Posts tagged ‘singer/songwriter’

Sons & Daughters by Allman Brown

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Sometimes, it’s just nice to take a break from the synth pop dominated world and remind ourselves that music not born from a computer still exists.  Today, that break comes in the form of “Sons & Daughters” by the London-based artist, Allman Brown.  Brown’s music borders on folk, with rich acoustic tones, somber melodies and personal, honest stories.  “Sons & Daughters” starts like any standard folk song until indie pop artist, Liz Lawrence, joins in, adding an intimate texture that is both warm and exhilarating.  Ok, you can return to your synth pop now.  Enjoy.

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Stray Dogg searches for a place to call home

Most people would have a hard time believing that Serbia could produce an indie folk band, but Stray Dogg is ready to change minds with its debut album, Almost.  Stray Dogg’s May 30, 2011 release boasts nine bittersweet tracks filled with acoustic guitars, piano, violin and soft male/female harmonies.  Every song on Almost is devoid of percussion, instead focusing on somber instrumentals tucked in between each verse to give the album its heartfelt, modest appeal. 

Best Tracks:

Crimson Moon‘s gentle harmonies, woeful lyrics and blues guitar create a song brimming with heartbreak.

Smile is a break in the mostly melancholy album with a playfulness that comes from the spirited pianos and acoustic guitars.

Once you get past the opening harmonica, Almost is a sincere love song held together with Dukat Stray’s fragile vocals.

When & Where:

For the times when you think love is more pain than pleasure, Almost reminds you that you’re not the only one who has reached that conclusion.

Crimson Moon

Smile

Almost

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Download the album for free here

Check Almost’s official video here

Singular Focus – Play the Fool by Lindee Hoshikawa

Jazz and R&B inspired folk music is not what you would expect from Tokyo, Japan, but Lindee Hoshikawa is converting the nonbelievers with her smoky voice and stripped down melodies.  Hoshikawa is a Seattle native who released her 6 song EP, Songs from Tokyo, on February 27, 2012, after moving to Japan’s capital.  While Songs from Tokyo has its fair share of hits and misses, Play the Fool is Hoshikawa’s finest moment and gives us a peek at the potential of a singer/songwriter whose flirtations with blues needs to turn into a full on love affair.

Get Songs from Tokyo here for free (or for a donation)

Find out more about Lindee here

Take a Tour of Wake Owl’s Wild Country

Folk and pop may seem like two genres that would not get along if you forced them to hang out with each other. However, Wake Owl, the Vancouver sextet, has effortlessly combined the two styles into catchy yet thoughtful songs that appeal to folk purists as well as new listeners.  Released this past November, Wild Country, the first EP from Wake Owl, offers up five tracks filled with tender acoustics and violins, Colyn Cameron’s raspy vocals, and foot-stomping choruses to make you feel both nostalgic and optimistic.

Best Track:

At first listen, “Wild Country” feels like a song about hopelessness.  But with a careful second listen, you realize that “Wild Country” is about turning hopelessness into empowerment and has one of Wake Owl’s most memorable lyrics.  I’m never gonna chase something, it’s a total waste running.  The subtle violins give this track a simple beauty that helps make “Wild Country” the most personal song on the EP.

When and Where:

I probably haven’t gone fishing in about 20 years but I imagine drifting in a tiny rowboat, feet hanging over into the water, casting a line and following the current while Wild Country plays in the background.

Wild Country

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Scoop up Wild Country here for free or for a donation

Australia’s Gossling Elevates Emotions From Down Under

I won’t lie.  I was a little thrown off the first time I heard Helen Croome’s vocals on Gossling’s most recent 5 song EP, Until Then.  However, I quickly realized that it’s Croome’s unique and youthful voice which gives Until Then an intimacy which makes you believe that she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders with each heavy emotion she sings.

With Croome on piano and an accompanying percussion, bass, and cello, Until Then keeps the instrumental component deep and subtle while focusing more on lyrics, which are like heartbreaking poems set to music.

Highlights:

Ancient Love: The slow piano chords accompanied by Croome’s deliberate, patient delivery encapsulate her loneliness and aching for a past love who chooses to drift while she waits longingly for his return. These seas have upheaved us, with strength of an idle wave/You’ve been happy drifting, while I’ve been your constant shore.

War: A quicker tempo coupled with Anita Quayle’s constant, soothing cello create a fuller sound, which makes War  the most radio accessible track on the EP.  Whether a metaphor for an embattled relationship or a true inquiry into the pains of war, this song makes us question why we do things that hurt us so much.

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Buy Until Then here