Saturday 31st January Duke Garwood – Heavy Love
London bluesman and multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood has been recording since 2005 and has since worked with the likes of Archie Bronson Outfit, Savages, Mark Lanegan among many other guest appearances.
In February 2013, Ipecac and Heavenly recordings signed Duke Garwood and Mark Lanegan and in May that year their debut collaboration album ‘Black Pudding’ came out. After that Lanegan went on to describe Garwood as “one of his all time favourite artists” and that working with him was “one of the best experiences of his recording life”
He has released four studio albums and is now due to release his new solo album ‘Heavy Love’ via Heavenly Recordings on 9th February 2015.
When you listen to today’s song ‘Heavy Love’ you can see why the work Garwood did with Lanegan was so effective as they both share that sultry, gruff pitch in their vocals; their sound bears the same sultry, atmospheric and slow burning edge which makes for such a rich and full-bodied listen
Friday 30th January Perfume Genius – My Body
Today’s song is taken from the highly acclaimed third studio album by Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius.
‘Too Bright’ was released in September 2014 and received critical acclaim. Metacritic gave the album 87/100 which indicates “universal acclaim” whilst Pitchfork gave the album a score of 8.5, and titled it Best New Music. The album charted at number 77 on the UK Album chart.
With a range of stripped-down moments to the more weird and intense, this album is full of contrast and is a wonderful listen to from start to finish, something not all albums can put claim to.
‘My Body’ is today’s chosen song and, for me, it was one of the tracks that really stood out. With its edgy bass-line a prominent feature, I’m a sucker for rhythm driven songs, whilst lyrically and structurally it is tense and effective
Recorded live in the KEXP studio. September 23, 2014.
Thursday 29th January The Como Mamas & The Radiant Rhythm Band – Out of the Wilderness
JJ Whitefield of Karl Hector & the Malcuns, (as featured yesterday), produced music with a rough analog sound. His return to the funk originals of the late 60’s and early 70’s paved the way for labels like Daptone, Truth & Soul and Timmion. Today’s song is from a trio signed to that same Daptone Records.
The Como Mamas are Gospel singers from Mississippi and, up until the release of this single in 2014, all of their recordings have been a capella. With this record, The Como Mamas join forces with The Radian Rhythm Band to expose the funkier side of gospel music, their sound is full of soul!
Wednesday 28th January Karl Hector & The Malcouns – Push Na Ya
A few years ago I discovered the wonders of Ethiopian musician and arranger, Mulatu Astatke. Best known as the father of Ethio-jazz, he combines Latin music and jazz together with traditional Ethiopian music; the result is well worth an investigation! This introduction leads me nicely onto today’s discovery as Karl Hector & The Malcouns share the same musical roots as their predecessor, their sound is equally as funky!
Founded in the early 2000’s by Thomas Myland, Zdenko Curlija and German Producer and guitarist JJ Whitefield (aka Mr Hector), Karl Hector & The Malcouns are a collaboration that create sounds inspired by the musics of Eastern and Northern Africa alongside Western psychedelia, jazz and funk.
Released on the Now-Again label and talking about these influences on their page they state how, “We look to Middle Eastern funk and psychedelic fusions, and to various ethnic records for sound and phrasing. We’re trying to combine the global experimentalism of Krautrock with the backbeat of funk.”
Today’s song is taken from the band’s second album, ‘Unstraight Ahead’ which was released in April 2014 and sees the West African sounds of Ghana and Mali meet the East African sounds of Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopian Jazz.
There is no way you cannot enjoy this!
Tuesday 27th January – Valerie June – Wanna Be On Your Mind
Valerie June is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Currently signed to the Sunday Best label, her music is a fine blend of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country and bluegrass
Today’s song is taken from her fourth album ‘Pushin’ Against a Stone’ which was released in August 2013 and co-produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Kevin Augunas. This was to be her debut album as a signed artist after her first three albums were all self-released!
Receiving high acclaim and rave reviews, ‘Pushin’ Against a Stone’ was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the ‘Best New Artist Debut’ in June 2014 and ranked at No.44 out of 50 in Rolling Stone ’50 Best Albums of 2013′.
