DECEMBER 2014

Wednesday 31st December    D.D Dumbo – Tropical Oceans

The Listening Post Blogs’s ARTIST OF THE YEAR!

There have been many fantastic discoveries this year but this one stands out for me! This solo artist has created an array of impressive compositions, all concocted with only a 12-string guitar, a simple drum kit, loop pedals, and one very impressive voice.

With this stripped-back approach, D.D Dumbo has defined his own original sound, his influences ranging from global/world origins to that of the blues.  Taken from his debut EP released in October this year, ‘Tropical Oceans’ is the first track that drew me in, I am very pleased to have made this discovery.

 

 

Tuesday 30th December     Elephant – Skyscraper

Dreamy pop duo, Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck have a lot to draw upon when it comes to the topic of fractured romances and the pang of love lost.  Meeting at a party in 2010, not only did they form Elephant, with Rivas on vocals and Pinchbeck on keyboards and guitar, they formed a relationship whereupon the album ‘Sky Swimming’ was first written; an album greatly inspired by their own relationship and all its complexities, a relationship which later broke down, the aftermath and all that went on inbetween entwined in their songwriting.

Four years later in April 2014, the full length production of this debut album was released via Memphis Industries.  Taken from this album and released in November 2013 was the single ‘Skyscraper’,  a wonderfully nostalgic song, rooted in doo-wap with a dreamy edge and an attractive catchiness that makes for a very pleasant listen

Listen to more of elephant here: http://www.memphis-industries.com/artist/elephant/

Monday 29th December    AKUA – One’s Company

Montreal based AKUA released her debut EP in June last year, since then her punchy songs have taken her far.

AKUA not only writes and performs her own music but has a hand in the production too, making full use of loop pedals, vocal effects and production software to create her sound.  Assisting in the production process, her music is further developed with the help of producer and composer, Andy Bauer, (drummer for Twin Shadow), along with Martin Rodriguez.

Her music is a skilled blend of electronic, soul and R&B; her vocals laden with attitude.  Today’s song is the title track from the debut EP, “One’s Company” and is an ‘all singing’ fine example of AKUA’s songwriting skills.  Easing in with looped vocals, a tribal rhythm kicks in and so begins this ballad of a woman scorned.  This is a song of a head laid down with disdain and contempt only to rise with a new sense of independence and power,           “I go ahead and sleep alone, sleep deep with my private dreams, you see I’m fine on my own, it turns out one’s company”.  What emerges from this song is a clarity and the positive realization, ‘I’m absolutely fine on my ownsome’, the backing vocals soulfully reinforcing this sentiment. As the track concludes, it ends as it began, the music unwinds and gives way to vocal chants…

You can listen to more AKUA here: https://soundcloud.com/soundslikeakua

Sunday 28th December   Al Barry & The Cimarons   – Morning Sun

The Cimarons were a Uk reggae band that formed in London in 1967.  Today’s track was released in 1970, the 7″ being released on the Doctor Bird label, also featuring Al Barry

Saturday 27th December     The Great Society – Sally Go Round The Roses

Though this song was originally released in 1963 and was to be the only hit for the Jaynetts, the version I am featuring today is my favourite! I am extremely biased, however, as Grace Slick is one of my all time favourite female artists.  Recorded in 1971, The Great Society’s version of Sally Go Round The Roses is a Psychedelic treat, Slick’s vocals are the best!

Friday 26th December    Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – All I Want For Christmas

The fourth and final festive offering, quite the little Christmas gem I’m sure you would agree?

Released just before Christmas in 2008, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s version of ‘All I want for Christmas’ is the perfect treat for your Boxing Day ears!

Thursday 25th December      Mark Lanegan – We Three Kings

Happy Christmas!

‘Yule’ definitely agree that today’s song is a very nice take on a traditional carol.  Mark Lanegan self-released this lovely little track along with five other Christmas carols back in November 2012.  Titled ‘Dark Mark Does Christmas’, there were never many physical copies of this album available, so if you ever stumble upon this collection, be sure to grab and run!

