Anna Calvi: Should be Writing Bond Themes

15 02 2011

Got some new discs this week, purchased from Rough Trade, the standout album of the ones I bought is Anna Calvi’s debut.

Her self-titled debut is an album that is hard to categorise. At times the dark sounds of PJ Harvey and at others the booming sonic power of Shirley Bassey.

The sound has been described as dark, romantic, atmospheric pop, although for me I hear little in the way of pop, at least in the radio-friendly traditional sense. You can definitely hear the dark romance, and the rock sound gives off a real sexual emotion and a few classical undertones add to this feeling as well.

Nominated in December for the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll so this is going to be a massive year for the British born artist.

Must listen tracks:

– The Devil
– Suzanne and I (this track is what gave me the idea for the title of this blog post, could see Calvi producing a Bind theme!)

5 out of 5

Feel free to post your comments below.


Back in the Office

17 08 2010

My holiday was sadly over last night when we finally got back home from Italy and collecting our son from the mother-in-laws.

This means that I am back in the office doing my day job, but still with a bit of time to write a blog post.

As I do when I am working I take a pile of CD’s off the shelf and work my way through them. Today’s opener was an old album from 2003, Bettie Serveert – LOG 22. I kind of stumbled across them back in 2003 when going through a copy of Q Magazine. I have been one for other people’s ratings of an album and this one I remember being quite low. I liked the sound of it though and had it purchased for me for my birthday (along with about 10 other albums).

To be honest I always loved the album but never really gave it a true listening to, today that changed.

Bettie Serveert are Dutch and the name means Bettie to Serve, this was taken from Bettie Stove who lost the Wimbledon Tennis final in 1977.

The band started as a side project and has gone on to produce 9 studio albums. The first in 1992 and the latest this year in March.

Tinged with sounds of Jazz, Rock and Blues the band are hard to pin down, stand out track for me on Log 22 is Have a Heart which has a very summery feel to it.

I like this new exploration of my back catalogue, shows me what I have missed and also what I need to add more of into the collection. Bettie Serveert are a band that definitely need further exploration.

Finances have been the problem recently, gone are the days when I could afford to go out and buy ten albums in a weekend, I am now limited to around 10 per year!

Please comment below with anyone else I should check out.

The Power Out

2 07 2010

I came up with a cunning plan yesterday to try and get me to listen to more music. I finally put one of my stereo’s on my office desk so that whilst I am editing or writing I can listen to some tunes.

This will mean re-igniting the passion hopefully and re-discovering some artists that have been tucked away on the numerous shelves.

The first such artist is Electrelane and I listened to their second album called The Power Out (2004) this morning. In hindsight I wonder why I hadn’t really given it much time. Tinged with blues, jazz and a certain hint of Stereolab the album is great.

Now going to go off and listen to the debut album again called – Rock it to the Moon, 2001.

Going to have to check on more releases now.

My Resistance

28 06 2010

Recently got the latest Muse album, The Resistance. Such a recognizable sound and no doubt in my mind they are actually prog.

This one though seems to wear its influences on its sleeve. Tinged with Queen, Yes and even hints of Genesis. To be honest as a self proclaimed prog-head (think that might be a new term) it took me a while to get into this album. Since I have it has not been off the car stereo.

More importantly for me as an influence on the future generation my 6 year old son keeps requesting the album at all hours of the day, except of course when he is sleeping!

As a father it kind of hints I may be doing things right – I hope.

Standout track for me is the title track – Resistance. Well worth a listen I would put the album at 7 out of 10.

Live from the Union Chapel – Damien Rice

14 12 2009

I was very proud with my initial purchase of Damien Rice. The week his first album came out back in 2002 I happened to be in HMV of a weekend and looking for something new to listen to. I picked up this cloth bound album (the aesthetics of an album appeal to me a lot) and had a look at the back, my quick browse revealed Chello listed as one of the instruments and I thought awesome I’ll buy it. I bought it without having listened to a single note, nor hearing of Damien Rice prior to the event.

I am glad I did. ‘O’  is a superb debut album of relaxing, folky acoustic songs and it went on to receive massive acclaim, oh and a few million sales! Shame there have only been two studio albums to date. ‘O’ was followed up by ‘9’ in 2006.

What he lacks in quantity he certainly makes up for in quality and right now I am listening to one of the live albums released in 2007. Live at the Union Chapel. This album is a revelation sung with pure power and the standout track for me is by far ‘Then Go’ (sung with Lisa Hannigan) but all of them as live renditions of album tracks are superb, not forgetting the beautiful version of ‘Silent Night’ which is perfect for this time of year.

Certainly an artist to get into if you like Tom McRae, Glen Hansard and perhaps even I Am Kloot as they have that acoustic and folk feel.

If you think I should be listening to something similar to Damien Rice then please let me know by commenting.

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