For a 19-year old lad from Tunbridge Wells, electronic producer and recording artist Sam Breathwick (aka Vasser) has a maturity that foretells an exciting career. His new cut ‘Valerians’ is part electronic, part indie, part pop … and all good.
Well done France! I hope to see you against England on Sunday. Juniore is the brainchild of Anna Jean, a singer who lent her voice to songs of Parisian electro acts like Jackson, Jérôme ”Tacteel” Echenoz and Bot’Ox. Joined by four other female musicians, Anna Jean has now created something completely different. Think Nico meets Françoise Hardy. ‘Magnifique’ is the title track of their second studio album.
Natalie Prass’s sophomore album, The Future And The Past, is an eclectic affair. Supported by producer Matthew E. White and his Spacebomb Studio house band, she’s found her groove borrowing from pieces of 1970s and 1980s pop. While much of the long player has a waltzy swing to it, something a little slower pricked my ears. The piano ballad ‘Lost’ shows that the singer-songwriter knows how to deliver a vocal chop too. Have a great start to the week.
‘Trick Of The Light’ is the first release from Villagers’ forthcoming album The Art Of Pretending To Swim. The track opens to a steady pulse and quickly creates a groove that is more than slightly R&B. The folk returns as the song progresses and Conor O’Brien chases ‘A Trick Of The Light’.
Last week’s feature of Bryan Ferry got me thinking about solo artists that have made a good fist of leaving their successful bands. Stephen Malkmus’s signature is unmistakable. The one-time frontman for Pavement, arguably the most effervescent group of ’90s indie music, could have suffered under the weight of legacy and expectation. But he took it all in his stride and with a dollop of his humour. ‘Jo Jo’s Jacket’ and the bald dome of Yul Brynner feature on his self-titled debut album.
Tel Aviv-based indie popsters Lola Marsh released their debut album Remember Roses last year. I wonder if vocalist Yael Shoshana Cohen was thinking of Lana Del Rey when she wrote ‘Wishing Girl’. Instrumentalist and producer Gil Landau makes up the other half of the duo. Have a great week.
‘I Dare You’ finds The xx’s Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim exploring their feelings. Madley Croft was about to get engaged and Oliver Sim was thinking about his issues with alcohol. Unlike much of last year’s album I See You, the resulting song is positive in mood. Have a great week.
Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus this festive season. I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2017 in no particular order. See you in the new year.
Honourable mentions also go to: Jordan Rakei for ‘Hiding Place‘; Future Islands for ‘Ran‘; Bicep for ‘Glue‘; Dornik for ‘God Knows‘; Real Estate for ‘Darling‘; Foxygen for ‘On Lankershim‘; Mac DeMarco for ‘This Old Dog‘; John Mayer for ‘Moving On and Getting Over‘; Big Thief for ‘Shark Smile‘; Kevin Morby for ‘Come To Me Now‘; St. Vincent for ‘New York‘; Rex Orange County for ‘Edition‘; Public Service Broadcasting for ‘Progress‘; Lorde for ‘Green Light‘; The National for ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness‘; and alt- J for’3WW‘.
A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1998 in no particular order:
Honourable mentions also go to: Air for ‘La Femme D’Argent‘; Elliott Smith for ‘Waltz#2‘; Eels for ‘Last Stop: This Town‘; People Under The Stairs for ‘San Francisco Nights‘: The Beta Band for ‘Dry The Rain‘; and Massive Attack for ‘Teardrop‘.
And now to a different strand of the mythical folk rock genre. Brooklyn’s Big Thief balances the singer-songwriter’s storytelling with indie rock. Their debut album’s title track ‘Masterpiece’ sums it up. Adrianne Lenker sings: “There’s only so much letting go you can ask someone to do.”
One of Melbourne’s current standout bands, Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever grabbed enough people’s attention this year on the strength of their first single ‘French Press’. The band was formed by singer-guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White, and all three of their instruments are at the fore on this somewhat downcast surf rock jam.