Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Luke James: Strawberry Vapors

HAPPY NEW YEAR to my lovely readers around the world!!!!!!!  (one hundred countries and counting). Thank you for taking the time to "tune in" and read The Nightfly music blog.  May your 2014 be filled with...Strawberry Vapors?!

29-year-old New Orleans native Luke James is getting high on love in his new clip, published earlier this month. James has the voice, the songs and the videos to make it big.  BeyoncĂ© even chose him to open for her on the big 'Mrs. Carter' tour this year. But for some reason the word is not getting out there to the extent that you'd think. If that were the case, his videos for example would have a far higher view count on YouTube. This could be a label and/or manager issue; it often is, but it's difficult to know.

Here's hoping that all the talented folks out there get their breakthrough in 2014, be it Luke James or the busker singing in the New York subway.

I first blogged about James back in June after hearing his superb track "I.O.U":


PHOTO NOTE: New Year's Eve fireworks by the RMS Queen Mary, now permanently moored here in Long Beach where it functions as a museum/tourist attraction. The stately ship made one thousand trips between 1936 and 1967, primarily across the North Atlantic (Southampton, England-New York City.)


Friday, December 27, 2013

Twelve Favorite Tracks/Videos Posted In 2013

It's almost 2014 and thus time for me to pick some favorites from 2013.

NOTE 1: Not all clips were uploaded to YouTube in 2013, but they may have been the most recent music video from the band/artist at the time of my post.
NOTE 2: This is not a 'Best of 2013' list, but simply twelve personal faves.


Darkness Falls: The Void



James Blake: Retrograde



Daughter: Still



Outlandish: A Mind Full of Whispers



Lianne La Havas: Elusive



marstal:lidell: Icicles Melting



Laura Mvula: She



The Holidays: Voices Drifting



Bon Homme (Featuring Lydmor): Daybreaker



Polica: Warrior Lord



Midlake: Antiphon



London Grammar: Strong


Monday, December 23, 2013

Jamestown Revival: Medicine

Texas childhood friends Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance formed Jamestown Revival in 2010 after feeling frustrated with their respective solo careers. Their first EP 'Knives and Pipes" was released in 2011 and was followed up with 'The California EP' in October of this year (the four songs on that EP were recorded in a mountain cabin in Utah and a mini-documentary on the subject will be released in the new year.)

A string of North American gigs begin and end in Los Angeles, their current home base: January 14 at the Hotel CafĂ© + March 5 at the Troubadour. (All except two shows on this tour also have The Wild Feathers and Saints of Valory on the bill.)

The gorgeous video for "Medicine" was shot by frequent collaborator and fellow Texan Paul Pryor who was brought along for a tour in the Northwest. The song was one among three pre-view tracks uploaded on the duo's Bandcamp page in May.

NOTE: A free download of "Fur Coat Blues" from "The California EP" is available from their official site as well as their Facebook page.





Thursday, December 19, 2013

London Grammar: Nightcall + Strong

UK trio London Grammar was founded in Nottingham in 2009, but it wasn't until they uploaded the track "Hey Now" to the web last December that things began to happen, and very quickly. The EP 'Metal and Dust' was released in February of this year and the debut full-length 'If You Wait' followed in September.

Two excellent videos were published this year to accompany the tracks "Strong" and "Nightfall'.

Singer Hannah Reid, guitarist Dan Rothman and multi-instrumentalist Dot Major (left in photo above) have a busy tour schedule ahead:

Australia December 28-January 10
NYC: January 15-16
The UK: January 28-February 17
Continental Europe: February 25-March 3
North America: March 11-April 14

Note: They will also be doing a festival gig in St. Gallen, Switzerland on June 26.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Davidge: Slo Light (Featuring Stephonik Youth)

51-year-old British composer/producer/sonic wizard Neil Davidge is most famous for his stellar work with Massive Attack, but in 2010 he set up his own studio and began production of his debut solo album; he will use only his last name as artist moniker.  'Slo Light' drops on February 25 and will feature various vocalists, including Stephonik Youth of Brooklyn band Living Days whose gorgeous vocals are perfectly suited to the stunning title track.

A trailer video for the album has been published, but you'll have to visit Neil Davidge's SoundCloud page to listen to the full track. (unfortunately, at this point it is not possible to embed the track and so I was not able to post the Soundcloud widget for the song)


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kim Cesarion: Undressed

Born and raised in Stockholm, of Swedish-Greek and Guadeloupean parentage and from a very musical family, 23-year-old singer Kim Cesarion discovered his vocal talent in high school after already mastering the violin, viola, upright bass and piano. At age 20 he connected with Icelandic/Swedish songwriter-producer Arnthor Birgisson and the two began working on songs with several other writers. The result was the track "Undressed" which will be included on his debut full-length; the album was due for a 2013 release but has been postponed to the new year.

The single version of "Undressed" is a decent pop/R&B track, but Cesarion's vocals are practically buried in the overkill mix. Thankfully, someone had the great idea to let him do a stripped down live version with an exellent band and it is here that he gets to truly showcase his outstanding voice. The sublime result of the live session makes one wish that the upcoming album be comprised of similar stellar arrangements that echo those of his idol D'Angelo whom Cesarion saw in concert in Stockholm at the age of eleven.

He has two shows this weekend: Friday he'll be at the Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark and Saturday at KB in Malmo, Sweden. No doubt there will be a European tour in 2014 when the debut album is out, possibly also a U.S. tour at some point.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Clean Bandit: Rather Be + Dust Clears

UK collective Clean Bandit published a creepy-fun new video today for the stellar track "Rather Be" featuring Jess Glynne on vocals to be released on January 27 on Atlantic Records.

They have five gigs in December including two shows this weekend in London.


Video # 2: "Dust Clears" is from the EP of the same name, released in July.