SONG OF THE DAY Steady Holiday – Halloween In November

Andrea ‘Dre’ Babinski is a LA-based actor, singer-songwriter, violinist and guitarist; possibly best known as the indie solo act, Steady Holiday.

With her debut LP Under the Influence due for release this June, the young artist has also just released her Terror EP, offering five tracks of dreamy goodness.

Taken from this EP comes the mysterious lure of Halloween in November, a song with an exotic and bohemian feel, orientated around the seductive rhythm and sway of a stripped-back beat and accompanied by the ever-so-delicate, ethereal vocals of Babinski.

Check it out above and listen to more of Steady Holiday’s music (and pre-order new album) from her Bandcamp page here. 

Posted in Alternative, Alternative pop, Dream Pop, Indie pop, Los Angeles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Kevin Morby – Aboard My Train

Kevin Morby has today shared the video for Aboard My Train, the new single off his forthcoming album, City Music, which is due on 16th June via Dead Oceans.

This upbeat little number is packed full of the typical Morby-goodness and is accompanied by a self-directed video which Kevin explains how,  “I wanted to make a video at home, something sort of lo-fi,”he explains. “I kind of missed the challenge of having to come up with something creative with little to no money.”

As for the song, Kevin had this to say: “Doing what I do, people are constantly coming in and out of your life. The moment you think you’ll never see someone again, they reappear and that’s what this song is about starting with my first best friend, Pablo, who lived on my street in Tulsa, and was my first memory of having a best friend.”

In the video we see Kevin writing down the names of many of these people who have made lasting impressions on his life. People constantly hop on and hop off life’s train and this track (excuse the pun) gives recognition to the ones that stick in your mind.  Watch and enjoy above.

City Music is out 6/16 on Dead Oceans.  Pre-order your copy here.

Posted in Alternative, Alternative Rock, Dead oceans, Indie, Indie Rock | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Majid Bekkas – Mrhaba (Cervo Edit)

Today’s song was an instant YES PLEASE for me with its inviting, uplifting and upbeat feel; this is the kind of slap in the face that you welcome when you are feeling tired after a long day, this is the vibrant type!

Majid Bekkas is a Moroccan multi-instrumentalist, composer and former teacher of classical guitar.  Influenced by jazz and blues, he is a fan of mergers between traditional Gnaoui music and Afro-American blues.

Mrhaba originally appeared on Bekkas’ 2001 album, African Gnaoua Blues, but is to be re-released as the b-side to the single, Soudani Manayou next month via Manchester Record label, Banana Hill.  Drawing upon influences from around the globe, this is to be the labels first release, with both tracks reworked for the dance floor by co-founder, Cervo.

The single’s A-side,  Soudani Manayou offers 8 minutes of glorious melodic Gnawa guitar fusions and afro-jazz sensibilities, whilst today’s song Mrhaba (as described on the labels Bandcamp page), “leaves the original spirit intact but brings a definitive peak-time bounce, complete with a whirling flute breakdown.
Full sleeve artwork comes from Colombia-based artist Bethany Porteous”.

I know I shall sleep better now with this in my head…  Listen above and pre-order your copy of these tracks (which are due May 14th) from here.

Posted in Afro beat, Blues, Dance, Disco, Electronic, Jazz, World, World Beat | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Hector Plimmer – Let’s Stay

This is my first listen to Hector Plimmer and I must say that I am immediately intrigued! Sucked in by first track on new album, Sunshine and I feel like I’ve entered into some trippy world where everything is extra piercingly crisp and clear.  Otherworldly sounds nestle between big spacious beats, adding to the already ethereal atmosphere and I am weightlessly expanding into its space.  This is music to get lost in and to take time over, do this and allow it to slowly seep in and do its magic.

Born and raised in South London, Hector is a designer, producer and DJ, who has been making some considerable waves over the past year.  Hector was first approached by UK label, Albert’s Favourites in a record store in Soho where he had been performing live and this is where the pairing of artist and label commenced; Sunshine is the product of this initial fruitful meeting.

