about musical experiences™ - part II

Alternative Indie / Pop Rock

 

Second week, second selection. I won't write an introduction to each music blog post, it would be pointless and very, very repetitive since it is just about listing a current mood I have in music. I also won't be debating and tell you about my life and why I enjoy listening music like everyone does, at some point. Hopefully you will find delight in it.

 

 
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☞ from left to right

 

1.   Kings Of Convenience "Declaration of Independance" | (click to listen)  ♬ .01

"Declaration of Dependence is the story of two people living two very different lives sensing that they are immensely more powerful together than apart. in that sense it is the most adult, the most mature record Kings of Convenience have ever made. That it is their most gripping, their most revealing is, if anything, just a by-product of that honesty and their endeavor. "Erlend is a very stubborn individual with extreme belief in his own ideas," says Erik of his partner. "He's very free and creative and his access to unusual and fresh ideas is very good. I find that quite unique. for some reason they are very similar to my ideas on music - we like the same unusualness."

 2.   Magnet "On Your Side"  | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"Gently guiding us in with a melancholic guitar and a voice that could out-husk the bark of the sturdiest Chestnut Tree, 'On Your Side' - the debut album fromMagnet (aka Even Johansen) - starts as it means to go on; with gorgeously-crafted songs that envelop the listener in their sublime musical magic, right up until the very last beat softly shudders from the speakers. Irish warbler Gemma Hayes makes a guest appearance on the bone-achingly sublime cover of Dylan’s 'Lay Lady Lay'. The pair sing you into submission and their voices complement each other so beautifully that you have to stop and wonder if, maybe, somewhere in the music of the spheres, there really is a God. "

3.   Sufjan Stevens "Illinoise | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"With two states down and only 48 to go, Sufjan Stevens' ambitious musical map of the Unites States of America should be completed -- if he puts out one a year -- sometime around 2053. It's a daunting task (and not an entirely original one at that), but if each subsequent record is as good as Illinois, fans who live long enough to witness the project's completion will no doubt find themselves to be scholars of both state history and its narrator's shape-shifting soul.”

4.   Keren Ann "La Biographie De Luka Philipsen"  | (click to listen) ♬ .01

" Keren Ann may not have the widest range, but she makes the most of it. Her vocals are light, delicate, and pretty, as if she has found a way to combine talking, whispering, and singing into one fluid approach (and as if she has listened to a few Astrud Gilberto albums in her time). La Biographie de Luka Philipsen was the French singer/songwriter's debut and many of the songs were co-written with longtime associate Benjamin Biolay .  "

5.   The Whitest Boy Alive "Rules | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"Erlend Øye was responsible for a couple of the more quietly influential releases of the early 2000s -- the Kings of Convenience's wispily gentle, prophetically titled debut Quiet Is the New Loud and his affable, microhouse-popularizing DJ-Kicks set, not to mention his fine vocal contributions to Röyksopp's early singles -- all thoroughly excellent if hardly earth-shattering work. In the latter part of the decade, though, his output and impact seemed sadly diminished as he lapsed into a middling, milquetoast groove as frontman for the smooth pop outfit the Whitest Boy Alive. ."

 

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01.Muji, white wall mounted CD player.

6.   The Cinematic Orchestra "Ma Fleur | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"For the true follow-up to 2002's Every Day -- since 2003's Man with a Movie Camera soundtrack had actually been recorded four years earlier -- J. Swinscoe & co.'s Cinematic Orchestra produced another soundtrack, this one virtually invisible. Not long after Every Day's release, Swinscoe began writing music for another Cinematic LP, but in another direction from where he'd gone previously. This was a series of quiet, contemplative instrumentals, with Rhodes keyboards and reedy clarinets, simply begging for a narrative (call them orchestrations for cinema). With scripts for each supplied by a friend -- each track got its own story, together comprising different scenes from a single life -- and a series of unpeopled photographs supplied by Maya Hayuk, Cinematic Orchestra had the narrative they needed for their invisible soundtrack. " 

7.   José Gonzàles "Veneer | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"Don't let the name fool you; singer/songwriter José González is a Swedish-born and -raised son of Argentine parents. His debut album, Veneer, is a striking collection of hushed and autumnal indie pop bedroom songs that reside on the hi-fi end of the lo-fi spectrum. González is definitely a member of the "quiet is the new loud" school as founded by Elliott Smith and the Kings of Convenience. Veneer is about as intimate as they come; it sounds like he is sitting right on the end of your bed singing just for you."

8.   Wolf Larsen "Quiet At the Kitchen Door | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"Wolf Larsen's life is a complicated mix of mysterious and nearly debilitating health issues and desire to dig deep in art for meaning and hope. Wolf Larsen is the stage name (and pen name) of the singer and writer Sarah Ramey. In 2008, Ramey served as the personal blogger for Obama's presidential campaign and is currently writing a book — The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness — due out in 2013 under her own name. Her new record as Wolf Larsen, Quiet at the Kitchen Door, is a bedroom recording, a project that began as a way to deal with her illness and solitude. It began when Wolf Larsen pulled an old guitar from a closet, performing at an open mic in San Francisco. The album is a frail, beautiful affair that I'm only just beginning to live with. I'm pretty sure we're going to be good friends.."

9.   Marissa Nadler "July | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"On July, her debut for Sacred Bones, Marissa Nadler strips away the metaphorical language that has been a hallmark in her songwriting--even when it was self referential. She speaks in the first person charting the aftermath of a devastating romantic relationship. These songs are colored in deep, gauzy American Gothic in lyric, melody, and production -- the latter provided by Randall Dunn (Earth, Akron/Family, Wolves in the Throne Room). Nadler's lithe vocals and fingerpicked acoustic guitar are, as always, at the forefront of these 11 songs."

10.   Múm "Finally We Are No One | (click to listen) ♬ .01

"Múm's first album for Fat Cat -- by no coincidence, the label that also broke fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós -- has all the majestic synths, crackly drum machine percussion, sampled silence, and crystalline vocals you'd expect from the country that produced Björk and Sigur Rós, though with less focus on digital sound than the former and less reliance on drama than the latter. Múm is very interested in the music of sound, but Finally We Are No One never sounds like a difficult record; if it's not the instruments sounding naïve or folksy (in good ways), the lisping, childlike vocals are bound to prompt adjectives like adorable and precious.."


— Albums reviews from the interweb.