Posts Tagged ‘singer songwriter’

Laura Marling’s exquisite seventh album “Song For Our Daughter” arrives almost without pre-amble or warning in the midst of uncharted global chaos, and yet instantly and tenderly offers a sense of purpose, clarity and calm. As a balm for the soul, this full-blooded new collection could be posited as Laura’s richest to date, but in truth it’s another incredibly fine record by a British Singer Songwriter who rarely strays from delivering incredibly fine records.

Taking much of the production reins herself, alongside long-time collaborators Ethan Johns and Dom Monks, Laura has layered up lush string arrangements and a broad sense of scale to these songs without losing any of the intimacy or reverence we’ve come to anticipate and almost take for granted from her throughout the past decade.

The album came out 6 months early, but since buying it’s been a constant and companionable listen. Maybe her most intimate, certainly her maturest work. Hints of Joni Mitchell on the opening duo help, but this is her work. A simple basic backing band that delights on the uptempo shuffle of “Only the Strong”, with tasteful addition of chamber music on “Blow By Blow”, title track, “Fortune”, choir on “The End of the Affair” , & steel on “Hope”. “For You” a great climax.
Taking much of the production reins herself, alongside long-time collaborators Ethan Johns and Dom Monks, Laura has layered up lush string arrangements and a broad sense of scale to these songs without losing any of the intimacy or reverence we’ve come to anticipate and almost take for granted from her throughout the past decade.
Absolutely gorgeous, amazing voice, beautiful songwriting, and I absolutely adore it.
Released April 10th, 2020

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The tradition of sad men singing beautifully about their pain runs deep through the folk genre as well as popular music as a whole. But there’s something especially tender about the music of artists like Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst, Sufjan Stevens and Jason Molina, all self-deprecating masters of the English language who, through their own perpetual battles with depression and heartbreak and life in general, each taught (or are still teaching) us something new about the preciousness of the human condition.

Joining that lineage of great singer/songwriters is L.A.-based musician Christian Lee Hutson, who recently released his new album “Beginners” after a year or so of hype building. Hutson worked closely with Phoebe Bridgers, who produced the record, and he also co-wrote a song on Bridgers’ and Oberst’s Better Oblivion Community Center album from last year, plus opened/played guitar for them on that tour.

Hutson sounds so much like Smith you have to wonder if it’s cosplay—like Smith, his voice is airy and strained, yet so soft, and his lyrics possess a similar noir, but funny mood—but he also sings like Bridgers. While the similarities to both his contemporaries and those who came before him are impossible to ignore, there are few musicians who could pull off singing about an aspiring building inspector and make it so equally funny and sweet—but Hutson possesses a rare balance of critical wit and soul.

On album standout “Lose this Number,” he slips in anecdotal blips (“Bobby helped me track you down / ‘cause I just saw your name in the paper / You said, ’Of course that reminded you of me / Don’t you know that’s how a name works?’”) alongside vague, but vivid, imagery that will spark all one’s senses at once (“Where the whole time I’ve just been asleep here / Twenty years younger / Smell of sugar and seaweed / Indian summer.”)

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Tenille Townes. The Canadian-born country singer/songwriter and musician, first reached our ears a few years ago with the arrival of her hit song “Somebody’s Daughter,” which landed on many best-of-the-year lists. Her debut album The Lemonade Stand is finally here, after releasing a preliminary EP earlier this year, The Road to the Lemonade Stand. “The Lemonade Stand is a collection of songs that mean so much to me and are the way I see the world in this season of my life right now,” Townes said in a statement. “I want this music to be like a gathering place, where people can come and be filled up. I hope this record reminds people of who they are, that they are not alone, and reminds them of their dreams. You guys today is the day that I get to tell you that my debut album ‘The Lemonade Stand’ is coming out on June 26th!!. I really am just so excited I can’t even stand it as I’m typing this out to you. And this is what the cover of the album is!!! I can not wait for you to have this whole record in your hands to listen to in your kitchens or your cars or your headphones and I hope it makes you feel comforted, cheered for, seen and heard like there’s somebody sitting next to you going through the same things. I hope it makes you feel like a dreamer too. Because this record is the dream I had when I was a seven year old kid singing along to music in the backseat. She would really be freaking out right now ha.

This record is the dream that I had when I was a seven-year-old kid singing along in the backseat of the car. She would really be freaking out right now.”

I’m so proud to be from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada and so thankful for all the ways it has shaped me and shaped my music. The community and love that surrounded me growing up will forever be the anchor of who I am. I will always hold on to home and hope to carry forward that spirit in my music.

