Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 - Top tracks

For me 2009 has been more about individual tracks than full albums, it's probably to be expected with the download era. Yet, I love Long Players and it frustrates me a little bit when a band is capable of creating a peach of a song only to fail to write 10 decents tracks. Anyhow here are some of my favorites songs of the past 12 months:

**Eels: That Look You Give That Guy**

Eels came back in sinister form this year with Hombre Lobo: 12 songs about desire. This first single is deffinitely one of the best songs written this year: the lyrics, the music, E's voice, everything is perfect and fits with the other elements seamlessly.Unrequited love has never sounded

**Jack Penate: Tonight's The Day**

**Bony King Of Nowhere: The Sunset**

**Andrew Bird: The Giant of Illinois**

If we talk about 2009, I have to mention Dark Was The Night, the best compilation of the year. A double CD filled with probably the best indie artists around doing covers, collaborations etc... As is always the case with such work, it's a little bit hit and miss but even its worse moments are worthy of some admiration.

And I just LOVE Andrew bird's cover of 'The Giant Of Illinois'

**Death Cab For Cutie: I Will Possess Your Heart**

I know I know, it's from 2008 but I bend the rules, ok? Thing is I listened to this song non stop from January until about May so to me it's on my 2009 soundtrack...come on allow me this one...pretty please?
The long version is just amazing with the slow progression on the intro and then the bittersweet, slightly stalkerish lyrics kick in, once against the balance is right between every element

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009: Top albums, part 2

Here we go again, we are back for part 2, probably filled with albums already mentioned by many a critic. I love thinking independently and disagree with the general opinion but some albums were just excellent and appreciated by the (relative) masses. And I refuse to compromise just for the sake of being different :-)

**The Horrors: Primary Colours**

I'll admit it, I liked The Horrors before, I remember their punky set at Dour many moons ago, I thought they were fantastic! I was therefore excited to hear their new material. I remember as well hearing the first 20 seconds of Sea Within a Sea and thinking 'OH MY GOD this is going to be one hell of record' I hoped the rest of the LP would reach the heights of that track and it did. I totally agree with Mike Diver when he said Primary Colours was "wholly worth all the hype that's attracted to its unexpected brilliance."

**The Arctic Monkeys: Humbug**

We're so accustomed to hearing great quality music from the Sheffield Boys that an excellent album without filler or false note seems a given, we don't even feel like acknowledging
Humbug is a superb album, Turner has learned to pose his voice in a more menacing way and his lyrics are as sharp as ever. It's been a steady learning process for the Monkeys and with each album they go a step further. I can't find any fault in Humbug and I get much pleasure hearing it over and over again.
My favourite track is probably the opening one: My Propeller

**The XX: XX**

Sometimes the hype has good reasons behind it, I feel it's the case for The XX, subtle music that improves with every listen. I have no idea how they'll top that on their next output but for now I'll keep playing that CD for months and years to come.

**Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse present: Dark Night Of The Soul **

Musically, nothing upset me more than the non-physical release of that masterpiece. Dammit EMI, sort it out! I love it when an album manages to be different from the rest by creating its own little world. The songs are different from each other in style [and by the presence of many guest musicians] but yet they manage to create a body of work homogenous and exciting!
You can find MP3 streaming online and download the album for free, which is what Danger Mouse intended when the actual release was aborted so fo once go and download Dark Night Of The Soul, your life will be better for it.
Everytime I'm With you, with Jason Lytle

**Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix**

This is probably the album I've listened to the most since its release. There have been many times when I played Lisztomania or 1901 loudly in my flat to just jump up and down or when I was doing chores, feelgood music and after all, that what's it's all about: pleasure!
Phoenix have given me lots of pleasure on CD or live over the years and with W.A.P. they were back in great pop spirit, just writing about it makes me smile

**the runners-up**

I can't decide which of the other contenders to choose so here's their names:

Fever Ray: Fever Ray
Blakroc: Blakroc
Jamie T: Kings & Queens
Soulsavers: Broken

For the next 2 days, I'll compile some of my favourite singles of the year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 - Top albums

I hope you all had a great Christmas!
It's that time of the year when we all make lists of our best and worse moments of the past 12 months. An exercise often done in the cultural fields so I'll comply and give you my best albums of 2009. Obviously, nobody else will agree with that choice so we'll have to agree to disagree on that one or start a great banter about music [we all love those]

In no particlar order, and most of my highlights have been present in this blog on way or the other:

**Wild Beast: "Two Dancers"**

Lovely balance between the voices, great songs and generally a very original album with slight touches of camp that make the whole experience not as pretentious as it could easily have been.
There's a chance tat most of you will hate Hayden Thorpe's falsetto, but if you dig it then this album will reveal itself as a very modern and flamboyant indie rock album.

**Soap& Skin: Lovetune For Vacuum**

Oh my, when I first heard 'Spiracle' at the end of last winter I was smitten straight away, the full album didn't disappoint either. It's not for the faint hearted, 19 yr Anja sings about pain like no-one else. Her noire atmosphere and depressing piano haunted by touches of electronica form an exquisite foil for her voice, a voice that betrays a fragile and probably excentric persona.
Again, I think her work is very original and in my opinion she has the talent to become an artist as venerated and personal as PJ harvey in years to come.

**Noah & The Whale: The First Days of Spring**

This one is a late comer on the list. At first listen I thought 'yeah, pretty record' but then it's a grower of an album, after a few listens I became enthralled in its world. The lyrics are touching and the delivery worthy or old alt-country masters like Oldham or Callahan. Charlie Fink is fast becoming a fine singer and the music is dreamier than on its predecessor, on the opening tracks it's nearly Sigur Ros-esque. It's a post break-up album and we all know what it's like, yet they manage to express the whole range of emotion in 11 well crafted songs. It won't change the world, but this ia lovely album, well made, full of sentiments that will stand the test of time.

**Richard Hawley: Truelove Gutter**

I opened this blog with Mr Hawley and yeah I'm a sucker for that type of music so he has to be in my top albums of the year. He doesn't take any risks on this album but he keeps on improving his recipe which is fine by me. I can't even explain the why and how, it speaks to me and it touches me.

the rest tomorrow kids

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fairytale of New York

You have to hand it to the BBC, they really do try to be creative and bring quality entertainment to their audience. This year they've asked two of the most hyped female singer in the country to sing Xmas classic "Fairytale of New York", depiste the results, the initiative is to be applauded

First stop: Florence Welch of Flor & The Machine fame with none other than Billy Bragg

I'm not a big Florence fan and it doesn't exactly win me over, it lacks the tension, what do you think?

Next Paloma Faith with the singer from Scouting For Girls. Incidentally, Faith first got noticed for her track "It's Christmas (and I hate you)". The 24 yr old Londoner has an album to her name rel earlier this year.
As mentioned before, I find the 'look at me I'm soooo crazy' stick rather tiresome, but here goes nothing

Oh this is a bit depressing... let's listen to the original by The Pogues & Kirsty McColl [1987] and forget those meh! covers

It's more like it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Erland Oye "Last Christmas"

Ha Norway! Great Country and great music. One of the most prolific Norwegian artist is probablly Erland Oye.
We got to know him thanks to his delicate project Kings Of Convenience and more recently The Whitest Boy Alive.
To me, Oye represents soothing sounds and calming melodies, even in his more electronic ventures. It was only fitting for him to reprise Wham!'s Last Christmas and give the song some pathos.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tom Waits: 'Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis'

The next few days we'll have a look at some Xmas covers or roiginal as performed by some interesting artits, you know, to get in the mood for Christmas.

Today, one of the best and most versatile artist ever in my opinion, mister Tom Waits. His Christmas Car From A hooker in Minneapolis is now a classic and what a classy way to start our countdown until the big day.

Enjoy the holidays, drink plenty of Eggnog and have a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy : Death To Everyone

Last post of the week [thanks for the reminder, Alain] is dedicated to mister Will Oldham aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, aka, Palace Brothers, aka Palace...

He has been known since the early 90s for a sort of punk attitude within the Americana and folk genres. Who else would write such lyrics as 'She is a fine looking lady and she likes to go down on me and I like to down on her too" ['A King at Night' on Ease Down The Road, 2001]

Here's one of my favourite tracks of his in his usual witty and tongue-in-cheek style...

Earlier this year he released a 17th album 'BEWARE'
To know more about this amazing musician and all his albums and projects, try his website

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Portishead ' Chase The Tear"

Tis the season of goodwill and all so here's the video from the new Portishead, go and buy the download and the money goes to Amnesty International.

I don't need to tell you anything about the band, you probably already know everything there is to know!

Be careful in the snow, now

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Angus & Julia Stone "And The Boys"

Today it's snowing a bit so let's go and warm ourselves up in Australia with the siblings Stone. Angus & Julia started their carreer in their natal Sidney in 2006 with the relesea of a first EP "chocolates and cigarettes"
before delivering a lovely first album "A Book Like This" a year later.

Their music is just lovely pop folk, as mister @Francoish will attest. So to please him and you here's their new single which will feature on their forthcoming album "Down The Way" to be releaes in 2010.

Stay warm kids!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beth Jeans Houghton "Golden"

oooh that song has a sort of christmassy melody with the harmonies and little's also warm and feels familiar, like an old friend.
Prefect to stay inside in this cold, cold weather.

Beth Jeans Houghton is a new artist on the scene, she has 2 EPs and a single to her name. The Observer Music Monthly mentionned her with trepidation back in July.
Let's see what she does in the future but in the meantime, we have this joyful 'Golden' to whet our appetites

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bill Callahan " My Friend"

Bill Callahan, also known as Smog, has been making lo-fi music since 1990. He has a very distinctive voice, deep yet somewhat cold. He has released 11 albums under the Smog moniker and 2 as Bill Callahan.
I completely fell in love with his Red Apple Falls album in 97, with his "Dress Sexy At My Funeral" song in 2000, and have always been touched by his music, consitently good, simple musical structure with thought-provoking lyrics.

I'm ashamed to say that I missed his last album: Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle but it's still streaming on youtube so here a track called "My Friend"

Now if you like him and don't know much about him, you've got some catching up to do!
Here's his full discography, ready?

As Smog
And As Bill Callahan:

More info HERE

Friday, December 11, 2009

Labradford '5'

Back in the archives today withe the ever so atmospheric Labradford. This trio is from Virginia and existed from 1992 until 2001, releasing 6 albums.
Musically, it's a sort of quiet post rock, mostly instrumental with drips of drone rock and veering into ambiant.
Perfect foil for a cosy evening at home, try it and you won't regret it.
Their most acclaimed albums are the last 3: 'Mi Media Naranja [1998], 'E Luxo So' [1999] and 'Fixed::Context' [2001]

Here is '5' which features on 'E Luxo So', 7 minutes of peace, quiet and reverie...

Have a great weekend

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Grave With No Name: 'The Underpass'

I read about A Grave With No Name on the Clash website and it made me want to check them out.

Their album is called Mountain Debris and their music is kinda dreamy and woozy with a guitar edge and it sounds like this:

I don't know much about them apart from the fact that they're from the uk and there's 3 of them in the band. It's a start, right?

Their Myspace is here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blakroc ' Coochie'

When I started this blog, I wanted to share some tracks, mainly the softer tones of singer songwriters who don't get that much airplay anymore. However rules have to be broken now and again.
It's the case today because this track truly blew me away.
I've always loved the blues rock of duo The Black Keys and when I heard they were teaming up with Damon Dash and some of the best US hip hop artists for the Blakroc project I wasn't sure what to expect...

I got the album 2 days ago and it has barely left my a word WAOW!
Forget 'Walk This Way' or anything Linkin Park have ever done, Hip hop and rock CAN work together.

'Coochie' packs a tune with the voice of ODB and Ludacris

Play it as loud as you can and let the groove do the rest

Back to normal tomorrow guys!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fuck 'Monkey Doll'

For some reason yesterday's song made me listen to my old Fuck CDs. There is something in their music that just makes me go through all the spectrum of feelings in 40 minutes.
I saw them live a couple of times back in the days and it was just the same. Short songs that don't overstay their welcome, simple melodies with a bric-a-brac side, sweet voices and then bursts of fury before calming down again and cuddling the listener with a cheeky grin, all very child-like.

The band met in California, in a police holding cell. They wrote a couple of songs and the rest is history. According to their website they're still together but there is not much activity at the moment.

Pardon my French (1997) and Conduct (1998) are my favourite albums. Obviously because of their silly name it's very difficult to find anything online about this band. I wish I could have found a version of 'Drinking Artist' which would be in my top 10 tracks of all time (Never Comin' Back would maybe make that list too).
After many searches I managed to find this 'Monkey Doll' video from Conduct, an album you should get if you don't know it yet, playful, yet full of emotions.

