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Tag Archive 'alternative singer/songwriter'

She & Him: Volume 3

“Always looking backward to the sunny sounds of the ’60s, She & Him often feel like a band out of time, a pair of pop dreamers born too late to be a part of the musical scene they’ve painstakingly crafted a pastiche of with their third album, Volume 3…. Three albums (plus a Christmas record) [...]

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“Marling is an old soul through and through, and her remarkably timeless voice, idiosyncratic lyrics, and increasingly impressive guitar chops help to elevate the album’s less immediate moments, and while some may argue that her increasingly Americanized, Pacific coast folk-pop can feel a little like fan fiction, it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to [...]

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“Much like his former/sometimes band the War on Drugs, there’s an undercurrent of working-class rock à la Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen here… However… it becomes clear that Kurt Vile isn’t aiming to ape or even update the canon of classic guitar-based songwriters, but is very much his generation’s chapter of the evolution of rock. [...]

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“On Cave’s 15th album, Push the Sky Away, the Australian singer and writer assembles a string of slow-burning ballads that seethe and surprise, punctuated with ‘ gorgeous strings and bits of Cave’s own grabby, pervy innuendo…. Short of Tom Waits or maybe Greg Dulli, it’s hard to imagine many singers perfecting such an unlikely mix. [...]

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“At times reminiscent of the mercurial dreaminess of Cat Power’s The Covers Record or the ghostly rawness of PJ Harvey’s later work, Unknown Rooms is spare, gorgeous, and haunting, offering surprises for her established fans and likely winning her new ones in the process.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Nataly Dawn: How I Knew Her

“A heady and quirky mix of Regina Spektor, Leslie Feist, and Joni Mitchell, the second album from Nataly Dawn, the female half of heady and quirky indie pop duo Pomplamoose, is held together by the…multi-instrumentalist’s gift for gab, unique phrasing, and sophisticated musicality. Largely acoustic yet peppered with swampy slide guitar, brooding strings, and gospel-tinged [...]

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Alice Smith: She

“Two of her first album’s many attractive attributes were the subtle and surprising twists in song structure and seamless genre fusions. They’re in steady supply here… She has enough skill and character to leave one hanging on her every note.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Devendra Banhart: Mala

“Mala streamlines Banhart’s multifaceted muse, and the songs all fit together, if in a somewhat roundabout manner. Apart from the increased cohesion, the quality of the songwriting is far higher, reminding us of the astonishing promise and tossed-off ease of Banhart’s early material…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Charlie Winston: Running Still

“A virtual unknown in his English homeland but a chart-topping star across the Channel, Cornwall singer/songwriter Charlie Winston followed up his number one sophomore album, Hobo, with an equally eclectic third effort inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Steve Reich, and Jacques Brel.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Few artists are as tough to pin down as Me’Shell Ndegéocello. Throughout her career she has continually thwarted attempts by industry forces who would attempt to define her. She’s a master bassist and a poignant, restless songwriter….Pour Une Âme Souveraine is the best kind of dedication to Simone: it invokes her inspiration rather than attempting [...]

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“It’s not surprising that David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark were drawn to work together. While they’re hardly sound-alikes, they are both keen but somewhat detached observers of the human condition who make music that’s equally cerebral and passionate… Given all the things Byrne and Clark pack into Love This Giant, it’s a remarkably [...]

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“Put Your Back N 2 It shows how much Hadreas learned from Learning: it’s more confident but still subversive, like the work of someone who’s come through troubles stronger and can comfort others… Hadreas is as brave an artist as ever, and Put Your Back N 2 It is a heartening follow-up in so many [...]

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“Regions of Light and Sound of God is intriguing and quirky; its songs often pose big questions inside informal, loosely developed pop song structures that are instantly accessible yet whose lyrics are often metaphysically elusive.” –All Music Check Our Catalog

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Bat For Lashes: The Haunted Man

“The Haunted Man is more direct than any of Bat for Lashes’ previous work, and manages to keep the air of mystique around Khan that has made her one to watch and listen to since her early days.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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The Mynabirds: Generals

“Opinionated and empowering (the title’s origin lies in an iconic 1963 photo titled ‘Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution’ taken by the late American photographer Richard Avedon without ever coming off as preachy, Generals is a fired-up yet congenial high five of a record that keeps its retro-chic intact while allowing the band [...]

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“Regina Spektor’s sixth outing, the predictably unpredictable What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, feels a little like a Wes Anderson movie. By now, you’re either on board with the Russian-American’s unique blend of East Village anti-folk and immaculately detailed thespian indie pop, or you’ve swapped her wares for the more accessible quirkiness of Fun. [...]

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Cat Power: Sun

“Six years between albums would be a lifetime for many artists, but Cat Power’s Chan Marshall managed to pack a couple of lifetimes’ worth of experiences between The Greatest and Sun.  …Sun lives up to its name, but its album cover is more revealing: like the rainbow crossing Marshall’s face, these songs are the meeting [...]

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“Singer and songwriter Sean Rowe is possessed of a truly singular voice. …The Salesman and the Shark is head and shoulders above the work of most of Rowe’s peers, and he possesses a strong identity as a songwriter… .” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Fiona Apple: When the Pawn

“Fiona Apple may have been grouped in with the other female singer/songwriters who dominated the pop charts in 1996 and 1997, but she stood out by virtue of her grand ambitions and considerable musical sophistication… Pawn is immediately grabbing, and instead of fading upon further plays, it reveals more with each listen, whether it’s a [...]

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