Fuel Box is a Soul/Dub/Blues/Hop-act from the Netherlands that delivers raw, psychedelic but melodic beat songs. Kind of a mixture between Madlib, The Black Keys, Wu Tang Clan, Bill Withers, Lee Perry and Prince.
They generate a sound that is best described as if a 60's Soul singer and a latter day hip-hop producer cut an album together in 70's Jamaica. It all started out with singer Remy Britsemmer and producer Josh Boon but today it's a fully operating and functioning live-band.
Now they released a Free EP, called "The Pre-EP". It's the preview for the complete album "1" coming out this fall, 2011.
"It rarely ever happens that you like a demo this much from the start. But apparently, once in a while there's an act that combines exactly the right amount of passion, technique and musicality that touches you. This duo, consisting of singer Remy Britsemmer and producer Joshua Boon, makes a mixture of hiphop, soul, funk, pop and dub tracks that appeals to a wide audience. Songs of outstanding quality that will remain for years."
2011Candy Says: This is an outstanding EP, and it's free on bandcamp! These people deserve your time and attention and as Fret magazine say this will appeal to a wide audience, the question is, are you wide enough?
Listen: The One. Web: Bandcamp.
A tall tale come true, Genticorum navigate the silly and somber moods of North American Francophone tradition on Nagez Rameurs (“Pull Together, Rowers!”; Mad River; June 21, 2011). Firmly rooted in family and regional traditions, the trio’s wit, rich vocal arrangements, and masterful musicianship turn old songs about traveling into catchy and moving glimpses of a quirky New World.
“There’s a big chunk of Francophone repertoire linked to voyagers, because they shaped the colony by exploring and settling the country, and by interacting with the native peoples they encountered,” explains guitarist and singer Yann Falquet. “It’s interesting because unlike a lot of Quebecois songs, many of these songs are not from Brittany or Normandy. They aren’t about France. They tell the stories of people once they reached North America.”
These are stories of the joyful life of a freewheeling fur trapper (“Canot d’écorce”), the struggles of log drivers on Quebec’s rivers (“Grand voyageur sur la drave”), or the hearty calls of oarsmen working for the Hudson River Company (“Nagez Rameurs)”.
Many old tunes, the ones Genticorum tackles with greatest gusto, jump from the New World into a side-splittingly absurd alternate universe. Humor is part and parcel of Quebecois musical culture—“We’re bad at being sad,” laughs Falquet—but Genticorum take the merriment to psychedelic places.
2011Candy Says; OK my grasp of the French language is limited to bonjour and a few other words however this is just stunning music regardless of my language limitations, for all I know they might be singing beehive candy is absolute piffle, but I will still say listen to this!
Listen: Turlutte Hirsute. Web: Official.
But eventually, he quit his job as an electrician, to spend more time writing and playing songs, and the name stuck with him, because everyone needs an electrician sometimes. And there are some who say, that when the moon is full, and Jupiter is aligned with Mars, you can often hear Matt The Electrician in the distance, wiring a house, and whistling softly to himself.
Matt is the perfect example of the modern day musician - over the last 10 years or so, he has managed to create an accomplished catalog of songs & albums completely on his own. Not only that, but he's fully self supported & financed, and makes a living doing his thing. On June 14 he'll release his 7th studio album, the wonderful The Accidental Thief.
2011Candy Says: An upbeat foot stomping song that should have you dancing around the room in no time.
Listen: All I Know. Web: Official.
Press for the LP includes: "...Despite the torrid pace, Cement Tomb never feels rushed. It bolts everything together with an overbearing sense of playfulness, and if The Hussy wrote a really great garage rock record, then the band is the last to know. But Cement Tomb really is an impressive collection of choice rock ’n’ roll nuggets. It flashes both a wild ambition and a hyperactive means of tackling it, and it needs to be played over and over again—not just because it ends too soon, but because it hardly ever needs to end at all." - "A" rating - THE AV CLUB - Onion.
2011Candy Says: It's pure punk, garage or whatever. No nonsense music that takes me back to 1977 whilst remaining right here and now. Turn up to eleven on your amp.
Listen: I Have A Say. Web: Slow Fizz Records.
Minden. He recruited longtime friends and musical veterans Ryan Johnson (drums), Evan Houston (bass), and James Taylor (guitar) to help him realize his swollen catalog of songs. Minden quickly worked out a set and began booking performances immediately. Existing outside of fresh and cleverly-named genres, Minden plays pop music, the classic art of creating songs that are interesting and relatable.
During a fertile two-week period in February 2011, Burge wrote and recorded demos for several new songs. Two songs from these sessions were brought into the studio with the full-band in March, resulting in a forthcoming 7" single Swift Way On on hometown label The Record Machine. As of April the band has only played a hand full of shows but has already shared the stage with the likes of Appleseed Cast, A Lull, The Casket Lottery, Bird's and Batteries, Pepper Rabbit, and played as part of Middle of the Map Fest. With the release of their debut 7" Swift Way On, Minden plans to hit the ground running and will be on tour regionally this summer.
2011Candy Says: Good guitar pop, with fine vocals and well crafted chord changes, plus a touch of originality = a happy beehive candy. Minden have the formula to please.
Listen: Swift Way On. Web: Bandcamp.
Candle is the songwriting project of Kevin Coons, a poet, writer and musician based out of San Luis Obispo, CA. He started writing and recording under the name Candle in 2005 and with the help of several friends, started performing all around California soon after. By 2008 Candle had become a full blown folk-rock band and released their album “Miles and Miles and Miles” to great reviews and followed it up by touring the nation.
In late 2009, Kevin put music on hold in order to travel to Alaska where he lived and worked aboard commercial fishing vessels, and spending weeks and months out at sea. He followed that experience by backpacking around South America before settling in with as an English teacher in Southern Chile. It was these experiences that inspired the songs on Candle’s new release “The River You Drink From Will Drown You.” Many of the songs were written in Alaska and Chile.
The album is a collection of dark ballads as well as upbeat folksy numbers that is very personal but always remains accessible. All instruments were recorded together live in a local winery’s barrel room over the course of one long evening. Candle looks forward to playing more and more in California and beyond.
2011Candy Says: This has an edge from the opening moments. Stripped back Americana that captivates.
Listen: Goodnight Firefly. Web: MySpace.
Terakaft (meaning "caravan" in Tamasheq) is a genuine desert rock band, sculpted by the pure searing air and the endless rolling sands of the Sahara. The stark, harsh conditions of the Sahara have permeated their wild riffs, and as a result Terakaft are the perfect embodiment of all that is wild and free in desert blues today. They have taken the electric guitar and made it their own.
Terakaft was formed in 2001 by Sanou Ag Ahmed, then based in Kidal, Mali with Kedou Ag Ossad. Kedou was a member of the original line-up of Tinariwen (four of Kedou’s compositions are embodied on their first international release "The Radio Tisdas Sessions").
Liya Ag Ablil (aka Diara), Sanou’s uncle, joined the band in 2006. Diara was also an original member of Tinariwen and was known for his fierce and passionate style of rock’n’roll guitar playing. He played with Tinariwen for almost 20 years, but stepped back just before Tinariwen started touring internationally. He’s still a close friend of Ibrahim "Abaraybone" Ag Alhabib, and played on Tinariwen’s last album "Imidiwan: Companions" (as did Sanou and Abdallah of Terakaft).
Terakaft recorded their first studio album "Bismilla, The Bko Sessions" in four days at the legendary Bogolan Studios in Bamako, Mali. Following its release, Terakaft went on their first European tour in Spring & Autumn of 2007 with its line-up of the time: Sanou, Kedou, Diara and Rhissa Ag Oghram on the bass.
Terakaft are a band that must be seen live. The perfect mix of two rhythm guitars (one keeping the beat effortlessly, the other soaring and sweet) and the deep tones of the bass, bringing to mind the delicate but strong steps of a camel making its way through the wastelands, will send you on a journey to the deepest heart of the desert, from which you’ll never want to return. The heavy, pulsating heartbeat of the percussion holds everyone together and completes the sound of Terakaft.
Terakaft have just recorded a new CD called "Aratan n Azawad", produced by Cali in France. It will be released in 2011 by World Village and distributed throughout the world by Harmonia Mundi.
2011Candy Says: Well desert rock is a new genre for myself and one that has grabbed my attention. Some very blues orientated guitar work, superb rhythms and mixed beautifully.
Listen: Taikoba. Web: EyeForTalent.
1861 Project, a one-of-a-kind collection of songs that imagine the lives of the real people who lived through and fought the American Civil War.
With A-list guitarist/producer/songwriter Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier) at the helm, the acoustic, roots-based, Americana sound of The 1861 Project comes brilliantly to life with the help of songwriting and creative direction from Cronin, executive production from Schatzkin, and stirring performances from some of Nashville’s finest singers and songwriters, including country legend John Anderson, Grand Ole Opry star Marty Stuart, Americana stalwart Dana Cooper, rising Bluegrass star Chris Jones, and a host of others. Under Jutz' direction, these distinctive artists have collaborated to create a musical collection that not only explores this historically rich era, but also seeks out the wisdom and warnings latent in countless Civil War stories.
