Thursday, September 16, 2010

music: Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises (2010)

I’m listening to theleaning tree right now with tears in my eyes..This song is fucking beautiful…

I got hold of Sun Kil Moon’s latest album today and the wait was worth it, it’s an instant favourite. 
Mark Kozelek does not really go into new territory with this one; it’s the usual singer/acoustic guitar combination from previous efforts. But let me tell you, this simple formula works perfectly for him.

This time he seems to be more drawn towards a flamenco guitar playing style, right from the first track Alesund, to the middle of the impressive Third and Seneca, one will catch glimpses of Spain.

True to his style, his songs are tempered by different tempos and moods.

As usual, the imagery he uses throughout his songs is related to places, people, situations and memory. That’s what his music is all about and what makes this wonderful album special: Memory.

On a side note, check out the awsome photography of Nyree Watts, the photographer that collaborates with Mr. Kozelek on his albums.

Reminds me of: Destroyer; places where I've been happy: Cape Town, bits and pieces of Barcelona and Luanda; the ocean...

10/10 I’m a fan….

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

music: Cat Power – Jukebox (2008)

This woman’s voice blows my mind, her rendition of Ramblin’ woman is absolutely incredible.

Jukebox is mostly a tribute to some of the songwriters that influenced her. Names like James Brown & the Famous Flames, Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday. Actually her cover of Billie Holiday’s Don’t explain is a fresh spin of the original. Great song, my favourite, along with Silver Stallion.

Cat Power’s folky/bluesy voice has a very intimate and honest feel to it.
Sometimes it feels like a light stroll on a sunny day (Silver stallion; Aretha sing one for me) and sometimes it feels like she’s baring her soul out (parts of Song to Bobby, and Ramblin’ woman).

But whatever the tempo, it feels almost as if each song was written by or for her. A difficult thing to achieve with covers, especially with such legendary songs. 

Reminds me of: Norah Jones, lazy sunday afternoons, Juno (Sea of Love), Love :)

9/10 Love her. Her mannerisms and the way she dances (or tries to)...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

music: The XX - XX (2009)

I've been listening to this album non stop for the last week or so...

It's just great. It reminds me a lot of Depeche Mode's "Violator", one of my favourite albums ever.

The XX sound is uncomplicated and minimal.
Where they win is in all the dreamy warmness and mood they put in tracks like Shelter, my favourite Heart skipped a beat and Crystalised. It's the kind of music you can listen pretty much anywhere, in the car, with friends or alone.

The only flaw I could find was that as far as first albums go, this one is flawless...
Which of course, for a first album is great but always extremely dangerous. The pressure for an encore will be huge...

I highly recommend it.

Reminds me of: Depeche Mode's Violator, Portishead's Dummy and in some songs Dead Can Dance...Oh and I almost forgot The Joy Division.

9/10 an instant favourite.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

music: Bjork - Debut (1993)

Debut does not exactly represent Bjork’s willingness to try every single weird sound that exists. 

It’s a trip hoppish album with quite a few danceable tracks (big time sensuality, there's more to life than this,  to name a few) and it's quite safe if compared with her sometimes completely novel (some say crazy) approach to making music (earth intruders anyone?).

But it only goes to show the diversity of this woman’s work, her range is ever expanding. Some call her over the top, I call her a genius. She’s still way ahead of her time musically. 

Plus she's really cute and totally huggable. 

Along with the following Post (1995) and Homogenic (1997), this album is my Bjork’s favourite.

Reminds me of:  Sigur Rós, early Tricky, Portishead, Trip hop, Massive Attack, Stephanie Sednaoui (great music vids), Anthony and the Johnsons

8/10 Me loves. My number one reason to want to visit Iceland, despite the cold. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

music: The tallest man on earth . Shallow Grave (2008)

Kristian Matsson's voice is fantastic...

Yes, the similarities with Bob Dylan are unavoidable and his simple use of guitar makes for a really striking similarity. 

But The Tallest man on earth stands on his own right as a great composer. Songs like Where do my bluebirds fly had me smiling long after listening to them. 
His music is light and simple (one man’s voice and his guitar) and that's where his magic resides.

Reminds me of: Bob Dylan, sunrise/sunset, American folk music

8/10 I highly recommended it for “those” bad days, it will lift your spirits. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

music: Richard Hawley – Richard Hawley (2007)

The first thing I thought upon hearing troublesome waters was…. hmm, this feels like Johnny Cash

This ex Pulp member has a voice of gold. 

I’ve been listening to Sunflower, Time has made a change and my favourite Naked In Pitsmoor for the last 3 hours or so, and it just keeps getting better.
His sound is both masculine and warm. 

Although some might consider him a crooner, I think he has the voice of an old jackal.  A guy who’s been there, has loved and suffered. And now sings about his experiences and memories.

Actually for some dumb reason I think that that’s how David Carradine  would sound if he ever made an album as Bill, from the movie Kill Bill… It might be the timbre of his voice... oh well, me and my theories…

Reminds me of: Johnny Cash, David Fonseca, Mark Knopfler, Frank Sinatra

7/10 Solid  and beautiful singing. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

music: PJ Harvey . uh uh her (2004)

She’s raw, she’s loud and her music is not exactly radio friendly.

But to call her a great musician and awesome lyricist is a serious understatement. I personally see her as the female equivalent of Nick Cave. Of course the Boatman's Call album and they having worked together in other projects, can only reinforce this notion. 
She sings with everything she has.

I absolutely love what she is able to accomplish with her voice, the way she sings about pain, about love and about life. My favourite track on this album is you come through for me. This songs gives me goosebumps, it's perfect.

Reminds me of: Man size, Nick Cave, L7 (the energy, not the tampon...), Anais Nin’s Under a glass bell, seagulls and small boats on the shore

9/10 This is not MTV