongst others) and Norma Waterson. She has been nominated twice for the Mercury Music Prize.

Yet popularity eludes her, possibly due to the quirky nature of her songs. This is a prime example, a big song which sounds like a short novel with a real music hall style about it.

Dark into Light : AM and SHAWN LEE : From the album Celestial Eclectic

AM is an American r'n'b and soul sing from LA. Shawn Lee is also American, but has lived in London for many years now and has been responsible for some of the best dance and chill-out music of the last ten years.

Add sweet vocals to blissed-out beats and you have an album to savour

Friday, 13 July 2012

Episode 37

Bounce : BRASSTRONAUT : Album - Mean Sun [2012]

Fast becoming one of my favourite bands. Hailing from Vancouver, they are a bunch of highly-talented musicians who have learned the knack of combining technical proficiency with accessible songs. This song will not explode into your life, and nor will the album. It will, however, get increasingly under your skin with repeated listens

Definitely one of THE albums of 2012 to date

Count on Me : CUFF THE DUKE : Album - Morning Comes [2011]

We stay in Canada - Ontario, to be precise - for alt-country rockers Cuff The Duke. Plying their trade since 2002, they have built an impressive body of work based on great melodies and great harmonies. Add into the mix the catchy nature of their material, and you have one of the finest, yet largely unknown, band of their genre

Division Street : RAVEN AND CHIMES : Album - Holiday Life [2012]

We move south to New York for this band, who are best known in the States for providing several tracks for the soundtrack of the somewhat-controversial MTV series, Skins. We do not escape their northern neighbours, though, as this is a band clearly influenced by Canadian Band, The New Pornographers

Saturday, 7 July 2012


What Difference Does It Make : JOY ZIPPER : from the album Please, Please, Please - A Tribute To The Smiths - 2012

Just as I was beginning to despair that we might never again here from the delightful (and delightfully-named) Joy Zipper, they turn up on this rather good Smith's tribute album.  The first thing I've heard from them since their last album 7 years ago. They are married couple Tabitha Tinsdale and Vincent Cafiso and they reside in Long Island, NY. I cannot recommend them highly enough

The name?  No ... not from some weird fetish magazine but actually Tabitha's Mum's maiden name!

Bad Intentions : SHONA FOSTER : from the eponymous single - 2011

Born in Scotland, raised in Yorkshire, recording in Brighton, the profile on her website says her "songs spring from the fertile ground where truth and experience meet fantasy and drama – daydreams and imaginary soundtracks made real. What may start as the merest hint of melody is then lovingly crafted by singer and band until the piece has reached its fullest potential. The result is a heady mix of symphony hall (violins, clarinet, flute) and local junkyard (pipes, oil cans, old bicycles)"

Whereas I would describe her songs as top quality pop music. See what you think

By The Sea : SUMMER FICTION : from the album Summer Fiction - 2010

I've said it before and I'm pretty sure i'll say it again - music does not come much better than this!  From Philadelphia, I don't think I can better the quote from The Philadelphia Enquirer on reviewing this album - "Charmingly catchy heartache meets sun-kissed disenchantment. Superb"

I am pretty sure you'll be playing this over and over ... and you can download this track for free from their website