Monday 26th January Dooks – Blue Nosed Mexican (Live)
I came upon Dooks by accident the other day and was instantly drawn into her sound. With her strong and emotion-filled vocals she certainly has the kind of voice that is ‘once heard and never forgotten’. With hints of Patti Smith coming through in her warbles her tone has a refreshing depth and richness to it that makes her stand out
Today’s song was recorded at the Fat Tank Studios in North London, it was a Live take performed and written by Daisy Dooks in June last year. Dooks is now signed to TAPE Management
Read more about Dooks here
Sunday 25th January The Phoenix Foundation – Black Mould
The Phoenix Foundation are a Neo-Psychedelic band from New Zealand and were founded in 1994. Drawing upon influences from the likes of Dr John, Black Sabbath, The Carpenters, Can, Talk TalK, ELO, and Television, they have created a sound heavily founded on psychedelia
Today’s song is taken from their fifth studio album, ‘Fandango’, which was released via Memphis Industries in April 2013.
The song ‘Black Mould’ begins with an inviting and ambient intro, gradually it builds as it approaches the verse where the soft passage of the mellow opening quickly fades to make way for a bass driven rhythm to kick in.
‘Black Mould’ is the first song to feature on the album ‘Fandango’ and is a song of contrast. Amidst the backdrop of it’s mellow tune, the lyrical content deals with a more serious issue and tackles the topic of respiratory problems induced by inadequate building standards in New Zealand.
The band recorded Fandango partially at Neil Finn’s Roundhead studios and draws on the band’s collective love of all things Psychedelic.
Saturday 24th January Dutch Uncles – Decided Knowledge
I don’t, (as of yet), know too much about Dutch Uncles but intend to change all that after this funky little discovery!
Forming in 2008 and hailing from Maple, the ‘Uncles’ were signed to Memphis Industries in 2010 and are known for their atypical time signatures. This defines their sound and, whilst they could also be quite at home residing back in the 80’s with the likes of Talking heads, they now forge their own electronic creations, which makes their appeal much more than just a nostalgic draw for me
Today’s song is taken from their forthcoming album, ‘O Shudder’, due for release on the 23rd February on Memphis Industries
Friday 23rd January James Brute – Again (Again)
Formerly a member of the fantastic Brute Chorus, James Brute now goes it alone.
Love this track, say no more, listen lots!
Thursday 22nd January Fictonian – Double Negative
So, who is this Fictonian!? I featured this new and rather mysterious artist on the 18th of this month and would definitely say that it’s worth going back to that day for a look, listen and a read. The song featured on the 18th was the potent six and a half minute track, ‘Full Circle Influence’ which, in stark contrast sounds so very different Fictonian’s only other offering, ‘Double Negative’. I wanted to expose this comparison to, perhaps, demonstrate the diverse nature of this curious artist and so present you with ‘Double Negative’.
At just under two and a half minutes, this pleasant little track ambles along, it’s simplistic structure is easy on the ears and trots into the head nicely. Out the two tracks, however, I have to say that ‘Full Circle Influence’ is my preferred choice, but I do love the laid-back and very chilled atmosphere of this song; not forgetting it’s charming video!
Wednesday 21st January Metronomy – The Look
This great little track was taken from Metronomy’s third studio LP, and 2011 Mercury Prize nominated album, ‘The English Riviera’.
‘The Look’ was the the second single to be released from this album on 11th March 2011. Accompanied by a fantastic video, the animated seagulls sold it for me!
Tuesday 20th January Timber Timbre – Like a Mountain
It was hard to resist featuring Timber Timber again, he is so unique and I love his music. Today’s song comes from his second album ‘Medicinals’, released in 2007
Monday 19th January C Duncan – Say
Brand new single from Glaswegian singer/songwriter, C Duncan.
Available on Fat Cat Records
For a full write up, go to my review page here
Sunday 18th January Fictonian – Full Circle Influence
With little known about this brand new artist at the moment, it would appear that Fictonian is something of a mystery. His anonymity is tantalizing and his identity remains relatively unknown. What I can tell you from my investigations, however, is that this UK-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been labeled as ‘one to watch out for in 2015’, I am inclined to agree with that.