Brought together by their interest in the Civil War and their shared belief in the inspirational and restorative power of music, Jutz, Cronin, and Schatzkin were naturally drawn to the stories of everyday people who experienced the war. The 1861 Project pushes beyond the broad strokes of Civil War history with compelling, emotional songs. “I Have” tells of a man counting his fallen friends as he walks the hundreds of barefoot miles home from the surrender at Appomattox. Another song, “Eyes,” relates the story of an Irish immigrant, one of many drafted into Union service from their new home in New York City, while the exuberant "Gospel Train" is sung in the voice of a runaway slave "riding" the Underground Railroad to freedom.
The songs on The 1861 Project explore this fascinating history from the perspective of the people who lived it, relating these stories from an entirely new and fresh perspective. These songs relay a message of hope and community, reflecting on the issues that drove the country to civil war without rancor or partisanship.
“This project seeks to bring change via affirmation, not defamation,” Schatzkin explains. “Though the Civil War was won by the North, the inequality at the heart of the fight remains an issue that continues to be worked out in American society. This music is our way of contributing to that effort.”
The founding principles of America, and the great fight over those ideals by the Union and the Confederacy are especially relevant and poignant to German-born Project producer Thomm Jutz, who is currently in the midst of the naturalization process to become an American citizen. It's what gives Jutz – and The 1861 Project – such a unique perspective, and it's at the heart of his heartfelt desire to express that distinctly American idea through music.
The sounds, the stories, and the people that populate The 1861 Project are uniquely American, and deeply human. “We love our country, but not in a ‘my country right or wrong’ way,” Schatzkin says. “In the song ‘Ridin’ Like a Rebel,’ the lyrics state ‘One thing can not be denied, brave men fought on either side.’ We’re presenting the Civil War story in a non-partisan manner, in the hope of initiating a sincere discussion about what the Civil War means in American society today.”
2011Candy Says: It was a tough choice on which artist to feature from this collaboration, however this is such a charming song and as you may know I am one for female vocals.
Listen: Nicole Maguire - Old Before Our Time. Web: Official.
Iretsu, the second single to be lifted from their latest album Fang.
Iretsu know how to duck and weave like maestros, and their new single ‘Sexy, No?’ is a fleet-footed marvel. The track oozes funk-addled confidence as it struts forward, layering harmonised guitars with Ryan Cross’s inimitable vocals, all driven by an unstoppable rhythm section. ‘Sexy, No?’ is one of those tracks that gets under your skin like a musical virus, leaving you humming its melody and sidestepping to its stomping beats long after the final note fades.
‘Sexy, No?’ is taken from Iretsu’s latest opus, Fang. Iretsu set out to write and record a playful, diverse yet accessible album – and they’ve nailed it, with Fang full to the brim with intention and energy. Written in four improv sessions and then broken apart and rebuilt, these songs bounce off each other in compelling directions, revealing addictive new pop dimensions with each spin.
2011Candy Says: 'Sexy No' is just one dimension of a very pleasing and diverse album. If the featured track is to your liking, expect a good lot more from the album Fang.
Listen: Sexy No. Web: Hidden Shoal.
Turner Cody, released his latest opus on May 17th via Tummy Touch Records. Gangbusters! is the latest recording from a young songwriter whose story is already an accomplished one. Over twelve years and nine albums, Turner Cody has molded himself into an artist of great form and scope whose vision blends the old with the new, the hope-filled with the melancholic, the sacred with the profane.
Gangbusters! was conceived in the vein of heartache and the redemption of love. "The Only One I Had Is Gone," "Can You See Me, Mon Amour" and "Lost As Lost Can Be" narrate the pathos of failed relationships, and the tragedy of unfulfilled expectations. "Au Revoir" is a classic modern breakup song. The latter half of the album is a testament to love found culminating with the anthemic "Nobody Like You," and ending with the symbolist imagery of "You Know That About Me," which expresses the joys, and sober realities, of true love and commitment.
Gangbusters! is Cody's third studio album with Herman Dune, and many of the tracks were fleshed out over their two years on the road together. The lyrical flare displayed on previous Cody albums are here given a color, meter, and phrasing as never before. Jon Natchez and Kelly Pratt (both of Beirut) add melody and texture in poignant horn arrangements that add depth to the vocal track. For the final mix, Dan Myers (Adam Green) worked well to turn live studio takes into a mature, well-balanced final product. Gangbusters! will stand as a prime example of infallible contemporary songwriting.
2011Candy Says: This song really builds into something special with superb musicianship and Turner Cody's addictive vocals.