Their discography

* Fuck (cassette) - Rhesus - 1994
* Pretty...Slow - Rhesus - 1996
* Baby Loves a Funny Bunny - Rhesus - 1996
* Pardon My French - Matador - 1997
* Conduct (CD) - Matador - 1998
* Cupid's Cactus - Smells Like Records - 2001
* Gold Bricks - Homesleep Records - 2001
* Those Are Not My Bongos - Homesleep Records - 2003

and their official site is HERE

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cymbals Eat Guitars ' What Dogs see'

Cymbals Eat Guitars is a quatuor from New York. Indie press Pitchfork got an instant hard on for them including the band in their best new act category. Their first album Why There Are Mountains was released in the spring. During its quieter moments, it sounds like this:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Florian Horwath 'Baby You Got Me'

And now we're off to Austria to meet probably the sweetest man in pop Florian Horwath. He has released 2 lovely albums: We Are All Gold in 2005 and Sleepyhead in 2007.
His next output 'Speak To Me Know' will be out in Jan 2010, on his website, you can listen to some tracks already.

For now, on this blog, we'll content ourselves with his duet with Cardigan's Nina Person.

If you ever cross path with Florian, make sure to say hello, you own't regret it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taken By Trees 'Sweet Child Of Mine"

Victoria Bergsman is a Swedish singer-songwriter who used to be in The Concretes. In 2007 she released her first album "Open Field" and the follow up "East of Eden" was out in September.

As is often the case for folk-ish artists she got the media's attention by makeing a soulful cover of a popular track, in this case Guns & Roses' Sweet Child Of Mine. It's so good it was even used in an ad synch. Oh yeah.

I actually do like the original a lot...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She & Him "You Really Got A Hold On Me"

Great news: She & HIm have finished recording their new album, Volume 2, and it will be released in 2010. Hurrah! The first one, Volume1, was such a breath of fresh air that it has barely left my stereo.
She is Zooey Deschenel, Mrs Ben Gibbard, the indie actress with a 60s fashion sense and Him is M.Ward a regular in this blog with his various projects.

They met on film shoot and she showed him her texts, he liked them and decided to help her make a record.Easy as...
The result is kooky, sweet and damn good! On top of her orginal songs they have covered some old classics like this Smokey Robinson "You Really Got A Hold On Me" they sing this song live here:

This time around they will be touring the new album and hopefully come to Europe!

for more, try their myspace

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Michael J. Sheehy

Back in 1997 I heard a band called Dream City Film Club and I fell in love straight away with the sexyness and the darkness of their self titled debut record. I then interviewed the band and worked with them when I was at PIAS. They recorded 2 more albums on Beggars Banquet before splitting.

The guys became friends and Michael J Sheehy, the singer, was a great help when I moved to London. In 2000 he released his first solo album, Sweet Blue Genes. Michael's voice is recognisable by its warmth in total contrast with some of the debauched lyrical content.
Michael is a big Elvis fan and that side of him brings a sort of lightness and humour into his compositions.

Loose Variations on a Near Miss is his latest solo output [his 6th] and a best off of sorts. With his new backing band he has re-recorded some of his past songs to give them a 2010 facelift.

Here is his singing an old blues track for Resonnance FM

And for those who missed DCFC, 'If I Die, I Die' back in 97 when it all began...

More on Michael here

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lisa Mitchell "Clean White Love"

At only 19, Australian Lisa Mitchell has already managed to get noticed thanks to the Australian Idol TV show. She didn't win and therefore was able to do the sort of music she wanted to make once she left the show.
So the music then, it's that kind of fresh pop with a few drops of sweet and sour sauce, similar to Emiliana Torrini or Regina Spektor.

Her first album "Wonder" was released last July. Here is her latest single "Clean White Love"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Catherine Feeny 'Beltloops & Blue Jeans"

If you're in London on Dec 1st do yourself a favour and head straight to The Luminaire in Kilburn to see the wonderful Catherine Feeny live.
There is so much warmth and texture in her voice and so much sweetness too, musically she does the sad ballads amazingly well but then switches on her poppier persona for more uptempo tracks.

In 2003 she released a self titled debut, more stripped down than Hurricane Glass her second output, on that first album the opening track is "Beltloops and Blue Jeans" as performed live here for Sun Studio:

She has a new album in the pipeline too.

her myspace is here

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Isbells ''Dreamer"

My friend Geert has a label [] on which he signs bands and artists that really seduce him. On october 23rd Zeal released the first album by Gaetan Vandewoude under his Isbells moniker.
It is an album that was written at nighttime and in solitude and it feels: it's lovely, sweet, dark, melancolie and soft all at the same time. If you like Bon Iver and Neil Young you can't not love Isbells

Here's an excerpt from that self titled debut: "Dreamer"

The whole album is on streaming on youtube
and you can also check his myspace

Monday, November 23, 2009

the aftermath of a MOF concert....

triple WAOW, last night I saw Monsters Of Folk and was truely blown away. They all had a such a ball playing together! The show lasted for 3 hours, they played MOF material as well as music from My Morning Jacket, Bright Eyes and M Ward. Fantastic!

Just to celebrate here's one of my favourite Bright Eyes songs " Something Vague" from their 2000 album "Fevers and Mirrors"

And now to mister M.Ward. in 2003 he released his 3rd album "Transfigurations of Vincent", on which we find this little pearl of a song " Sad, Sad Song"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Samuel & The Dragon: "Diamonds On A Boat"

I don't know anything about this duo apart from the fact that they're signed on the Moshi Moshi singles club.
This makes their brand new single "Diamond On a Boat" all the more surprising.
It's dark and brooding with touches of flamboyance that hints a little at Goldfrapp.

Just listen, it's well worth it!

Diamonds On A Boat from Nicholas Audsley on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jesca Hoop " Enemy"

Jesca Hoop had a weird upbringing in southern california, she was a mormon until the age of 16 and she sang in choirs at church. When she left, she lived in woods in Wyoming then in the mountains of Arizona and ended up being a nanny to Tom Waits' children. What a life!

On Nov 30th this year she'll release her first album in Europe "Hunting My Dress". I'll be honest I don't always like singers who play it kooky but this girl does have a fab voice and she write good songs so I'll overlook the "look at me I'm crazy" part to focus on the music...

Here's an accoustic version of "Enemy" and a short interview

for more info, try her webiste

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mark Kozelek 3 for the price of 1

Last night I went to see Andrew Bird live, it was a lovely show and the man is very talented. During some songs I kept thinking that the tone of his voice reminded me of a familiar voice and suddenly it all became clear, I was thinking of Mark Kozelek.

In 1989 he started the band Red House Painters whose track "Mistress" has become a classic.Problems with their label 4AD finally meant that the band dismembered and Kozelek started some peculiar solo projects, amongst them one very fine album titled "What's Next To The Moon" a CD filled only with AC/DC covers reworked to sound like this

Kozelek has since been mixing original materials alongside stripped down covers, another favourite is The Doors "Indian Summer"

Since 2002, Kozelek formed Sun Kil Moon with a couple of ex RHP members. On their third album " April" Will Oldham and Ben Gibbard both lend their voices.
"Lost Verses" is a long song and takes its time to get going but once you let it seduce you, there is no going back!

to know everything there is to know about Kozelek and his various projects, try his website

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gil Scott-Heron " Where Did The Night Go"

Gil Scott-Heron is a 60-year old American poet, musician and author. His spoken word albums in the 70s were close to rapping and have influenced countless of hip hop artists.
In February 2010 he'll release a new album via XL recordings " I'm New Here" , his first in 13 years.

Here's a first excerpt:

This reminded me a bit of one of my favourite track by Recoil, Alan Wilder's parralel project. in 2000 on their album Liquid, they colaborated with New York poet Nicole Blackman on 3 songs. The mood is dark, veering into S&M, her deliery is cold yet warm, sexy and dangerous.
One of them is the brilliant Breath Control:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Magnet " Hold On"

I'll be honest, I had never heard of Even Johansen aka Magnet before he released his "The Tourniquet" album back in 2005.
He's from Bergen in Norway and now has 4 albums to his name, his style borrows from pop, electronica and folk so deservedly has a place in this blog.

Accoring to his myspace a new albym should be out before the end of 2009

"hold on" is the song that opened the doors of his universe for me:

more on Magnet here
His discography:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pearl & The Puppets : "Because I do"

If you like Regina Spektor, Emiliana Torrini or Feist, you will enjoy scottish band Pearl & The Puppets.
Pearl is Katie Sutherland and the Puppets are her backing band.

They don't have an album yet but their single "Because I do" was chosen for a big ad campaign by cell phone giants Vodaphone down under.
Here is the track:

If you want to keep track of them here's their myspace

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Antlers: "Kettering"

In 2006, Peter Silberman moved to New-York and isolated himself to write and record an album on his own. The result was In The Attic Of The Universe. Afterwards, 2 musiciens joined him and The Antlers became a collaborative band. Their second album Hospice was released in August to great acclaim.

