Posts Tagged folk

new music: Tomten; American Opera

Tomten, “Weissnichtwo”

I’ve been listening to the new Ride and Slowdive albums quite a bit lately and this song falls in nicely with its Brit-influenced shoegaze, swirly sound. There’s lots of layers with the opening part establishing a gentle calm while an underlying guttural churning bubbles up to maintain the soothing vibe. The Seattle pop band also mixes in organ, electric piano and analog synthesizers for its electro-folk sound. The artistic, eclectic result works on several levels on the upcoming album—some songs ring a bit clearer than this track, others are much more upbeat and there’s lots of wistfulness. Tomten is: Brian Noyes-Watkins (keys, guitar, vocals); Jake Brady (drums) and Dillon Sturtevant (bass, vocals).  The trio will release its third full-length Cremation Songs [ Plume Records] on July 7th, 2017 on CD, vinyl, and digital formats.

“I first thought of the name Cremation Songs as a bit of a joke to poke fun at our previous record The Farewell Party,” says Brian Noyes-Watkins. “It later dawned on me that it fit the songs well, seeing as most are vaguely about death in some way or another, excluding ‘First Song of Spring’ and ‘Mette’s Tune.’ I just hope our next record doesn’t mark the Born Again / Embracing a Cult phase.”

“I became obsessed with drawing extended arms (usually blue) posing inside of little boxes,” Noyes-Watkins reveals about the cover artwork. “I did a few versions: a hand drowning in the sea, another with a crystal ball, one juggling a rainbow. I settled on the apple/applecore because I liked the idea of having a sunrise/sunset theme on the jacket. I’m hoping to complete a collection of 20 or so to release in a booklet for a limited edition of the record.”

American Opera, “Monsters Among Men”

A beautifully melodic and thoughtful song with powerful vocals and an urgency in its message, reminiscent of Joan Osborne’s “One of Us.”  American Opera is New York singer/songwriter John Bee’s project. He said that  “Monsters Among Men” is: “about getting older while trying to stay true to who you were when you were young. I was raised in the church. Three things happened in my life that made me question everything I ever believed. My friend took his own life, my cousin’s life was taken from him, and the Sandy Hook shooting. I still don’t know what to believe. But I know what I want to believe.”

American Opera’s full-length album Small Victories is out June 30, 2017.

 

 

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new music: Swarming Branch; Luca D’Alberto

 

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Swarming Branch, “Zsazsur’s Real Estate Song

Upbeat, catchy and quirky single. I get a bit of a Folk Implosion and OK Go vibe from this Columbus, Ohio based experimental electro/indie/folk project of singer/songwriter Andrew Graham, drummer Lon Leary and a rotating group of collaborating musicians. The new album from Swarming BranchSurreal Number— (SofaBurn Records) is out now. The album was produced by Rob Barbato (Drinks, Kevin Morby, Peaking Lights).

 

 

Luca D’Alberto, “Endless”

Full throttle new wave classical music in this gorgeous, atmospheric song. Luca D’Alberto is a classical composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist [violin, viola, violectra, cello and piano] from Italy. Endless [7K!] is out now. The album was produced by Martyn Heyne (Nils Frahm, Lubomir Melnyk, Peter Broderick, Tiny Ruins and The National).

About the album title, Luca said: “Endless is a secret place, a place where we can be free to remember everything, without being afraid, without limits. A place where we can let go of ourselves, without thinking, where we can allow our bodies to rest peacefully and find the courage to live the noisy silence of our lives.”

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new music: Connor Desai; Thayer Sarrano

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Connor Desai, “Killing the One Who Believed in Your Love”

— comfortable, soulful vocals combined with meaningful lyrics provides candor and intensity in this song about a woman’s independence and self-identity. Desai explained: “The decision to reclaim oneself often requires women to grieve someone who is still living, or an ideal which was part of them.”

Connor Desai earned a masters in teaching and works as a music teacher. The Seattle-based musician’s new EP, Sister, is out now. Feminists take note.

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Thayer Sarrano, “Thieves”

Thayer’s vocals sound a lot like Hope Sandoval and the song’s arrangements may remind listeners of Mazzy Star. The ethereal, swirly music instantly takes you to emotional depths both gloomy and exquisite.

Athens, GA-based psych/shoegaze/dream-pop artist Thayer Sarrano grew up in a seminary as well as the swamps of southern Georgia. Classically trained as a child, she writes poetry and instrumental compositions. She started collaborating with friends and worked as a studio/touring session player with of Montreal, Dead Confederate’s T. Hardy Morris, Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Dave Marr, David Barbe, Kuroma and more. Her new LP is called Shaky.

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show preview: Leyla McCalla at Davis Square Theatre on Friday, October 6 at 7pm

 

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The sophomore album–A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey— from multi-instrumentalist, multi-lingual singer Leyla McCalla is an emotional, stunning and impressive album to listen to again and again. It makes me want to immediately visit NOLA. There’s sadness, beauty, truth, bravery and hope in her gypsy jazz/ folk music. Haitian-American and NOLA resident McCalla [formerly of Carolina Chocolate Drops] uses her own experiences as well as interpreting Haitian, Cajun and Creole jazz and folk. Every song is magical but I particularly favor the lovely and heartbreaking version of the classic Creole slave song “Salangadou,” the plaintive “Les Plats Sont Tous Mis Sur la Table” and the aching “Let It Fall” as well as the thoughtful title track. Strings truly can speak from the soul.

Leyla McCalla at Davis Square Theatre, Somerville, Mass., Friday, October 6 at 7pm 

Davis Square Theatre

255 Elm St. Somerville, MA

Tickets: $20 General Admission
21+

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on tour: Chris Robinson Brotherhood

©Jay Blakesberg

©Jay Blakesberg

formed in 2011, Chris Robinson Brotherhood plays folksy, psychedelic, trippy, wandering, guitar-heavy, wandering songs that transport you to a transcendental state. The band wil tour in support of its fourth studio album, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, out now via Robinson’s Silver Arrow Records. The band plays two Boston dates at Paradise Rock Club on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1.

 

TOUR DATES:

August 28 – Arrington, VA – LOCKN’ Festival
September 16 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
September 18 – Scranton, PA – Outlaw Music Festival
September 21 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
September 23 – Pontiac, MI – The Crofoot
September 24 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Rex Theater
September 25 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
September 26 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
September 29 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater
September 30 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
October 1 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
October 2 – Syracuse, NY – The Westcott Theater
October 4 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
October 6 – Cincinnati, OH – 20th Century Theater
October 7 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
October 8 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
October 9 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown
October 11 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
October 13 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe At The Old National Centre
October 14 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
October 15 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
October 16 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
October 19 – Bloomington, IL – Castle Theatre
October 20 – Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall
October 21 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
October 22 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
October 23 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
November 9 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel
November 11 – Columbia, SC – Music Farm
November 12 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
November 18 – Westbury, NY – The Space at Westbury
November 19 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre
November 29 – Missoula, MT – The Wilma Theater
December 1 – Sandpoint, ID – The Hive
December 2 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
December 3 – Portland, OR – Revolution Bar & Music Hall
December 4 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall
December 6 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
December 8 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
December 9 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
December 10 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore

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show preview: Stains of a Sunflower at Lily Pad tonight, July 1, 2016

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Stains of a Sunflower is a Boston-based funk-folk band started by California native Natalie Renee. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers so the band name intrigued me. Natalie explained: “Stains of a Sunflower was inspired by a poem by Allen Ginsberg, called “Sunflower Sutra.” Essentially, the poem instills self-confidence and self-love during times of challenges and obstacles in life. In the grand scheme of things, life is a huge obstacle and the poem explores the beauty in that; the beauty in between. What we try to do with our music is make people feel vulnerable, uncomfortable, and comfortable, proud and filled with love and acceptance, all at the same time.” A beautiful sentiment and mission statement for music. This young band infuses soulfulness and honesty with a jazz, folk and funk melodies. Reminds me a bit of Berklee grad Lila and Norah Jones. Stains of a Sunflower released its debut album February in April 2016.

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Stains of a Sunflower is:

Natalie Renee [vocals/guitar]

Alex Michael Jones [guitar]

Dan Soghomonian [bass]

Shade Tramp [drums]

Stains of a Sunflower –Lily Pad—Friday, July 1, 2016– will be joined by In Ivy and Atlas Lab. Doors at 7pm.

venue info:

Lily Pad

1353 Cambridge Street

Cambridge, Mass.

 

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new music: George Sarah; David Trull

George Sarah, “Min and Sarah”

Just the relaxing, exuberant song I need right now. Exquisitely emotional, positive vibes and pure art. A talented Los Angeles electronic composer and multi-instrumentalist for 30 years, George Sarah has scored 28 episodes for the Discovery network. What a lovely, perfect pairing. He creates songs using a bank of synthesizers and drum machines as well as a trio of live strings. Gorgeous. The upcoming EP Min and Sarah [Flat Field Records] is out June 17, 2016.

 

David Trull, “Dark Magic”

Honest bluesy folk from St. Louis based indie singer-songwriter David Trull. Soulful vocals and melancholy arrangements effectively swirl about on this track from Trull’s debut album Coin Toss. For creative inspiration, Trull quit his office job to tackle the Camino de Santiago– an ancient 500 mile pilgrimage route across France and Spain. This song makes you want to wander about and admire your surroundings. To be in the moment.

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