First up is Tristen from Nashville, who has been compared to Jenny Lewis and has a really nice mix of folk, pop and rock in a distinctive and "wanna hear more" style.
Featured Track: Baby Drugs
Billy Schafer's promo states that he soars into the chorus of "The Dream is Alive" filled with infectious passion and conviction. This song and the others from his debut CD, First to Believe, introduce Billy as a singer-songwriter with an intuitive and confident grasp of song-craft. Fueled by accessible melodies and emotive lyrics of romantic depth, wit, and uplifting inspiration, these recordings showcase a versatile vocal delivery of powerful but pure tones.
Billy’s album was helmed by producer Michael Winger, president of the Northern California Grammy Chapter and known for his live recordings for KFOG San Francisco. The album captivates listeners with story songs that unabashedly and poetically reveal Billy’s private moments. These chronicles unfurl in his clear, earnest vocals while Billy's acoustic guitar sometimes drives, sometimes caresses his tunes. Luring the listener to join him in reflecting on paths of self-discovery, these messages of empowerment and relationship dynamics are effectively voiced with understated and unpretentious band arrangements.
The featured track demonstrates his melodic voice and songs extremely well and fans of artists from Neil Finn to Elliott Smith are I am sure going to enjoy this guy.
Featured Track: Wondering.
Pam Shaffer wrote to us recently stating and we quote I'm an LA based artist who just released my debut album! It is entitled "As We Are" and is based on the diaries of Anais Nin. I've been compared to Regina Spektor and Joanna Newsom. My favorite quote called my songs "lullabies from a sunken pirate ship" and I think that's about spot on. I thought it best to send out my album for reviews to better entice more listeners!
Well the comparisons ticked all the right boxes for us and the music did a lot more! We are delighted to have received this album because it is quite simply wonderful! Lets hope a lot more folk get to discover Pam in 2011 and please do give her a listen the comparisons above are only part of the story, recommended!
Featured Track: Henry.
This record, That Ghost's 5th release -- and 4th on twosyllable records -- is more introspective than most. It's more somber, more heartfelt. The sentiments of Schmale's previous garage sound are there, but mutated into something more subdued, yet familiar. His lyrics, almost painfully obvious, illuminate the 20-year-old social situations akin to this scenario. With each song, a mention of stolen alcohol bottles, "An Only Son," a lost friend, "The Older," or just utter solitude, "To Like You." And yet it's neither frivolous nor prudent. Songs Out Here has a strong sense of honesty and a feeling of empathy that can't be denied and shows Schmale in new light -- prolific troubadour, stirrer of emotion, folk alchemist. Songs Out Here is available March 1, 2011 on twosyllable records. The above was the promo words and seems pretty much spot on, intriguing music which draws you back for another listen.
Featured Track: To Like You.
The Good Fear (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
Colossal Yes (Oakland, California) - side project of Comets on Fire drummer Utrillo Kushner
Each band submitted barn-burner 5 minute tracks which capture both their unique sounds and a general reconstruction of their respective towns. Artwork is provided by photographers from each region (Elise Irving from California, and Rett Peek from Arkansas).
Featured Tracks: The Good Fear - Be Like Us.
Collosal Yes: Backbiter Blues.
Buy It: Gold Robot.
The promo tells us "For Cal Payne, it truly is all about the music. Far beyond the cliche and deeper than a casual flirtation with melody and sound, Cal Payne is a player to his core. With a jazz/instrumental style that combines elements of R&B, Latin, fusion jazz, and rock, his performance and presence invokes a combination of Grover Washington Jr. and Santana. Driven by an unceasing desire to compose and perform, he is most alive when engaged in the emotional and spiritual experience of making music. Music: this is the essence of the Cal Payne Project".
Beehive Candy reckon The Cal Payne Project are everything Jazz that rocks should be and the sax playing is just sublime. Superb! If you don't quite get Jazz then start here, you will not look back.
Featured Track: Again and Again.
With Know Touching, Sore Eros have crafted a record that is simultaneously dense and soothingly melodic, fulfilling the considerable promise of their debut, 2009’s Second Chants.
For this record, the band (Robert Robinson and Adam Langellotti) made a conscious departure from its debut, recording the album direct to a ½ inch 8 track reel-to-reel without the aid of computers. From this the band emerged with a record that blooms with melody and innocent joy that bring to mind such similarly spaced out artists as Atlas Sound and Kurt Vile. When patched together, this detailed attention to arrangement and dreamy melodic sensibilities combine to make Know Touching an effortlessly beautiful record.
Whatever the method we love the result!
Featured Track: Giraffes Kiss.
Moroccan-born, Paris-based Hindi Zahra can speak to mountains or whisper in your ear. She can turn rustling plastic bags into Berber beats and Parisian kitchens into soul incubators. Playfully savoring East and West, she writes infectious and hip songs, plays any instrument she can get her hands on, and records her own voice in the middle of the night to capture that perfect spark of intimacy.
Hindi’s spontaneous yet long-honed debut, Handmade (Blue Note; February 22, 2011), bursts with maturity and vigor, rich in jazz, soul, and Arabic sounds but with a gritty, bluesy Berber pulse. “I wanted a space where I could break all the barriers, where I could put all the music I knew and loved together. Where I could mix it all,” Hindi explains.
For Beehive Candy Hindi's music really does mix incredibly diverse musical styles and cultures in a simple refreshing manner that in part disguises the complexities that make up some of her songs, and as the introduction to her puts it "The Constantin Prize winning album is a mix of global urban beats and sultry jazz that reflects the cultural melting pots of her both her current home of Paris and her birthplace of Morocco".
Featured Track: Beautiful Tango.
Wagga Records are really excited to announce that they will be releasing Pandit’s debut full-length Eternity Spin February 22nd! Pandit combines elements of shoegaze and chillwave making for a perfect dream pop listening experience. The record features the music of Star Slinger as well as Foxes in Fiction.
Pandit is the musical outlet for Texas singer/songwriter/producer Lance Smith.
Beehive Candy is kinda excited to as the preview track has a really cool groove to it and reminds of the Cocteau Twins in part!
Featured Track: Artichoke.
Website: Wagga Records.
And now some songs that came our way recently and that we do not want to miss out because we think they are more than worthy of a feature. So with unashamed cut and pasting of bits of the bios we give you our one and only 2010FM mega-fast roundup! And to keep it interesting I reckon a couple of the best songs (certainly my favorites) are in amongst this bunch so check em all out!
David Gergen's music development has always been about striving towards that euphoric moment where everything can join together in unity. His latest effort, The Nearer It Was... The Farther It Became offers up suggestive streams of consciousness with thoughtful titles like "Seven Miles To Sunset" and "Thru A Fairy's White Cloud". For Gergen, who’s been performing since the late '90s, music has always been a passion that he’s never compromised.
Where there is always a reference in remaining somewhat topical, Gergen is at a stage where everything seems to be converging at the right point. In a musical sense, his strengths sound equally balanced between a stunning amount of skillful storytelling and expansive musicality. Whether it’s about growing into your clothes, or simply maturing through it all, Gergen offers his view of the world in hopes that we can see it as rich and vibrantly as he does.
Featured Track: The Streets I'm Walking. Website: MySpace.
For Brian Huber, hard work has always been at the fore front of his agenda. Throughout past failures and countless moments where everything seemed to pulse in a negative direction, Huber made sure his positive outlook continued to beam. Growing as a songwriter and being able to instantly write songs at will, Huber has now hit a stride that seems poised to impress. There's been plenty to look forward to and in preparing his newest album, a DIY project that was created and seen to fruition in Huber's apartment with the help of a laptop, Huber presents a varied portrayal of pop sensibilities.
Featured Track: Snuggies. Website: Official.
The Handsome Family.
The Handsome Family record all their songs in a converted garage studio at the back of their Albuquerque house. Their seventh CD, Last Days of Wonder (June 2006) earned the title of Mojo’s top ten American Albums for 2006 and was called “an unqualified triumph” by Uncut. Singing Bones, their sixth CD, left the UK’s Independent stating, “Rarely, even in the fatalistic world of country music, has the precarious mystery of mortality been captured with such poetic grace as on Singing Bones.”
Featured Track: Drinking Beer On The Roof. Website: Official.
As he sings on “Some Hidden Things,” John Shipe knows that life isn’t always easy. In a career spanning various bands, living in different parts of the western United States, with a singer-songwriter devotion that vividly displays his open-book world, Shipe introduces Villain to awaiting ears. “I’m not interested in changing the world, but I’m interested in adding quality pieces to the better part of America’s body of work,” remarks Shipe, and with a streaming wave of consciousness that showcases a worthy musician willing to share his insight, these quality pieces come in strength.
Featured Track: Love Belongs To Everyone. Website: Official.
Enjoy Your Pumas.
Enjoy Your Pumas is a female-fronted indie pop/rock quintet that blends powerful soaring vocals with atmospheric guitars and a punchy, energetic rhythm section. Their infectious, genre-defying music has fans of all styles jumping out of their seats. Their sound is akin to Emily Haines fronting Bloc Party covering Radiohead.
Lead vocalist Rosie Blais’ voice has been compared to the likes of Karen O, Lizzie Powell, and Bjork. Her vibrant, energetic stage presence and powerful range leaves listeners mesmerized. When matched with the intricate, yet engaging melodies of guitarists Josh Benoit and Zach Allard; the impeccably pop-sensible bass grooves of Marc Gomez; and the dance-ready, beat-explosion machine that is Luke Janzen, the Pumas create a soundscape that is really beyond comparison and must be heard to be understood.
Featured Track: Weight Of The Circles. Website: Official.
The Morning After Girls.
The upcoming Morning After Girls album alone dropping 1/11/11 on Xemu Records (Dead Meadow, Spindrift). Recorded in a revamped Church turned recording studio in Australia the affair takes melodic and shimmering music and captures it in cavernous reverb. The Morning After Girls have toured with such artists as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Keys, The Church and more.
“in the world today there are so many distractions that there are no chances to be alone, truly alone. Not in a lonely place but to experience things purely without a filter. This is the head space we were in when we wrote the record” says vocalist/guitarist Sacha Lucashenko of the morning after girls. alone is the band’s new full-length for xemu records (Dead Meadow, Spindrift) and their first official output since 2005’s self titled album. recorded in a church in the outback of Australia and mixed by Alan moulder (my bloody valentine, Interpol, Jesus and Mary Chain) in London and in part inspired by their time living in new york, alone seems like an album out of time and space.
Featured Track: Alone. Website: Official.
Montreal-born Jef Barbara likes to make statements. His debut LP Contamination stakes his claim as an heir of pop music's golden age. With a wide array of influences, Contamination falls within the tradition of 80s landmarks such as George Michael's Faith, and alternates nods to French New Wave, soft rock, Kosmische Musik, and synth disco. Contamination also sees the glam pop poet bridging his native Canada's two solitudes by crooning in both official languages equally, something that has been done, although not as thoroughly, on his two previous EPs. Contamination is also an ode to pop music's contagious powers, a force to reckon with especially when armed with catchy hooks, which make up the Barbara's core songwriting asset. Lurking somewhere between Scott Walker and Sébastien Tellier by way of Little Richard, Jef Barbara aims to annihilate his genre's conventions, with guerrilla-style music videos and live karaoke performances.
Featured Track: Larmes de Crocodile. Website: MySpace.
To celebrate the holiday season, Brooklyn's adventure-pop duo Savoir Adore is giving away a free download of their new single "Loveliest Creature". Recorded in upstate New York at the band's home studio, "Loveliest Creature" is a bumpin' tale of a monster love. In other news, Savoir Adore was recently featured on MTV's The Seven, as well as NYC electro-pop blog Neon Gold.
Featured Track: Loveliest Creature. Website: MySpace.
Lawrence and Leigh
Lawrence and Leigh are two artists on a mission: to create work that’s beautiful and bold, with refreshing originality and an infectious sense of style. Music is their medium of choice, but their unique and specific point of view expands to everything they touch. Like some kind of wondrous blend of Dirty Projectors and the haunting richness of Fleet Foxes, the female/male band of Andrew Kalleen and Kristin Stokes fill their music with dazzling styles of pop, colored with a dream-like nostalgia, and realized to their fullest potential in the studio.
Featured Track: Chelsea Nights. Website: Official.
This Editions Featured Tracks: