Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halflight

Halflight write emotionally charged acoustic pop songs about small towns and big cities, lost love and enduring friendship. Having already released 3 self-financed mini albums and supported acts such as James Morrison, Sandi Thom and Gossip, their music has reached a wide audience and gathered a loyal and supportive fan-base. In 2007 a Halflight track was used on a worldwide Hallmark Channel promo. The same song was used on an OC trailer. The band is as comfortable with low budget home recording as they are with more recent bigger budget sessions at Olympic Studios (with top 10 producer/writer Matt Prime). Lo-fi samples of harp, crwth and music box sit along-side lush acoustics and mandolin to accompany Sarah’s beautiful, folk-tinged vocals. Think the Sundays, Suzanne Vega and Joni Mitchell... then think again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Susan Enan

I've seen Susan Enan's picture many times across the internet, especially on the recommendation section of last.fm, or in the similar artists, but always refused to try her music. Two weeks ago, I finally gave it a go, and I still am asking myself why I haven't tried her music earlier.. So please be wise, and don't hesitate to give this woman a chance!
In 2000 Susan Enan released her first solo EP. ..'one' was recorded in a small studio, all played, programmed and mixed by Enan. With a new band in the summer of 2002 she produced the Moonlight/ Skin, Bone & Silicone EP, which was officially released in Ireland in September 2003. Hotpress called the record a late night masterpiece. Enan spent much of 2003 on the road in Ireland and the USA. During this time, she was commissioned to write a group of songs, based on Monteverdis Madrigali guerriere ed amorosi (1638). They were performed by Enan and a four piece ensemble in March at the Cresent Arts Centre, Belfast, alongside incidental music by composer Peter Rosser. Other instrumental projects included string arrangments for Michael Camerons album Fragile and two piano studies as a soundtrack for the art installation Sizing Thoughts by Sam Mckee. Enan has toured extensively in Europe and the US. She has opened for Tony Bennett, Roger McGuinn (in the UK and USA), Aqualung, Damien Rice, Tom McRae, Mike Doughty (of Soul Coughing), and toured the USA for 38 dates with Over The Rhine. After living in Northern Ireland for a number of years she moved to New York at the beginning of 2005. She's working on her debut album right now!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Amplifico

Amplifico are a Scottish band comprising Donna Maciocia (keyboards and vocals), Ross Kilgour (guitar) and Dave Brunton (drums). The name Amplifico was chosen from a Latin dictionary (meaning to increase or enlarge). Amplifico's roots are from an early teens friendship at Balwearie High School, Kirkcaldy. Donna Maciocia started song writing and performing in 2004 following her completion of an art degree at the University of Dundee. In addition to playing across the UK & Ireland with Amplifico, she provided backing vocals for KT Tunstall on her live Acoustic Extravaganza album, sang with Tunstall on her tour in 2006, appeared in Tunstall's Another Place to Fall video, and in 2007 joined Aberfeldy onstage as backing vocal and keyboard musician. Amplifico won the 'Best Scottish Band' title in a national UK competition for unsigned bands, playing Glasgow Carling Academy and London Astoria within a year of forming. During this period, the band recorded and self-produced their first material (Hometakes 1 & Hometakes 2) and gained both live an internet based followings. Unsigned and unmanaged, they utilised their fan base and internet following to fund their first full studio based work. This brought the group to the attention of the Scottish media with an article about their efforts to fund their first album being seen in 2006 on BBC Scotland main news programme ‘Reporting Scotland’. The album was largely funded through individual donations and via a live web-streamed "webathon" fundraiser gig. Via their own ‘record label MDM Creations, Amplifico published See Heart, See Muscle on March 3rd 2008. Immediately upon release BBC RADIO 1's Vic Galloway awarded Amplifico the 'Album of The Month' status on his show.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Updates

As you probably have noticed, I changed my layout (again). Just wasn't feeling the previous one! The original layout was pretty boring, with grey, black an white colors only, and no tiled background, but I changed it. Hope you like it, I do! I also added something new in the sidebar called Followers, which is a nice new widget that keeps track of everyone that follows this blog, and gives you updates about new posts as well. So please add yourself as a follower! Two other nice widgets found their way to the sidebar, one showing photos of bands featured on this blog, and the other a nice tag cloud. (All earlier post will be tagged (after) tuesday)

Some questions for you:

*Would you like to have a star rating system again?
*Is there anything you want on the blog? (not artist, but features)
*Please join the last.fm group (link is on the menu above) if you didn't already!

Thanks all for the support, that is what keeps me coming back! (and my love for music of course)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Angela Desveaux

A gifted singer/songwriter, Angela Desveaux's music merges the simple emotional honesty and rich sonic landscape of classic country with the personal focus of contemporary folk and the roots-conscious attack of alt-country. Desveaux was born in Quebec just outside Montreal, but she spent much of her childhood on the island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton has a rich history of traditional folk music drawn from Irish and Spanish sources, and the island's distinctive fiddle music had a deep impact on Desveaux. Desveaux also grew up on a musical diet of classic country. When she was ten, Desveaux's family returned to Montreal; in her early teens, when her older brother joined a local rock band, Desveaux followed suit and started singing with a handful of local rockers. Desveaux was drawn back to her country roots; she started appearing at open-mike nights around Montreal and sang with bluegrass bands before joining the Sonny Best Band as lead singer in 2001. However, inspired by Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, Desveaux began writing her own songs and eventually approached Howard Bilerman, former drummer with the Arcade Fire and owner of the Hotel 2 Tango Recording Studio in Montreal, with a demo tape. Bilerman liked Desveaux's music, and helped her assemble a band for a recording project. Brian Paulson agreed to produce the sessions, and Desveaux's first album, Wandering Eyes, was released in the fall of 2006, followed by Mighty Ship in 2008.

6 Day Riot

6 Day Riot march on from their successful debut album "Folie A Deux" with renewed vigour and a refined sense of identity. Ideas are flowing thick and fast. Rhythms are more eclectic and varied. Lyrics more focused. Live performances more impassioned. The bands musical palette has expanded the bluegrass/klezmer hybrid of album one to a sound distinctly and resolutely their own; fuelled by the creativity, imagination and technical ability of the players. Hot on the heels of the EP release this summer album no 2 is scheduled for release at the start of '09 With Tamara Schlesinger’s vocal travelling on the top like a jockey on the hump of a camel it makes for an interesting ride. ‘The Last Stand’ has some interesting drumming that circles like percussive echoes from canons ricocheting off each other in some huge naval battle - add in some faintly mariachi trumpet and you have something as satisfying as pastrami on a bagel. This sort of tasty mouthful is repeated across all four tracks. Tamara’s vocal dominates ‘Sky Father’, whilst ukuleles chime the opening of ‘Gerald & the Gliders’ and with the soft velvet touch of the vocal, it is a seductive mix. If you stir all of the ingredients together you get ‘Go! Canada’ which shows 6DR off to their best advantage, a sparkling mixture of old and new which makes this a very tasty appetiser for their next album

@ London, UK
♫ Alternative, Folk, Pop
Go! Canada (mp3)
Sky Father (mp3)
Myspace

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caroline Keating

Caroline Keating's just a girl who likes to tinker on her piano at 2 am and make up stories… although her neighbours don’t appreciate this so much. Other people do. She's selling a 7-track demo at shows. However, I am looking to re-record a lot of these songs, with more OOMPH and Oooos and Ahhh’s. I believe all of these things can be found in good hearts and good instruments. It took some time, but Caroline finally started recording her first full length! She got requests from managers and labels and all that bizness stuff sort of foggied up the connection between the keys and her heart at some point. And she's still so young, so she felt no rush to get into an album unless it was the right time and the right songs. And then it sort of just accidentally happened. She's recording her record independently and it couldn't feel better. She wanted to take 4 steps back from what everyone else was doing, who everyone wanted to work with, or wanted her to work with. So no producer. She knows what sound she wants, and she doesn't want that raw vulnerability to be compromised. It's coming along real good. However, being technologically inept, she needed a great sound engineer and got him. She has been spending the summer writing a lot of tunes. So let's hope for an albumrelease early next year!

