Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jessie Ware: Wildest Moments + 110 % + Running + Night Light + Valentine (with Sampha)

London singer-songwriter Jessie Ware has recorded with SBTRKT, Sampha,  D.J. Joker, and others, but in August she released her outstanding debut album 'Devotion', and has numerous European and U.S. shows between early November and mid-March.

On Friday Ware announced on Facebook that she is postponing Monday's and Tuesday's shows in Copenhagen and Oslo. The rescheduled dates are:
February 26: Lille Vega, Copenhagen
February 27 : Blaa, Oslo

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mozez: Wings + Signs of Happiness

The eagerly awaited second solo album 'The Absolute' from Mozez, formerly of Zero 7, became digitally available October 8.  All leading download sites will have the album on October 28.  Physical CD's will be distributed to the regions to coincide with a 2013 world tour.

The striking black/white video for the single "Wings" was released in July.  The first album teaser track "Signs of Happiness" was released in 2009 and also deserves a great music video.

Be sure to read my interview with Mozez from October of 2009:

Listen to and download the 12-track album at Bandcamp:

Free download of an acoustic version of "Wings":  

Frequently updated FB page:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chic Gamine: Days And Days + Motions + Closer

Canadian group Chic Gamine came together in 2007 when Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne and Annick Bremault recruited fellow Winnipegger Alexa Dirks as well as Montreal drummer/percussionist Sacha Daoud who has Brazilian roots. 

Two albums came out in 2008 and 2010 in Canada; their eagerly awaited first official U.S. release will drop before the end of the year.

Chic Gamine "Closer" from Chic Gamine on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Interview with Blake Runyon of New Mountain

L.A. based band New Mountain has released several EPs since 2010 and a stellar debut full-length entitled 'Under New Skies' dropped on September 13.

Frontman Blake Runyon's gorgeous vocals call to mind Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, and Thom Yorke, yet very much manage to stand out from these giants; no small accomplishment.

Q & A with Blake Runyon

The Nightfly:  You have a remarkable voice. How long have you been singing?
Blake:   Thank you!   I'm 25 and have been singing since I was kid in a church choir; it was then that I noticed I could stay on a certain pitch.  My first time up at the mic would be when I was 13 playing with my ska band The Scuba Kids who are still playing.

The Nightfly:   Who/what inspires you as a songwriter?
Blake:   Other musicians I feel musically in-tune with and the world around me.  What's not to write about in this crazy world of ours?

The Nightfly:   The categories listed on the New Mountain Bandcamp page are “alternative/city and color/ indie/acoustic/percussive/rock/singer-songwriter/strings/tribal."  Is it frustrating having to label your own music or is “checking boxes” simply a necessary aspect of marketing?
Blake:  From an artistic viewpoint it is a little annoying to label my music, but on the other hand Bandcamp rocks so hard that I just couldn't not do something they told me to do.

The Nightfly:   How did you meet your New Mountain bandmates keyboardist Matt Luker and percussionists Matt Fonda and Candice Harris?
Blake:   I met Matt Luker on Craigslist when my previous band 100ftSnowman needed a new keyboard player.   After 100ftSnowman I met Candice and Fonda through his new project Me and My Giant.  I loved their connection, and felt the need to invite them in on New Mountain.

The Nightfly:   New Mountain’s sound is distinct in part due to the absence of drums and the prominent role of the two percussionists.   Was this happenstance or decided on from day one?
Blake:   Percussion seemed like the easiest way to record the demos considering we had one good condenser mic.   The sound pretty much Instantly grew on me, and I decided to stay with the vibe.

The Nightfly: Scott Heath doesn't play in New Mountain, but he wrote the lyrics for “Carry” and "Judge Velocity.”   Is he a regular co-writer of yours?
Blake:   Scott is a close friend of mine who is a Drum and Bass DJ;  he goes under the name Selva Massive.   We write songs for fun, and it just so happened that the current lyrics he was working on at the time perfectly fit the vibe of my song ideas.

The Nightfly:   You play in several L.A. bands plus do solo gigs around town, and your New Mountain bandmates are members of other bands.  Is there a desire at this point to focus exclusively on New Mountain?
Blake: Yes, there is a desire on my part, but timing will have to come into play with everyone's schedules.   We play together when we can, and will probably start incorporating all of our projects into our current paths soon.

The Nightfly:   A video was made last year of New Mountain doing an excellent cover of Adele’s “Daydreamer”.   How did that come about?
Blake:   That video was made by the New Joint Collective headed by Chris Lee.   I chose the song because I kinda became obsessed with it at the time.  When Chris asked me to do a cover video I knew what song was probably going to be the choice.

The Nightfly:   Who did the very interesting art work featured on the New Mountain Bandcamp page?
Blake:  I've been searching for the artist myself, and I hope that he/she sees this interview so they know who to call for future arrangements.

The Nightfly:  What is the story behind the album title ‘Under New Skies’?
Blake:   The title of the album is a lyric from the song "New Mountain."   I thought that having a song, band name and album title revolve around themselves was a cool idea.

The Nightfly: Talk about each track on the "Under the Skies" album.

Track # 1, Siren Radio:  The song represents the intensity of living in the moment and the consequences that eventually catch up to us due to the natural dynamics of life.

Track # 2, New Mountain:  This is a story about a person deciding to take a new journey after a devastating change to their reality.   I felt this track was the perfect description for my situation at a certain time, representing the new musical journey I was about to take.
Track # 3, Carry:  The song is a plea for a family to get back together.

Track # 4, Ageless Things:  It's about my first love and the awareness I gained from moving on from such an intense experience.

Track # 5, Call on Me (The Taste of Armor):  I wrote this when a close friend of mine passed away.  I tried to tell myself in the song that no matter what happens in this life we are connected and that there is nothing to fear in death.

Track # 6,  Judge Velocity:  In life, chaos might seems to rule but its all relative, it just depends on how you perceive it.  Take that leap and don't be afraid to face the chaos called life.

Track # 7,  The Burn (In Your Eyes):  When I wrote these songs I was on the path of trying to heal myself from a previous traumatic event.  In short I wanted to go with the flow and conquer my fears.  Writing this song helped me realize the destination I was searching for.
Track # 8,  Of Space:  I took a trip to Joshua Tree one morning with a few friends, woke up earlier than everyone else, sat on top of a huge rock and experienced this overwhelming calm.  The song is an interpretation of that moment.
Track # 9,  Out of My Dreams:  This is about a girl that I've seen in my dreams come to life.  Some might experience a faceless lover in their dreams, but when that lover pops up the next day, a song has got to be written.
Track # 10,  The Origin:  It describes the seclusion I went into after losing a lover.  This track helped me take notice of my dark thoughts and turn them into an expression of myself.  To me, this song defined me as a solo artist.

Track # 11, a cover of Adele's "Daydreamer", is included in the full album download on New Mountain's Bandcamp page.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Turboweekend: Neverending

There is a very cool David Lynch vibe in the beginning of the "Neverending" video from Danish band Turboweekend that I wish had been sustained throughout.  Still, it's always great to have new work from one of the finest Danish bands around.  The clip was directed by Thomas Fryd.

Latest album is their third full-length  'Fault Lines' which dropped in June.

A fall tour around all Denmark kicked off today and wraps up November 17.  (There is also a gig in Warszawa November 5.)   Turboweekend is known for their high energy, high caliber live shows, so here's hoping the band will tour stateside sometime soon.

Don't miss my interview with lead singer Silas Bjerregaard from November 2010 when the quartet was still a trio:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

San Cisco: Golden Revolver & Rocket Ship + Bombay Bicycle Club: How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep & Beg

San Cisco

Bombay Bicycle Club

Today, for no reason at all, you get two great bands for the price of one:

Freemantle, West Australia quartet San Cisco was signed last month to U.S. label Fat Possum Records which will release the band's debut album in early 2013.  (their EP 'Awkward' drops stateside on October 23.)

The band has eight shows in the U.S. this month. (click on the Fat Possom link for details)

London band Bombay Bicycle Club's most recent album 'A Different Kind of Fix' came out in 2011. 

They are currently touring North America, and will have several shows in Australia in December and January.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Cinematic Orchestra: Arrival Of The Birds + Lilac Wine

Two stunning commercial videos, each featuring a beautiful track recorded by British group The Cinematic Orchestra, founded in 1999 by Jason Swinscoe.

"Arrival of the Birds", from the soundtrack to one of the finest wildlife documentaries ever made, 'The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingo'.  The very Pixar like Address Is Approximate clip was directed by Tom Jenkins of London based commercial production house The Theory.  (Jenkins and business partner Simon Sharp announched this week that they will be directing their feature film debut 'Giants' for Sony Pictures.)

"Lilac Wine", written by James Shelton in 1950 has been covered by many artists, including Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, Elkie Brooks, Jeff Buckley, and most recently by Miley Cyrus. The clip was directed by Vanessa Marzaroli for L.A. based digital design studio Blind which has produced music videos for The Raveonettes, Gnarls Barkley, Justin Timberlake, and more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bat For Lashes: All Your Gold + Laura

London born multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes will release her third album 'The Haunted Man' on October 15.

The haunting lead single "Laura" dropped in July; it was accompanied by a beautiful video featuring Khan's fellow Brit, renowned drag performer Lavinia Co-op aka Vincent Fox as well as American singer/violinist Marques Toliver.  The second single 'All Your Gold" was released in September along with a b/w video. 

Both videos were shot by Noel Paul, half of the director's collective That Go.

A UK and continental European tour kicks off on October 18 in Inverness and wraps up on in Brussels on November 28.