Listen to the Road To The Lemonade Stand EP, featuring “Jersey On The Wall (Forgive Me I’m Just Asking)”, out now

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Despite being only 22, Samia has a self-awareness beyond her years. The indie singer-songwriter is masterful in her sharp lyrics, which capture common anxieties and frustrations with a poet’s charm. She finds painful moments and leans into their messy, ugly details, transforming them into defiant common touchstones speckled throughout life. One breakup song ends mid-sentence, evoking the discomfort and anticipation of separation, while another is inspired by a high-school memory of boys groping her breasts, using the experience to inspect the politics and power of women’s desirability.

But, the New York singer offers more than poignant confessional lyrics. She also crafts striking compositions, which range from dramatic, wailing folk ballads backed by simple piano or acoustic guitar accompaniments to gritty and grungy rock anthems. Always at the forefront is her crystalline voice, carrying each number with its deft transitions between ranges and its emotional power.

Using this idea of two distinct selves as framework, the indie rocker teamed with director Nick D’agostino to craft a music video that illustrates the disparity.  My first album is called “The Baby” and it’s coming out via Grand Jury on 28th August. made it with my friends caleb hinz, jake luppen, nathan stocker and lars stalfors kramer
2nd single off the record is called Fit n Full and i wrote it with Tom D’Agustino and it’s out now!!

Official music video for Samia’s “Is The Something in the Movies?,” from her debut album The Baby, coming August 28th.

Bristol-based musician Fenne Lily announces “Breach”, her second album and first for Dead Oceans Records, out September 18th. It presents a newly upbeat and urgent streak to her songwriting, immediately evident with lead single “Alapathy,” and its accompanying video directed by Benjamin BrookBreach is an expansive, diaristic, frequently sardonic record that deals with the mess and the catharsis of entering your 20s and finding peace while being alone. It’s the follow-up to 2018’s On Hold, a tender collection of open-hearted songs written during her teenage years which deemed Fenne “a new and extraordinary voice capable of wringing profound and resonant moments out of loss” .

Fenne wrote Breach during a period of self-enforced isolation pre-COVID, after a disjointed experience of touring Europe, followed by a month alone in Berlin. The album deals largely with “loneliness, and trying to work out the difference between being alone and being lonely.” Although its subject matter is solitude, it sounds bigger and more intricate than anything Fenne previously released. She recorded with producer Brian Deck at Chicago’s Narwhal Studios, with further work at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini who helped flesh out her sound with vast, rich guitars.

The insistent percussion of the album’s first single, “Alapathy,” mimics the anxious racing thoughts Fenne deals with as an overthinker and chronicles how she “started smoking weed to switch off [her] brain.” The title is a made-up word that merges “apathy” and “allopathic” (as in Westernized medicine). “Western medicine generally treats the symptoms of an illness rather than the cause,” explains Fenne. For Fenne, taking medication to improve her mental health didn’t solve her problems — she felt like she was only treating the effects of her discomfort, not the reason for it. Its stylized accompanying video features Fenne enjoying solitude in various ways.

It’s that journey to find peace inside herself that underpins the whole of Fenne’s second album. Its title, Breach, occurred to Fenne after deep conversations with her mum about her birth, during which she was breech, or upside down in the womb. The slippery double-sidedness of the word – which, spelled with an “A”, means to “break through” – drew her in. “That feels like what I was doing in this record; I was breaking through a wall that I built for myself, keeping myself safe, and dealing with the downside of feeling lonely and alone. I realized that I am comfortable in myself, and I don’t need to fixate on relationships to make myself feel like I have something to talk about. I felt like I broke through a mental barrier in that respect.” Even though it also carries implications of awkwardness, rebellion, and breakage, it’s a wide-reaching word, representing new beginnings and birth.

“Alapathy” the new song by Fenne Lily off ‘Breach’ out September 18th on Dead Oceans.

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Azniv Korkejian, the Los Angeles -based artist who records as Bedouine, makes soft, delicate, beautiful folk music. There’s a long, rich tradition of musicians using soft, delicate, beautiful folk-music as a forum for the left-wing rallying cry, and it seems like Korkejian is getting in touch with that tradition right now. Last month, Bedouine released her version of the Vietnam-era protest song “The Hum.” Today, she’s dropped a gorgeous take on the old folk traditional “All My Trials.”

“All My Trials” is an old song of unknown origins. It’s a stark piece of writing about how those without money are destined for harder, shorter lives than those with it: “If living were a thing that money could buy/ The rich would live, and the poor would die.” Over the years, a number of artists (Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez) have recorded their own versions of the song. A Paul McCartney recording of it was a minor UK hit in 1990. Today, we get to hear Bedouine’s.

Azniv Korkejian recorded her take on “All My Trials” at her home. She’s done it as a hushed lullaby, with softly fingerpicked guitars and glowing Fender Rhodes tones. I don’t know who sings harmonies on her version of the song — maybe it’s just Korkejian’s voice multi-tracked — but those harmonies are a killer.

