“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
~ Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
↓ click for audio (“Ruth and Sylvie” by Daniel Hart)
The National is an American indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, in 1999, and currently based in Brooklyn. The band’s lyrics, which have been described as “dark, melancholy and difficult to interpret”, are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone. The band has recorded six studio albums; the most recent, Trouble Will Find Me, was released in May 2013 and was nominated in the 2014 Grammys for Best Alternative Album.
Noah Gundersen, 25, is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington. Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. In 2002, he inherited his first guitar from his father and taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father’s recording equipment. Three years later, his birthday gift was an acoustic guitar with which he still performs with today. Around the age of 16, Gundersen was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006.
Find this tune on iTunes on his album Ledges.
Suzannah Espie is a Melbourne, Australia based singer songwriter who has been casting spells over audiences ever since she first took to the stage with her alt-country pop band, GIT, in 1997. A woman of compelling beauty — statuesque, with piercing blue eyes framed by golden curls — she has a voice to match, an intoxicating mix of country, soul, blues and pop. A gentle, sweet trill that can move grown men to tears one moment, or an Aretha-esque hellcat belt that can raise the roof the next; however she sings it though, it’s still unmistakeably Suzannah Espie. It is as a solo artist Espie has truly come into her own…
It’s hard to believe now that, despite her prodigious talent, Espie was beset by self-doubt and shyness early on in her career, which she moved to Melbourne from Fremantle at aged 18 to pursue in earnest. She tells of forcing herself to get up at Fitzroy’s Rainbow Hotel to sing once a week. “Then I’d go and have a cry in the toilets afterwards because I thought it was so horrible.”
Collard recalls the first time he went over to Suzannah’s house to play some music together. “Absolutely nothing happened,” he says with a laugh. “She was too nervous to sing a note.”
While Espie’s confidence and profile have grown over the years, she remains as earthy and honest as the music she writes and performs. “I still don’t think I’m a good songwriter. Occasionally I’ll pull a good one out of my arse,” she says in typically straight-talking Suzannah fashion.
Find her album on iTunes: Sea of Lights
Mavis Staples (born in Chicago, Illinois) is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress and civil rights activist who recorded with The Staple Singers, her family’s band. This tune reached #1 on the charts in the U.S. in 1972.
José James, 36, is a singer songwriter from Minneapolis, and is best known for performing and blending modern jazz and hip-hop. James joined the Blue Note roster in 2013 when he released his breakout album No Beginning No End to wide acclaim. With its irrepressible lead single “Trouble,” the album release found José making national TV appearances on Conan, Late Show With David Letterman, andTonight Show With Jay Leno.
The New York Times praised his “cool and confident” album, adding that it “sounds like the result of the black-pop continuum, jazz and soul and hip-hop and R&B, slow-cooked for more than 50 years.” NPR Music raved that “James makes utterly contemporary music,” noting that he “skirts categories with ease, fitting in with current R&B innovators like Frank Ocean or Miguel, yet maintaining a strong awareness of a lineage that stretches from Ray Charles to Marvin Gaye to Lou Rawls to Maxwell.”
Find this tune on his 2013 Album titled: No Beginning No End
José James official site and his full bio can be found at: josejamesmusic.com
↓ click for audio (Linda Ronstadt – “Blue Bayou”)
Jarle Bernhoft, 38, also known as Bern/hoft, is a Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and lyricist. Bernhoft is from Nittedal in Norway, but currently lives in New York.
what he [Bernhoft] did with those few tools was quite extraordinary. Using them, and via a process of instant recording, looping and layering, he was able to create the sound of a full band – including all the instrumental parts plus backing singers on rich harmonies – and it was all just him.” – The Guardian
Find his website here: Bernhoft.org
Find his new album released last month here: Islander / Bernhoft
“We loved the evocative nature of ‘Godspeed You’ and wanted to create something beautiful and atmospheric to compliment the themes of the track. We particularly focused on the idea that we are part of something that is greater than us all. We decided on a simple narrative that follows a girl’s journey back into nature, watching as she is gradually dwarfed by the dramatic landscapes surrounding her, until she is finally enveloped into the earth – only to rise again as part of the natural landscape. Finally, she is cleansed and returns to the world as a woman reborn.”
~ Jack Pirie & Alex Hylands, Directors
- SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
- Francesco Rossi joins forces together with MTV Europe’s Belgian Artist of the Year Ozark Henry to deliver his new single “Godspeed You.” Francesco Rossi, 39, is from Tuscany, Italy and is a DJ and Producer. Piet Goddaer, 44, is a Belgian Musician, better known by his stage name Ozark Henry.
- The video is filmed in the Lake District, a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells), but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.
