For a month that suggests orderly formations, March’s reality is far more chaotic and unpredictable. Curves balls from left field mark our March releases as springy innovation erupts from uniquely blessed individuals. Supported by talented competence and well-won confidence, the results are consistently pleasant and each solo artist never makes unreasonable requests from an open-minded listener. From the one comes the many and of the many there lies the one, so line up, focus and examine these seven singular recordings.
Kevin Ayers - Unfairground
Album title: Unfairground
Record Label: Gigantic Records
Elegant, austere and almost perversely old-fashioned, Britain’s Soft Machine co-founder foster a fondness for jaunty cabarets lined with innocence and wisdom. Ayers’ unwavering vocals boldly unfolds among strings, horns and an elastic sense of psychedelia. Woozy and mellow, jet-setting and stylish, the star-studded Underground covers hip in every civilized shade from tangos to honky-tonk.
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Haale - No Ceiling
Album title: No Ceiling
Record Label: Channel A Music
A paranormal panorama swimming in foreign palpitations and oceanic orchestration, Ceiling stretch and pulls, enchanting in dancing trances, Persian seductions and prog-pop pomp. New York born with Iranian roots, Haale incorporates her unique position between cultures in a mesmerizing maelstrom of ancient traditions and modern tastes, making transcedent music that stirs the soul.
(3245) Page Views
Rufus Cappadocia - Songs for Cello
Album title: Songs for Cello
Record Label: Velour Records
From a single instrument, Songs serves up jazzy slap-bass, swelling raga drones, pointed Arabic whirlwinds and plummeting subterranean melodies. A lustrous sound of unearthly bellowing lifting exotic flicks of whispering kicks flying in oily waters, Cappadocia’s cello squirms with genie-like turns uncurling from an ancient bottle unleashing a gorgeous choir of wordless voices.
(3649) Page Views
David Saw - Broken Down Figure
Album title: Broken Down Figure
Record Label: Iris Records
Tastefully melodic, Saw shines best at his simplest – quietly penetrating into the heart of the matter armed only with an acoustic guitar and a gentle voice that comforts as it questions and confides. Deceptively innocent, Broken rocks its wise lullabies in melancholy overtones, waltzing between introspective dramas, sage advice and patient romance.
(3009) Page Views
David Saw online:
Dawn Landes - Fireproof
Album title: Fireproof
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
New York based Kentucky native Landes tweaks conventions on her combustible Fireproof. Throwing odd instruments, pop afterthoughts and the occasional alt-rock muscle into her skewed waif folk, Dawn draws from both country and city sources. A recording engineer as well as singer-songwriter, Dawn’s refreshingly low key approach makes Fireproof, intimate, quirky and wonderfully brazen.
(3898) Page Views
Jim White - Transnormal Skiperoo
Album title: Transnormal Skiperoo
Record Label: Luaka Bop
Country toasted gumbo stirred and spiced with subtle touches. White wiles his way into common dreams and universal visions painting language in earthy tones, suspicious shadows and radiant hope. Whether slithering or celebrating, the backwoods boogie creeps sleepily under the skin. Lazy beats wake to take to the streets as Transnormal trolls tradition.
(3385) Page Views
Kaki King - Dreaming of Revenge
Album title: Dreaming of Revenge
Record Label: Velour Records
Kicking off Revenge with a groovy gothic instrumental, the normally mute guitarist then confounds expectations and sings, pivoting from doe-eyed folkie to shoe-gazing popstar before re-introducing her trademark electro-acoustic jazz-folk. Graceful textures laid over intertwining rhythms; King’s chameleon imagination weave big skies and starry nights, mixing awe with self-assurance, curiosity into inspired creativity.
(3566) Page Views
Yoav - Charmed & Strange
Album title: Charmed & Strange
Record Label: Verve Forecast
Opening for Tori Amos, Yoav proved a versatile and electrifying performer. Layering sparse loops without ever becoming overcrowded, the agile and empathetic, Strange busks and bobs its diabolical ditties in ghostly echoes and tip toe tempos. An engrossing one man music machine, live or on disc Yoav slyly snaps, crackling with cosmic pop.
(3249) Page Views
Sam Amidon - All Is Well
Album title: All Is Well
Record Label: Bedroom Community
Amidon’s steady hand at historical forms give birth to hypnotic epics of quiet journeys Chamber folk gently brushed with sophisticated nuance and wholegrain reverence, All clip-clops nostalgically like raindrops sweetly gathering on windowsills, while touching the contemporary, straddling worlds, public and private, past and present by sincere delivery coupled to angelic arrangements.
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Sam Amidon online:
Proving once again you can’t tell a book by its cover or an album by its name, MONADE’s Monstre Cosmique and GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY’s Robotique Majestique sound as if they would have more in common than foreign sounding titles. Both share a musical foundation in electronics, But Ghostland sends shivers up your spine while Monade careeses with soothing coos. In fact, Monstre actually sounds more ghost-like and majestic while Robotique more monstrous. Ghostland’s dizzingly demonic electro-industrial rebellion incites and exhorts as cyber-chanteuse Monade calmly concocts dreamy keyboards cushioned by by traditional bass, drums and brass. Judge not by names and appearance, experience alone opens up the world.