Wednesday 24th December    Goldfrapp – Winter Wonderland

I recently stumbled upon this version of an old classic and was rather chuffed, it’s delightful! Appearing on a compilation sometime in 2008, I believe, Goldfrapp’s cover of Winter Wonderland is a festive find! Enjoy!

Tuesday 23rd December     Foxtails Brigade – I’m Not Really in the Christmas Mood This Year

With only two days until Christmas, it would be rather ‘Bah Humbug’ of me not to have played some festive songs, so here we go!

Foxtails Brigade are a  folk-based band from San Francisco. They team classical techniques with haunting harmonies creating a smooth, velvety-like, rich tapestry of sound.  Their surreal symphonies are fronted by the dreamy vocals of Laura Weinbach, her voice is classic sounding, her songs each tell a story.  You can also find more of their music here: https://foxtailsbrigade.bandcamp.com/album/time-is-passed

Today’s song comes from their 2012, ‘Time Is Passed’ album, and is quite the little Yule- time sultry number!

Monday 22nd December    Del Bel – The Rains

Emerging from Canada just over two years ago, Del Bel are gathering momentum, their eerie cinematic compositions are an ear opener!  With music composed and orchestrated by Tyler Bellus and vocals sang by Lisa Conway, this collaboration are set to go far.

Their sound is like a cross between Timber Timbre and Portishead, with Conway’s vocals a haunting presence to be reckoned with. This diverse merging has created a musical spectrum where one could struggle to classify their sound.

Today’s song has been taken off Del Bel’s brand new self-titled album which is due for release on February 10th 2015 in Canada, this being a follow up their 2011 album, Oneiric.

…and I know this is meant to be ‘song of the day’, but another track worthy of a listen right now is, ‘In My Solitude’, also taken from new album. Its like a Shirley Bassey meets Beth Gibbons-fest!

Sunday 21st December    Graham Bond Organization – Early In The Morning

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 it 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….

Saturday 20th December     Hoodlem – Old Friend

There is an air of mystery surrounding Hoodlem and it would seem that there is a deliberate reason for this.  From what I can gather they are happy to keep a low profile, allowing the music to speak for itself; and speak it does, it positively sings out!

Hoodlem are a duo from Melbourne, their music branded as a fusion of Hip Hop, Pop and Electronic.  One thing for sure is that they are instantly likable with a catchy smooth and sultry sound. It gives me so much pleasure to be featuring ‘Old Friend’ as my Song of the Day, a track which I believe came out in March this year.

Enjoy this track, I am sure it will be very pleasing to the ears! Meanwhile I’m off to see if I can track down anymore info, here’s a link to their Soundcloud page:                                 https://soundcloud.com/hoodlemmusic

Friday 19th December     Jane’s Addiction – Slow Divers

Every so often its great to go way back and bring an old memory forward and, whilst it’s fair to say I wasn’t into everything Jane’s Addiction released, I did love this track!

Today’s song comes from ‘Kettle Whistle’, which was an album released in 1997.  This was a compilation recorded between 1986 and 1997 and was the only Jane’s Addiction release to feature Flea on bass!

Thursday 18th December     Karen Dalton – Ribbon Bow

When it comes to all things folky, its often a case of love it or hate it for me.  With Karen Dalton its very much a love.  Her vocals are distinct and have been compared to that of Billie Holiday, but she always claimed to be more influenced by Bessie Smith.  With roots  in folk and blues, her style was very much her own.  She played the twelve string guitar and a long neck banjo and was associated with the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk music scene, particularly with Fred Neil and Bob Dylan.

Originally released in 1969 on Capitol Records, ‘It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You the Best’ was Dalton’s debut album.  Today’s song, ‘Ribbon Bow’ was taken from this Lp.

Wednesday 17th December     The Brute Chorus – Starlings

The Brute Chorus are no strangers to The Listening Post Blog and are highly regarded; their blues and rockabilly sound, (later referred to as ‘Fuck Blues’), defines them.  As a band they parted in 2013, but lead singer and guitarist James Brute has continued, his solo career taking him into new directions.  You can track him down here: http://www.jamesbrute.com

Today’s song comes from The Brute Chorus’ second album, ‘How The Caged Bird Sings’  which was released in Sept 2012.  This album is testament to the very individual, strange and addictive sound this band created and was a great follow-up to their self-titled debut album released in 2009.

”Starlings”, builds like gathering clouds, the lyrics moody and the atmosphere, tense..

Tuesday 16th December    Timber Timbre – Trouble Comes Knocking (Live)

I am so very delighted to introduce today’s Song of the Day.  Taken from the self-titled album released in 2009, ‘Trouble Comes Knocking’ is moody, edgy and spooky.  You can feel the tension rippling through the strings, pulsating bass and atmospheric lyrics.

This version was recorded live at a  KCRW Session, slightly different to the album version but so, so good..

Monday 15th December     Dan Auerbach – Mean Monsoon

Better known for his work in The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach released his debut solo album ‘Keep It Hid’ in 2009.  Taken from this very good album, I present you with the fantastic track, ‘Mean Monsoon’; this version recorded live for Rolling Stone. …but wait, is that Jim Morrison on tambourine!?

Sunday 14th December    Petit Noir – Till We Ghosts

Petit Noir is the project of South Africa native Yannick Ilunga, a singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist, who previously fronted the “misty-pop” electronic band Popskarr. His music has been compared to that of TV On The Radio and his sound is of the experimental, Lo-Fi persuasion.
Today’s song of the day, “Till We Ghosts”,  was his debut single, released in August 2012  via Bad Life Records.

If you like this, listen out for his new 5-track EP titled The King Of Anxiety, to be released on the 19th of January 2015.  If you’re keen, you can pre-order it here.

Saturday 13th December   Shield Patterns – Dust Hung Heavy

Having released their debut album ‘Contour Lines’ in June this year on Gizeh Records, Shield Patterns have received lots of praise.  This Manchester-based duo came together after a chance meeting in 2012 when Clare Brentnall, having already began work on home recorded demo’s, met Richard Knox.  Their sound is best described as dark-pop, intense and infectious with Claire Brentnall’s vocals sounding like a cross between Fever Ray and Kate Bush.  ‘Dust Hung Heavy’ comes from their debut album and is a delicate, fragile and somewhat dark-dreamy track.  A nice, easy listen..  Discover more here: http://www.shieldpatterns.com/

Friday 12th December     Post War Glamour Girls – The Second Stave

Ever since this band emerged in 2011, I have been a fan and continue to be impressed by their developing creations.  This Leeds based band have come on leaps and bounds and just last month they released a new album, The Early Years (2011-2012).

Taken from this compilation, I give you ‘The Second Stave’, originally released in December 2012. A great track! Enjoy, and then go investigate all of their other great material.

Buy/listen to the full album here:                                   http://postwarglamourgirls.com/album/the-early-years-2011-2012

Thursday 11th December      Quilt – Tie Up The Tides

A nice hint of yesteryears and all things psychedelic echoes through this track.  Taken from the album Splendor released in 2014, Quilt have nicely captured and reinvented the jingly-jangle, super sounds of the 60’s.  An extra bonus, a live version recorded on Soundcheck

Wednesday 10th December     Paul Smith & Peter Brewis – Barcelona (At Eye Level)

Paul Smith and Peter Brewis are better known for their bands, Maximo Park and Field Music, but earlier this year they teamed up to begin work on their current album, ‘Frozen By Sight’.  Released via Memphis Industries in November this year, and recorded at the Field Music studio, this is their debut album; with David Brewis, Pauls brother, co-producing.

‘Frozen By Sight’ is an album that pairs lyrics based on Smith’s travel writing with Brewis’ orchestral arrangements, their first single being a wonderful on-the-road tune called ‘Barcelona (At Eye Level). This is to be today’s song of the day, the more I listen, the more I like…

Tuesday 9th December     Cold War Kids – God, Make Up Your Mind

An apt song for an indecisive mind.  I couldn’t decide what to feature for today’s Song Of The Day so I went with this one, I’ve had this tune rattling about in my head for a couple of days now!

Taken from Cold War Kids debut album, Robbers and Cowards, which was released in Aug 2006.

