Sunday, October 30, 2011

Introducing Jessica Jalbert

Thanks the great blog Twentyfourbit, I've come across new singer-songwriter Jessica Jalbert.

I can't find much about her except that she's from Edmonton, in Canada and she has an album titled Brother Loyola out about now.

Here's a lovely track, Lack of a Lake, that you can get for free on her site

I love the sweet nostalgic feel of her sound, the voice reminds me a bit of Holly Miranda or a quiet version of Annie of Giant Drag fame.
It's not all twee and quietness though, single Paris Green does have some layers of guitars and beating drums. I'm a tad less convinced by her voice here though. 

Last but not least for you electronica lovers, previous dream-pop single Necromancy has been successfully remixed to create a great soundtrack to a lazy Sunday Morning in bed.

Now it's time for a croissant dipped into milky coffee, if you'll excuse me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I fade into you again, and again

You live your life
You go in shadows
You'll come apart and you'll go black
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there.

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think its strange you never knew

That was the track that defined 1993 for a lot of indie kids and music lovers. Fade Into You by the Californian duo Mazzy Star on their 2nd album So Tonight That I Might See

How many teenagers wanted to get close and personal with Hope Sandoval...and I knew quite a few girls who wanted to be her as well...
The song has this timeless nostalgic feel, the sadness that lingers after a love affair ends...oh the tears that have been shed listening to this record!

So Mazzy Star then, Sandoval and David Roback appeared on the dream pop scene back in 1989, a year later they released a first opus She Hangs Brightly; the dark art nouveau with gothic undertones visuals of that album paved the way for the musical content: brooding and psychedelia-tinged folk with Sandoval's child-like voice half soothing half creepy

It took them 3 years to serve us a follow-up album: So Tonight I Might See, and with it came world-wide fame. The production is more mature and Sandoval's voice more seductive and velvety.
This is my favourite track on that album: 5 String Serenade ( I dare you not to melt)

After a Third album Among My Swan, the band went on a hiatus to pursue solo careers.  Sandoval released a couple of albums and went on tour whilst Roback produced Beth Orton's Central Reservation amongst others.

Then last week, it was revealed that Mazzy Star would come back with a new song ( the first one in 15 years) with a full album to follow. That first single will be available for Halloween ( they always had a gothic undertone) and a small trailer hit Youtube.
Today, Pitchfork brings us the B-Side from that single.

I'm really looking forward to a brand new slice of Mazzy Star. You?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rejoice! Autumn Falls in November

From November 21st until the 27th in Brussels, Indie music will be celebrated via the wonderful Autumn Falls festival. It's been going on for a few years and the bill keeps showcasing impeccable taste in the talented and oddball musical landscape. About 50 artists will take part in this indie extravaganza in various venues throughout Brussels. Full listing on the festival's website

On November 24th, don't try and call me or invite me anywhere, I will be at the Cirque Royal to watch 3 excellent acts do their stuff on stage. First up is Pinback, a Californian stalwart indie band that many of my music lover friends love love love ( yes you @exexalex and @mikediver). Since 1999 they've released 4 albums and a 5th one is planned for 2012. They're consistantly good live so it's a good 'entrée en matière'

For mains, it will be mister Bill Callahan of Smog fame, I've talked about him many times on this blog so won't spoil your intelligence with more rambling about how wooooonderful a songwriter he is.
Callahan can be moody on stage but his voice and music are well worth the ticket fee alone.
He gave us 12 lo-fi albums as Smog and has put out his 4th effort under his own name back in April. The single from Apocalypse was 'America'

Then the cherry on the cake that night will be Low, the trio from Minnesota who encapsulated the Slow Core genre in the mid 90s
They released their 9th album "C'mon" earlier this year on Sub Pop. I love them, I just do : the harmonies, the simplicity mixed with some harshness and the lancinant, near psychedelic's just perfect!

Autumn Falls holds another little gem in his programme: She Keeps Bees. If you like artists like Patti Smith, Cat Power or even old Pj Harvey you must try some She Keeps Bees. Live, you just want to hug Jessica Larrabee, she's standing there so fresh and un-starlike full of jokes and joie de vivre. Then she sings and her voices fills up the space with so much soul...
I completely missed the released of Dig On last spring so here's an old favourite of mine 'Cage Match'
You can see her at the Botanique on November 26th as support for Pink Mountaintops

I'd also like to point out several other highlights quickly:
On the 26th if She Keeps Bees is not your cup of tea and you prefer dancing, then head to the AB for Metronomy + SX + Holloys + Babe Rainbow and the great Germans Tarwater

Now, still on the 26th the rockers amongst you will be making their way to the VK for a full dosage of decibels courtesy of Chrome Hoof, Part Chimp and Alkerdeel.
And because Tim Cedar is a very old friend of mine from when he was in a band called Ligament here's a dose of Part Chimp to wake every up.

And for you, Lana Del Ray fans, try a dose of Marissa Nadler please, you may just be seduced by the real deal and she'll be in Brussels on November 27th  with Scott Matthews and A Winged Victory For The Sullen.

Autum Falls is a festival held in various venues across Brussels from November 21st until the 27th, organised by Tout Par Tout Booking agency

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dreams do come true, Cass

Some artists are constantly good throughout their career, they keep creating beautifully crafted pieces of music. One such artists is mister Cass McCombs; he will be releasing his 6th album later this fall so maybe it's time to have a look at his prolific outputs.

I don't know much about McCombs apart from his music and the fact that his albums are put out by Domino Records. So let's focus on the music then...
Back in 2003 he released a first album (after an EP the previous year) that was critically acclaimed. Simply titled 'A' it showcased McCombs's talent for soothing melodies, odd lyrics and that latent dreamy sadness.
First track is called I Went To The Hospital and leaves you in no doubt about the American's abilities. it's a terrific piece of music, what a way to start your first album!

2 years later McCombs came back with PREfection,an album that kept going in the same direction than its predecessor.
Then in 2007 came Dropping The Writ, and with it  a slight change of musical landscape: less reverbs, less indie postures, more Americana and folky sounds. As Pitchfork wrote at the time McCombs stopped gazing at his feet but started staring at the stars instead. And it worked a treat. On that LP there is a song "Full Moon Or Infinity" that probably is in my top10 favourites songe EVAH

    Get this widget |     Track details  |  eSnips Social DNA    

Releasing albums at the rhythm of one every 2 years, we only had to wait until 2009 for Catacombs, yup the boy'still enjoying playing with words and is not afraid of auto-derision. For most of his teenage years and early adulthood, Mc Combs travelled across America and this 4th album is very much a troubadour on the road type of album. Again, the melodies are flowing effortlessly and softly in the listener's ears. First single was Dreams Come True, Girl with some vocals from Karen Black, and is tinged with 50s influences.

Back in April, McCombs served us a fifth helping of his original yet comforting music ("Wit's End") and lo and behold! we won't have to wait another 2 years for the next installment as Humour Risk (See, told you the boy was funny with words) will be with us in November. Reasons to be cheerful, right? We'll be well cosy at home this winter with an extra dose of McCombs. Yes, dreams DO come true ;-)

I hope you'll check this talented and orignal artist and am praying for him to give a show in Belgium soon. Despite following his career since 2003, I've never seen him live...