Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oh Land: Head Up High

Singer-songwriter-producer Oh Land drops her fourth album 'Earth Sick' November 10.  The stellar lead single "Head Up High" - written for a friend going through a difficult time - is accompanied by an excellent video in which the 29-year old artist gets to vent some frustration with a base ball bat; fortunately, only inanimate objects were at the receiving end. The clip was directed by Duncan Winecoff of NYC filmmaking collective All:Expanded.

While based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for almost five years, Oh Land frequently travels to her native Denmark and will be doing three one-hour concerts in and around Copenhagen in December: December 11 in Helsingør (aka Elsinore of Hamlet fame) and December 12 + 13 in Copenhagen borough Frederiksberg.




Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hozier: Live On KCRW + Take Me To Church

24-year-old Irish singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Hozier-Byrne aka Hozier has arguable been the busiest man in show business this year, but despite his crazy schedule of performing, recording, and interviewing he seems remarkably unfazed by it all. His current tour continues until late March (with a break between Christmas and late January) and almost every date is sold out.

His relatively fast ascent to fame is in great part owing to the song "Take Me To Church" going viral on the Internet last year. However, unlike so many artists/bands who suddenly find themselves with a hit on their hands, the man is no one hit wonder as the 'Hozier' debut full-length amply proves. The 13-track album was released globally this month (an edition with two bonus tracks dropped in late July) and showcases Hozier's sublime vocals and outstanding guitar work.

His blues musician father exposed his son to American blues and soul music from an early age and the influence is of course obvious, but like his fellow Irish musical magician Van Morrison, Hozier has managed to create his own very personal sound that mixes American blues/R&B/soul with the equally rich tradition of Irish music. It's a truly beautiful combo and one that will hopefully result in many more albums from this immensely gifted artist.

NOTE: His debut EP 'Take Me To Church' was released in 2013. The EP 'From Eden' followed earlier this year. The debut full-length 'Hozier' contains almost all of the tracks from the two EPs.

The stellar set at KCRW [the flagship public radio station in Santa Monica, California] and Morning Becomes Eclectic show host Jason Bentley's relaxed interview is well worth watching. Hozier proves that he can deliver the goods not just in recording studio, but also live, and it is thus safe to say that concert goers have much to look forward to this fall and winter.

The powerful video accompanying "Take Me To Church" that went viral in 2013 was created by the two-man Dublin based team of Feel Good Lost in close collaboration with the artist himself.






Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Mountain: Tame Yourself

In September of 2012 I blogged about L.A. project New Mountain and in October the same year did an interview with frontman Blake Runyon. This week Runyon dropped the six-track EP 'Dark Matters' which finds him collaborating with a different set of musicians than on the 2012 New Mountain debut full-length 'Under New Skies': among them are Annie Woodward, Alexa Melo and Christian James Hand; the latter also recorded, mixed and produced the new EP.

I chose to post Runyon's outstanding, downright funky track "Tame Yourself" because it shows a somewhat different musical facet of the very gifted singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist.  (NOTE: there is no video yet, but here's hoping there will be.)

For those of you in L.A.: you might catch him showcasing his songs on a Friday night at the weekly 'That Cool Music Thing' event at Full Circle at 305 Rose Avenue in Venice.

And for readers in NYC: on Saturday October 25 he will be playing bass with SiriusXM radio host Jason Ellis' rock/metal band Horse Force (not to be confused with the one-man dubstep project bearing the same name.)

If you missed the Q&A or the post on New Mountain two years ago:







Saturday, October 11, 2014

Agnes Obel: Fuel To Fire + Dorian

Born and raised in metropolitan Copenhagen but based in Berlin since 2006, singer-songwriter Agnes Obel dropped two editions of her second full-length 'Aventine' Oct. 1 and Oct. 6, respectively. The deluxe edition contains twenty-two tracks, including her haunting composition "Dorian" and a David Lynch remix of the beautiful song "Fuel to Fire"; here's hoping the director decides to feature her music on the newly announced nine-episode continuation of his Twin Peaks TV-series which will air on Showtime in early 2016.

Obel's current tour continues Sunday with a show in Berlin. Eleven North American dates are scheduled between October 30 and November 13. Finally, there will be three gigs in Australia November 25, 27 and 28.

The vintage black/white footage used to accompany the two album tracks suits them both to a tee: David Dean Burkhart edited "Fuel to Fire"; Obel's romantic and frequent creative partner Alex Bruel Flagtad edited "Dorian".






Monday, October 6, 2014

Röyksopp: Monument (Featuring Robyn)

Svein Berge and Thorbjørn Brundtland aka Röyksopp will continue to make music, but the aptly titled full-length 'The Inevitable End' (to be released November 10) will be the Norwegian duo's final album. Fortunately for their many fans, they went all out for their fifth and final big party, inviting Robyn, Susanne Sundfør, Jamie Irrepressible and Ryan James as musical guests on eleven out of seventeen tracks.

The masterpiece "Monument" is an utterly breathtaking creation, combining Robyn's stunning vocals with Berge's/Brundtland's sublime electronica, creating a soundscape simultaneously otherworldly and of this world.      

NOTE: "Monument" was included on 'Do It Again', the five-track Röyksopp & Robyn EP, released in May. (The EP title track will also be on 'The Inevitable End' album)          

The gorgeous, hypnotic clip accompanying the track was done by Swedish commerical/music video director Max Vitali.

Röyksopp will be performing at the Southbound Festival in Australia January 3-4, 2015. Also on the bill: Robyn, The Temper Trap, alt-J, Cold War Kids, and many more.