Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chloe Howl: Rumour

Just turned 19 and hailing from Maidenhead west of London, singer-songwriter Chloe Howl, born Howells, has no back up plan: singing since childhood, she can't imagine doing anything except music. Looks like things are working out just fine: her self-titled debut full-length drops June 9. Three singles have already been released; the most recent one 'Rumour' is accompanied by an excellent video with a powerful message about finding oneself.

Howl has a dozen shows scheduled in the UK and in continental Europe between May 1 and August 29.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The National: I Need My Girl

Tonight The National are performing in downtown L.A. at the gorgeous historic Shrine Auditorium where Jimi Hendrix played in February of 1968.  The Brooklyn based-band of Cincinnati, Ohio origin will also be screening the tour documentary Mistaken for Strangers shot during a year of touring by Tom Berninger, brother of frontman Matt Berninger. (Trivia: the remaining four members of the group consists of two pairs of brothers; twins Aaron and Bryce Dessner as well as Scott and Bryan Devendorf.)

The tour resumes next month with no less than three shows in Toronto April 9-11 and continues through August 16 with a string of dates in the U.S., continental Europe, plus the UK and includes many summer festivals gigs.

A beautiful black/white video was published last month to go with the fifth single taken from the stellar 2013 full-length release 'Trouble Will Find Me.'  (official website)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Linus Young: City Of Sin

Iris Belton and Joseph Walker formed L.A. based duo Linus Young a year ago. So far there is only one single out, but it is of stellar quality as is the cinematic video, a cautionary tale set along a desert highway.

Currently touring the U.S., the band has four more shows opening for ZZ Ward this week.  Likely a debut full-length is forthcoming as well as more tours.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alex Vargas: Sweet Nothing + Howl + Lie

Hailing from the Copenhagen area but based in London for almost a decade, singer-songwriter Alex Vargas was the lead vocalist in British band Vagabond before going solo in 2010. His fantastic voice has been compared to Steve Winwood and Robert Palmer, but there are also distinct echoes of Jeff Buckley here and there. The Buckley sound is much enhanced via musical partner Tommy Sheen's excellent guitar work on Vargas' stellar and highly personal version of the Calvin Harris/Florence Welch song "Sweet Nothing", included on his outstanding eight-track debut EP 'Howl', out now on Danish label Tiger Music.

Vargas performed a gig at SXSW tonight and has one more showcase: this will be outside Stubb's BBQ in downtown Austin this Friday, March 14. There are also two London dates scheduled for May 23 and 29.

R.I.P. to the two people killed early Thursday morning in downtown Austin by an intoxicated driver at the SXSW festival and a speedy recovery to the two dozens who were injured. 

NOTE on the "Lie" video: this track is not on the 'Howl' album.  (listen to all the tracks on the 'Howl' album)


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Supreme Cuts: Envision (Featuring Chenny)

Austin Keultjes and Mike Perry aka Supreme Cuts released their debut album 'Whispers in the Dark' in the summer of 2012 and followed it up with a second full-length 'Divine Ecstasy' on January 28 of this year. Whereas the first album was an instrumental one, the new one features vocalists on half of the 14 tracks, including Channy Leaneagh of U.S. band Polica and Mahaut Mondino, Paris born and raised teenage daughter of French fashion photographer/music video director Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

The Chicago based producer duo will be performing March 12 and 14 at the SXSW Festival.

The superbly edited video for the track 'Envision' was directed by Minneapolis based DP/photographer Braden Lee.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Highasakite: Since Last Wednesday

Norwegian band Highasakite's second album 'Silent Treatment' drops February 3 in Norway and March 3 worldwide. The video for the excellent first single "Since Last Wednesday" was published in November.

A string of concert dates are scheduled for March, April and May, including a showcase gig at SXSW this month. They will also be performing at several festivals in Norway this summer.