Maria Dunn’s folk root music is as honest as the day itself. Maria has a classic tone to her voice and her master of various instruments makes a formidable combination. Her albums showcase a far more broader range of instruments that just the guitar and violin but this is a beautifully performed number and deserves to be found.
Sometimes I love hearing a song from a genre I generally don’t dive into, being covered in a genre I love. Welcome to Myloe, a band whom do some fantastic music of their own anyway, but have been doing some excellent covers as part of a live series. TLC’s “No Scrubs” gets the alt-rock treatment…. I like! I approve. I spread the word.
Robin Foster usually does extremely beautiful instruments, full of brooding emotion. Occasionally a guest vocalist pops up and for this track its Dave Pen. This live performance of Forgiveness just simply aches. Fantastic.
Marla Mase is a rock crossover artist whom has piqued my interest with her latest release entitled “Speak”. “Speak” has since gone on the road to become a multimedia live show incorporating spoken word, visual cues, dance and imagery along with of course a live rock band. The whole thing is designed to help portray women and their world. She will be appearing at SummerStage 2013. Take a look at the video for “Piece of Peace” below.
On a complete side note, she looks a spitting image of one of my bosses at work!
Cloudi Lewis are a warm and luscious band from the UK and have just released an EP which frankly – has an awesome title.
Aside from that, the music is rather good too. Opener “Rambling” starts off their acoustic folksy rock with some big bass drums and happy claps as the initially country-style guitar subdues into a more spacial folk music. The way the instruments are mixed makes the choruses and bridges feel warm and inviting and they sound evenly split so nothing pushes forward. That way the music envelopes you instead of punches you. The female lead singer has some real chops on her too! “Like This” is more whimsy and reflective than its preprocessor and is daring enough to actually leave silence in its chorus. It’s a sign of a band that’s confident and sure of their sound. The track itself is beautifully put together and is a camp fire starlet in waiting.
“The Woods” takes things down to very slow 6 step waltzing verse before the choruses step up the tempo and the beat kicks into a more usual 4/4. I love that there is such a marked shift in sound, pace and feel between the two.”Ego” too has a wonderfully loose beat to it as the rage comes and slithers away from the track itself. It’s as if the entire band is connected on a trail of string because as soon as the vocals or guitar break from their pretty-in-the-breakdown sound the bass and cymbals saw into your ears too. It’s subtle but it’s so very good. The closing track is “White Dress” which is a live track. It has some absolutely sublime guitar finger work which wraps itself around the equally beautiful and delicate vocal delivery of Cloudi Lewis.
Put simply, this is a wonderful way to introduce you to a new band whom I hope go places and do marvellous things. Higher Plain Music will certainly be cheering them on! Welcome to Cloudy Lewis.
Dead Can Dance have been touring for a while and I have my tickets ready for the 2nd of July to see them. I erred and wondered over getting the album of the tour prior to seeing them live but in many ways I’m glad I have. It’s a great way to sample how this tour sounds live but has also grounded me from feeling a twinge of disappointment too.
The entire album of Anastasis is included on In Concert and each song sounds nigh on identical to the album versions. “Kiko” feels a bit faster, as do a few of the tracks, but in the main they sound identical – apart from the vocals. Brendan’s vocals in general sound excellent while Lisa’s sound slightly weaker in volume than she has done in previous years. There’s no frenzy ala “Cantara” from “Towards the Within”. There are vague flashes of it for a few seconds but it felt like she needed to be turned up a bit in the mix!
Aside from the Anastasis tracks we have faithful versions of “Rakim”, “Sanvean”, “Nierika” and “Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove” the latter of which sounds like it fits the new album perfectly. There’s a good version of the unreleased outside of a live CV “Dreams Made Flesh” which is a fantastic Lisa/Dulcimer track that is a personal favourite too. “The Host of Seraphim” is given a slightly different tone because Brendan provides a lot of low harmonies and drones to the music. There is also throughout the concert a third female vocalist whom provides a lot of backing vocals but here she helps fill up the speakers with a great tonal range.
That leaves two previously unheard tracks. Brendan leads on them both. “Song to the Siren” frankly sounds a bit ropey and its partly due to the vocal delivery and partly due to harsh reverb that’s placed onto the vocal itself. It pales in comparison to Elizabeth Frasier and its a difficult thing to say but it’s unavoidable because Elizabeth and Lisa stand together in many ways. However “Lamma Badda” is an excellent playful track. Mixing keyboards, a Moorish beat and Eastern guitar it weaves something quite ancient and wondrous.
Whilst it’s not quite reaching the dizzy heights of “Towards the Within”, “In Concert” showcases a powerful duo whom make some amazing timeless music. A good entry point for the band and enough to keep fans happy for more.
Dead Can Dance have visited KCRW and performed a short twenty minute set which you can now see in its entirety by following the link here. I’m very excited to see them in July!
I’d never knowing heard of a song from British Sea Power until my awesome partner took me along to see them live Wednesday at Shepard’s Bush. I must admit, I’m a picky so-and-so when it comes to music. Two artists could sing the same song near on identical and I’d probably adore one far more than the other. Rock is one of those genres that I love but I can also switch off if it just doesn’t grab me. I’ll be honest – when British Sea Power came out for their acoustic opening set I struggled. The vocals were a bit wobbly and the songs slightly in no mans land. Then Toy came on and refused to budge from playing the same singular chord in a supposed musical orgasm for literally twenty-five minutes. I was bored with that and I thought I was in for the long haul….
Then British Sea Power came out for their main set… and it was fantastic.
If I’m honest, I have no idea what many of the song titles were but my general observations were that they are a rock band whom enjoy themselves immensely on stage and it fed through to everyone in the audience. Most tracks had a certain twist on something. Be it a trumpet playing along with the guitar, the violin padding out the synths or the two lead vocalists belting it out. The secondary vocalist that seemed very exposed in the acoustic set fitted in perfectly when it all went plugged. Some people just have a voice that even if it’s not the strongest, lends itself well to a certain sound and here he shone. There weren’t massive numbers all the way through but each song held an atmosphere that I really tapped into. A big shout out to the visuals behind the band too. Zippy sock puppets, evil dolls and on stage polar bear costumes having a fight with the band – you were always entertained.
I’ll leave you with a few clips from the evening from other people’s footage. I’m looking forward to discovering more about the band in the future…
Dead Can Dance have their live album from their reunion Anastasis tour ready for release on the 22nd April but you can stream it now from rolling stone. HPM will be reviewing the album once its arrived and HPM will also be going to the 2nd July date at The Roundhouse in London. Excitement is not the word!
Stream the album in full here
I normally cannot stand Jazz and along with rap, they remain the two genres I can happily leave any day of the week – however even I can tell a fantastic musical artist in those genres – especially when I can listen to it! Welcome Nat Osborn with your band – you may finally have given me entry point for jazzy music at long last. I can’t give a higher compliment than that!
The new album “The King and the Clown” is out Tuesday.
Quite possibly one of the more unlikely combo’s to be wheeled out onto the stage, Spark & Echo are genuinely nice people and Jonathon’s got some almighty piano chops whilst anyone wielding a basson on stage and not using it as a sonic weapon deserves applauses! This track will be sure to pop a smile on your face if you dig the snazzy hands electric piano.
Sasha Papernik comes from Russian heritage but is US based and has just launched her third album “Victory”. This is the wonderfully chilled out “Tonkaya Ryabina” which is a traditional Russian track. Whilst the rest of Sasha’s music is in English – there is something whimsical and homely about this track and its arrangement.
This is a wonderful live concert while we wait for the new album to be completed and available for us all to consume merrily.
Stone Temple Pilots have always been a huge favourite for me although they do go under a fair few people’s radar. I’d never really seen or heard them live so was eager to pick up the live DVD when I finally noticed it was out.
The 78 minute concert features some of their best known tracks like “Vasoline”, “Interstate Love Song”, “Plush” and “Sex Type Thing” and if I’m honest, they don’t sound terribly different from their studio counterparts. This is a testament to the playing of the entire band. The guitar, bass and percussion hit the spot on every track and you’d barely notice the different if it weren’t for a few drum roll endings. Possibly the only song that sounds different is “Lounge Fly” with added vocals although having the keyboard loop in the background means it doesn’t stray too far from the original.
One place where things are different are the vocals. Scott uses some different inflections to some of the tracks and really pubs it up on others. There’s a slightly distracting effect of the microphone where it almost sounds that on a couple of the tracks there’s a duelling singer behind him. That effect seems to fade away for the second half.
For their excellent playing skills, they can also hold a crowd captive and are interesting to watch but as the performance doesn’t push much from the studio albums, this is a real fan concert and not for people who like things different from studio to live performance. The fan already knows that these songs are amazing – so only buy if you want to turn off all the lights and go nuts.
Introduced to her from Wears The Trousers who tempted me in with her album cover – Rebekka Karijold’s latest album will be reviewed shortly. Until then, here’s my favourite track from it:
Having only heard one Thea Gilmore song before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw her live but my partner gives her two hearty thumbs up and we share a similar music taste so I had good vibes!
Thea has a stunning vocal. She is pitch perfect with relative softness and it doesn’t even look like she’s trying. Her tracks are all about three minutes long and she has a way of keeping them simple in structure and form and not in self-indulgence. Whilst in general things were a tad too folksy/middle rock for my usual tastes, I can completely appreciate why she is well liked and she is a very good live act. According to the fans I went with she played just some of her favourite tracks to play and the set missed off a lot of the more well-known tracks. I rather enjoyed myself and will look into her music properly now having seen her live.
Here’s a clip from the night itself:
Sóley appears to be quite well known from the awesome musical country of Iceland but I’ve only just discovered her via this wonderful live set via KEX Radio. “We Sink” came out last year.
Amiina’s most recent album Puzzle is simply stunning. This is a perfect rendition of the opening track Asinn:
Quite simply – the night was an absolutely transcending magical experience from start to end. I felt all kinds of emotions running through me to the point where I wanted to burst.
Whilst I was perhaps very slightly disappointed that the song selection on Gold Dust was predictable, it was that for a reason. I have a feeling if Gold Dust does well, at some point a volume 2 may be done that will be more daring in its choices – maybe not full orchestra but a quartet again. Each song is wonderfully crafted however and there’s no denying that and the sheer power of the orchestra really pushed home the big moments. Tori was so entranced by the orchestra she came out for Flying Dutchman, sat there and kept watching completely missing her cue! She promptly turned to the audience and said “I’ve fucked it up AGAIN!” In fact Tori was clearly loving absolutely every minute of it. She was beaming, enchanting and having the time of her life fulfilling a dream.
As for the setlist of highlights Flying Dutchman was powerful, Marianne was fiery with the orchestral freak-out moments, Ribbons Undone was wonderfully heartfelt, Girl Disappearing was spellbinding with its final chorus – as was the second half of Edge of the Moon. Precious Things was just as formidable as ever but I loved that the encore included Star of Wonder which is fabulous orchestrated, Programmable Soda which was great fun and Our New Year which is so underrated – I’m so glad it got some love. The final brass booms of “You’re Not Here” had me almost welling up.
Here’s some clips from other fans:
Atticus Finch is a new band I came across last night. The band are from Perth, Australia and this wonderful live acoustic version of one of their tracks “My Release” is beautiful. I really enjoy the timbre of the lead vocalist: