Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dream Wife: Hey Heartbreaker

Rakel, Bella, and Alice.

Powerhouse lead vocalist and Iceland native Rakel Mjöll plus Brits Bella Podpadec (bass, vocals) and Alice Go (guitar, vocals) make up London-based trio Dream Wife.

Their self-titled debut full-length drops January 26 on UK indie label Lucky Number. The album includes the stellar track "Hey Heartbreaker" which is accompanied by an excellent animated video directed by Mason London aka Joe Prytherch, formerly the art director for global online music streaming service Boiler Room.

Tour: There's a gig in Brooklyn January 22, followed by a string of shows scheduled between February 6 and May 13 in the Australia, UK, continental Europe, and North America.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Palace Garden: Take Shelter

Caspar Hesselager & Carl Coleman

It might seem like a bad joke to post a song entitled "Take Shelter", only a day after the now infamous false 'incoming missile' alert was mistakenly and unforgivably sent to millions of cell phones in Hawaii on Saturday.

Trust me, it's complete coincidence. But as I began blogging, it was impossible not to think of the terrified residents and tourists who had every reason to believe they might perish within minutes.

What caused this massive screw up? During one of three routine daily shift-change drills, a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee "clicked the wrong thing on the computer", a spokesman stated [New York Times, Jan. 14, 2018].

Oh, okay.

Back to the music:

Copenhagen-based duo Palace Winter have just dropped the single "Take Shelter" from their 11-track sophomore full-length 'Nowadays' which will be released May 4.  

Their acclaimed debut album 'Waiting for the World to Turn' came out in 2016, and while it was excellent, the upcoming collection of tunes promises to even better, if judging by "Take Shelter", a stunner of a song with haunting echoes of the Moody Blues and Crosby Stills & Nash.

Tour: There are six gigs coming up March 17-21: one in Amsterdam, two in Brussels, and three in the UK. In addition, a show in Copenhagen has been scheduled for May 18.  For live shows, Australian singer/guitarist Carl Coleman and classically trained pianist/producer Caspar Hesselager are joined by Jacob Haubjerg (guitar) and Jens Bach (drums).

No proper video yet, but I will post it as soon as it's on YouTube.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sigrid: Strangers + Dynamite

Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid previously recorded under her full name Sigrid Raabe. Now 21 and signed to Island, she has dropped the four-track EP 'Don't Kill My Vibe'  - which includes an acoustic version of the stellar song "Dynamite" - as well as her newest release, the outstanding single "Strangers".

The quirky video accompanying "Strangers" was created by London-based director-photographer-writer Ivana Bobic.

She flawlessly performed "Strangers" and "Dynamite" at the excellently produced Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo on December 11 hosted by British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo. (Other performers included Lukas Graham, John Legend, Zara Larsson, as well as Matoma with guest vocalists Shy Martin, Adam Douglas and Becky Hill.)  This year's prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons aka ICAN, a global civil society of coalition of 468 - and counting - peace, human rights, environment, development and faith groups.

Sigrid has two dates coming up in January: Debaser Strand in Stockholm on the 21st and Vega in Copenhagen on the 22nd. Between March 12 and 24 there will be seven shows in the the UK plus one in Dublin. Additionally, a gig at the OverOslo festival has already been scheduled for June 20.

Friday, December 8, 2017

BTS: DNA + Blood Sweat & Tears

When South Korean band BTS made their U.S. television debut at the American Music Awards on November 19 in Los Angeles they brought the house down, greatly aided by their loyal fans aka A.R.M.Y.  Yet, until that day, many viewers in the States were likely not familiar with these seven young men from Seoul who brilliantly fuse K-pop with hip hop, boldly sing in Korean sprinkled with English, and deliver dance moves & vocals that make jaws drop and hearts beat faster.

Since 2013, BTS (an acronym that translates to Bulletproof Boy Scouts, though they now also use the acronym Beyond the Stage) have released a handful of stellar singles, EPs, and albums, as well as numerous outstanding videos. In addition to writing their own music/lyrics, they also produce their records.

The members whose ages range from 20 to 25 are:
Jungkook (singer/rapper/choreographer)
V (singer)
Jimin (singer/choreographer)
RM (rapper)
J-Hope (rapper/choreographer)
Suga (rapper)
Jin (singer)

"DNA" and "Blood Sweat & Tears" are my personal favorites, both musically and visually. The stunning clips were created by Seoul based creative collective Lumpens.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dalli: Who Are You + Down This Road

Three years ago, Brisbane native Dalli released his superb debut single "Down This Road". Then, following a tragedy (five family members were in a light aircraft crash), he dropped out of law school, relocated to Melbourne and started busking full-time.

Now, a year later, the singer-songwriter has dropped an outstanding second single entitled "Who Are You", written on a solo camping trip along the Great Ocean Road.

Both tracks are accompanied by excellent videos. "Who Are You" was created by Melbourne based director Jem Rankin. "Down This Road" was co-directed by Dalli and Melissa Romao.

Check Dalli's Facebook page for gigs in the new year (the last show of 2017 was Wednesday.)

Note: The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 km/151 mi stretch of road along the south-eastern coast between the cities of Torquay and Allansford in Victoria. Built by returned soldiers from 1919-32 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world's largest war memorial.
[Wikipedia]  (iTunes Australia)  (director "Who Are You" video)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Anna Leone: My Soul I

So far, Stockholm singer-songwriter Anna Leone has released only one song, but oh, what a song. The single "My Soul I" is a flawless composition of boundless beauty, further enhanced by the stellar, sparse production that wisely gives Leone's stunning voice the ample space it deserves.

I can't wait to hear more from this immensely gifted artist who is 19 or 23 years old, depending on which media source one picks out of the bunch. But whether Leone is 19 or 23, one thing is for sure: she has her whole life ahead of her - and hopefully a brilliant career.

The lovely video was shot around the Stockholm archipelago by French directors Victoria Lafaurie and Hector Albouker. 

And speaking of French: the track dropped back in September on Paris/London indie label AllPoints.