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Tag Archive 'alternative singer/songwriter'

“Controversial theatrical songwriter and Kickstarter expert Amanda Palmer and her husband, writer and sometimes singer Neil Gaiman, found themselves on a short, intimate tour in late 2011, moving up the West Coast from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington, hitting five cities where they presented songs, poems, and readings together and separately….The atmosphere of a dimly [...]

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Jake Bugg: Shangri LA

“Jake Bugg’s eponymous 2012 debut was enough of a success to push him into neo-stardom across the Atlantic Ocean….[H]is reputation was strong, strong enough to gain the attention of Rick Rubin, who signed up to record the young British singer/songwriter’s sophomore album at the producer’s home studio.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Tom Odell: Long Way Down

“The brooding and bloodied Romeo to Jake Bugg’s blue collar Brit-pop Lothario, sad sack English crooner Tom Odell’s intimate, soul-searching ballads draw from an awfully deep well of ruin… but there’s certainly no denying the West Sussex native’s knack for spinning expertly crafted tales of woe….It will be interesting to see how Odell grows into [...]

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Bill Calahan: Dream River

“With Dream River, fans already know what to expect from the man lyrically, and it can’t be argued with qualitatively. When you place those lyrics in the context of something so subtly adventurous musically, the result is both engaging and seductive.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“It’s some of her most instantly gratifying work… perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey-shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north. Case has proven time and again that she has the songwriting [...]

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Gin Wigmore: Gravel & Wine

“Gravel & Wine, which was originally released in New Zealand in 2011, is a huge-sounding dance-pop album full of songs geared for both the dancefloor and the radio stations that drive people to go there, all big, stomping drums and kinetic high vocals about men who don’t measure up, jealous girls, and the trashy, dangerous [...]

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Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg

“As far as debut albums go, this eponymous release is a surprisingly accomplished effort from the Nottingham-born teenager Jake Bugg….[I]t’s his sheer earnestness and rare gift for writing simple, hook-filled tunes that ultimately charm the listener.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Despite the weighty life events that inspired the songs, this is hardly a ‘dark’ album. It’s serious and looks deep; its songs find truth in unlikely places, but they never despair….Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon details emotional and mental states in the stages of transition from grief to acceptance and looking forward; but the constant thread running [...]

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James Blake: Overgrown

“Somewhere between the vacant echoes of dub and trip-hop, dubstep’s sample-slicing production, and the contained heartbreak of a singer/songwriter playing piano to himself in an empty room, Blake has crafted Overgrown….While it might take listeners a few spins to find the right head space for the album, once they get there, it’s an easy place [...]

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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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