I’ve spent a lot of today digging out some great garage rock nuggets and out popped this little gem, I haven’t heard this track in a long time!
Californian band The Human Expression formed in 1966, deciding that their band name would be perfect given their love for all things mystic and otherworldly.
After rehearsing for six months the band secured a recording contract with LA’s Accent Records, releasing their demo as their first single with the B-side ‘Love at Psychedelic Velocity’ one of their best known recordings.
Their second single and today’s song is an ethereal psych-rock number called “Optical Sound,” a drug-infused track offering insights into the world of LSD (the title may refer to the synesthesia that is sometimes experienced by people on a LSD trip).
As a later reviewer noted: “In a different reality, they might’ve been a more mature and serious competitor to the Seeds, perhaps even succeeding at doing what the Doors did, only without the literary pretensions or personal excesses.” Listen above.
“IAN SWEET prove that there is no one absolute; just the ease that comes with knowing everything will be OK as long as you hold tight to the pocket-sized things in life that bring happiness while you watch the rest of your world fall apart in slow-motion.”
Jilian Medford started out as a solo performer going by the name of IAN (a childhood nickname given to her because she was a tomboy), but now she leads a three-piece band called IAN SWEET and has been joined by drummer Tim Cheney and bassist Damien Scalise.
With a classically-trained vocal degree from Berklee, a connection to her drummer she calls “telepathic,” and a bassist who truly rips, Medford is seriously ready to stomp hard onto the scene with the dynamic debut full-length Shapeshifter, which Hardly Art will release on September 9.
“#23” is the second single from IAN SWEET’s Shapeshifter which is a song honoring her favorite athlete Michael Jordan and, as in much of her songwriting, sees Medford displacing loneliness by falling in love with the small things that make her happy such as skateboarding, basketball, candy, and her preferred footwear: Crocs! Im really liking the unique sound of Medford’s voice and the way it tunefully shifts from smooth to shrill, all in one line.
This is a band with a distinctive sound and one which I will definitely be keeping a close eye on. Check out ‘#23’ above.
Due on September 9th, you can pre-order Shapeshifter from here
This summer sees the release of the documentary, ‘Miss Sharon Jones’ which, directed by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, follows the dynamic front-woman through her 2013 battle with cancer and and her triumphant return to the stage in 2014.
Accompanying the documentary comes a fantastic soundtrack featuring a selection of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings classics ranging from her early singles on Daptone to tracks from her sixth studio album, ‘Give the People What They Want.’
Exclusive to this soundtrack comes the sensational soul song ‘I’m Still Here’ which is much, much more than just an upbeat soul track, this is a testament of determination, fight and the victory of life against overwhelming odds. Listen above.
Miss Sharon Jones! Soundtrack releases this August but today’s song is available to buy now and can be found here.
Today’s song comes from The Graham Bond Organization’s debut studio album, “The Sound of ’65” which, surprise surprise, was released in March 1965!
With an impressive line-up this album featured Graham Bond on vocals, sax, hammond organ and Mellotron, Jack Bruce on vocals, acoustic and electric bass as well as harmonica, Dick Heckstall-Smith on tenor and soprano saxophone and Ginger Baker on drums!
Both this debut album and the group’s second and last, There’s A Bond Between Us are now considered “essential listening for anyone who is seriously interested in either British blues, The Rolling Stones’ early sound, or the history of popular music, in England or America, during the late 50’s and early 60’s”….say no more….Listen to the great ‘Early In The Morning’ above.
Posted in Jazz, R&B
Tagged Jazz, R&B
Brooklyn-based composer Xenia Rubinos released her debut album earlier this June and if you are already familiar with ‘Black Terry Cat’, you will no doubt appreciate what I am saying when I describe this album as a passionate, powerful and personal journey. Covering topics such as politics, race, love, loss and all things in between, this album is an absorbing listen, its captivating and insightful content delivered with unyielding honesty.
Now I dare say I may not be the only female in the world to let out a wry grin when the first line of today’s song exclaims how, ‘I haven’t plucked my eyebrows since last month. One of these days I’m gonna let my mustache grow back in,‘ but this is how ‘Laugh Clown’ opens up and grabs you. Appearing on her debut album this track has been described by Xenia as ‘another song where I’m being honest and saying what’s on my mind’ and in an interview on Bandcamp’s daily blog Xenia also goes on to explain how,
”The song is partly about my dad. My dad had a chain that his mom gave him, and I dreamt that he lost it. When I woke up, I was worried about him. I wrote the song before he passed away. He was such a big part of my everyday life. So it was an exercise about letting go.