Here's a video suggested by mister Darren Taffinder [ Thanks Darren!] The track is Kettering:

They'll be part of that great fetsival Crossing Borders in A'pen on Nov 22nd.
here is the festival's website

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jonsi & Alex "All The Big Trees"

Jonsi is the lead singer of dream pop band Sigur Ros, Alex is his boyfriend. Together they create a very poetic ambiant music complete with visual art.

Their debut album Riceboy Sleeps was released this summer. It's kinda comfort blanket music, quite pure and etheral . Here's their first single

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cass McCombs "Dreams Come True Girl"

he's a slippery fish, Cass Mc Combs, one artist that's quite hard to describe. Since his first album in 2002 he has changed form, moved from one citu to the next without much explaination about his work. It can be a bit tough to enter his world but once you get it, it's a great universe to be in.

His two most known albums are 'A' and 'Dropping the Wit'. His latest effort 'Catacombs' is filled with songs about his wife and it's his most stripped down work to this day. Probably the most accessible too.

"Dreams Come True Girl" is on that last album:

If you want to get to know him further here's his discography released via Domino Rec. [ One of my favourite track ever is his "Full Moon or Integrity" on Dropping The Wit]

and, of course, his myspace

Belgian Friends, please note that Cass will be at the Botanique in Bxl on Dec 7th. See you there!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spain "Untitled 1"

Mazzy Star made me think of Spain, the band not the country. How much I've listened to their first album 'Blue Moods of Spain" [1995] it's one of my most listened to album so I had to add on of their tracks here:

Josh Hendon has now reformed Spain [ they first split in 2003 after 3 albums and a best of] with new musicians and they've uploaded new music on their myspace.
A new album should be released soon, which is really exciting!

If you like that minimal, bluesey track, you should definitively pay a closer attention to Spain

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions " Blanchard"

how much I loved Mazzy Star in the 90s, the sound, the atmosphere and then there was Hope Sandoval's voice...oh boy! [ how disappointing was it when I met her and realised what a little madam she was...]

So in 2009, Hope Sandoval and her new band, the Warm Inventions are back with a album that lingers in Mazzy Star's shadows but in a current form. All good!
The album is called Through The Devil Softly and here's the first single "Blanchard"

I'm going to see her play at Le Botanique on Saturday.

More info here

Monday, November 2, 2009

Emily Jane White ' Dark Undercoat'

Let's keep to the sad autumn atmosphere with Emily Janes White. She's a dark folk singer songwriter with roots in blues so I can't help but like her!

She has spent time in France which is probably why she has a strongh following over here. She now lives in san Fransicsco where she has released first album Dark Undercoat in 2007.

Here's the title track:

She has a new album out 'Victorian America' and she's currently touring the world to present it live to her fans. She will stop by Brussels on December 2nd at Le Botanique.
learn more about her via her

Friday, October 30, 2009

Elvis Perkins 'Shampoo'

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you mister Elvis Perkins

He is the son of actor Anthony Perkins and was named after The King.
Hi first album Ash Wednesday [ 2007] was written with the events of 9/11 in mind. His mother was in the plane that hit the twin towers. Quite devastating for Elvis who took his time to write and then record the album.

The next step 'Elvis Perkins In Dearland' was released earlier this year, the first single was SHAMPOO, recorded live here:

This months he's back with a new 6-track EP "Doomsday" for more info

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mechanical Bride 'Chapel'

2 posts today because I was at the radio station all day yesterday and had no time to update the blog, many apologies!

I saw Mechanical Bride a few years ago in London and kinda liked them, it seems they've been working hard and kept on improving. The main culprit here is Lauren Doss, a young musician based in Surrey.

Their music is eerie, quirky, poppy in a subdued way.

MB got noticed for their cover of Rhianna's Umbrella as a stripped down, piano led version. It opened the door for them and they released a couple of EP and a full album "More Than A Girl"

Fionn Regan "Put A Penny In The Slot"

My friend Marsha has been raving about this Irish singer songwriter for years and for good reasons, he's great in the tradition of Bob Dylan or Neil Young.

Fionn Regan has released a handful of singles and EPs before unleashing a first album,The End Of History, to the world in 2006. In February 2010 he will offer us a follow-up.