@ Montreal, Canada

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Minotaurs

Minotaurs were never likely to be pigeonholed as just another guitar band. Bursting out of South Shields, the seaside town more famed for Saturday night scuffles than finely crafted mini-epics, they bring a mix of immaculate vocals, beautifully arranged songs and heartbreaking narratives that give an entirely new twist to the art form making them one of the most exciting bands around today. Together, Andrew Coiley, Tom Devlin, Sarah Farrell, Andrew Forster, Grant Lagan and Michael Ross have big hearts and an even bigger sound. Fragile and delicate, yet completely compelling, they hail not only the return of the anthem but the return of hope. While their joyous live shows have been rightly acclaimed as a breath of fresh air for melodic folk-pop this EP lifts them head and shoulders above their peers, showing them at their self-consciously stunning best. Stand out track ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ is bursting with understated emotion and is a stunning representation of the warmth and charm that makes Minotaurs so enchanting to both the listener and the audience. Forster’s voice swings between arrogance and insecurity, innocence and insouciance while the music spirals unfathomably and the effect is truly breathtaking. Minotaurs have already overtaken their contemporaries in both creativity and song writing. Wowing packed ‘sing along’ audiences they have been loved and admired solely in the North East for too long, it’s time to let the rest of the country in on the secret.

@ South Shields, UK
♫ Alternative, Indie, Folk Rock
Anyone Who Had A Heart (mp3)
Good Care (mp3)
Myspace

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We need your help.

I just noticed that my hotlinkfiles account ran out of bandwith. This can be explained by the growing visitor rate of this blog. Which of course is a good thing! Unfortunately are free accounts at hotlinkfiles limited to a 4GB bandwidth each 15 days. And more users means more use of bandwith, especially if other blogs are using my links on their blog!

I thought about a solution, and all I came up with, is asking you, the readers for a small donation so I can buy a VALUE account at hotlinkfiles for a monthly price of only $4,99. That value account will give me an bandwith of 30GB and UNLIMITED download speed for YOU! (More here)

To give a little donation, press the Paypal button on the sidebar/menu. (will be up soon)

Thanks a million in advance, for helping us out, and giving us the oppertunity to share more music with you!

If you have a better solution; please comment!

UPDATE: I upgraded my account, songs will load a lot faster now, and we have a bandwith of 30GB, thanks to Jelmer for the donation!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ODi - 300th post!

ODi's story began when she uploaded some home recordings to My Space. People here, there and everywhere began to listen to her songs, loved what they heard and asked when her next gig was. Inspired by this and armed with a beautiful, raw, voice, a cheap guitar, won on ebay, and her heart on her sleeve, ODi headed down to her local venue to blag her first gig. Her story has grown from there. Two years on, ODi was invited to support Seth Lakeman at the Beverley Folk Festival. Along the way, the hard working Wexford woman has played over 200 gigs across the UK, Ireland and Germany. Released 2 well received singles "Crawl" and "What You Deserve" whilst developing an ever growing fanbase. She’s also managed to trade in the cheap guitar for a better one! Her captivating voice and well crafted songs have already been likened to those of Suzanne Vega and Natalie Merchant. The musical landscapes on her recordings hinting towards a female version of Damien Rice, with a touch of PJ Harvey thrown in for good measure.October sees ODi bring her new EP “A Superman” to the UK. She will enter the studio, late 2008 to record her debut album, due for release in summer 2009.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pocketbooks

Again it's MySpace that delivers me my next addiction from the UK, they sound a bit like Camera Obscura, and earlier featured The School, and for me that means instant love most of the time!
"We formed in 2006, having met on the dancefloors of London’s indiepop and northern soul clubs. Before we’d actually played a gig, we appeared on the indiepop compilation The Kids At The Club alongside Voxtrot, I'm From Barcelona and Lucky Soul. In April 2007, we headlined the first ever Indietracks event on a 1950s steam railway in Derbyshire. That year we also played shows across the country alongside bands including Fanfarlo, Monica Queen, The School, Radio Luxembourg, Butcher Boy and Saturday Looks Good To Me. We also released our debut single, Cross The Line, on Atomic Beat Records, and featured on a Smalltown America compilation, following in the footsteps of The Go! Team and Blood Red Shoes. In 2008, we hit the summer festivals, including the Rip It Up festival (Sweden), Offset festival, and The Mix festival in London. We also returned to the Indietracks Festival, to play alongside The Wedding Present, Los Campesinos! Darren Hayman and The Wave Pictures. We also released our debut EP 'Waking UP', and even got played on BBC 6Music!"