Clearly influenced by the likes of Flying Lotus and Theo Parrish,  Plimmer’s creations are driven by tribal rhythms, beautifully crafted bass and melodies that are shaped to intertwine with glorious synths and vocal lines. Sunshine is an album of subtle yet intricate detail and the best way to appreciate it is to listen to it from start to finish…Check out opening track, Let’s Stay above and if I were you, I’d keep going until the end.

Sunshine was released last month, listen to more and purchase your copy of it from here. 

Posted in Afro beat, Alternative, beats, Dance, Electronic, Electronica, hip hop, Jazz, Psychedelic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Miles Mosley – Abraham (Live at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA)

You may remember me featuring this song last May, but last night as I listened to it for the first time in ages, I felt that very same rush of ‘WOW’ just as I did when I first heard it a year ago.

Miles Mosley is an upright bassist, composer, producer and arranger who released the single Abraham last April.  Originally recorded in 2011 during the infamous marathon sessions at KSL Studios, Abraham is semi-autobiographical and is a tale of bravado in which a man, pressured by his surroundings, continues to lift himself up, something many people can identify with as cultural parameters constantly shift and change with each new generation.

Mosley’s birth name is Abraham, and the story is partly a product of his heritage as he explained in a press release,  “I feel as though I am a natural expression of diversity and oneness,” he says. “Being born of a Jewish mother and Southern Baptist father, I grew up in Los Angeles constantly being faced with the pressure and suggestion to be more like one than the other depending on circumstances, thus, I’ve been “soul searching” since I was 5. The first book my mother ever gave me to read was the “Tibetan Book of the Dead,” so I cultivated an early adoration for powerful texts, and their effect on different societies. ‘Abraham’ was written to feel like a powerful arrival of self-knowing. To step on stage in front of thousands of people, introduce myself through song, and share my voice both personally and through my unique approach to the instrument is an honor, that’s why I make sure I play my bass loud enough for even my ancestors to feel.”

The Jazz musician has teamed up with members of the L.A collective, West Coast Get Down to compose this stunning piece of exuberant musical brilliance.  Not to mention just how impressive Miles’ bass playing is, though if you watch this live performance I found, you will see that for yourself.  Performed at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA with a superb backing orchestra, this is spectacular!  Check out video above.

World Galaxy / Alpha Pup Records released Abraham last April, download your copy from here.

Posted in Alpha Pup Records, Blues, blues rock, composer, Funk, Jazz, jazz rock, LA, LA songwriter, Soul spiritual jazz | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY TH da Freak – Slugs

Always keeping a close eye on what the French DIY garage-psych label, Howlin’ Banana Records are promoting or putting out, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering Slugs today!  Not the slithery, slow-moving type either I hasten to add, but the song-type, with an unusual and original sound.

Thoineau, aka TH da Freak, is a Bordeaux singer-songwriter who combines 90’s indie rock with the authenticity of lo-fi, garage-pop.  After several EP’s produced in 2014, TH da Freak released his first album The Freak on Flippin ‘Freaks, his collective in Bordeaux.  Influenced by the likes of Alex G, Pavement, R.Stevie Moore, Elliott Smith, Nirvana, Archers of Loaf and Ty Segall,  TH da Freak (songwriter, guitar, vocals) performs with band members Raf (guitar), Siz (bass) and Ben (drums).

Slugs appears on the band’s debut album and, if like me, you are enticed by its slightly warped sounding, grungy feel, then you’re bound to enjoy the whole album.  I particularly like the quirky feel and easy-listening vibe of Slugs, this song has definitely slithered its way into my head today.  Listen above.

Posted in Alternative pop, DIY, Experimental indie, France, Garage pop, grunge, Howlin Banana, Indie Rock, Lo fi, pop rock, Psych rock, Singer Songwriter | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY The Heliocentrics – Made Of The Sun

Best known for their eclectic blend of genre-defying instrumental compositions, The Heliocentrics are back with a new album due next month.  Titled, A World Of Masks, this is an album of firsts, being their first release with Soundway Records and their first vocal LP.