Erick Baker, 35, is a singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. He didn’t sing or write songs until he enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Baker had picked up the guitar during his college days and played occasionally at parties for fun, by his own admission in hopes of meeting women. While doing a set at an open-mike night in Knoxville, Baker was spotted by a local promoter who gave him a spot opening a show for John Legend and soon buzz about Baker began to spread. He has performed with national acts, including rock musician James Blunt, alternative country musician Brandi Carlile, pop-rock musician Gavin DeGraw, the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, the rock band Heart, R&B artist John Legend.
“My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that have led me here,” Baker says. “They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie in each of our everyday lives.”
Find this tune on iTunes: Erik Baker: Live At The Bijou Theatre
If you liked this, don’t miss: Erick Baker – Stay Awhile
- Thank you Dr. Bill Wooten for introducing me to Erik Baker.
- Bio Sources: Wiki. iTunes. ErikBaker.com
George Ezra (born George Ezra Barnett), 21, is a British singer songwriter. His debut studio album Wanted on Voyage will be released on 30 June 2014. Ezra was longlisted for the BBC Sound of…2014, where he eventually finished in fifth place.
Ezra is the he son of an art teacher and a deputy head. Music trickled down to him via an elder sister, a regular at local venue the Marquee (“She was going out with the promoter”). He made his stage debut at the Marquee as a 13-year-old in a covers band, “singing the female part of Teenage Dirtbag, wearing eyeliner and my sister’s skinny jeans”. When he left school at 16 he took a job in a local sweet factory – “two jellybeans for the box, one for me, all the way.” Ezra dropped out of college and embarked on a year of support slots, criss-crossing the country by train. Within a year he had a record deal with Columbia. (Source: The Guardian: George Ezra)
Find this song on iTunes on his EP titled Did You Hear The Rain.
His website can be found here: The Official George Ezra website
There is something special here. Can’t put a finger on it. I introduced Cloud Cult earlier this month. (Their bio is worth checking out.) And when you can’t seem to get enough of something that good (ice cream, pasta, Cloud Cult), you just keep bringing it. Here’s three new clips from Cloud Cult: Chemicals Collide. You Were Born. Breakfast With My Shadow.
Find their album on iTunes here: Unplug
Emilíana Torrini, 37, is an Icelandic singer, best known for her 2009 single “Jungle Drum” (14,000,000+ Youtube views) and for performing “Gollum’s Song” for Peter Jackson’s film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Torrini grew up in Kópavogur, where, at the age of seven, she joined a choir as a soprano, until she went to opera school at the age of 15. Her father is Italian and her mother is Icelandic.
Daniela Andrade, 21, is a folk singer songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta. She has been compared to Cat Power and Nora Jones, and some of her musical influences include Feist and Regina Spektor. She is largely known for her acoustic covers, as well as some originals, on YouTube. Her videos have been viewed more than 17 million times by world-wide audiences, leading to more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 70,000 followers on Facebook. Dark Coffee is a Daniela Andrade original.
Matthew Paul Miller, 34, is known by his Hebrew name and stage name Matisyahu (“Gift of God“). He is an American reggae rapper and alternative rock musician. Matisyahu was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His family eventually settled in White Plains, New York. Matisyahu is known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop beatboxing sounds. Matisyahu’s 2005 single “King Without a Crown” was a Top 40 hit in the United States.
Find this tune on his album on iTunes: Akeda.
Árstíðir (English: Seasons) is an Icelandic indie-folk band with classical, progressive rock and minimalist elements. This tune is titled “Ljóð í sand” (Poetry In The Sand). Árstíðir became known to a wider internet audience in 2013 when a Youtube video went viral (3,000,000+ hits) showed them performing impromptu, Heyr himna smiður (“Hear, Smith of heavens”, a 13th century Icelandic hymn) at a train station in Germany. The video was shot by their PR manager after they had played a concert the venue inside the train station. The a capella was noted for improvising with the vaulted acoustics of the train station to effect the echo chambers of a monastic chapel.
Find the Icelandic Hymn that went viral on Youtube here.
Find their album on iTunes here: Svefns Og Voku Skil (Sleep & Waking Returns)
Rodrigo y Gabriela are a Mexican guitar duo (Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero) whose music spans a number of genres including nuevo flamenco, rock, and heavy metal. The duo’s discography consists largely of unaccompanied duets on the classical guitar. The musicians gained a reputation by playing on the streets of Dublin, Ireland and gained a cult following. They regularly dismiss being classified in a particular genre of music, preferring to say they play a fusion of many influences.
Family and Friends have barely been a band for a year, yet they’ve made quite the name for themselves in both Athens and Atlanta. From their mesmerizing stage presence and their foot-stomping, hand-clapping singalongs to their hilarious YouTube videos and awesome picture posts, this local band has easily made music fans a part of their family. (Source: AMG-Atlanta Music Guide). Find their 2014 album here on iTunes. . Find them here on Facebook.
Thank you Rachel. Who would have thought Father and Daughter would be aligned on a Tune. There’s hope yet…
Cloud Cult was formed in Duluth, MN in 1995 by Craig Minowa while pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, shining shoes and driving an ice cream truck. The band’s early work earned Cloud Cult several offers from record labels, but all were rejected in favor of self-publishing. In 1997, Minowa formed Earthology Records on his organic farm, powered by geothermal energy and built partially from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. This nonprofit label uses only recycled materials and donates all profits to environmental charities. The band also tours in a biodiesel van. The band’s merchandise is 100% postconsumer recycled or made of certified organic materials. Cloud Cult has planted several thousand trees to absorb the band’s CO2 output. They also donate heavily to projects that build wind turbines as revenue generators on Native American Reservations.
In the year 2002, shortly after the unexpected death of his two year old son Kaidin, Minowa wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss. They Live on the Sun was finished in 2003 and went to #1 on college radio station charts across the country. Since that album, Cloud Cult’s music has been strongly inspired by the loss of Kaidin and the “big picture” issues of life: “who are we, why are we here, where did we come from, where do we go”. Minowa seems in constant pursuit of the light at the end of the tunnel.
Johnnyswim is a folk, soul, blues, pop music duo consisting of singer-songwriters Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. The duo formed in 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee. Sudano spent summers touring the world as a backing singer for her mother Donna Summer. Ramirez and Sudano first met after Sunday service at a church in Nashville, Tennessee. Four years later Sudano attended a songwriting workshop held by Ramirez and became interested in writing songs with him. Sudano and Ramirez were married in 2009.
Find their new album released on April 29, 2014 on iTunes: Diamonds
Allman Brown and Liz Lawrence are London based singer-songwriters who have collaborated for Sons and Daughters.
And I’ll build a fire, you fetch the water and I’ll lay the table
and in our hearts, we still pray for sons and daughters
and all those evenings out in the garden, where we went
These quiet hours turning to years
And I, I’ll wrap myself around your heart I’ll be the walls of his heart
And I, I’ll keep light on, to call you back home…
- Thank you Roger Bivanco for pointing me to this tune.
- Allman Brown Links: On iTunes – Allman Brown. On Facebook. His official web site. Exclusive interview @ Female First.
- Liz Lawrence Links: Album on iTunes: Bedroom Hero. Official Website: Liz Lawrence. Facebook: Liz Lawrence Music.
- Complete Lyrics for Sons & Daughters: Songmeanings.com
Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin’ after you
Hear the past a callin’, from Ar- -megeddon’s side
When everyone’s talkin’ and noone is listenin’, how can we decide?
(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
(Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground)
Stuart Isacoff in wsj.com titled Pärt and Soul:
“You may not know the name, but you’ve heard his music. Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s alluring, hypnotic “tintinnabuli” (“bell-like”) style has resonated with listeners world-wide—the database Bachtrack reports that Mr. Pärt is now the most performed living classical composer. The haunting music in the trailer for the film “Gravity”—a perfect complement to the image of astronauts adrift, its piano pattern suggesting a cosmic clock as floating violin tones and spacious pauses convey a sense of human frailty—is his 1978 work, “Spiegel Im Spiegel” (Mirror in the Mirror).
…”The thing that struck me when I first heard this music at age 18,” remembers Mr. Reeves, “is that I should not be sitting—I should be standing. I cried. It’s not like a Beethoven sonata, where you are on a journey, watching how a theme develops. With Pärt, it is the opposite—you are emptying everything out, accessing a space that may be cluttered because people are always talking over it.” [Read more...]
Source: Thank you Youreyesblazeout
Jamie Scott, 30, is a British singer, songwriter and producer. He started playing guitar and piano at the age of seven. Scott is heavily influenced by 1970s artists like Cat Stevens and James Taylor, and also by neo-soul artists like D’Angelo. Scott has had major success as a song writer with many artists and is one of the main collaborators with UK boy band sensations One Direction.
Jamie Scott official website.
I’ve featured Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm previously on separate posts titled: Near Light and Said & Done. Now the two solo artists come together to create a new song live in front of an intimate audience at Roter Salon, Volksbühne Berlin. The musicians test/practise with the new equipment up to the ~ 2:20 mark on the video and the improvision starts from there.
Genius. And Magic.
Sylvan Esso is a 2-person band from Durham, N.C., lead by Amelia Meath (vocals) and Nick Sanborn (electronic producer). (Love the beat. No comment on the facial adornments and hand movements.)
- Source: NPR – Sylvan Esso: Finding Humanity Between The Synths
- Band Website: Esso – Partisan Records
- Find Album on iTunes: Sylvan Esso
LIKED it. Enough to watch it 3x. Not sure why. And not sure I fully understood it…all interpretations welcome.
