Saturday, June 29, 2013

Caged Animals: Cindy & Me + All The Beautiful Things In The World + This Summer I'll Make It Up To You

Brooklyn band Caged Animals started as songwriter Vincent Cacchione's home-recorded solo project.  Their new single "Cindy & Me" dropped this month and a second full-length album is forthcoming.

The baboon-revenge-fantasy video accompanying "Cindy & Me" was directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada.  (Carlos Lopez Estrada)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Nico & Vinz: Am I Wrong

Nico Sereba and Vincent Dery aka Nico & Vinz released the mixtape 'DreamWorks: Why Not Me' in 2010, followed it up with the debut album 'The Magic Soup and The Bittersweet Faces' in 2012, and dropped the outstanding single "Am I Wrong" in April of 2013.

Born in Norway in 1990, the two grew up just outside Oslo. Seraba's parents are from Norway (mother) and Ivory Coast (father); Dery's mother and father are both from Ghana. The gorgeous video for "Am I Wrong", directed by fellow Norwegian Kavar Singh, was shot in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Update 2014: "Am I Wrong" is now available on the full-length album 'Black Star Elephant'. 
Note: The duo was using the name Envy until early 2014.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Michelle Chamuel aka The Reverb Junkie: Deeds + Castles + You Don't Know (with Christopher Norman)

Although Michelle Chamuel did not win first place on The Voice singing competition last night, her appearance on national television these past few months is absolutely priceless in terms of exposure to a wide audience.

The singer-songwriter-musician-producer was a member of Ann Arbor band Ella Riot from 2007 to 2011 after which she begun to record and release material under the moniker The Reverb Junkie.  She has also collaborated with Christopher Norman: last summer they released the excellent EP 'All the Pretty People' on BandCamp.

As The Reverb Junkie, Chamuel is clearly influenced and inspired by Robyn, Katy Perry, and Imogen Heap, yet nevertheless manages to find her own unique voice and sound, as evidenced on the stellar tracks posted below.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Jenny Lindfors: The Blazing Sun + Don't Tempt The Shadow + Step To The Right


Irish, with a Swedish last name, and now based in London, singer-songwriter Jenny Lindfors released her debut album 'When the Night Time Comes' in 2008, followed it up with the three-track EP 'Step to the Right' in 2012, and is currently recording her second full-length.

Like virtually all female folk singers with a guitar she is compared to a young Joni Mitchell, yet both her sound and her effortless, exquisite phrasing are in fact much closer to those of James Taylor, Bill Withers, as well as the late, great Eva Cassidy.

In 2011 Rumer invited Lindfors to open for her on a spring/summer tour of the UK plus one gig in Paris. This year she is planning a small tour for September and recently asked fans to suggest "cozy, special" UK venues via Facebook:

Speaking of Rumer, here is my post from last summer:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Luke James: I.O.U.

Just turned 29 yesterday, New Orleans native Luke James went to the same high school as the slightly younger Frank Ocean, and like Ocean, he got his start writing songs for big names in the music industry before making a name for himself as an artist by way of buzz generating mixtapes.

'#Luke' dropped in 2011 and included the Grammy-nominated single "I Want You"; it was followed up last year with 'Whispers in the Dark' which was made available as a free digital download.  His debut studio album 'Made To Love' will be released July 16. The first single 'Make Love to Me' came out in January.

The second single "I.O.U." dropped in February: its irresistible mix of Luke James' gorgeous vocals, a hypnotic beat and a killer bass line puts this track solidly alongside the best material that Frank Ocean and Miguel have delivered. (Maybe the three of them could do a Three Tenors style concert?)

NOTE: James opened up for BeyoncĂ© on the just wrapped European leg of her 'Mrs. Carter' world tour. Make sure to check the links for updates on future solo concert dates.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mark Owen: Stars


Mark Owen of British band Take That released his fourth solo album 'The Art of Doing Nothing' yesterday; the tragic-comic video for the excellent first single "Stars" was published last month.

Owen still has a few shows left on his June tour schedule: June 16 in Glasgow, June 23 in Frankfurt, and June 24 in Berlin.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Savoir Adore: Empire Of The Light + Dreamers

Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer (son of Jan Hammer) aka Brooklyn duo Savoir Adore self-released their second full-length 'Our Nature' last year; it was rereleased this week via Nettwerk Records. 

A ten-date June tour of the U.S. with a full band kicks off tonight in Boston. They will also be performing at the Bunbury Music Festival gig in Cincinnati on July 14.

NOTE: If you think the band moniker looks a little off, you're correct: the duo purposely chose their 'grammatically faulty' name, a playful twist on the well-known French term 'Savoir Faire'  [English term: know how]

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

marstal:lidell: Heartbeat Beating Me Up + Icicles Melting

Henrik Marstal and Anna Lidell  of Copenhagen duo marstal:lidell self-released their five-track debut EP 'A Dream Machine' March 22.  Recorded last summer in Brooklyn, it features various guest musicians, including drummer Jaleel Bunton of TV On The Radio.

A second five-track EP entitled 'one divided by one' dropped June 3; hopefully, videos will be published to accompany a few of the new tracks. 

The duo occasionally performs live: check their Facebook page for updates.

Anna Lidell was a close friend of Danish Jonas Sekyere Thomsen who was murdered in Copenhagen last November; the two students were next door neighbors at Copenhagen University's oldest dormitory 'Regensen'.  Following Jonas' untimely and senseless death, Lidell wrote a poignant tribute song in Danish with her musical partner Marstal and made it available as a free download. 

The links below: my posts about Jonas from November; the tribute song-video is included in the first post.

Below is a link to an article in the (Copenhagen) University Post: