Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tash Sultana: Notion + Gemini

Self-taught multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Natasha Sultana aka Tash Sultana began playing the guitar at age three and started busking on the streets of Melbourne as a teenager. Now 21, the Maltese-Australian one-woman band is performing at sold out venues all around her native country and will also be taking her show to the UK, Germany and Holland in September for five dates. (Just announced: tickets for several U.S. gigs go on sale in September) 

Her latest digital releases are the superb "Gemini"and "Notion"; the singles dropped in April and June, respectively. The accompanying live performance videos recorded in her home showcase the immense virtuosity and passion she brings to her music. At times her gorgeous guitar work and vocal styling eerily recalls the late great Jeff Buckley; however Sultana is very much carving out a place of her own in the world of music, attracting new fans worldwide every day.

Note: Sultana will be opening for The Temper Trap and Garbage in late November and early December.  (includes tour schedule)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kroki: Who You Are + Eyes

Merner, Stachowiak, Szatt

Polish trio Kroki was formed only last fall by Jaq Merner, Pawel Stachowiak and Szatt. On October 10 they delivered an outstanding show in Warsaw as part of the ongoing international concert series Sofar, performing "Who You Are" and "Eyes"; on both songs Merner's gorgeous vocals float atop the superb soundscape co-created with Szatt and Stachowiak. ("Who You Are" is available on BandCamp)

The band has four gigs coming up on home turf in August and September. Let's hope there's an EP or full-length on the way as well as tours outside Poland.

NOTE: Be sure to also listen to the stellar tracks on Szatt's and Merner's respective Soundcloud pages. (Bassist Stachowiak does not appear to have a Soundcloud account.) (Songs From A Room)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stalking Gia: Second Nature + War Paint + Born Free

Behind the mysterious (and eh, slightly creepy) moniker Stalking Gia is 22-year-old Tiffany Giardina. Born and raised in NYC where she is still based, the singer-songwriter got her start as a kid acting in musical theater, commercials and more. In her early teens she released two full-length albums and three singles of which two were included on feature film soundtracks.

She went on to write or co-write for other recording artists before focusing on solo-projects: the stellar "War Paint" came out in 2014 and was followed up with the excellent "Born Free" in 2015.

Last month, she dropped the superb single "Second Nature"; the accompanying video was created by director Jesse DeFlorio and cinematographer Seth Illif was published this week; both are L.A. based.

Giardina has found a mature, sophisticated sound that fits her like a glove. Sadly, her videos on YouTube have a low number of views. And - judging from a Google search - she is not receiving the attention from music blogs/the mainstream media that she deserves. Here's hoping that will change in the near future.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Koi Child: 1-5-9 + Black Panda

Kevin Parker of Tame Impala was attending a concert in 2014 in Fremantle, watching local hip hop trio Child's Play and jazz quartet Kashikoi fusing their sounds into one. Liking what he heard, he approached the guys after the gig and asked the band's name; the seven musicians coined a new one for themselves and became Koi Child.

Parker offered them a supporting slot at the annual Rottofest (held in September on Rottnest Island) and ended up co-producing/mixing the band's first single "Slow One". A second single "Black Panda" followed in 2015.

The band's 14-track self-titled debut full-length dropped in March of this year and includes both tracks plus the latest single, the outstanding "1-5-9" which calls to mind a trippy back-to-the-future jam session featuring Weather Report and The Roots.

Five Australian shows are scheduled between August 19-27.

Videos: "1-5-9" was created by Tay Kaka and Sam Shields aka RLSM Creative Studio. "Black Panda" was directed by Matsu Photography.

Koi Child:
Cruz Patterson, vocals
Christian Ruggiero, tenor sax
Jamie Canny, alto sax
Sam Newman, trombone
Tom Kenny, keys
Blake Hart, drums
Yann Vissac, bass  (includes tour schedule)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

HalfNoise: Know The Feeling + Hurricane Love + Mountain + Free The House

Thankfully, former Paramore drummer Zac Farro has not abandoned HalfNoise, the project he founded with Jason Clark in 2010: an upcoming full-length was preceded last month with the release of the teaser "Know the Feeling" which now also has a fun, cheesy, back-to-the-80s video, shot by fellow Nashville creative, director Aaron Joseph.

The three previous almost impossibly gorgeous singles "Hurricane Love" and "Mountain" (off the 2014 full-length 'Volcano Crowe') plus "Free The House" (from the self-titled 2012 debut EP) made fans hungry for more and Farro does not disappoint with the new single: "Know the Feeling" is truly glorious.

Note: The musicians featured in the "Know the Feeling" clip are Matthew Shaw, Anthony Woodland, Ricardo Alessio and Cobey Arner.