Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Jezabels

The Jezabel are a thing that came out of a few chance meetings at Sydney University. You see, Heather and Hayley had been playing music together for a while. Inevitably came the journey south from Byron - being their place of youth - to Sydney for a foray into higher education. Nik and Sam were studying at Sydney University also. And you know, for some reason you just meet people...We don't have a manifesto as such, but we do have definite intentions in what we do. We wish to play pop, but with a recognizable element of self-awareness. We wish to be emotional, but with a sense of certainty that our audiences won't walk away thinking that we take ourselves too seriously. What is paramount is an attempt to push this thing called the culture industry in some direction which makes it more human. (I guess this is all too ambitious but oh well... We do try) Heather studies piano at the conservatorium and reads a bit too much Russian literature. Hayley looks toward her personal canon of pop ballads for guidance in all situations and believes we must return to the way life was prior to the poker machine epidemic. Nik is a science student whom imbues his drumming with formulas and mathematical complexities. Sam is a country music-playing, Marx-spouting communist with a love of all things meaningfully subversive.
I guess our music derives from these things. Their debut EP will be out this February.

Emily Wells

Emily Wells is an anomaly among musicians most of whom spend their careers striving for a major label deal. Before she was old enough to vote, a major label was courting Wells, two music-publishing companies were competing for the rights to her songs and she was recording with award winning producers. By the time she was legally buying her first drink, however, Emily had chosen a different path. With true indie ethos, she moved from New York, leaving in her wake a lucrative deal from a major label, the renowned producers, recording studios, and a manager. During that period of her life, Emily had been offered everything that most musicians want. Everything except what she, as an artist, needed most: creative control. Attaining the ever-elusive artist’s dream of creative control, as Wells would soon learn, comes only at a price. Wells’ cost was the thousands of miles logged, traipsing across country, playing in and outside of bars, pubs, and juke joints. She traveled in a tiny car, dragging along guitars, a tiny bass, a giant old Linn 9000 drum machine, and a four track. When flush, Emily would spend the occasional night in a seedy motel room where she would tirelessly record with her archaic four-track and dirty old instruments. Emily didn’t look back to her swank days as a would-be priority artist on a major label and regret any of her choices; she saw each obstacle in her path as a challenge. Eventually landing in Los Angeles, Wells finally learned through recording and performing, how to have the creative control she craved. Slowly building her own studio, she taught herself how to record and produce. This is the studio in which she would create, record, mix, and produce “The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties” her latest release. To get the sound of a full orchestra, Emily didn’t take the easy way out and simply loop the layers of violins; instead, she played up to 21 separate tracks of violin on each symphony, often using an octave pedal to create the tones of an underwater cello or viola. In addition to the strings, there is a plethora of other sounds, electronic and organic alike.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Bridges

In the first song I heard of The Bridges the vocals sounded a bit like one of my favorite bands Eisley. Which got me interested right away. While listening to the rest of their songs, the eisley comparison kinda went away. But overall the Bridges are definitely worth a listen.
The Brdiges , whose members range in age from 18 to 24, consists of siblings Natalie Byrd (piano and guitar), Stacey Byrd (guitar), Isaaca Byrd (bass) and Jeremy Byrd (drums), and cousin Brittany Painter, who provides hauntingly expressive lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar. Brittany writes most of the band's lyrics, with all five collaborating on the music. The Bridges' tight-knit chemistry is apparent throughout Limits of the Sky, which was produced by noted pop-rock auteur Matthew Sweet and consists entirely of the band's original compositions. Their effortless harmonies and seamless instrumental rapport are prominent on such compelling tunes as "All the Words," "One Way," "One I Love" and "Echo," which combine a subtly inventive melodic sensibility with insightful, emotionally resonant lyrics that belie the artists' youth. The members of the Bridges have been making music together for much of their lives, developing their musical vision on their own terms, free of the influence of transient musical trends. The musicians grew up in families that were both musically inclined and church-oriented, and were not encouraged by their parents to listen to secular pop music. In 2005, younger siblings Isaaca and Jeremy joined to make the group an amplified five-piece.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gifts for you!

It's christmas in two days and that's why I want to share this legal free albums with you.

Merry Christmas!


Alex & Sam
Sounds Like This: Volume One
Indie, Pop, Folk
See You Through (mp3)


Brooke Waggoner
Fresh Pair of Eyes EP
Indie, Pop
Hush If You Must (mp3)


Jonathan Clay
The Acoustic Sessions
Acoustic, Indie, Folk
This One's For Me (mp3)


Jarah Jane
Underwater Balloons
Acoustic, Folk Rock
Stay Awhile (mp3)


Sean Fournier
Oh My
Acoustic, Folk Rock, Pop
Another Like You (mp3)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorites of 2008

This year is going to it's end, so let's look back at the year we had. 2008 was a year of great debutalbums and EP's from young (female) singer-songwriters, but also had some awesome follow-ups. As always it was very hard to come up with this list of only 25 albums, but after some intense thinking and searching sessions, this, more or less, gotta be it! I also decided to make a little favorite-EP-year-list, since I've been listening to quite some of those as well.

I would love to see your lists in a comment!



Ane Brun - Changing of the Seasons [MP3] [BUY]
Amy Kuney - Bird's Eye View [MP3] [BUY]
Brooke Waggoner - Heal For The Honey [MP3] [BUY]
Basia Bulat - Oh, My Darling [MP3] [BUY]
Bicycles, The - Oh No It's Love [MP3] [BUY]

Coeur de Pirate - Coeur de Pirate [MP3] [BUY]
Cocoanut Groove - Madeleine Street [MP3] [BUY]
Dawn Kinnard - Courtesy Fall
[MP3] [BUY]
Dark Captain Light Captain - Miracle Kicker [MP3] [BUY]
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes [MP3] [BUY]

Gregory and the Hawk - Moenie and Kitchi
[MP3] [BUY]
Heidi Happy - Flowers, Birds and Home [MP3] [BUY]
Jill Barber - Chances
[MP3] [BUY]
Jon Foreman - Limbs and Branches [MP3] [BUY]
Kat Flint - Dirty Birds [MP3] [BUY]

Lenka - Lenka
[MP3] [BUY]
Lost in the Trees - All Alone In An Empty House [MP3] [BUY]
Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim
[MP3] [BUY]
Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us
[MP3] [BUY]
My Little Pony - Think Too Much
[MP3] [BUY]

Nik Freitas - Sun Down
[MP3] [BUY]
Sophie Hunger - Monday's Ghost
[MP3] [BUY]
Thom Hell - God, If I Saw Her Now [MP3] [BUY]
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend [MP3] [BUY]
Welcome Wagon, The - Welcome To The Welcome Wagon [MP3] [BUY]



Alessi's Ark - The Horse EP
Angus and Julia Stone - Hollywood EP
Anaïs Mitchell & Rachel Ries - Country EP
Air France - No Way Down EP
Basia Bulat - In The Night EP

Civalias - You, Me and We EP
Laura Marling - Cross Your Fingers EP
Slow Club - Let’s Fall Back In Love EP
The School - Let It Slip EP
The Narrative - Just Say Yes EP


Have a look at what's coming next year....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Unfortunately I can't remember the first time that I find out about Leerone's music, I bet it was somewhere on the internet. All I can recall that her name was one I've never heard before ( an Israelian name?) and I was really wondering how you should pronounce her name, something I still haven't figured out.
Leerone was born in the Israeli port city of Haifa. Her family relocated to America when she was still in diapers. Growing up, Leerone attended school in suburban LA while spending summers in her Middle Eastern homeland. “The experience definitely changed me,” she said in 2005. “I think having two homes makes you more open and critical of who you are, because you’re more aware of the things that are shaping you.” If Leerone’s lyrics often sound more like diary entries than standard-issue pop poesy, it’s because the Los Angeles singer-songwriter has consistently endeavored to raise the bar for musical confessionalism. Indeed, on her previous EPs, including “In This Life, On This Road” (2003) and Hail to the Queen, Leerone plumbed the depths of her psyche with the zeal of a woman-child possessed. Now comes "Imaginary Biographies", a full-length album that is at once a work of story-spinning fancy, and an exercise in point blank self-analysis. It’s comically characteristic that Leerone would scrawl pictures while being interviewed. The gears of her fevered imagination are constantly on the grind. In the latest exhibition of her all-encompassing creativity, Leerone not only composed and sung all the tunes featured on Imaginary Biographies, she conceived and designed the CD art. Come to find out, she even designs her own stage clothes (is it any wonder that the singer’s independent record company is called Fussy Music?).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lost In The Trees

Lost in the Trees's new album "All Alone In An Empty" was released not long ago, but immediately made it to my favorite albums of this year. Lost in the Trees' style varies from folk to classical instrumental strong composed pieces. And although there are nine of them they've managed to create a very intimate and personal sound. Brilliant stuff!
Lost in the Trees is a folk orchestra from Chapel Hill, NC, led by composer/songwriter Ari Picker. All Alone in an Empty House is the anticipated follow up to the critically lauded Time Taunts Me , released last year by Trekky Records. The new album shows ringleader Ari Picker fully realizing and extending his compelling synthesis of American folk and traditional classical music and showing that disparate musical styles really stem from a common voice. While Picker certainly utilizes his professional training from the esteemed Berklee College of Music, All Alone In An Empty House is far from the cold calculation and gridded “correctness” some associate with classical music. Rather, it is intensely personal (almost uncomfortably so) and never allows the rules of classical music to limit the emotional weight delivered in each song. Picker uses the unifying familiarity of traditional folk to face these haunting issues with optimism, not dread, and uses his orchestra of strings and horns to objectively correlate the feeling of the song to the listener. Thematically and sonically, All Alone in An Empty House is extremely intimate. Picker's orchestra features members of the Trekky Records Collective, professional classical musicians and student musicians from local universities. All Alone In An Empty House has been released.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Alessi's Ark

I've been following Alessi, she's called Alessi's Ark now, for quite a while now, and I was happy to see that's she's been given a chance to share her talent with the world. I've always thought she was destined for bigger things and I hope 2009 will be the year of her breaktrough. Give her a chance, I'm sure you won't regret it.
Alessi is a magical creature that lives in West London. I think of her as this unique eighteen-year-old girl who is very excited, very alert, and very open to the world of imagination. The imagination is often associated with those strange dimensions created in childhood. For a young child, fantasy and reality seem to co-exist without contradiction, and shed light on each other. As we grew up we seem to leave this world behind, only to revisit it occasionally in song. Alessi’s songs like “Constellations” and “The Horse” open up the door again to this beautiful world. Her songs are a new take on psychedelic folk music, very british, and a little like Syd Barett, who was very child-like in his own way. Her first release The Horse EP was released a few days ago and her first album called "Notes From A Treehouse" will follow in February.

@ London, UK
♫ Indie, Folk, Pop
The Horse (mp3)
The Dog (mp3)