Listen: Back In The Land Of The Living. Web: Official.
In recent years, Gavin Friday’s career has been dominated by cinema, soundtrack and theatre. So its no surprise that their collective, lush shadow looms over catholic. Friday takes conventional song structures and scores them, adding Bowie-synths, sci-fi swirls, epic strings and Germanic rhythms. Friday still puts the same energy and passion into his work that he did as a founding member of seminal post-punk band, Virgin Prunes.
Fittingly enough, “catholic” comes to us at a time of upheaval, of political chaos, and of spiritual, financial and moral bankruptcy. Our world is a very different place since Friday’s last album, Shag Tobacco, was released. The intervening decade and a half coincided with a prolific work period for the singer. From award winning soundtracks - William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, In America, The Boxer, Get Rich Die Tryin' (with Quincy Jones) and three songs to In The Name Of The Father which featured two collaborations with U2’s Bono ("In The Name Of The Father", "Billy Boola") and a Golden Globe nomination for “You Made Me The Thief of Your Heart” as sung by Sinead O’Connor - to collaborating on Nothing like the Sun with Gavin Bryars and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Then there was his acting debut (in Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto ), Scott Walker collaborations and a Kurt Weill show at Dublin Theatre Festival. In personal terms, he endured illness, the end of his marriage and his father’s death. To some, the personal is political; but Gavin Friday is clear that this is “an emotional, not a political, album”. The singer likens catholic to “waking from a deep sleep, of letting go and coming to terms with loss”. And somewhere in the middle of all that, there are slivers of love, contentment and romance.
2011Candy Says: 4 star Reviews from Uncut, Q, Mojo and more, and all thoroughly deserved. This is an incredible album.
Listen: Able. Web: Official.
The R's members originating from Brescia, Italy, that reputation is about to change.
Their sound is an encapsulation of time. Rock and folk influences from the 1950s up to the present day can be found in The R's addictive indie tracks. From the a-side of one of two soon-to-be-released 7-inch records, "Easy Way Out" is an upbeat blend of '70's FM radio and contemporary folk. Flip over to the b-side and you'll find a modern indie-pop vibe infested with catchy hints of reverb-coated 1960s surf rock. The band lands in New York City on June 13 for a series of NYC gigs including one at Bruar Falls in Brooklyn on June 14th and another at Pianos in Manhattan on June 16th.
And the appeal is obvious. The R's won a music contest sponsored by Italy's most widely read newspaper back in 2007 and released their first EP. Since then, the Italian band have released the album Money's On Fire, collaborating with producer Giovanni Ferrario (P.J. Harvey), and gained a large following in their home country after being featured on a major national advertising campaign and receiving exposure on MTV Italy.
The subsequent 7-inch that they will be releasing features the expertly-crafted track "I Love My Family." Its bright chord progression jumps with each staccato strum and is accompanied by a hopping and syncopated percussive rhythm. There are trails of Elvis Presley in the articulation of Pierluigi Ballarin's lead vocal lines, and the track is soaked in punk rock inspiration. The R's are now signed to Nat Geo Music, the record label of the National Geographic Society, and are preparing to make their U.S. debut in the late Spring with the release of their latest album De Flora Et Fauna.
2011Candy Says: In what is turning out to be a rather international round up of new music, indie rock from Italy has to be the icing on the cake. Great song and mad vocals - am loving it.
Listen: I Love My Family. Web: NatGeo Music.
GunFight! The band are all New York natives, but they formed in 2006 in Boston, where they made a name for themselves on the house party circuit. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who hears their debut album; while the songs have all been polished in the studio, they are still infused with the sort of kinetic urgency and contagious energy of an all night rager. Their unique blend of countrified rock and classic punk is just the thing to get you jazzed for all the summer fun looming just on the horizon.
If you’re in New York, make sure you don’t miss their set at Brooklyn’s best outdoor music festival, Hillstock, where they will be rocking the block party at 106 Emerson Place on June 4th. If you can’t make it out, you can check out their rollicking track Sticks here, bust out the whiskey, and party on your own.
2011Candy Says: Grab hold of something and hang on for your life otherwise this song will hurl you into the saddle of a crazed run away horse...
Listen: Sticks. Web: Bandcamp.
Pillars and Tongues is a formidable force, large and looming. The Pass and Crossings is the third full-length offering from the trio, and their second for San Francisco vinyl label Empty Cellar out June 28th, and are currently touring the US in support of the record.
