Updating the sound of John Fahey for the 21st century and bringing it to a new audience, Wigan’s John Fairhurst learned to play guitar from an unnamed Indian master, honing his skills in south east Asia for a number of years before bringing his blend of raga and blues back to the UK folk scene. The video for this song (posted below) is well worth checking, if not just for the surrealnes of an ‘I Am Kloot’ poster hanging in the background.
Classically trained pianist surfs eBay looking for midi controllers, ends up bidding on a kalimba, and a musical career dedicated to “neurotic sci folk” is born. Toronto’s Laura Barrett (also a member of Hidden Cameras) has followed up two EPs of ornate pop with the whimsy of her first full-length album, Victory Garden, released in Canada through Paper Bag records. (more…)
This won me over instantly. A song about hitting it off with a kindrid spirit played through an idiosyncratic arrangement on vintage instruments. I could make comparisons to the sing along simplicity of one indie superstar, and the much-adored quirkiness of another, but to summon such names would feel like an injustice. Enjoy her MySpace, catch the video below, and buy the album.
Alessi is certainly a talent to watch out for, but at this point I’m not sure whether the similarities between the Londoner and Joanna Newsom will detract or facilitate her career path. Currently finishing the recording of her debut full-length release for EMI, it will most likely be early 2009 before Alessi begins to make a name for herself. In the meantime, the four tracks posted on her MySpace are perfect for curling up on the couch with a hot drink over a Sunday afternoon. (more…)
It has not been the best of days for me. I have come late, slouched towards defeat, weary with resignation. This song just about captures it for me. Hail tomorrow – that promise we all bank on. (more…)
This is a beautifully stark album that really makes me think about the triviality of genres and the essence of music itself. What is the foundation of a good, well-written song? If something is infectious, memorable, makes you move or is any way immediately affecting, then there’s a tendency there to throw the word ‘pop’ in there, even if the music has no realistic commercial potential at all.
Timber Timbre – Under Your Spell
Timber Timbre seems inseparable from blues, gospel, folk and pop…yet, really, it doesn’t lend itself sufficiently to any of these things to be labelled as such. It’s just good, naked music that makes you realise how limiting classification can be – something often decided by a mere choice in instruments. Timber Timbre reminds me that there is an underlying bedrock of music – something that’s pure, distilled and, most of all, certainly not new.(more…)
Where the belated championing of Vashti Bunyan has been a case of beautiful folk music being re-discovered, the story of Sibylle Baier is one of a talent that never made it far enough to be forgotten. Colour Green is an album of songs from home reel-to-reel tape recordings Baier made in Germany between 1970 and 1973, collected together by her son as a gift to family members over three decades later.
David Thomas Broughton is a man who takes spontaneity to new extremes. Unlike other artists, he’ll willingly let the tapes roll in the knowledge that he’s leaving everything to chance. Stranger still, he’ll wait until his mind has gone completely blank before getting up on stage to perform. (more…)