Which reminds me of one of my favorite David Crosby tunes.
↓ click for audio (David Crosby – “Too Young To Die”)
Sweet old racin’ car of mine
Roarin’ down that broken line
I never been so much alive
Too fast for comfort
Too low to fly
Too young to die
Thank you Jack for sharing.
Friday night I’m going nowhere
All the lights are changing green to red
Turning over TV stations
Situations running through my head…
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now
Carleton Stone, Mo Kenney & Dylan Guthro are three 20-somethings from Nova Scotia who collaborated for a performance on CBC marking the first time they’ve performed together. They have strong, independent solo careers, but onstage they shared the spotlight, singing and playing on each other’s material and having fun with harmonies and guitar solos. They also created brand new songs together that showcase their individual vocals and strength as an ensemble, blending their harmonies effortlessly. (Source: Bandmine)
Liked this? Check out Dance in the Dark
San Fermin is an American baroque pop band started by Brooklyn-based composer and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone. San Fermin took shape after Ludwig-Leone’s graduation from Yale University, where he studied composition. Despite being in several bands in high school and even some during college, Ludwig-Leone did not decide to focus on making pop music until the end of his college career. After his graduation from Yale, Ludwig-Leone retreated to Canada’s secluded Banff Centre, where he wrote what would eventually become San Fermin. The New Yorker recognized the musicianship of the entire eight-piece live ensemble, noting their ability to “deliver epic and emotion-laden rock, with glorious and operatic vocals, electronic break beats, horns, strings, and other flourishes.”
The band released their self-titled debut on September 17, 2013, NPR called the record “one of the year’s most surprising, ambitious, evocative and moving records,” praising Ludwig-Leone for his ability to write a collection of songs “as easy to love as they are to admire.” (Source: Wiki)
Ben Sollee, 30, is an American cellist, singer-songwriter, and composer known for his innovative playing style, genre-bending songwriting, electrifying performances, political activism, and wide appeal. His music incorporates banjo, guitar, and mandolin along with percussion and unusual cello techniques to create a unique sound. His songs exhibit a mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz, and R&B elements. Sollee has also composed longer instrumental pieces for dance ensembles. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Sollee began playing the cello in elementary school. Besides classical music, his early musical influences included recordings his parents played of Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday and Otis Redding, and later he discovered folk music. (Source: Wiki)
Find this tune on Sollee’s album here.
Jonathan Julian “Jon” Hopkins, 35, is a London-based producer and musician who writes and performs his own melodic electronica and dance music. After starting his career performing keyboard for Imogen Heap, he has produced or contributed to albums by Brian Eno, Coldplay, David Holmes, and others. Hopkins composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Monsters, which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Score. In 2011 Diamond Mine was nominated for a Mercury Prize, which is annually awarded for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Immunity was also nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize.
Find this song on Hopkins’ Album Immunity on iTunes here.
Valerie June, 32, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass. After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released in August, 2013. The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.”
Find her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” on iTunes here.
Paula Cole, 45, is an American singer-songwriter. Her single “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997, and the following year she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Cole was raised in Rockport, Massachusetts; her mother was an elementary school art teacher, and her father was a professor of biology and ecology at Salem State College and a polka musician. She attended Rockport High School, where she was president of her senior class and performed in school theatrical productions such as South Pacific. Cole then attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied jazz singing and improvisation. Cole got her first big professional break when she was invited to perform on Peter Gabriel‘s 1993-1994 Secret World Live tour.
Ben Taylor, 37, is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon. Here’s a mash-up of his Father’s Fire in Rain and Mother’s You’re So Vain.
“Taking a cue from earnest, pastoral folk-rockers like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers, London alt-country/indie folk trio Bear’s Den formed around the talents of Joey Haynes, Andrew Davie and Kev Jones. Bear’s Den honed their chops on tours with contemporaries like Of Monsters and Men, the Smoke Fairies, and Matt Corby before securing the opening slot for the Mumford Boys’ 2012 performance at London’s massive O2 Arena.” (Source: iTunes)
Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi. Ishibashi, 38, was born in Seattle, Washington. He grew up in Norfolk, Virginia where both of his parents were professors at Old Dominion University. He went on to study classical music becoming a renowned violinist. Ishibashi has recorded with and toured internationally as a violinist with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre, Of Montreal and Alexi Murdoch. (Source: Wiki)
“NPR’s Stephen Thompson called the Virginia native’s “one-man orchestra” of violin, beatboxing and English and Japanese vocals one of a few standouts from South By Southwest. The Washington Post reported at least one woman openly weeping at a Kishi Bashi concert, and Andrew Bird comparisons are already piling on like so many violin loops.” Read more @ Huffington Post.
Find his album on iTunes here.