Having spent years developing a uniquely textured sound, Pillars and Tongues have now given teeth their creation, and the doom is manifest. Like French experimental chanteuse Catherine Ribeiro's early '70s collaborations with Alpes, Pillars and Tongues brings passion, cohesion, and lyricism to the avant-garde. This is immediately apparent in the lyrical depths of the album opener, "A Dance in the Billowing Absence", a song seemingly conjured by seduction from some very dark places. Beth Remis' lush violin lines swell and sing over plodding, taiko-like drums, moving at a pace and with a weight that would not be out of place on an Earth record. Mark Trecka's baritone pleads with absent forms and howls haunted poetry to reach them.
Heavily melodic, rolling, desert drones permeate this album, rendering the listener captive to deeply hypnotic vibes punctuated by the heavy, danceable and almost tribal rhythms on tracks "Thank you, Oaky" and "The Making Graceful". As with their previous album, Lay of Pilgrim Park, Pillars and Tongues continues to evoke a certain era of 4AD releases - think the goth-drama and global grooves of Dead Can Dance.
2011Candy Says; Theres nothing like some layered mood music with more than a nod to goth masters Dead Can Dance (as mentioned above). That said I found this song quite calming and more lifting than perhaps my description indicates.
Listen: The Making Graceful. Web: MySpace.
Lawrence and Leigh recently released a video for "Glow" which is described as a work of stunning visual art that brilliantly complements the shifting moods of the song. Kalleen and Stokes merge the two arts in the painstakingly created video, which features stop-motion animation and breathtaking desert scenes. As with everything Lawrence & Leigh do, both contribute equally essential parts: Stokes, puppetry; Kalleen, photography and editing with concept and design being a shared vision. We follow the protagonist, a puppet (manipulated so that his "still" face seems to somehow change expression appropriate to his situation), as he moves through a series of beautiful worlds, each with its own unique style and purpose. "Glow" is now available HERE.
Lawrence & Leigh are not the sort of artists who wait for inspiration to come before producing great work. The duo spends their time, thought and energy creating and perfecting their music. The result of this hard work is beautiful and bold, with a refreshing originality and an infectious sense of style. The duo's first major undertaking, entitled Odyssey, is a set of three EPs, each with its own distinct sound and character. The first release, which has been a year in the making, is in fact the final chapter, Volume III: Hills and Masts. Hills and Masts was released back on March 7th.
2011Candy Says; We first featured Lawrence and Leigh last December and are so charmed by this latest song that we had to give them another mention. The video is cool and lets hope they keep on coming up with these musical gems.
Listen: Glow. Web: Official.
Teen Daze, spent seven weeks studying philosophy in a somewhat remote village in the Swiss Alps. His life became engulfed in books, as he spent his days sipping black tea, filling his mind with the teachings of great thinkers who had passed long before he was born, and staring off into the abyss of the mountains before him. During this time, he also discovered the importance of fiction; his evenings were either spent drinking wine with his friends or reading stories. One of the most profound stories that he read was a novel called “Out Of The Silent Planet” by legendary theologian and storyteller, C.S. Lewis. The story centers around Dr. Ransom, and the mystical, celestial journey that he takes to a new land. The part that resonated the most with him was the telling of Ransom’s first encounters on this new planet, and his re-contextualizing to this new place, and this new environment. A new world was being created in Jamison’s imagination, as he visualized what it must have looked like for Ransom.
Fast forward three years, and Jamison found himself re-located to his parents’ big, mostly empty house, which rests neatly at the base of one of the most recognizable mountains in the Fraser Valley, Mt. Cheam. He began work on a group of songs dedicated to the beauty and monolithic qualities of this powerful natural landmark, when he found that his mind was taken back to Switzerland. “Out Of The Silent Planet” became a bit of a myth to him by this time, and he strangely began to hear it in the songs he was creating. The discovery, the awe, the feeling of helplessness in the face of such beauty and wonder reminded him of Ransom. He picked up “Out Of The Silent Planet” again and began to treat it as his musical guidebook; he began a soundtrack to his imagination’s adaptation.
The six songs that appear on the EP are the result of many musical experiments, auditory accompaniments, and an attempt at a re-creation of Jamison’s experiences with this novel. In order to do his visions justice, he couldn’t simply write an electronic album, or a lo-fi pop album, or anything that he’d become known for. Teen Daze needed new sounds, and a new feel. Even though these songs may not resonate with those people who have come to admire his past works, he hopes that the listener will be able to see what he saw when writing and recording this album; that they’ll be able to feel what it would be like to explore a vast a new place.
Teen Daze's upcoming EP, A Silent Planet will be released August 9th, on Waaga Records.
2011Candy Says: I like this song and love the opening synth's that for some reason remind me in part of Mother Gong. You just close your eyes and float away...
Listen: Surface. Web: Official.