Operating out of their vintage analogue studio in East London called the Quatermass Sound Lab, the band’s new singer on album number four is a young Slovakian singer called Barbora Patkova.  Her striking voice can be heard on the albums first single, Made Of The Sun, a captivating and bewitching track where her impressive, soaring vocals consume every space, adding a whole new dimension to an already big sound.

A World Of Masks releases on May 26th via Soundway Records.

Pre order your copy from here. 

Posted in Funk, hip hop, Jazz, jazz hip hop, krautrock, Psychedelic, Soundway Records | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY The Bombillas – Tortuga

LA’s, The Bombilla’s, have tonight succeeded in getting up me dancing; it started off as a foot tap but it didn’t take long before I was up off my chair, breaking moves across the floor..the kitchen floor that is!

Their brand new single titled, Tortuga, is to be the debut release from this collective of Los Angeles-based musicians and friends who got together to release this funky little 7″ vinyl 45!  Featuring two instrumental tracks described as “Eclectic Soul,” The Bombillas have created a very enticing and inviting sound, drawing upon soul, jazz, eastern colours and organ funk as primary inspirations.  What you have here is a very groovy modern take on a retro afro funk sound….

The band consists of, David Celia (Drums / Keys / Perc),  Aquiles “Lito” Magana Jr (Guitar),  Donovan Bullen (Bass), Greg Zilboorg (Trumpet) and  Ian Anderson (Saxes and Flute) and tomorrow they will be releasing this single via LA’s independant funk/soul/jazz label, fspotrecords.

If you like what you hear, grab yourself a copy of Tortuga / Kings Up from here.

Posted in Afro beat, afro funk, Funk, Jazz, LA, Soul | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Kevin Morby – Come To Me Now

Whenever I play Kevin Morby I always get that same overwhelming warm feeling, like a friend has entered the room, speaking to me in that same soft, familiar voice.  His sound is quite unique in that sense and new single Come To Me Now has the same soothing effect.

Taken from his Fourth album, City Music, this new release not only follows last years Singing Saw, but goes hand in hand with it.  Both written at the same, City Music functions as a kind of urban companion piece, for which Morby has described in a a press release as, “a mixtape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”

Come To Me Now was shared by Morby a couple of weeks ago, with forthcoming City Music due for release this June via Dead Oceans.  Listen above.

Posted in Alternative, Alternative Rock, Dead oceans, Indie, Indie Rock | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Abdominal and The Obliques – Sock Hop

Toronto rapper Andy Bernstein, aka Abdominal, featured today’s song on his 2012 album, Sitting Music.  Best known for his extraordinary breath control and fun raps, this album was an experimental venture for the hip hop artist who sought to incorporate a mix of folk, blues and country into his sound.

Accompanied The Obliques, Abdominal’s backing band consisted of, guitarist Andrew Frost and percussionist Colin Kingsmore.  Abdominal still raps on this album, but with a smoother flow that sometimes becomes singing, while his band provide backing harmonies and hooks.  Delivering a diverse selection of subjects throughout this collection of songs, Sock Hop offers an interesting insight into his own mental state, in which he uses his sock drawer to describe and discuss OCD, which he has also described on his Bandcamp page as, A song about socks and mental health.  Anyone with the slightest inclination for OCD will find comfort, humour and a connection with this song (I can definitely relate!).  In this effortless flow of heartfelt words, Abdominal encapsulates what it is to appreciate the things we do have control over, verses the many things we have no power to change: Because the big, bad world I canʼt control, so I instead I keep my socks neatly stacked and rolled.  

This is an awesome song, Abdominal has a way with words which doesn’t just come out in the content of his music, but also in the delivery and expression.  Listen above and check out the whole album here (where you can also read all lyrics for Sock Hop!)

Abdominal and long-time collaborator, DJ Format, are to release new album, Still Hungry, at the end of this month, with a tour commencing early this May (I’m def going to make it to one of these dates!).  Check out show details below and pre-order your copy of their new album from their Bandcamp page here.


Posted in Blues, Experimental, experimental folk, Folk, hip hop, hip hop rap, Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment