Thursday, October 27, 2016

Off Bloom: Love To Hate It

Last week virtually unknown Copenhagen trio Off Bloom performed their superb song "Love to Hate It" at the annual prestigious P3 Guld award bash and pretty much stole the show which was an otherwise oddly lackluster affair despite the impressive bill of nominated artists and bands, including Alex Vargas and Phlake (there was also a guest performance by MØ.)

Things finally heated up on stage when wonderfully confident powerhouse singer Mette Mortensen along with sound wizards Alexander Flockhart + Mads Christian Damgaard began their national Danish television debut by having half a dozen introductory sentences projected onto a screen, ending with "We've been working on our music for three years straight without releasing anything. We're ready now." And as the live video proves, indeed they were.

The five-track EP "Love to Hate It" was released October 21. The accompanying official video was published the day before; it was shot by Danish director Nadia Marquard Otzen who works in both Copenhagen and London.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fanny De Aguiar: Sinking Deep

21-year-old Portuguese-Swedish singer-songwriter Fanny de Aguiar hails from Gothenburg, but relocated to Stockholm after coming fifth in Idol in 2014 and getting signed to Space Station 12, a new record label founded by Per Gessle of Roxette fame. (The label announced a partnership with BMG Scandinavia earlier this year.)

Her debut single "Sinking Deep" dropped October 7 and the accompanying b/w video was published this week. 

Openly gay and a proud feminist with a distinct fashion style plus killer cheekbones, the artist has 42.9k followers on Instagram. What's important in a musical context however is that she has a stunning voice which is showcased to full effect on "Sinking Deep", a truly gorgeous spine chiller of a song that proves that Roxette - and ABBA - have not lived in vain. (I love the slight Swedish accent when she sings the words "gone" and "more" - very Agnetha/Frida.)

2017 could well turn out to be a banner year for de Aguiar who turns 22 on January 13, but it's going to take a handful of great songs and excellent videos, not to mention extensive touring. Let's hope she, Space Station 12 and BMG are up to the task.  (iTunes Australia)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jamie Lidell: Walk Right Back

Jamie Lidell dropped his seventh full-length 'Building a Beginning' October 14.  It's his second album since relocating from NYC to Nashville in 2012, the same year he married longtime girlfriend, photographer Lindsey Rome who did the excellent double mug shot of hubby above. Rome is also credited as co-lyricist on the fourteen songs celebrating their marital bliss and toddler son Julian.

Outstanding lead single "Walk Right Back" sounds as if someone discovered a superb Hall & Oates track in a vault somewhere and did a stellar remix job on it.

The accompanying trippy video was created by Swedish animator, illustrator and graphic designer Leolyxxx.

The 43-year-old Brit and his band The Royal Pharaohs kicked off their continental Europe/UK fall tour in Barcelona this week. They will be headlining all of the scheduled shows, but will be finishing the tour at the five-day Ahoi Festival in Linz, Austria on November 4.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cameron Bloomfield: Talk

I'm going to make it short and sweet today.

London singer-songwriter Cameron Bloomfield performed a gorgeous new tune "Talk" back in July as part of the ongoing concert series Sofar (Songs From a Room).

"Talk" has not been released yet, but two older songs of his are available on Bandcamp: "Lost" (original) and "Juicy" (cover).

Monday, October 3, 2016

Ivan Ave: Free Shit + I Do + The Circle

27-year-old rapper Eivind Øygarden aka Ivan Ave grew up in the famed Telemark county in north-eastern Norway, but is now firmly based in Oslo where he works as a grade school teacher and is part of the creative collective Mutual Intentions. Who says you can't be a superhero both day and night?

After collaborating with Norwegian producer/DJ Fredfades on several stellar albums, Ivan Ave released his debut solo full-length in early 2016 on German label Jakarta Records. The eleven outstanding tracks on 'Helping Hands' were produced by Mndsgn who will also be producing the next album.

The sublime "Free Shit" as well as the outstanding "I Do" (Featuring Nanna B.), and "The Circle" all showcase Ivan Ave's superb voice and style to great effect.

The videos leave something to be desired,  but they do possess a certain DIY charm.

The artist played a number of solo, supportive and festival shows in the UK and continental Europe this year, but currently there are no gigs listed on Facebook or on Songkick.

NOTE: I blogged about Mndsgn last week: