Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Released Monday, 'Black Messiah' is only the third album from D'Angelo in close to two decades and the first in fourteen years; luckily his large fan base is the patient, loyal kind. The gutsy choice of title was elaborated on by the artist himself in two articulate paragraphs that I felt were worth posting:
While his reverence for his idol Prince shines through a tad too much in the arrangements of a few of the twelve tracks, there is thankfully plenty of D'Angelo on most of the new collection. And just like Prince, it is when he goes into mad scientist mode that he is at his very best, playing around with beats and riffs to create intricate layers of sound and adding his distinctive vocals on top of it all.
No videos as of yet, but I picked three vaudios (video + audio!) all of which showcase the artist formerly tormented and now back in full force:
1. 1000 Deaths: A runaway funky freight train barreling down the tracks, an unstoppable, gorgeous hot mess.
2. Another Life: Few can do bittersweet like he can; this beautiful ballad is a prime example.
3. Ain't That Easy: Vintage D'Angelo with the signature beat and still sounding fresh.
His European 'Second Coming' tour kicks off on his 41st birthday February 11 in Zurich and wraps up in Brussels March 7; it includes three shows in the UK February 17, 18 and 20.
NOTE: Two tracks were co-written with Q-Tip who needs no introduction. More interestingly however, eight tracks were co-written with Kendra Foster, a Florida born and raised, now Brooklyn based talented artist in her own right with a debut solo album in the works. Singing background in D'Angelo's band The Vanguard since 2012 , she has also toured with George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic. Not a bad resume.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
25-year-old Vanessa Ferdinand aka Purple Ferdinand of East London began writing and playing music in earnest after her mother gave her a ukulele for Christmas of 2009. A debut 3-track EP 'Dragonfly' was released in 2012, a second EP is in the works, and a full-length can be expected sometime in the new year.
The stand out track is the beautiful "Wasn't Taught To Love" with its echoes of Lianne La Havas, Corinne Bailey Rae and Zee Avi.
No shows are scheduled at this time, but make sure to check her Facebook or official site for updates. The latter will also provide you with a free download of 'Dragonfly'.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Danish band Turboweekend have a new video out to accompany the stellar teaser single "Miles & Miles" from their upcoming fourth full-length which will drop sometime in the spring.
The outstanding, nightmarish clip was directed/art directed by Benjamin Robin Graahede of Copenhagen based No 22 Studio in collaboration with DOP/editor Rasmus Kahlen and features vocalist Silas Bjerregaard runing as if his life depended on it; drummer Martin Øhlers Petersen, bassist Morten Køie plus synthersizer man Anders Stig Møller were apparently spared any running...unless of course they were doing the chasing.
A string of shows around Denmark are scheduled for March, April and May. Four shows (May 5-8) in Germany have also just been announced and more tour dates outside Denmark will be added in the next few weeks.
In case you missed my interview with Silas from November of 2010 when Turboweekend was a trio:
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
36-year-old Swedish-Argentinian Gothenburg-based singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez releases his third full-length on February 17. Entitled 'Vestiges and Claws', it is his first since his 2007 album 'In Our Nature. (he did stay busy with collaborations and other projects during those years.)
The beautiful lullaby like single "Every Age" dropped last month and calls to mind early Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam post-1977) both musically and lyrically, but also in great part thanks to Gonzalez' s mellow vocals. (Coincidentally, the mother of the still active 66-year old London born Stevens/Islam was Swedish.)
Gonzalez will be touring extensively this winter/early spring:
Continental Europe + the UK: February 18 to March 17
The U.S. + Canada: April 6 to April 29
Next up is the Wonderfruit Festival in Chonburi, Thailand: December 19-21. The stellar line up includes Little Dragon (with his significant other Yukimi Nagano), De La Soul, Woodkid, Fat Freddy's Drop, The Gas Lamp Killer, and more.
In addition, his first summer festival gig has just been announced: he is scheduled to perform at the NorthSide Festival in Århus, Denmark. (June 12-14.)
The fantastic video accompanying "Every Age" was directed by mad scientists Simon Morris and Chris Higham of Stockholm-based creative collective Assembled in Sweden whose project Eyes in Space involved sending the six-sided camera Hexacam up, up and away, allowing for a 360 degree view usually only enjoyed by astronauts.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Leave it to Jordi Davieson, Josh Biondillo, Nick Gardner and Scarlett Stevens of San Cisco to provide some holiday cheers with a great song and a hyperkinetic video. The brand new track "Run" is the first single from their upcoming second full-length (a release date has not yet been announced, but with just over a month left of 2014, it looks like it will drop in early 2015.)
There's still time to catch the quartet on their current mini-tour in their native Australia: Friday in Newcastle and Saturday + Sunday in Melbourne.
The clip was directed/edited by Matt Sav.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
I usually don't post lyric videos, but I'm making an exception with singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/tech wizard Robert DeLong's single "Long Way Down" from his new four-track EP of the same name, not only due to its pretty cool graphics but even more so owing to sheer impatience: the song is so disturbingly catchy, I don't want to wait around until a bona fide clip is published.
Hailing from Seattle but based in Echo Park near downtown L.A., Delong released his debut full-length 'Just Movement' almost two years ago; the stellar tracks "Global Concepts" and "Happy" earned him much well-deserved buzz at the time.
Eight dates are lined up for December: seven shows on the East Coast; the last gig Dec. 20 in Toronto.
If you missed my post last year:
Monday, November 10, 2014
London based band 2:54. fronted by Ireland born-UK raised sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow dropped their second full-length 'The Other 1' today. The video for the outstanding track "Blindfold" was directed by Charlie Robins and Chris Hugall.
The Thurlows plus band mates Alex Robins and Rich Fry are in the early stages of their UK fall tour, but next up (Saturday November 15) is a performance at the Tastemaker Festival in Hamburg.