So in order to get acquainted with him and be ready for the new songs, lets' go back to Put A Penny In The Slot:

more info can be found on his myspace

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

She Keeps Bees "CageMatch"

I don;t know much about She Keeps Bees, apart from the fact that it's Jessica Larrabee's project. She's from New York and she inhabits a world of indie soul-blues folk...She now has a drummer, Andy La Plant. They both live in Brooklyn.

Jessica's voice will remind many people of Chan Marshall's, the rawness of the music can also evoke old PJ Harvey. 2 good singers to be compared to, right?
SKB's first album "Minisink Hotel" was recorded in her bedroom, with minimum fuss which gives the compositions an extra meaning.

The 2nd album 'Nest' is out now, althought I'm yet to find it

Here's the only good quality video I found of her

her myspace is here

Monday, October 26, 2009

Soulsavers " Unbalanced Pieces"

Soulsavers are Rich Machin and Ian Glover, this producing duo has been making music together since 2000 and have so far given birth to 3 albums. Since 2007's 'It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land" they have been collaborating with THE VOICE, Mr Marc Lanegan.

On their latest ouput, 'Broken' Lanegan is still at the helm but with a little help from many friends, like Richard Hawley, Mike Patton, Jason Pierce, Gibby Haynes and quite a few others.

The music is described as downtempo electronica and borrows heavily from gospel, rock, soul and even country. The atmosphere is often charged with dark emotions, definitely more autumn/winter music.

On Unbalanced Pieces, Lanegan is joined by Mike Patton and it sounds deliciously like this:

their discography:
and myspace

I'm REALLY gutted to discover that they're playing in Ghent on Nov 4th when I'm in London. GUTTED so please go!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dark Night Of The Soul "Every Time I'm With You"

Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch have formed Dark Night Of The Soul, a project that mixes music and images. Sadly DM had problems with the label, EMI, and the book was released with a blank CDR. They gave the abum away with free online streaming. It's a great shame because it's a sublime piece of work!

They have invited quite a few guest singers like Jason Lytle [ ex Grandaddy] on this track: Everytime I'm With You

Their official site is up and running here

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Low "Laser Beam"

Low is an American band led by Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker [ they are married with 2 kids in 'real life']. They started in 1993 and have so far released 8 albums and 9 EP's.
Their musical style is called "slowcore": slow tempo, harmonies and minimal arrangements. It's beautiful, quiet and slightly depressing.

In 2001, the released Things We Lost In The Fire, an album that gathered great reviews, on which we find "Laser Beam"

their discography in full:
and their official website:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marie-Flore " Trapdoor"

Honesty card: I don't know much about Marie-Flore. David from Bellevue sent me a link to her myspace and I liked it. She's un-mistakenly French with her "je ne sais quoi"

All I know is what is on her myspace

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jay Jay Pistolet "Holly"

Today's singer songwriter is Jay Jay Pistolet. Justin Hayward-Young is his real name and he's part of the new folk scene in London.

He's taking things slowly and not rushing to get his work out. Wise guy!

The first song I ever heard from him was Holly, sang live here

As always you can get more music and info on his myspace page:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ben Christophers & Francoise Hardy " My Beautiful Demon"

I was looking for Ben Christopher's track and stumbled upon this duo. Never heard it before but it does have a little 'something'...

In 1999, Ben released his first album 'My Beautiful Demon' and has put out 3 other LP afterwards. Since then he has worked with Francoise Hardy and is currently playing with Bat For Lashes.

His solo work:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis " Martha's Dream"

White Lunar is a 2 CD collection of pieces written by Cave & Ellis for various movies and documentaries over the past few years. It's beautiful from start to finish.
The first CD has to more orchestrated tracks whilst the second is more haunted and a tad closer to what Ellis does with his band The Dirty Three.
Great album for cold winter nights indoors.

In Martha's Dream [ from motion picture The Proposition] there is even a fragment of Dirty Three's 'Some Summers They Drop Like Flies'.

Have a great weekend

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Laura Marling

I couldn't wait any longer so here's two, yes two old live recording of Laura Marling.

She's just fantastic, a sort of modern day Joni Mitchell. She wrote and recorded her first album Alas Cannot Swim when she was 17. The writing, lyrics and emotions are just amazingly mature for such a young artist.

She used to play in Noah & The Whale and has toured a lot with Mumford & Sons.
She's currently writing a new album and she'll be playing in Belgium at the Crossing Border festival in A'pen on Nov. 22nd

This is my favourite song of hers: "My Manic And I"

And now her first single "New Romantics"

After a year of touring she's a lot less shy on stage, even though it's kinda cute

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Twilight Sad " I Became a Prostitute"

Let's up the tempo today with Scottish band The Twilight Sad. Great band name for starters. Musically, their singer James Graham describes what they do as "folk with layers of noise" Yep, this is for you shoegazing fans!

Last month, they released their second album Forget The Night Ahead [on Fat Cat]
And here's the single issued from it: " I Became a Prostitute"

aaah that lovely Scottish accent...

They're playing in Belgium at The Botanique on Nov 21st, if you want to catch them live
and loose your hearing.

More info on their myspace:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maps ' I Dream Of Crystal"

James Chapman is a musician from Northampton and he has recorded 2 albums as MAPS on Mute Records. He says his influences go from Spiritualized to Mogwai, via My Bloody Valentine or Low.

The result sounds like this:

His first album We Can Create dates from 2007 and in September this year he released his follow up album: Turning The Mind, of which I Dream Of Crystal is the lead single.

James is very involved in his myspace, using it to really connect with fans. If you like what he does, then check out

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tiny Vipers 'Dreamer"

Oh Boy...Jesy Fortino, aka Tiny Vipers is a singer songwriter from Seattle and signed to Sub Pop.
This summer she has released a new album: Life On Earth.
'Dreamer" is achingly beautiful and full of emotions.Fantastic Lyrics and great guitar playing. WATCH!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gravenhurst " I Trun My Face To The Forest Floor"

Another old-time favourite of mine. Gravenhurst aka Nick Talbot has released 4 albums so far on Warp Records. Talbot is from Bristol and his music is rather dark and atmospheric in style but can cover many genres: shoegazing, folk, harmony pop...

This is probably one of my top 10 songs ever. I hope you enjoy it
"I Trun My Face To The Forest Floor" is on Flashlight Season, rel in 2003:

Gravenhurst Discography [ there are many sountracks and collaborations outside his solo output]
more info:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lisa Germano "We Suck"

Going back a few years for today's post. I just love Lisa Germano. I was lucky enough to work with her and I was left wanting to be her.

This is a live version of her song "We Suck" that you can find on her 4th album
'Excerpts from a Love Circus' released in 1996.

If you like confessional lyrics and sweet melodies, try dip into Germano's world.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wild Beasts "All The King's Men"

Wild Beasts hail from Kendal in England where the 4 boys started making music together in 2004. After a series of Eps and demos they finally signed to cult label Domino in 2007.
A year later they released their first album Limbo, Panto to cool reviews.
In 2009 they are back with one of the best albums of the year TWO DANCERS. The press all over the word are describing the album as a master piece.

Musically adventurous, lyrically poetic and then there's that voice...Hayden Thorpe can sing so high and so low, it's quite something!
It just sounds new and ever so different to anything else. Go and check them out!

Here's their brand new single 'All The King's Men'

their myspace:
They will also perform Live at Crossing Border festival in A'pen on Nove 22nd

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monsters Of Folk 'Dear God ( Sincerely M.O.F)'

When 4 of the most acclaimed nu-folk singers of today decide to get together it's a project that can only be called Monsters Of Folk. The culprits are Conor Oberst, M.Ward, Jim James [ My Morning Jacket] and Mike Mogis [ Bright Eyes and producer extraordinaire] they formed M.O.F back in 2004 when they toured together and 2009 sees the release of their first album soberly titled Monsters Of Folk.

It's not just another side project for them since they're touring the album and will even stop by A'pen on Nov 22nd as part of the Crossing Border Festival.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mumford & Sons "Litte Lion Man"

There is quite a folk scene growing in London. The wonderful Laura Marling and Noah & The Whale have one other band in common: Mumford & Sons [If you want to try other bands from that scene: Jay Jay Pistolet or Johnny Flynn are good acts too]
M&S is a London based quartet led by Marcus Mumford, they have a couple of EPs under their belt and the first album will be out later in October on Island Records. It will be called Sigh No More.

As an appetizer they've released a first single from that forthcoming album: Little Lion Man

For more music and to keep an eye on them, check their Myspace:

LIVE DATE they're on the excellent line-up at Crossing Border in A'pen on Nov 22nd [full line-up on ] Personal highlights: Bony king of Nowhere, Steve Earle, Madensuyu, Laura M, Monsters Of Folk, Patrick Watson, Wild Beast...