There are two songs uploaded onto his Soundcloud page and the opportunity to follow Fictonian on twitter and facebook too. He is rather elusive, all bar these few offerings, but what better way to rouse intrigue and interest?
Today’s song was the first of his two creations and caught my ear with it’s very cool and laid back composure. Whilst a guitar picks it’s way through the intro and into the song, the soothing and breathy vocals entice you in. Soon we are elevated by the eastern bluesy-guitar as this incantation whisks you away and, for those 6.27 minutes, you are somewhat mesmerized..
Saturday 17th January Zun Zun Egui – I Want You To Know
This eclectic outfit are bound by the ties of all things experimental. With one album already under their belt, I was only to discover them today but am enjoying the diverse and unpredictable nature of Zun Zun Egui.
Forming back in 2008 in Bristol, the core members consisted of Mauritian guitarist and singer Kushal Gaya and Japanese keyboard player Yoshino Shigihara. It wasn’t long before they were joined by a group of musicians, together they create music that fuses free jazz with a whole lot of experimentation.
Zun Zun Egui are to release their second album, ‘Shakles Gift via ‘Bella Union on the 26th January 2015. Today’s song of the day, ‘I Want You To Know’, is the first single taken from this album
Friday 16th January Astronauts – Try To Put It Out Of Your Mind
One of my favourite tracks from Dan Carney’s debut album, ‘Hollow Ponds’ which can be purchased from here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hollow-ponds/id899685125
For full review and interview with Astronaut front man Dan Carney, click here
Thursday 15th January Marlon Williams – Dark Child
Read more about Marlon on my review page: https://thelisteningpostblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/marlon-williams/
Wednesday 14th January Marian Hill – One Time
Today’s song is a sassy little number from Philadelphia-based electronic pop duo, Marion Hill. Consisting of Jeremy Lloyd (production/songwriting), and Samantha Gongol (vocals/songwriting), the pair’s roots can be traced back as far as a middle school talent show where Lloyd heard Gongol sing for the first time and the rest is history as they say..
With influences ranging from Cole Porter to Kanye West, Ella Fitzgerald to Drake, their sound is defined by the fusing these sources. Here, where jazz meets electronica, you will find Marian Hill
Their debut EP from where this single comes was released in March 2014 and can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/marianhill
Tuesday 13th January Blakroc (Billy Danze of M.O.P, Jim Jones & Nicole Wray)- What You Do To Me
Blakroc is a studio album recorded by both The Black Keys and Damon Dash, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, who oversaw the project. Released in November 2009, the album features several hip hop and R&B acts including, Mos Def, Nicole Wray, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris, Billy Danze of M.O.P, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Jim Jones, NOE of ByrdGang, as well as Reakwon, RZA and the Ol’Dirty Bastard of Wu-Tang Clan.
Receiving positive reviews from the likes of Pitchfork and NME, this album was generally received well by critics and reached Number 1 and Number 7 on the US Billboard Heatseakers chart and US Billboard Top Rap Albums respectively. Nick Neyland of BBC music stated in his review “this is a surprisingly compelling and welcome rejoining of the rap and rock worlds that successfully captures the off-the-cuff nature of the recording sessions.”
Monday 12th January Alex Burey – The Intimidator
Taken from his debut EP ”Inside World”
Sunday 11th January The Fall – Vixen
‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’ is one of my all time favourite Fall LP’s. Released via Beggers Banquet in 1985, this was to be their ninth studio album. Reaching number 54 in the UK charts, ‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’ was cited as one of the groups strongest and most consistent releases. Pitchfork Media listed it as their 13th best album of the 1980’s and in ranked at 46 in Spin’s ‘100 Greatest Albums 1985-2005’!
Taken off this album and released in the same year, “Vixen” is my chosen song of the day
Saturday 10th January Mulatu Astatqu – Yegelle Tezeta
Mulatu Astatqe is an Ethiopian musician and arranger, he is also best known as the ‘Father of Ethio-Jazz’.
Born in western Ethiopia he was musically trained in London, Boston and New York. Combining his jazz and latin interests with traditional Ethiopian music, he has been recording since the early 1960’s.
I hadn’t played this track for a while and am happy that I was prompted to share it today.. “Yegelle Tezeta” features on Mulatu Astatqe’s early recordings
Friday 9th January Avid Dancer – All the other Girls (Live)
Discovering Avid Dancer the other day was a real pleasure, so much so I have featured yet another track from his current EP as today’s song.
This is a live version of ‘All the other Girls’ and was taken from The Paste Parlour at CMJ 2014
To discover more about Avid Dancer and to listen to the EP version of ‘All the Other Girls’, click here: https://thelisteningpostblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/avid-dancer-debut-ep-i-want-to-see-you-dance/
Thursday 8th January The Doors – Universal mind..
An insight into the real Jim Morrison??
I discovered the Doors when I was 15 and shall always maintain that they were one of the greatest bands ever. Jim Morrison was a complex and often misinterpreted front man, his poetry unfolding in many of the Doors songs. Accompanying Morrison and for whom their distinct sound was owing to, was keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and one of the greatest drummers ever, John Densmore.
Whilst the more psychedelic, hippy bands of the time were creating folk-based, eastern mysticism-influenced songs, The Doors were experimenting at the darker end of that spectrum; their roots deriving from a more blues-based background.
Universal mind is a great track and features on the 1970 Absolutely Live album, this being their first ever live album to be released. Many of the Doors shows were being recorded during that 1970 tour and snipets were taken from a combination of these shows to piece together and create the Absolutely Live album. Paul Rothchild painstakingly edited the album from many different shows to create one concert.
The lyrics to Universal Mind have an honest personal tone that morrison didnt often employ and I quote the next few paragraphs from, ‘Moonlight Drive-The story behind every Doors Song’, because it cannot capture more what I would say myself as an interpretation of this song:
The lines “doin time in the universal mind” sounds like a very apt job description for Jim as a rock star; success meant that Jim had watched himself become a figment of public imagination, desire and scorn. In the song Morrison claims that he’s, “looking for a home in every face he sees”. The chilling poignancy of the song comes from the final line and after telling his sad, cryptic tale, Morrison announces “I’m the freedom man” – and that doesn’t sound like anything to be happy about. Is the “freedom man” the man who is truly free, the man who is supposed to be free, the man who is assumed to be free or the man who represents freedom to others. It is not clear what kind of ‘freedom man’ he is, but that ambiguity is precisely what gives the song its sad soulfulness.
The sadness is set aside for a moment mid-song when Ray, Robby and John jump into a fleeting bridge of pure, skipping jazz. (Densmore was a jazz drummer and this is so evident in this section)
Musically this song is fantastic, its mid-instrumental section demonstrates how tight and highly skilled they they were as musicians, whilst lyrically it captures a glimpse of what was, perhaps, the real Morrison?
Wednesday 7th January – Junior Kimbrough – Keep Your Hands Off Her
Junior Kimbrough was born in Hudsonville Mississippi and was an American Blues musician. His best known work included “Keep Your Hands Off Her” which is today’s song of the day. Released as a 7″ in 1982 it was later featured on a tribute album ‘Chulahoma – The Songs Of Junior Kimbrough’ by the Black Keys. Released as an EP in 2006, this was essentially a tribute album featuring a collection of the band’s cover versions of Junior Kimbrough’s music
Tuesday 6th January Avid Dancer – Stop Playing With My Heart
Today’s song is a perfect example of what I would describe as, ‘love at first listen!’ There is such a dreamy quality about this song, it captures perfectly a wistful, old soul sound.
Taken from the EP, ‘I Want To See You Dance’ released in October 2014 on Grand Jury, I urge you to listen to more: https://soundcloud.com/avid-dancer
Beginning with a catchy looping guitar intro, ‘Stop Playing With My Heart’ is full of yearning. Soft, daydreamy vocals pour into the song, smooth in texture, tender in their heady flow. Accompanied by the catchy, pitter-patter of the guitar, the song drifts, the longing is tangible.
Monday 5th January Charlie Feathers – That Certain Female
Whilst out walking with today, ipod playing on shuffle, this song came on. Its been a while since I’ve listened to it and so I decided to feature it as today’s song!
Charlie Feathers was born in Mississippi in 1932 and was a Country music and Rockabilly musician. Well known for his energetic, theatrical, hiccup-styled vocals, he inspired a generation of rock vocalists including the Cramps.
He later went on to study and record several songs with blues singer, Junior Kimbrough whom he named “the beginning and end of all music”. Junior Kimbrough incidentally also inspired the 2006 Black Keys EP, ‘Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough’, this EP was essentially a tribute album containing a collection of the band’s cover versions of bluesman Junior Kimbrough.
Charlie Feathers released ‘That Certain Female’ 7″ single back in 1974, what a great song!
Sunday 4th January Astronauts – In My Direction
It may be hard to conceive how one broken leg and a long stay in a hospital could inspire one to write a single song let alone a whole album, but in Dan Carney’s case, he has achieved just that. Previously a member of the the east London five-piece folk band, Dark Captain, Carney is now going it alone after the band finished in 2012
After the acclaim for the Skydive single, the debut album ‘Hollow Ponds’ is now available to download from Lo Recordings. Initially conceived last year, this album was created whilst Dan was laid up in hospital awaiting surgery for a badly fractured leg. The fracture ward that housed Dan on his road to recovery was located near to Epping Forest and ‘Hollow Ponds’ is an area within the forest also known as Leyton Flats. Coupled with the strong longing to be walking and the effects of the morphine, these woods began to take on a very mystical edge and his dreams of escaping to these realms would now be put into writing
The new single ‘In My Direction’, taken from the debut album, is to be released later this month and is a wonderfully written little folk-based song. With vocals as floaty as the breeze, the rhythm of a flattened drum beats its way through the song giving way only when the chorus kicks in. There is an air of Iron and Wine meets Crosby Stills and Nash about this track, about the whole album infact but italso holds its very own unique sound and is definitely one to listen to, you can discover more here: http://www.lorecordings.com/release/hollow-ponds/
Saturday 3rd January Sea Change – Above
If you are on the lookout for something dreamy, something of an ethereal nature with a purity that seeps out of every note, then look no further. With comparisons to that of Fever Ray, Ellen A.W. Sunde creates Electronic Dream Pop with improvisation and all things acoustic a major fascination for her.
Born in the South of Norway and now based in Oslo, she named herself Sea Change after the 2002 Beck album. Her sound encapsulates the icy realms from which she stems, her vocals delicate with each word as soft as falling snow, magical soundscapes are created from minimalistic electronics.
Taken from her debut album due for release in the 23rd February, ‘Above’ is her latest single and is now available for streaming. ‘Above’, Sunde says, “is about wanting something and just not be able to see what’s good for you. Wanting it more and more even though some part of you know it will end bad. I think everyone has had a relationship like that. Not realising your destructive self, wishing things were different. It is a vulnerable song.”
Speaking about the album as a whole, she explained that “One thing I feel very strongly about is freedom and the need to let things go”, adding “I’ve spent so much time being too shy to show people my music or even actually write finished songs because of my own self-censorship. This whole Sea Change project is about letting go and just being comfortable in this space.”
It is definitely worth checking out more of Sande’s music, I was not just enchanted by this one track. You can listen to more here: https://soundcloud.com/seachanger
Sea Change is definitely an artist to follow this year, the new album I eagerly await. Until then, submerge yourself in today’s song..
Friday 2nd January Shocking Blue – Love Buzz
If you were a fan of Nirvana’s 1988 debut single, ‘Love Buzz’, you will no doubt like today’s song.
Shocking Blue were a dutch band that formed in 1967 and they originally wrote and recorded this track. Taken from their 2nd LP ‘At Home’ which was released in 1969, this was the group’s first album with singer Mariska Veres.
This album was also known for the popular song, ‘Venus’ which was regrettably revived by Bananarama in 1989.
Thursday 1st January Richie Havens – Freedom
What better way to greet the new year than with a little taste of the 60’s! Today’s song has been taken from the Woodstock festival in 1969.
Richie Havens was the first performer on stage, his set lasting for over three hours. Many of the other scheduled acts had been delayed and Havens was, by this time, running out of tunes to play and so he improvised a song based on the old spiritual “Motherless Child”. This became the song “Freedom”. His performance was greatly received and he was called back for several encores!