Thursday, November 20, 2014

Robert Delong: Long Way Down

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

2:54: Blindfold

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.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scarlet Pleasure: The Strip

I first wrote about Scarlet Pleasure in April and posted the stellar tracks "Windy" and "Venus". Now the Copenhagen trio have outdone themselves: on their latest single singer Emil Goll channels Michael Jackson to such a degree that it produces goosebumps. There is a fine line between homage and pastiche; fortunately, "The Strip" falls into the first category, with Goll's sublime vocals and the outstanding rhythm section work provided by bassist Alexander Malone/drummer Joachim Dencker combining to make up an utterly irresistible sound.

A debut full-length is expected in the new year.

The three musketeers are currently touring Denmark; they also have a few dates scheduled in the spring. Here's hoping they will be performing around the world in 2015.

NOTE: I chose to post the superb live version of "The Strip" rather than the video that was recently done during the trio's first visit to Los Angeles since the former truly showcases their formidable talent. The clip was shot at the Copenhagen Casino by DR [the national Danish broadcasting corporation] as part of the ongoing series DR Output.

If you missed the April post:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oh Land: Head Up High

Singer-songwriter-producer Oh Land drops her fourth album 'Earth Sick' November 10.  The stellar lead single "Head Up High" - written for a friend going through a difficult time - is accompanied by an excellent video in which the 29-year old artist gets to vent some frustration with a base ball bat; fortunately, only inanimate objects were at the receiving end. The clip was directed by Duncan Winecoff of NYC filmmaking collective All:Expanded.

While based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for almost five years, Oh Land frequently travels to her native Denmark and will be doing three one-hour concerts in and around Copenhagen in December: December 11 in Helsingør (aka Elsinore of Hamlet fame) and December 12 + 13 in Copenhagen borough Frederiksberg.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hozier: Live On KCRW + Take Me To Church

24-year-old Irish singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Hozier-Byrne aka Hozier has arguable been the busiest man in show business this year, but despite his crazy schedule of performing, recording, and interviewing he seems remarkably unfazed by it all. His current tour continues until late March (with a break between Christmas and late January) and almost every date is sold out.

His relatively fast ascent to fame is in great part owing to the song "Take Me To Church" going viral on the Internet last year. However, unlike so many artists/bands who suddenly find themselves with a hit on their hands, the man is no one hit wonder as the 'Hozier' debut full-length amply proves. The 13-track album was released globally this month (an edition with two bonus tracks dropped in late July) and showcases Hozier's sublime vocals and outstanding guitar work.

His blues musician father exposed his son to American blues and soul music from an early age and the influence is of course obvious, but like his fellow Irish musical magician Van Morrison, Hozier has managed to create his own very personal sound that mixes American blues/R&B/soul with the equally rich tradition of Irish music. It's a truly beautiful combo and one that will hopefully result in many more albums from this immensely gifted artist.

NOTE: His debut EP 'Take Me To Church' was released in 2013. The EP 'From Eden' followed earlier this year. The debut full-length 'Hozier' contains almost all of the tracks from the two EPs.

The stellar set at KCRW [the flagship public radio station in Santa Monica, California] and Morning Becomes Eclectic show host Jason Bentley's relaxed interview is well worth watching. Hozier proves that he can deliver the goods not just in recording studio, but also live, and it is thus safe to say that concert goers have much to look forward to this fall and winter.

The powerful video accompanying "Take Me To Church" that went viral in 2013 was created by the two-man Dublin based team of Feel Good Lost in close collaboration with the artist himself.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Mountain: Tame Yourself

In September of 2012 I blogged about L.A. project New Mountain and in October the same year did an interview with frontman Blake Runyon. This week Runyon dropped the six-track EP 'Dark Matters' which finds him collaborating with a different set of musicians than on the 2012 New Mountain debut full-length 'Under New Skies': among them are Annie Woodward, Alexa Melo and Christian James Hand; the latter also recorded, mixed and produced the new EP.

I chose to post Runyon's outstanding, downright funky track "Tame Yourself" because it shows a somewhat different musical facet of the very gifted singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist.  (NOTE: there is no video yet, but here's hoping there will be.)

For those of you in L.A.: you might catch him showcasing his songs on a Friday night at the weekly 'That Cool Music Thing' event at Full Circle at 305 Rose Avenue in Venice.

And for readers in NYC: on Saturday October 25 he will be playing bass with SiriusXM radio host Jason Ellis' rock/metal band Horse Force (not to be confused with the one-man dubstep project bearing the same name.)

If you missed the Q&A or the post on New Mountain two years ago:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Agnes Obel: Fuel To Fire + Dorian

Born and raised in metropolitan Copenhagen but based in Berlin since 2006, singer-songwriter Agnes Obel dropped two editions of her second full-length 'Aventine' Oct. 1 and Oct. 6, respectively. The deluxe edition contains twenty-two tracks, including her haunting composition "Dorian" and a David Lynch remix of the beautiful song "Fuel to Fire"; here's hoping the director decides to feature her music on the newly announced nine-episode continuation of his Twin Peaks TV-series which will air on Showtime in early 2016.

Obel's current tour continues Sunday with a show in Berlin. Eleven North American dates are scheduled between October 30 and November 13. Finally, there will be three gigs in Australia November 25, 27 and 28.

The vintage black/white footage used to accompany the two album tracks suits them both to a tee: David Dean Burkhart edited "Fuel to Fire"; Obel's romantic and frequent creative partner Alex Bruel Flagtad edited "Dorian".