Bella Union have got it right so many times. I’ve lost count of the amount of records they’ve released which I have played endlessly on repeat. Beach House, Hannah Cohen, Fleet Foxes, Jonathan Wilson, Veronica Falls, Father John Misty… need I go on? And they’ve done it again with their latest signing, MONEY. The four piece band from Manchester create music which perfectly mixes that dreamy Americana sound Bella Union do so well, with something typically British, gritty and real. Debut single ‘Bluebell Fields’ is written as well as a Coldplay song but the production sits closer to Tame Impala or Fleet Foxes. Tracks like SO LONG (GODISDEAD) and THE SEA are slightly more experimental, with quite a heavy WU LYF vibe running through both tracks.
MONEY will release their debut album ‘The Shadow of Heaven’ on August 26th. The band are currently on tour in the UK, and are playing a host of summer festivals around Europe, check out dates here.
Sitting somewhere between the sweet 60′s sounds of She & Him and the daydream songs of Beach House, Wardell are the musical epitomization of LA summer. The brother/sister duo Sasha and Theo Spielberg (yes, their father is THAT Spielberg) first released ‘Opossum’ online two years ago. Since then, things have been slowly, slowly building momentum. They played one of their first ever live shows at SXSW and released their debut EP ‘Brother/Sister’ on June 3rd via National Anthem records (HAIM, CHVRCHES).
You can buy that EP now from iTunes or if you’re in West Coast USA, check out their live dates here. A full length is due out 2014.
Two weekends ago I was meant to be having the time of my life at The Great Escape. However, due to illness, I was unable to make the festival. I was incredibly gutted as I was looking forward to seeing a heck load of hype bands, and a couple of other bands only just on my radar. London based SISTERS come under this last category. The few songs they have already put online have already attracted blog and press attention, and with a sound like a more angsty Big Deal it’s hardly surprising.
Their more recent track ‘Clearhead’ is a grunge-pop effect encompassing the feeling of a rainy, slightly depressing London summer. They’re actually originally from Ireland which you can hear in the poem read by lead singer Aoife at the end of the track. My favourite is the slightly more chilled out ‘Shiny Things’. Sisters have got one upcoming tour date on June 7th at the Awaken Cafe in Oakland, CA. Anyone fancy funding my flight over?
I have now (amazingly) been running this blog for around 3 and a half years. I don’t know quite how this happened. However, during this time, it has seen a lot of changes. When I started writing, this blog was primarily dedicated to my love of folk music. Now, my taste is much more eclectic, and I would no longer describe this site as a folk blog. However, I still love a lot of folk music, but due to the folk boom of the late 2000′s, there is also a lot of crap out there. It takes a while to find something a bit special, a bit unique.
Fauntella Crow are just that. Two girls from Los Angeles, each with their own solo projects, have come together to make harmonies reminiscent of The Civil Wars and melodies so honest and beautiful you can tell every word is written from the heart.
They have just released their debut EP, entitled ‘Lost Here’, you can now download it from iTunes. It’s a little hit and miss in places, and could definitely do with a bit more power in the production, but tracks like ‘Just Try and ‘Give Myself Away’ are so heavenly, i’ll let them off.
New Desert Blues have been on my radar for quite some time now. They first released a demo called ‘Thom’ around 10 months ago. The track caught some attention and rightfully so. The Americana blues sound teamed with the nostalgically romantic melody line is quite something, and lyrically it made them one of the most interesting new bands for a while. Next came ‘Daniel’, equally as beautiful, slightly more epic, slightly more pop.
Their third track offering entered the internet sphere yesterday. ‘Adam’ is their finest song yet, remaining true to that dark Americana sound which has already defined them but also nodding to the expansive sounds of Arcade Fire.
The band play The Great Escape next Friday at 12:30pm at the very intimate Fishbowl venue. I’ll be there and I hope they don’t disappoint.
TONSTARTSSBANDHT (no, I have no idea how you pronounce that), are a brother-brother duo originally from Florida but now splitting their time between Montreal and Brooklyn. They’ve been releasing stuff since 2008 but most of it is too experimental for me until recently where they have injected some melodies into the music. Their last 4-track EP simply titled ‘Russian Tour Tape 2013′ was released for their tour around Russia and the Ukraine with Dirty Beaches. It’s this EP which is where I am grabbed, the blues guitar parts with the psychedelic vocal lines create a sound somewhere between the sounds of the American deep south and that of 1960′s Woodstock jams.
They are currently on tour in Europe and will be heading to the UK on Sunday 19th May playing Manchester, London, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle. Check out the dates here.
Empress Of aka Lorely Rodriguez aka Brookyn’s latest electro babe, has been making some blog waves recently. Her music is pretty obscure, and kind of in a genre of it’s own. Sometimes it sounds like the Cocteau Twins, sometimes it’s got the epicness of Sigur Ros or Bjork and sometimes it sounds almost tropical and summery. Ultimately, Empress Of creates a sound I want to listen to again and again. In April she released her debut EP, a 4 track 12″ vinyl via Double Denim Records which you can order here.
She is also heading to the UK in a weeks time, playing the following shows. I’ll see you at the front at Great Escape!
17th May- Double Denim Showcase at Great Escape
18th May- Arbutus Party, Total Refreshment Centre, London
20th May- Shacklewell Arms, London (FREE SHOW)
So I think the whole music world established long ago that Swedish Pop is amazing. Tove Lo is yet another artist who more than fills my Swedish Pop cravings. She describes her music as ‘Dirty Pop’, if that means nothing to you think Ellie Goulding (Halcyon era), AlunaGeorge and Robyn. Tove Lo makes me want to belt her tunes at the top of my voice in the middle of a crowded club. ‘Habits’ her latest single is the best example of this, but I also love ‘Love Ballad’.
If I have any followers in Stockholm, Tove Lo will be playing a showcase on May 15th, more details here.
George Maple has previously featured on this blog in many different capacities. A frequent collaborator with Flying with Anna favourite Flume, and featuring on the latest Snakehips tune, she’s certainly made an impact on the electronic music scene of the last few months. Her own music is also rather gorgeous. Similar to the music of her collaborators, it’s soft, electronic and sexy. Maybe she’s Australia’s answer to Jessie Ware?
Originally from Sydney, George plays her debut headline London show at Hoxton Bar & Grill on May 1st. You can still buy tickets here.
Lorde has been making some blogging waves recently. I wasn’t sure at first, but now I am SO SURE. Lorde is from New Zealand and she is somehow only 16 and also incredibly talented. ‘Bravado’ is my favourite track, but they are all pretty strong. She’s probably going to be well famous this time next year so jump on this now and get a-listening.