I recorded it while playing live. We had done another version of that song with keyboards. It was super complicated and it just didn’t feel right, so we threw the whole thing away. We had spent so much time on it. We went into the booth and Jeremy [Loucas] was like, “Sing the song, just sing it to me!” It’s me on the vocals and bass on the first shot. Some of it was improvisational. It was more important to have that raw emotion than for it to be perfect”. Listen above.
Check out other LP features on Xenia Rubinos here and here and purchase your copy of her album here.
Earlier this month Californian astro-rockers Sugar Candy Mountain released their new album titled ‘666’ and, packed with a hazy summer-of-love feel, these songs really float into the ears like a breath of fresh air.
Their Bandcamp page suggests that their songs are, “Mystic Hits — a space-age blast of psychedelic pop and Tropicalia that sounds like it could have reverberated right out of Phil Spector’s echo chamber,” also adding that if “Brian Wilson had dropped acid on the beach in Brazil and decided to record an album with Os Mutantes and The Flaming Lips, it would sound like this— featuring space-age sounds and far-out frequencies from the tripped our tropics.”
If that doesn’t inspire you to go listen to their music, I don’t know and if you haven’t had the wonder of Sugar Candy Mountain’s music floating through your ears yet, I suggest you go turn it on, tune in and drop out. Listen above.
‘666’ was released on July 8th via PIAPTK records and is available to buy now, find it here.
The mellow tones of Hanni El Khatib’s latest single ‘No Way’ gives this track a smooth summer feeling, but scratch below the surface and this is way more than just a summer song.
Appearing of his upcoming EP ‘Savage Times, Vol.3, this new track is like a proclamation of unity amongst a number of families who currently face the threat of losing their homes in the face of widespread gentrification. Hanni has said this of the track: “The song is about first generation families that have lived in their neighbourhood forever but are now being pushed out due to gentrification.” Listen above.
‘Savage Times, Vol 3’ was released yesterday and can be purchased from here
Smooth, steady sounds makes for a very funky sunny Friday afternoon; you can always rely on Henry Canyons for that chilled out beat.
Henry Canyon released “Canyonland” on Bandcamp in June last year (covered by the LP Blog in May 2015), but without any proper distribution behind it the album never gained the attention it so rightfully deserved. A year later German label Jakarta has got behind it and is due to re-release it as Jakarta Dubplate #6 on July 29th.
Completely loving his music, the LP has already featured the great ‘Music Man’ single earlier this month which, like the whole of Canyonland, was produced by Keor Meteor. Today’s song is the second offering from the albums forthcoming re-release and, defined by its effortless plush delivery, fluid vocals and sunshiny melody, is so typical of the superb signature sound Henry Canyons has so finely perfected. Listen above.
Pre order your copy of Jakarta Dubplate from here
With music that’s part acoustic, part electronic and completely captivating, musicians Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon & Zach Tetreault make up Hundred Waters. The trio met in middle school in Florida and formed the band in their adult years. The fusion of their talents quickly gave rise to a sound that has fans raving and critics drawing comparisons to Stereolab, Bjork and Four Tet.
After releasing their debut album in 2012, the band released “The Moon Rang Like A Bell” in 2014 and from this comes today’s song ‘Down From The Rafters.’ To say that this string-based, dream-intoxicating song sounds like a thousand fairies dancing on your back is something of an understatement; this is gentle yet powerful, gracefully still yet so moving. This track is a delectable mix of ethereal vocals, delicate beats, and stirring electronic melodies. Drift off and listen above.
Izo Fitzroy hails from London with a sound that wouldn’t be at all out-of-place in an old soul scene from the 1960’s. Unleashing her raw and powerful vocals in first single ‘Reckoning,’ this is a voice that is once heard and never forgotten.
Already an internationally recognised singer and Voice Coach, Izo Fitzroy has performed at some of the UK’s most prominent venues, including 606 Jazz club, Cargo, Scala, Secret Garden Party, The Troubadour, Marlborough Jazz Festival and The Vortex.
With her debut LP due for release early next year, this first track is a striking introduction and was arranged by Dr Rubberfunk, courtesy of Jalapeno Records who have recently signed the singer-songwriter. Funky rhythms, tuneful call-and-response backing vocals and a soul-filled melody provides the perfect backdrop for this big voice which, if this first track is anything to go by, we will be hearing plenty more of! Listen above.
‘Reckoning’ is the first single taken from the album ‘Skyline’ due for release early in 2017.