@ London, UK

Monday, October 6, 2008

Katie Todd

The enthousiasm of a friend of mine, rewakened my interest for Katie Todd (Band). There were a few times last year, I found her across the net, but I was never able to track down any of their music, now I finally did, and I'm already sure she's going to be one of my top artists this week!
Having shared the stage with such music scene luminaries as Juliana Hatfield, Patti Labelle, 10,000 Maniacs, Steve Winwood, Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s, Kenny Loggins and The Wallflowers, the Chicago Arts and Entertainment Magazine has recognized Katie Todd as “a breath of fresh air that the Chicago music scene has been waiting for.” She released her first album "Changing Faces" back in 2002 and was named best indie release on WXRT Chicago that year. After releasing a LIVE album in 2003; she released her second studio album "Make Some Time For Wasting" in 2005. After intensive touring Katie took a short break and shifted her focus primarily to writing new music. Now she is back in the studio recording her third album, "Mumbled Speech" , slated for release sometime this year.It was pretty hard choosing two preview tracks of the album, so please try to listen to the full thing!

@ Chicago, USA

New Moscow

This was a recommendation from my girlfriend, she heard it on a episode of One Tree Hill, and really liked it; as did I... Isn't it great to have a girlfriend that shares your musictaste? ;)
New Moscow started in the spring of 2005, and is the creation of Division Of Laura Lee guitarist David Fransson. David recorded and produced the album on his own and he also played all the instruments. New Moscow plays indiepop/rock with catchy melodies - noisy but not loud. Both music and lyrics have more in common with singer-songwriters than with the garage-punk rock David otherwise plays in Division Of Laura Lee. Lots have happened since New Moscow started 2005. Andreas Nordstr√∂m (drums) and Mattias Engwall (bass) have joined the band. The song “Slow Down” has been included in the hit TV Show Grey’s Anatomy… twice. The series is seen by 20 million Americans every week. The first of the two episodes (episode 19 season 2) is aired in Sweden on Kanal 5 by Christmas. A first single, “C’mon Up”, has been released in the UK by the small and credible indie label Young and Lost Club Records. The single attracted alot of attention and will be included in legendary record shop Rough Trades coming compilation. Their next album "Slow Down" will be out early next year.

@ Kållands Island, Sweden
♫ Indie, Acoustic, Pop, Rock
Taking Back What's Mine (mp3)
Slow Down (mp3)
Myspace
Official Website

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cocoanut Groove

Some weeks ago I read about Cocoanut Groove, and yesterday, I finally got my hands on some of their music! When I'm listening to Cocoanut Groove, like the name implies, I feel like being on sunny beaches in the end of the summer.. Try it!
Cocoanut Groove is the solo project of Olov Antonsson, who began making recordings under that name in the summer of 2007. Joined on his first recordings by Calle Thoor, Mattias Malm, Ivar Lantz, Frida Danielsson, Antonsson formulated sleek, drowsy, mournful indie pop sound reminiscent of the Clientele and rooted in the sweet psychedelia of the Zombies and Mortimer. Cocoanut Groove’s debut seven-inch, “The End of Summer on Bookbinder Road”/ “Shadow”, was released on London’s Phonic Kidnapping Recordings in May 2008. A full-length album, Madeleine Street, is slated for release on the Swedish label Fridlyst later this year.

@ Brighton, UK

The Social Services

The Social Services are two thirds Glaswegian and one third Swedish, so that explains their combined love of nature and cholesterol. Their nomadic lifestyle and frustration with the world around inspire them to write songs about: war, death, consumerism, immigration, storage solutions, potatoes and swimming. They rant without being shouty and love it when everybody joins in on the sing-a-long choruses. Based in Stockholm, they combine a songwriting tradition and melancholy of their Scottish roots, with the melody and playfulness of Swedish indie-pop. They create music with a brain, that makes you want to dance around without thinking.
The Social Services' debut album "It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security" was recorded in Sweden in the Spring of 2008 and will be released Oct. 6th.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Greg Holden

"Talented singer-songwriter, destined for bigger things"
Greg Holden begun his solo journey in June 2007. With a huge influence from older artists such as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash to more recent writers such as Damien Rice and Ray Lamontagne, Greg Holden’s music has been described as “Soulful”, “Melodically Beautiful” and “Incredibly Genuine”. Music Producer Nunzio Signore spotted him playing at a small venue in Brighton where Greg was living at the time. This was the lucky break that Greg needed and it was this opportunity that resulted in Greg’s debut EP, ‘Run, Don’t Walk’ which is currently available from iTunes. In January 2008 Greg started a small video series on YouTube called ‘The Living Room Series’, which was a simple concept involving himself, his guitar, a bunch of his songs and a webcam, it ended up becoming a YouTube smash. That leads us to now, September 2008. Greg has since returned to New York to complete more tracks for his debut album 'A Word In Edgeways' soon to be released.

@ London, UK