Check out their new album, released October 2014, here: http://www.coldwarkids.com/

Monday 8th December    Shirley Ann Lee – There’s A  Light

Today’s song was recorded back in 1968.  Featuring on an album called, ‘Local Customs: Downriver revival’, this track was part of a compilation released by the Numero Group.  The Numero Group are an archival record label that creates compilations of previously released music, reissues original albums, and creates album reconstructions from a variety of musical genres.   This label was founded in 2003 and  its focus was to research and reserve obscure material recorded by artists who found little commercial success upon their material’s initial release.

Sunday 7th December    Palace- Bitter

I am rather chuffed to have stumbled upon Palace.  Having released their first EP in October this year, this is a band that I anticipate will go far.  Listen to this lots, listen to the EP here: https://soundcloud.com/palaceband

Read more here

Saturday 6th December   The Doors – Moonlight Drive (1965 Demo)

…..Here is a song to enjoy on the eve of a full moon!                                            “Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh
Let’s climb through the tide
Surrender to the waiting worlds
That lap against our side”    

There are few bands to rival The Doors, even after all of these years.  Legendary, and in a league of their own, they carved their own sound, drawing upon many influences, from Jazz to Eastern, Blues to Psychedelic, Acid Rock to dark psychological soul-rock, with lyrics which were inspired by myths, legends and all things experimental.  There is not a song or an album that I ever tire of and I dare say I ever will, John Densmore being one of my all time favourite drummers!                                                                                                      Today’s song comes from their second album Strange Days, released in September 1967, and was the B-side of Love Me Two Times. Though conventional in its blues arrangement, Moonlight Drive’s defining feature is its slightly off-beat rhythm and Robby Krieger’s Bottle-neck guitar which creates the eerie sound we hear throughout the song.  Recorded during the group’s first demo recordings at Trans World Pacific Studios, this is the video of that recording, the song being slightly different to that of the studio version but equally as enjoyable and fantastic!

Friday 5th December    The Acid – Fame

The Acid are a band consisting of British Dj and producer Adam Freeland, Californian producer, composer, professor of music technology, Steve Nalepa and the Australian/LA based artist, RY X.                                                                                                                          RY X was featured on the Listening Post Blog back in November last year shortly after he released his first EP, his new collaborations grabbed my attention today when I stumbled upon upon The Acid by accident..

On April 14, 2013, the band released their debut self titled EP, along with a video for the track “Basic Instinct”.

On July 7, 2014, the band released their debut album entitled Liminal on Infectious Music (UK) and Mute (US) from which today’s song, Fame comes from

Thursday 4th December     Martina Topley-Bird – Too Tough To Die

Taken from her debut album Quixotic, co-written and produced by Topley-Bird and released in July 2003.  It received positive reviews from music critics upon its release and was shortlisted for the 2003 Mercury Music Prize.  Quixotic also includes a collaboration with musician Tricky,  whom she had also worked with  prior to her solo releases..

Wednesday 3rd December     Calexico & ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien – Frontera/Trigger – FM4 Radio Session

I am so excited to introduce todays song!  Tex-mex, Indie Rock band Calexico recorded this back in October 2012 for a FM4 Radio Session live in Vienna.  Calexico’s musical style is influenced by the traditional latin sound of mariachi, this gives them their distinct sound..  A fantastic performance, enjoy!

Tuesday 2nd December     Diplo – Florida (whole album!!)

I wasn’t able to make up my mind which track to feature as today’s song so instead I cheated and featured the whole of Diplo’s album, Florida.   This was first released in 2004 and now, 10 years later, it has been reissued via the original label, Big Dada.  Featuring the previously unreleased album outtake “As I Lay Dying”, plus “Into the Sun” featuring Martina Topley-Bird, Diplo called the album a representation of ‘my first 23 years of my life’.  Here’s what he said in a statement, (via Rolling Stone):

“I made Florida between a small apartment in Philadelphia and my mother’s house in Florida. I was working late nights and taking a bus through the city every night, smoking weed, putting on headphones and just making things I never heard before and could just imagine. Making this record created an entirely new world for me.”

Monday 1st December   Fever Ray – If I had a Heart

Taken from the self-titled album, released in 2009. A very unusual and unique collection of songs, well worth tracking down..

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