Bedouine – “All My Trials” from Mexican Summer’s Looking Glass series.

Released May 19th, 2020
Written by unknown / traditional
Recorded and produced by Bedouine
Recorded at home April, 2020

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Francesca Blanchard is a French-born songwriter based in Burlington, Vermont. Since the release of her bilingual folk debut Deux Visions in 2015, the genre-bending songwriter has been busy redefining her wheelhouse. Following a year of extensive touring throughout the US and Europe, Blanchard took some time to rediscover what she wanted to say — and how to say it. She gave rein to a growing interest in production, marking a departure from her acoustic roots. The result is melodic indie-pop bursting with bold vulnerability, cathartic relief and a refreshing dose of self-awareness — a direction that demonstrates the artist’s evolving critical consciousness and relish for catchy hooks. Francesca’s sonic intuition remains expert and beautiful, but her newfound sense of play makes this work her most daring and relatable yet.

Blanchard has a knack for fusing fuzzy pop sounds with her folk roots à la Maggie Rogers, crafting hooks as she goes. The title track from her new album (a follow-up to her 2015 bilingual debut Deux Visions) is a solid indie-pop number that tracks a private dance party turned public: “Whenever I’m in dire need of returning to myself, I’ll turn my face towards the sun and go climb a mountain,” Blanchard writes in a press statement. “Over the past year, I have danced alone to this song on mountaintops in my headphones, reliving the elation I discovered when I wrote it. It’s been a sort of private, secret celebration. Now that the song is no longer mine to keep, I wanted to share that dance with others, to bring it to life.”

new album Make It Better out June 12th

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The spectacular new single, “HUH,” from Grace Gillespie. This London-based artist and producer released her debut EP, “Pretending”, in June 2019 via Kaleidoscope and it was met with tons of praise across the music blog-o-sphere, including right here where it made my top albums/EPs of 2019 list. Her ability to blend multiple genres and styles to create her own musical identity grows by leaps and bounds with each new release.

The latest single questions why we allow ourselves to lose childhood wonder as we become adults and deal with the slog of 9-5 to life. On the song she says: “We become increasingly affected by external factors as we grow older and it becomes increasingly difficult to think like a child again. That innocence and curiosity is lost forever. But it’s still fun to think about, to try and look at things in different ways, as if through the eyes of someone else.”

Her sound takes influences from the folk, psych and dream-pop traditions, providing a backdrop to her intriguing vocal melodies, shifting harmonies and introspective lyricism.

“I grew up in Devon not far from the sea. Music was a big part of my life from very early on – I was lucky enough to attend a primary school where music was high on the agenda. I started studying piano very early, then sax and then drums for a year or so – but abandoned that pretty quickly.. too noisy for a tiny village. I’m a huge fan and you should be too! If you haven’t yet pick up her debut EP and get to know all about your new favourite musician.

Kaleidoscope Records Released on: 2020-05-29 Grace Gillespie

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When you hear acoustic strum’s and harmonica, you possibily think Bob Dylan—especially when it sounds this much like Bob Dylan. But Tré Burt isn’t just trying to play copy-cat Dylan on his 2020 album “Caught It from the Rye”. He clearly takes Dylan seriously as an influence, yes, but Burt has his own thing going on, and, as pointed out in February, it’s distinguishable mostly for its vivid swath of Black emotions. “And Mother Nature, I guess she caters / To those with white skin / I don’t feel well anymore / To darkness I’m returnin’,” he sings on “Undead God of War,” a protest song of sorts.

But he also succeeds at singing from an even more personal perspective. “Real You” expresses a Leon Bridges-like yearning for vulnerability, and “Moth’s Crossing,” which sounds like Dylan more than any other song (seriously, it’s almost creepy!) is a lusty, lovely call to a potential mate.

Tré will hit home with just about any folk fan, but particularly those that long for a little bit of old fashioned folk revival sounds à la Joni, Joan, Bob and Leonard mixed in.

“Caught It from the Rye” from newly-signed Oh Boy Records artist, Tré Burt.

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“After deciding I wanted to release the songs, I thought about maybe trying to make a music video for one of them. I thought that it would be good to pair the song with something that was uplifting in this strange time and hopefully made some people happy. I put out a post asking my fans to send me a video of something that is helping them through this time and bring them joy. Whether it’s reading, cooking, drawing, playing music etc.

Every video I have received has made me smile so much, they are so heart-warming and together have made a video that’s really meaningful to me. Making it has brought me a lot of happiness and I hope for those who are in it and watch it feel the same too.” – Lucy Rose

Listen to Lucy Rose’s track ‘Question It All’