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15 Dec

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August’s tune of the month

12 Aug

michael kiwanukaMichael Kiwanuka – I’m Getting Ready

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally someone appears on the music scene, that gets real music lovers into a bit of a tizz. Michael Kiwanuka is having this said effect. I have so far heard two radio DJs verbally hugging the guy and frankly, I am finding it very hard to get him out of my head too. Kiwanuka has that rare mix of respect, elegance and honesty in both his music and his character, which, when mixed with his undoubtedly brilliant musicianship and big, velvet pillow of a voice, culminates in something supremely special. I’m Getting Ready is the second song released by the artist and after his first, Marvin Gayesque Tell Me A Tale, is proof that he ain’t no one-trick pony. This new tune has its feet deeply rooted in folk music, and although one may argue that his sound is nothing new I personally think that this is, in fact, its appeal. Keith Richards said in a recent interview ‘I really look at myself as more of an antenna … that thing of “I created this” … is a little bit presumptuous I think.’ So maybe our Michael is a new antenna, picking up soul and folk signals from the seventies and re-inventing them for us now. Let this track wash over you, with it’s subtle, piano and vocal harmonies while feel the warming effects of Kiwanuka’s future vintage style.

You’ll like it if you like:

– Nick Drake
– Soul and folk
– Chilled out summer songs

Find out more about Michael and his tunes here

July’s tune of the month

15 Jul

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi – Suzanne and I

First things first. I love seeing a petite lady strapped into a guitar like it’s a weapon. I also love hearing melodies belted out from deeper inside a singer’s gut than I ever thought possible. Anna Calvi does both of these – with gusto. Her self-titled album is available to buy now, but if you just want to dip your toes in first, Suzanne and I has to be the best track on it. Think mesmerising, powerful vocals and big, echoey drum-beats. It’s what you might get if you stuck Shirley Bassey, KD Lang and Richard Hawley into a pot and mixed them up. And yes, lads, it’s a pretty lady singing about another lady.

You’ll like it if you like:

– powerful, almost theatrical music
– hearing a melody getting ripped up, slapped about, punched in the face and generally attacked with force
– Errr, Shirley Bassey, KD Lang and Richard Hawley

Buy the album and find out more here.

June’s tune of the month

21 Jun

Jono McCleery - Wonderful Life

Jono McCleery – Wonderful Life

The second single to be released by this up-and-coming Ninja Tune artist certainly doesn’t disappoint. You may need to give it a couple of listens and it will take a minute for you to realise that this is a cover (if you hadn’t already guessed by the title). It’s beautiful, melancholy and  heart-felt.

You’ll like it if you like:

– Nick Drake
– Hearing cover versions with a difference
– Chillin’

His first and also amazing single, Tomorrow is available on Amazon and iTunes. Wonderful Life will be available to buy on 27th June. Have a listen and find out more here

Rant: The London GREEN Fair? Really?

8 Jun London Green Fair

I have absolutely nothing against holistic therapies, world music or ethnic jewellery, but why is it that the word ‘green’ is inextricably linked to all things boho and hippy?

The annual London Green Fair stepped up a notch this year, so on June 4th, I hopped along with high expectations of finding this, as the website says, a “free festival that reflects the green aspirations and achievements of London as a whole, as well as providing an enjoyable and engaging day out for people from all walks of life”. Umm. Not really. There was a fair bit of suspiciously fast-looking food and it seemed the focus was on world music, alternative lifestyles and the aforementioned ubiquitous market-stand jewellery. What’s green about that?

I did spot Rice Dream, The Land Trust, Riverford Organic, Capital Growth and Thrifty Couture stands – and a lovely corner (yes, corner) dedicated to permaculture. But that was pretty much it out of a whole – if somewhat thin – festival. Harrumph.

My apologies in advance to any other greenies I didn’t spot.

Comments welcome…

May’s tune of the month

13 May jai paul

jai paulJai Paul – BTSTU

I heard this first on BBC 6 Music and have HAD to listen to it every day since. Apparently BTSTU has been hanging round since last year when it was leaked online somehow, but now Jai Paul has released this chunk of electronic heaven as an official single with XL Recordings (home of Radiohead, The White Stripes, The XX and many more proper decent bands). Desperate to find out when the album will be released, I’m hoping that the rest of Jai Paul’s songs are as good as BTSTU.

You’ll like it if you like:

– weird, dreamy electro sounds
– big pulsating beats
– somet’ a bit different

Have a listen & watch some of the (some good, some questionable) dancing this song has inspired here

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27 Apr


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