Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater Live [VIDEO]

23 03 2014

Came across this video on YouTube this morning of Jonathan Meiburg of the band Shearwater performing a live radio performance on KEXP in Seattle. It’s a precursor to the bands album of cover songs called Fellow Travelers and the performance is just breathtaking, totally chilled Sunday morning listening.

I love this intimate style performance and actually wish bands and artists would release some of this material in EP or even full length format I would simply just grab it with both hands. I think the appeal comes from the rawness of the sound, you get to really hear the musicianship and the quality of a vocal, a lot of music today is far too overproduced in my opinion.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Simplicity and Complexity

22 01 2013

Martin Rossier album coverI got around to buying Martin Rossiters (lead singer of Gene) album last weekend after having heard a track on a free CD sampler. He has one of my all-time favourite voices and it was always a disappointment when Gene were no longer as I owned everything in their back catalogue and found myself craving more of his tuneful angst.

So this solo album came along and whilst it may not appeal to all fans of Gene, it is certainly a slight change of direction from the more layered and built ‘rock’ songs, but it really is a beautiful record in all of its stripped back simplicity. The majority of the 10 tracks on the album feature just Rossiters stunning vocals and the accompaniment of a piano.

Yet buried underneath this glaring simplicity, if piano and voice can be deemed simple, is a deep set of complex emotions in the material that Rossiter tackles. The album gets straight in to the deep stuff with album opener Three Points on a Compass talking about the father that Rossiter never really had, he sings “The only thing I ever got from you was my name, You broke our home, and I will never forgive”.

Tough, but then Rossiter himself, since the Gene days, has entered fatherhood and also battled depression, behind every artist it does seem that there is often a flawed side to the personality and/or mental state, is that what belies genius?

The standout track for me though is without doubt Where There are Pixels, with the powerful and booming chords of the chorus. that is reached via an almost crescendo, yet underneath it’s a depressing song with Rossiter offering, “No more blank, wasted days, Starting to crack, too tired to wait, When you’re drowning, on dry land, everyday” 

For a man who has essentially been in the rock wilderness for the past ten years it is an exceptional album, and it is probably some of this time out of the limelight which has given Rossiter the time to perfect what is a blissful 45 minutes of music.

A New Band to Start the Week: Under Byen

8 10 2012

Picked out The Listener by Howe Gelb as my first listen of the week and this great Americana album from 2003 features a track called Torque (Tango De La Tongue). A slow moving track with a definite jazz hint from the bass and piano licks. I wondered who the female singer was that duets on the track.

Henriette SennenvaldtThe album notes told me it was Henriette Sennenvaldt, I was of course at a loss with that having never heard of her before so I put trusty Google to the test and it turns out she is the lead-singer with Danish band Under Byen. The title of this post is a new band to start the week but in this respect it is simply new to me, so forgive me if you are already well-versed!

So a quick click across to Spotify and I find two tracks, a  very miserly number considering the band have 4 studio albums to date plus a remix album and a soundtrack to their name.

The two tracks available on Spotify are also the same two tracks available for download on Amazon MP3 so I am going to have to do a bit of searching to find the four albums. the two tracks in question are Pilot and Sort Vinter [affiliate links] both of which come from compilation albums.

Have to say from the limited listening I have had so far I am very impressed with a sound very reminiscent of both Sigur Ros and another Icelandic act múm in places.

Under Byen (Danish for below the city) started in Denmark back in 1995 but didn’t release an album until Kyst in 1999 and this was followed up with Det er mig der holder træerne sammen in 2002. Since then there have been two further albums which includes the last release in 2010 titled Alt er Tabt.

If you are a fan of Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, múm, Bjork or even post rock bands like Mogwai then Under Bye could be worth a listen. If anyone can find any more tracks or official downloads online please let me know.

Glen Hansard: Tiny Desk Concert

11 09 2012

I think I have alluded to the fact that I love the raw energy of live performances before, the Tiny Desk Concert recordings though are on a whole other more intimate and passionate level where you feel you are really there. This performance by Glen Hansard of Once fame is one such performance that ranks alongside his performance with Marketa Irglova as one of my favourites.

He has in my opinion got an amazing energy and raw intensity to his voice that doesn’t seem to come across as clearly in recorded works which is why I find myself listening to this recording more often. You get the feeling he really believes the words he is singing.

He now has a new solo album out and these tracks are from the album called ‘Rhythm and Repose’.

Lisa Hannigan Performing at NPR

15 11 2011

Great video I found this evening of Lisa Hannigan performing a ‘Tiny Desk Concert‘ at the NPR offices.

Set List:


‘Little Bird’


Watch it below:

Also available as an MP3 download from NPR.

Some time away

25 01 2011

I had planned on using this blog more regularly when I started it last year, but family and work take precedence.

I have still been listening to a heck of a lot of music, probably more than ever, have it on in the office now whilst working (the joys of owning your own company I suppose – plus I work from home!) and it seems to aid concentration.

Christmas was massive in terms of purchases and although I am not getting the latest releases like I used to it is these times that allow me to catch up on what I have missed.

There are two bands that have been on permanent loop since December, Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC) and Two Door Cinema Club (incidentally they are giving away a free track and video for signing up to their mailing list).

Both bands are very similar sounding also with hints of Foals and Vampire Weekend. There is definitely some sort of ‘world music’ influence going on with these bands and I mean that in a real loose way, in another way it is powerful pop/rock.

The BBC debut was awesome, I bought it late, but went out straight away and bought the follow-up, disappointing is not the right word as it is also a very good album in it’s own right but it does not have the same raw energy and power as the first record. Gone are the power pop songs to be replaced with gentler acoustic arrangements.

Two Door have only released the one record so far and every single track is amazing, more ‘dance floor’ than BBC but still with a similar sound. Much more of a pop sound than I usually get into but the vibe is great, certainly a record that cannot be put down and seriously needs to be listened to. I sincerely look forward to a follow-up in the future.

Download These: Undercover Martyn (Two Door Cinema Club), Come Back Home (Two Door Cinema Club), Dust on the Ground (Bombay Bicycle Club), What If (Bombay Bicycle Club).

Buy This: Tourist History (Two Door Cinema Club)

Try This: Antidotes (Foals)

I am Addicted to Tea

16 09 2010

I am Addicted to Tea! Which is quite handy when I was introduced to Tea Drinking Collective by a cameraman I used for a job in Rhyl recently called Tom Sharman.

Tom is one part of the Tea Drinking Collective which is a music blog (or vlog as they use a lot of video) that specialises in intimate, quirky, acoustic performances by up and coming bands.

The first two posts (videos) are now available and I for one can’t wait for more.

The first two bands to be given the ‘Collective’ treatment are Spring Offensive and Cajole Cajole, if these two performances are anything to go by then I think the blog will have many followers very soon.

Make sure you check it out and feel free to comment below. Will keep you posted and I may even embed some of the videos here later on.

%d bloggers like this: