Monday, December 13, 2010

Albums in 2010 - Part II

I will admit it, sometimes I need to think long and hard to remember if an album was released this year or the previous one, there is so much music out there, it can be tricky to keep up with it. However some albums punch you in the stomach at the first listen, so much so that you remember where you were when you heard it.
It's the case with These New Puritans ' second album "Hidden". I did enjoy the experimentations on their first opus: it was clever, quite obtuse but raging with some great energy.
It was with a lot of anticipation that I put the new album on my CD player and it started like this:

The whole album is a tad heavy to digest but it beams with sounds and atmospheres so radically different from anything else that was released this year. It's raw, tribal, convoluted, brilliant, engaging. It's also not an album that I would listen to very often. But every time I need a little reminder of how utterly energizing and inovative music can be I reach for These New Puritans.

In the quiet corner we have the fabulous Dane Ognes Obel. she is so tiny yet so talented. Her first album Philarmonics was released in the fall and has seduced many music fans.
Her melodies are teinted with melancholy, a sort of quiet sadness, nothing too dramatic but it's not not just 'pretty' there is depth here.

Live she has that sort of little girl lost in the woods look, but once her fingers are safely on the piano, she opens up, like a flower.

we move swiftly to the witches: in the mould left empty by Bat For Lashes or Fever Ray, this year we have Glasser. Haunting, tribal, her siren-like vocals tempt the listener into her world. Quite mesmerizing.

Back to the folk music with Conor O Brian's project Villagers. It just reminds me of the best of what Bright Eyes can do. Songs like stories with well written lyrics, kudos in the voice, simple melodies. It's like a bowl of cocoa, like a friend who hugs you. And we all need those from time to time. The album's called Becoming A Jackal

and a bit of fluffy electro to finish today's post with London's Hot Chip. I love the album, it puts me in such a good mood, romatic music you can dance on, what's not to like. so there!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Albums in 2010 - Part I

I know, it's been a while, the radio show and other matters have kept me very occupied.
I now have a few days to add some content to this blog so we'll go through the best of 2010. Or at least what I've enjoyed the most in 2010. Feel free to comment of course.

Everybody will agree that "High Violet" was another masterpiece by The National. The success of the album must have taken them by suprise a bit, it probably was released at the right time and people took to it. Good for them! Here's a great video of Terrible Love filmed for

What I love about this album is how you first get grabbed by the music and then slowly layer after layer you 'get' the lyrics, it's like discovering a new album over and over.

In another genre, another great success this yes is signed by the American duo The Black Keys. "Brothers" is their 6th album and probably the most accessible. They also showcase their odd sense of humour on the videos, with the little dinosaur Frank

I've always loved The Black Keys from the first chords of Thickfrickedness to their Blackroc project ( another Blacroc album should arrive soon, those guys never sleep) and again, it's another hard working band that deserves the success it now reaps. Keep the good music comin'

2010 was also the year ma favourite singstress Laura Marling released her 2nd album. Oh boy! "I Speak Because I Can" took me a little while to get into but it really became an album that rarely left my side.
Her voice is more assured, her lyrics sharp and evocative, the melodies and orchestration subtle et warm.
It's a gem of an album.
Here she is, raw, bare and still so very compelling

There must be a goth in me, this year I've enjoyed some darker music ( or is that kind of music more popular in these financial times?)
One EP that has caught my ear is "Stridulum II" by Zola Jesus. I didn't know her at all to be honest and I have not yet seen her live but I like where her music takes me.

Last album and video for today: "The Fool" the debut album by Warpaint. Hypnotic, warm, it casts its spell on the listerner from the first note to the last. And they're good, if a bit excited young puppy, on stage too!
You MUST listen to this record. pretty please.

More albums, concerts, singles very soon...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Esben And The Witch 'Marching Song'

I love them, I love them, I love them...I've been obssessed with this band for the past 2 weeks. Did I mention how much I love them?

My mate Mike, their manager, has been talking about them for a while and I was always saying 'yeah yeah Mike'. They have now signed to Matadaor and are releasing a proper first single, helped by a fabulously dark video.
OK I can't wait any longer...

This will be out in October and a full album is planned for early 2011.
I have no idea what a full album will sound like, maybe I've been bewitched by this one track...who knows.
In the meantime I'm enjoying it immensely, hope you too!

Their Myspace

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Veronica Falls 'Beach Head'

the 4 members ( 2 boys 2 girls) of Veronica Falls are English and fast becoming quite hype with their indiepop tinted with vintage american garage.

They have released two singles so far, the latest is this cute musical gem: Beach Head
If you like The Raveonettes for exemple you may very well jump up and down for the next 3 minutes

Full lenght album will be out on Wichita early 2011

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blackie and the Oohoos 'Love Birds"

Blackie and The Oohoos is band from Antwerpen centered around 2 sisters.
They have a first full album out in October.

This is what they sound like:

More info on their myspace

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Philip Selway 'By Some Miracles'

oh it must be terrible to be the drummer in a successful band. You never get any attention so you either go wild or you decide to show the world how creative and talented you are and you release some music yourself, that will show them!

Following in the foosteps of Phil Collins, we have Philip Selway, who usually resides behind Radiohead's drumkit, yeah the guy you never remember the name of, him!

He signed to uber label Bella Union, which in itself seems to suggest the guy knows indeed how to craft beautiful melodies, then there is a first single By Some Miracles

It's very pretty, if a little twee, and if he manages to create a full album of that quality, the guy can be proud of himself. We'll know more next week, on the 30th, when his first solo album Familial hits the shops.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A quick announcement

Dear readers,

I've not been updating this site as much as I should, but it's partly for a good reason. From Spetember 4th, every Sunday night from 10pm CET until Midnight, I'll be doing a radio version of this blog thanks to Pure FM

I'll keep updating the blog at regular intervals but there will also be a Facebook page and Twitter for the new radio show.

I'll give you all the details in a future post.

Sophie x

Monday, August 2, 2010

Villagers 'Becoming A Jackal"

Villagers is the project of Irish singer Conor J. O'Brien signed to Domino Records.

Becoming A Jackal is their first released and has been shortlisted by the Mercury Prize.
It's a lovely album with a lot of finesse and beautifully crafted songs.

Here's the title track to whet your appetites:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Afghan Whigs 'Night By Candlelight'

How I loved The Afghan Whigs and Greg Dulli. I once went to see them in a small venue ( I think they were supporting The Melvins but it seems odd....memory) and Dulli shook my hand after the show with a 'thank you for coming', he had a little 'jenesaisquoi' and I followed them ever since.

Just a beautiful ballad on their 2nd album 'Black Love', which, I realised today went missing from my collection.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Aqualung 'Strange & Beautiful'

Writing a blog should also be therapeutic! I've had this lovely song by Aqualung in my head for the past few days, nagging maybe it just wanted an inclusion on this blog.
I remember hearing this 'Strange and Beautiful' track for the first time in 2002, quite eerie and pretty, and sad and...well everything a longing love song should be.

Aqualung is actually just one guy Matthew Hales and he has released 6 albums so far. The last one was out in April this year and...I haven't heard a single note. Not sure it's even been released over here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nic Dawson Kelly 'The Musician'

In my pile of CDs to listen to, there was a single by Nic Dawson Kelly. Looking at the artwork I thought ' oh no, not another one who wants to sound like Mike Skinner'
Imagine my surprise when I played the track and heard this:

Yup more antony Hegarty than The Streets, huh?

This young Sheffield-born musician released a first album "Old Valentine" in the UK last october but I think it will be out in Mainland Europe probably about now.

He has a very distinctive sound and voice and I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.

If you're curious too, you can jump to his MySpace

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Alessi's Ark: "The Asteroids Collide"

Hello and welcome back to this blog. After 2 weeks of well deserved holiday I came back to a flat without has its ups and downs and is not fully fixed yet but let's try and share some music once more.

Summer is never a good time for new music what with festivals taking all the headlines. It gives us time to check out some bands that pass off our radar during the year.

As you all know I may be biaised a little bit when it comes to Laura Marling. She's been raving about this English singer-songwriter called Alessi Laurent-Marke. She plays her music hidden behind the Alessi's Ark moniker.I HAD to check her out!
She'll be 20 at the end of the month and, like Marling and a few others, knows a thing or two about writing songs and performing them.

She left school at 16 to pursue a music career ( promising her supportive parents to go back to educations if nothing came of it after a year) and released a first auto produced EP 'Bedroom Bound'
A deal with Virgin followed and a first full album Notes From The Treehouse ensued.
Here's the single taken from that album

Since then she parted ways with the major label to join the ranks at indie label Bella Union. In 2010 she has release an EP 'Soul Proprietor' and is working on her next full album.

More on Alessi's Ark on her MySpace.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Love Letter to PJ Harvey

First of all, many apologies for not updating this blog, work has been very busy and I had no time for pleasure.

Secondly, I started this back back in September and I haven't yet posted a PJ Harvey song, this is travesty!
So, this is my love letter to PJ Harvey because more than any other artist, she has been with me every step of the way since 1992...that's an 18 year relationship for us.

I've always been touched by the rawness of the emotions that fill up her songs, how she manages to capture that mixture of feelings, the sadness and anger, the excitment and's at time so subtle yet so much in your face. It's damn corny but I've never felt alone with PJ Harvey. Yup...this is love

Nobody does a women scorned like Polly Jean, few people can do a women in love like her either, that's probably why.
She's got such a tiny frame but such a big voice and she's never been afraid to take risks with it.

The women in PJ Harvey'songs are sexual animals, they're strong, they're adventurous, they're also soft, generous, guided by love, haunted by jealousy,joy and pain but always asking for more...

So if you've never ventured into her world, it's probably not for the faint hearted but it's definitely worth the detour:
Her albums in my own personal order of preference ( favourite at the top)

* Is This Desire? (1998)
* To Bring You My Love (1995)
* Dry (1992)
* Rid of Me (1993)
* Uh Huh Her (2004)
* Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
* White Chalk (2007)

She also released 2 albums with John Parish.

One last track for the road

I'm going on holiday for 2 weeks, not sure I'll update the blog very often but I'll try...maybe


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Johnny Flynn " Kentucky Pill"

Johnny Flynn is part of that trendy new London folk scene, led by Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons...

He's actually been making music since 2006 and has 2 albums under his belt with a new one on the way ' Been Listening'
You may have seen him live as support to Mumford & Sons recently. But the biy is about to shine on his own.

Here is the first single out of the new album, which should be out at the beginning of June:

His Myspace is HERE

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

She & Him " In The Sun" ft Tilly & The Wall

Perfect timing for She & Him to release their second album 'Voume 2'
Just like the weather, it's light, fun, filled with the musical equivalent of tea party dresses

what? you don't know what that means...come on take a look:

She is Zooey Deschanel, indie actress and allround entertainer. Him is singer-songwriter M.Ward ( who is also in Monsters Of Folk)
Their first album ( Volume one, aren't they clever?) has barely left my stereo since last year. I've listend to the new album, which is poppier than its' predecessor..and I think I need a few more listens to be fully convinced. Anyhow it's still pure fresh and cute pop music, perfect for this time of year!

Enjoy the sun!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blanche "What This Town Needs"

Let's stay with mr Jack White a little longer.
Blanche is quintet from Detroit and they mix country with a bit of garage, folk and more...with both female and male vocals.

Their banjo player "little" Jack lawrence also play with White in Raconteurs and also in Dead Weathers.

They have released quite a few EPs but their only album to date ( as far as I know) is Little Amber Bottles that was released 2 years ago through V2.

I saw them live without knowing anything about their music and I really enjoyed it. Since then I got the album and enjoy a bit of Blanche now and again. I hope you like them too

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Karen Elson 'The Ghost Who Walks'

OK, I'll admit it, when I heard that Jack Wite was producing his wife Karen Elson's first album, I rolled my eyes in disbelief...Surely he was smart enough to know better. It appears he does know better. One song doesn't represent everything but this sweet track has enough in it to whet appetites and to delay cries of nepotism

The Ghost WHo Walks is also the title of Elson album to be released later in 2010.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cat Power ' Troubled Waters'

Last night I needed to wind down after an exhausting day,so I took a bath and played The Cover Record by Cat Power. It never ceases to amaze me by its sheer beauty, simplicity, rawness and delicacy.

My favourite track of that album is 'Troubed Waters'

Afterwards, we got talking about Cat Power on Twitter with @kattebel, @janosizoltan and @Kmeron.
Chan Marshall has released many a great album under the Cat Power moniker since she embarked on a solo career in 1995:

* Dear Sir (1995)
* Myra Lee (1996)
* What Would the Community Think (1996)
* Moon Pix (1998)
* The Covers Record (2000)
* You Are Free (2003)
* The Greatest (2006)
* Jukebox (2008)
* Dark End of the Street (2008)

Over the years I have seen her play live many many times, and it was never a stroll in the park until she became sober and was able to sing for a whole show...and just loose me in the process. Made me want to share this old story with you. The first time I saw her play in the inimate Rotonde @ Botanique was just as she released What Would The Community Think in 96. Chan was so awkward on stage, hiding behind her bangs and generally being close to tears in front of the 50-odd people who had come to see her. After a few tracks, her ex came into the room (an artist, he had a press day in Bxl on the same date.) Everybody could see how excruciating it was for her to see him there and she suddenly stopped playing, addressing the audiance thus "I can't play the guitar anymore, is there anybody here who knows the chords to my tracks" A young lad answerd affirmatively and hopped on stage to play with Cat Power, who then finished the gig staring at the wall.

At that time her voice was so strong and in stark contrast to her frail persona, everybody in that venue probably remembers the show to this date, we could all feel her pain. It is one of the few gigs I recall most vividly.

On the other hand, the last time I saw her, I hated the show ( even though she was accompanied by 2 of my favourite musicians Jim White and Judah Bauer) her voice was gone, and yes, she was much more professional but the magic had disappeared.

Still, the albums are amazing to listen to and that will never go away. Here's probably my favorite ever Cat Power songs 'Nude As The News' from 96

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peggy Sue 'Watchman'

Peggy Sue is a indie folk trio from Brighton. After a few name changes Rosa Rex, Katy Klaw and Olly Joyce have setteled for Peggy Sue just in time to release a first album on Witchita! [Their first outputs were released under the name Peggy Sue & The Pirates]

Fossils & Other Phantoms is a lovely collection of charming DIY songs, masterly crafted and full of original talent.

Watchman from Peggy Sue on Vimeo.

The full album is on streaming thanks to ClashMusic: to listen, just follow the LINK

They're embarking on a long European tour that will stop in Brugge on May 5th @ Cactus

More info HERE

Saturday, April 3, 2010

MLCD 'What Are You Waiting For?"

Let's be patriotic for once, MLCD are releasing a fine album! They come from Liege, Belgium and they have BIG dreams and BIG ambitions. Clearly they also have the talent and creativity to match.

The Tragic Tale of a Genius in an opera-pop of sorts that depicts the life of an artist. The First single sees Redboy, totured singer of the band, exchange vocal duties with Jonathan Donahue, of Mercury Rev fame. And it sounds like this:

MLCD - [My Little Cheap Dictaphone] - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR from bubbleduchesse on Vimeo.

If you're in BXL on May 8th, be sure to check them out at the amazing Cirque Royal venue, this should be a treat, as the show has been choreographed and includes visuals and many other surprises.

for more info and music, there is Myspace

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Black Keys 'Tighten Up'

There are few bands that have been consistently as good as The Black Keys over the past few years. With each album they've honed their craft and gone up a notch in pop whilst keeping their rootsy credentials.
It's simple bluesy music at its best.

Their new album Brothers will be out on May 18th and already sounds like a corker:

It will be their 8th album since 2002 ( Auerback also released a solo album on top of that + their foray into Hip Hop with their Blakroc project) and it sees Dan Auerback & Patrick Carney team up with Danger Mouse once again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Irrepressibles 'In This Shirt'

The Irrepressibles is a 10-member strong orchestral ensemble that does a brand of melancolic dream pop. Mirror Mirror has just been released and borrows a little bit from Anthony & The Johnsons or even David Bowie.

It's obvioulsy very grand and dramatic but ever so pretty

Here is their single 'In This Shirt'

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Postal Service : "Such Great Heights"

I've had enough of Owl City. Their song is played over and over again everywhere. It's not that it's a bad song, as far as pop goes, it's even actually good. No, it's just that every single time I hear their Firefly I think of The Postal Service and I remember that they have NO intention of giving us another records and it makes me sad.

The Postal Service is Death Gab For Cutie singer Ben Gibbard and Headset producer Jimmy Tamborello. In 2003, they released a wonderful album titled Give Up on Sub Pop.

Lead single was "Such Great Heights"

and just because it's sunny today:

Come back The Postal Service, pretty please....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Laura Marling new album streaming

Laura's new album I speak Because I can will be released next week but today you can listen to it in full on The Times Online by clicking HERE
I remember listening to 'Hope In The Air" when she last played in A'pen and loving it, it's still one of the strongest tracks on the album.

She's playing at the Botanique on April 6th, get a ticket whist they are available, she's just great live!

Here's the first single : "The Devil's Sopke"

Laura Marling 'Devils Spoke' from Ben Magahy on Vimeo.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Darwin Deez 'Radar Detector'

25 yr old New Yorker Darwin Deez loves wearing daft sweaters and dancing. He also can hold a tune and makes lovely pop songs, you know those kooky songs that stay in your head and make you smile for the day? yeah, those ones.
His self titled debut album will be released in Belgium in May and he'll pop by Brussels on April 22nd for a show at the BOTA

WARNING: do no try and replicate those dance moves at home without medics nearby.

Monday, March 8, 2010

R.I.P Mark Linkous

Woaw when I woke up to the news of his death yesterday morning it was like being punched on the face. He's the third gifted musician to pass away in 2010 afetr Chesnutt and Reatard and it's just too much.
He was also the very good friend of someone who's dear to me and eventhough I never met him I felt like I did. He has left behind many good albums and was working on the next Sparklehouse installment at the time of his death.
Time to have a look at his discography:

This is one of my favourite songs of his (from the " Good Morning Spider album') and quite apt:

Goodbye Mark, and thanks for the tunes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

James Levy " Except"

I was really surprised yesterday to see James Levy play just before Turner Cody in this little theatre in Brussels. I met James 5 years ago when he released his first album ' Rotten Love' on One Little Indian and I worked on his UK tour. It's a fine album with 3 VERY good songs [ "On the Dancefloor", " Wednesday" and the title -track] Last night, his music was completely stripped bare with him and his acoustic guitar on stage but it worked and it gave to some of his songs an extra dimension.

He's got a new album out 'Blood Red Rose' you can find out more about him on his myspace.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gonjasufi 'Ancestors'

New signing on Warp Gonjasufi has the sort of voice that tells a million stories. To release his first album 'A Sufi and A Killer" Gonjasufi got help from The Gaslamp Killer, Mainframe and Flying Lotus but his voice and his delivery remain the focal point of the album. There is definitely an enigmatic and mystical atmosphere on the couple of tracks I've heard so far and it really works in transporting the listener to new musical landscapes.What a treat!

The beats and other electro & hip hop ingredients don't override the eastern influences and coarseness of the compositions, the result being quite psychedelic.

For your hearing pleasure:

His website

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shearwater "Hidden Lakes"

In March, the texan band will release their 6th album The Golden Archipelago, it is te last chapter of the band tryptich of albums that started with Palo Santo and continued with Rook in 2008. The band'singer Jonathan Meiburg is a graduate in ornythology and these album focuses heavily on the impact of human beings on the environment.

I haven't heard the full album yet but the few songs available reveal a richness of sound that creates a dreamy atmopshere, with Meiburg's distinctive voice adding pathos to the proceedings. The result is really really pretty :

The band's website is HERE

Their full discography:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Turner Cody "Nobody Like You"

He's playing in Liege tomorrow and in Brussels on March 3rd. He's fab so get a ticket and check him out.

This is a sweet and silly video, the music ain't bad either!

all info HERE

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pantha Du Prince : "Bohemian Forest"

How about some romantic techno on this Monday morning. Yes, yes, electronic music can also be elegant and emotive. Come forward Hendrik Weber, the German producer who hides behind the Pantha Du Prince moniker.
He started his career in 2002, with a first album that followed 2 years later. Add to that CV many acclaimed remixes before the release of This Bliss in 2007.

This year, his new output Black Noise intends on showing us that music exists everywhere. According to the press release, Weber thinks the role of the musician is to "render audible what is unheard"
What a programme! On a CD it sounds like this:

More on his Myspace

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Was A King - " So Shy"

I saw I Was A King at Eurosonic last month and liked their gig. I got the CD, their first self-titled album. It's very pretty, melodic yet energic and filled with sugarysweet fuzzy pop but it didn't grab me as much as the live show. As a first effort, it certainly isn't bad, it also contains a lot of good ideas but it lacks a little ' je ne sais quoi' to make it a really good record. It's one of those 6/10 albums: some lovely songs but a tad indigest over the course of 15 tracks. In a way it reminded me a bit of a less inspired Jonny Polonsky, who released a fabulous album filled with power pop short songs 'Hi, My name is Jonny' back in '96

Nonetheless, this Norwegian dua has a lot of potential and undeniable talent so here's a live accoustic session they gave a few months ago.

For the powered up versions, it's here

On this note, I'll listen to Polonsky's album

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tom McRae : "Out Of The Walls"

Mister Mc Rae has given us many a great song over the years. He has debatable taste in football but we'll overlook that fact and concentrate on his music.
The Alphabet of Hurricanes is his 5th studio album and it will be released in Belgium on February 22nd.

Here's the first single :

Tom Mac Rae will be playing live in Belgium at the Botanique on March 24th. If you've never seen him on stage, you've missed something. The fragile atmosphere of his compositions and the general melancholy and sadness of the songs are interrupted by McRae's banters, jokes and chit-chat [ and boy does he like to talk]
It works really well because when he sings again he just takes you off guard over and over again and you're really touched by his music.
Yup football aside, he's a pretty clever and talented chap. Oh and he's had a minor hit in Belgium a few years ago, well that's what he says on his Live album [2007]

If you're on Twitter, follow his grumpiness on @tommcrae

For his full catalogue:
Here is his WEBSITE to get to know the guy a bit better

Richard Hawley 'Open Up Your Door'

Just because his gig last night in Brugge was absolutely beautiful. His voice is even better live and it was just great from start to finish.
If you have no album of his yet, go and get Truelove Gutter ot Cole's Corner...

The Hagen Dazs video that uses this song is so cute too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Efterklang " Modern Drift"

Efterklang is more like a troupe, next to the four core members, there's about 9 musicians on stage. Although for their last output "Performing Parades" they were also joined by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra.

The Danish band is back this February with a 7th release " Magic Chairs" that will be out on cult label 4AD.

Lovely sweet pop with that scandinavian twist.

Tonight Richard Hawley plays in Brugge, I hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Best Coast "When I'm With You"

With this grey weather, we all need some sunshine-fueled indie pop in our ears.
Here comes Best Coast. It's Beth Consentino's moniker and she likes to sing about the summer and being lazy, probably easier to do when you live in LA...

Its pure indie pop, short simple songs that go straight to the point and just make you feel good about life.[BTW bravo to Khole7 for a fabulous sync.]

She recently released a 7" Black Iris on which you can find this "When I'm With you"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Bear That Wasn't: " Ballad of Two Raindrops"

Nils Verresen is The Bear That Wasn't. He has started a funny project: he has found 365 people who have agreed to lodge him for a night in exchange for an intimate gig in their home. He's been travelling through Belgium since October and will will continue his journey for the remaing months of the year.
During that time he will release his first album And So It's Morning Dew.
He's a nice boy that Bear, he sings sweet melodies in a voice that gently grabs you by the arm and gives you cuddles.
After The Bony King of Nowhere and Isbells it sounds like Belgium is home to a few very good singer-songwriters at the moment.

It's not a great quality video but at least it will give you an idea of The Bear That Wasn't's repertoire during one of his 'A song for a bed' evening.

For a more professiona gig, head to Le Botanique on March 19th.

For more info, you can also check his website where he blogs about his adventures

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tindersticks 'Tiny Tear'

In March, Tindersticks will release 'Falling Down A Mountain' Their 8th album since they started in '92.
Strangely enough for Stuart Staple's band this record is fairly uplifting, well compared to what they've done in the past that is. Still, it's joyous enough. I have not played it enough times yet to have a favourite track but I've always had a soft spot for their "Tiny Tears".
A lovely song from the "Nenette et Boni" soundtrack in 1996, it appeared on an Island Records compilation I got back, which probably was the first time I sat and listened to Tindersticks. I've followed them since.

So here's to a band that has thrived to create quality music over the years.

They'll play the new album live at the Cirque Royal on May 13th, it'll be a treat, mark my words

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hot Chip: 'I Feel Better'

I'm obsessed with this song, I can't stop playing it loud and dance around in my office, loosing myself in the music. I'd love for a singer-songwriter to cover Hot Chip, their lyrics are always soooo sweet and romantic, I'm sure the result would be brilliant!

Anyway, it's Friday night so turn the volume up to 11, let yourself go and Just Dance

Have a nice weekend x

Thursday, January 28, 2010

All work and no play makes Sophie a dull blogger

Many apologies, work has been taking much of my time and I've neglected the blog a little bit. Another thing is that although I have a HUGE pile of CDs to go though I've only been listening to 2 albums this week. The fantastic 'One Life Stand' by Hot Chip and 'Hidden' By These New Puritans.

I already liked their first album eventhough it was pretty obtuse and hermetic, something in these kids' attitude got me interested. It was with great anticipation that I put their new CD on my player and boy was I in for a treat. I had to play it 3 times in a row to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I LOVE the way it makes me feel about music: it's so clever, so forward-thinking, so different and delivered with aplomb...I had goosebumps and felt like in a trance. It's quite rare nowadays for me to have such a physical response to music so I really wanted to share it with you.

'Hidden' is not to everybody's taste but those who unlock its doors will be pleasantly rewarded. From the shamanic drums to the brass sections the album twists and turns seamlessly into many musical territories... there is plenty to be surprised and enchanted by in these 11 tracks.

Here's the first track that was released at the end of 2009, just because it's epic and translates the mood of the album brilliantly.
These New Puritans 'We Want War'

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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Boy Who Trapped The Sun 'Home'

What's in a name...Looking at a list of new talents 'The Boy Who Trapped The Sun' kinda caught my eyes, it promised melancholy and poetry. And guess what, it delivers. I don't know yet what his real name is, but he hails from the Isle Of Lewis, in the North West of Scotland. Very cold indeed!

So onto his music then, it reminds me a little bit of a cross between Ed Harcourt and Gravenhurst. He plays all the instruments by himself and has an Ep out in March. The track title 'Home' is below

For more info and more tracks, head for his myspace

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eels 'The Beginning'

End Times, the new album by Eels is beautifully bleak. E wrote and produced the album on his own and it's one of his best efforts yet with lyrics as sharp as they're sad observations on the end of love affairs and aging...

See the album's opener "The Beginning" as a case in point

the rest of the album is on streaming there but go and buy the actual CD there are many more cold nights to go before the spring.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black Box Recorder 'Child Psychology'

I'm so excited! Black Box Recorder are recording a new album. Hurrah!
Their first 2 albums England Made Me and Facts Of Life are sublime, they released a 3rd one 'Passionoia' in 2003 before going on a hyatus.

BBR are Luke Haines, John Moore and Sarah Nixey. Their pretty, slightly romantic melodies are in starch contrast with the bleak and sharp lyrics.

Child Psychology is one of my favourites tracks ever, the chorus being pure genius.I rememeber the first time I heard it at my friend Michelle's flat in London back in 98.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Joe Worricker

One of my highlights from Eurosonic has to be the voice of Joe Worricker. He is still very young, awkward and at his infancy in terms of career but WHAT.A.VOICE!

He has been signed by Rough Trade and is starting to sing live with just an acoustic guitar for support.
There are no youtube clips of his yet, but this one song which is very different from his own material but it will give you an idea of what he's capable of.

and check our his myspace for more info and music. You'll hear about him in the future, of that I'm sure!

Friday, January 15, 2010

until next week

Many apologies for the lack of updates this week. I'been away and am still in Groningen in Holland for Eurosonic.
We'll go back to normal on Monday but in the meantime here's Laura Marling's latest single 'Goodbye England' It will feature on her next album 'I Speak Because I Can ' which should be in the shops in the coming months. [March 22nd in the UK]
She worked with Ryan Adams and Elton John on this 2nd album.

This is a live version she gave to the BBC

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First Aid Kit "Hard Believer"

Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg launched their carreer in 2008 at the tender age of 15 and 18 yrs old respectively. They grew up ( well are still growing up) in a Stockholm suburb.
If there is a sweetness in the music they make it's also pallatably 'mature', sometimes freakingly so ( like when they sing about an old couple and his infidelities).
They shot to fame thanks to their cover of Fleet Foxes ' Tiger Mountain, then released a EP titled Drunken Trees and now in 2010, their first full album The Big Black And Blue will be released this month on Witchita.

Here's their latest single:

For their myspace: it's here

Monday, January 11, 2010

Alan Pownall "Take Me"

I owed it to you all to add a male singer. To be honest the jury's still out on Pownall as far as I'm concerned. At first listen I thought he was another Jason Mraz as his music is a little too middle of the road for me.

However I stuck with him, just because he's mate with all the cool kids from the London folk scene. Adele is the one who gave him his big break by inviting him to open for her after hearing what he does on his myspace page...and I'll admit that I'm starting to like him. Anyway, here's his latest song "Take Me" so you can make up your own mind

After many labels chased him up, he finaly signed for Mercury and he's currently writing his first album which should be out in the spring.
I'm pretty sure you'll hear him everywhere on the radio and TV so be prepared

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Warpaint "Elephants"

Thank you to @francoish for today's entry.
Warpaint is a quatuor from LA and a firm favourite amongst the trendy types over there. Their first album Equisite Corpse was produced by John Frusciante of RHCP fame.
The band is formed by 3 female singers ( 2 guitar players and a bassist) whilst the sole man in Warpaint sits behind he drums.
There's only 6 tracks on the album but they're amazingly well balanced and the prevailing atmosphere is very special indeed. Have a listen and a look:

They're currently recording a LP with producer Tom Biller ( he worked with Beck and The Liars) which should be released by Rough Trade later this year.

"Billie Holiday", is probably my favourite track of theirs, it reminds me a little bit of some early Cat Power, with maybe some drops of Coco Rosie and a bit of The Cure for good measure. Very pretty!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sophie Hunger

3rd day in row that I post a female singer. It got me thinking but there are so many of them at the moment and a lot are being pushed as 'hot tips' for 2010...I wonder why

Anyway, direction Switzerland today to meet Sophie Hunger [real name Émilie Jeanne-Sophie Welti Hunger]

This young lady plays the guitar and piano and she sings in her native Swiss dialect, German or English.
She has 2 albus to her name Sketeches On Sea (06) and Monday's Ghost (09)
. She is also playing at Eurosonic next week. I don't know much about her to be honest but I've liked everything I've heard from her. The press has generally written kindly about her

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ellie Goulding 'Guns & Horses'

Another young lady destined to great things in 2010. Ellie Goulding is Welsh and 23 years old. She plays a poppy folktronica and her first album 'Lights' will be released in the Uk in March.

She has toured with Little Botts, sang on a Passion Pit remix and she has played live on Later With Jools Holland

She was also part of the BBC sound of 2010 list so be prepared to hear her sing through the next 12 months.She's playing at Eurosonic next week in Groningen, I'll try to check her live and will report back.

As always if you want to know more---> it's HERE

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holly Miranda 'Sleep On Fire'

Miss Miranda has toured with the XX in Europe and is now traveling with Tegan & Sara [ A european tour is also planned]. Later this months she will open for Vampire Weekend in her home town of New York. Not bad and I'm pretty sure she'll soon headline her own shows. Her first album The Magician's Private Library will be out on XL recordings at the end of February.

It's difficult to find good quality footage at this stage but this acoustic version isn't bad and can give you an idea of the talent she has to offer. [ Having heard the album I can tell you it's brilliant!]

for more music and info check out her myspace

Here's to new exciting music in 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 - Top tracks, part 2

Let's venture into the electro & rock worlds, just for today...

**Hot Chip: Take it In**

**AuroKratz: Always More**

**The Big Pink: Velvet**

** Yeah Yeah Yeah's: Heads Will Roll**