What a pun. That’s my day job actually, writing them.
Moving swiftly on, here are two acts who have dropped song in the inbox over the past few days and they’ll work rather nicely back-to-back. Firstly we’ve got a Welsh artist called Osian Rhys, who’s releasing his debut single ‘Long Time Gone’ on Backwater Records at the end of this month. It’s a simply orchestrated ‘proper’ folk song (no Mumford and Sons here, thanks), which relies on his voice and the really close melodies to keep the listener engaged. The B side is a song called ‘A oes ‘na le (i oeri gwres fy nghalon)’, which is another simply orchestrated and beautifully sung record. You can listen to ‘Long Time Gone’ below. Head over to his Soundcloud for the B side.
It’s all in the title really… Jesca Hoop, the Northern Californian girl living in Manchester whose music Tom Waits described as “like going swimming in a lake at night”, is giving away a song over at her website for free. All you need to do is enter your email and then BAM!, you can be the proud new owner of her latest song ‘Born To’.
Bands doing covers is a risky game. There’s every chance – nay, likelihood – that they’ll make something that either sounds too similar, too twee or just naff. Luckily here we have two bands who have done it right. First up is a cover of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ by Revere featuring Toumani Diabaté. The original song is melancholic enough, but these guys have turned into something almost haunting. The simple, acoustic instrumentation allows the vocals to really come to the fore in a way that they don’t in the original. And the Cello, oh the Cello! It’s spine-tinglingly good when it comes in. Malian musician Toumani Diabaté plays the kora, which adds a sounds that cuts through the track, complimenting the harp superbly. That’s the video at the top of the page, and below you can listen to the original. Continue reading →
I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again, but we get loads of music through email. We enjoy listening to (most) of it, but this one has stood out more than most. Luke De-Sciscio hails from Bath and describes himself as modern-day troubadour. He certainly does sing about heartbreak and love in all of its various guises. He does so with a voice that recalls Jeff Buckley, Damien Rice, Anthony Hegarty and Jason Mraz among others. If you are a fan of any of these guys, then he’s well worth five minutes of your time. Continue reading →
Kae Sun is a Toronto-based, Ghana-born songwriter. He’s been making some small waves back in his home country, but it’s about time everyone heard about him. He’s got a soulful, slightly gravelly voice that shines through the songs, which are sensitively written stories. The fact that it’s all acoustic gives the songs an authenticity; they’re enormously easy to relate to.
Maz Totterdell is incredible. I don’t normally start with such hyperbole, but it’s just the only way I can introduce this 15 year old Devonian. Yes, 15. When you listen to the song (or if you already have) you’ll realise why I’m highlighting her age, because she has got a voice and a sound that belies her years. The lyrics to her first single, ‘Counting My Fingers’, are sweet but not sickly, her voice is a revelation and the song is one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. It’s got twee handclaps you’ll be joining in with and a chorus you’ll find yourself humming along to in no time. The single came out last Monday on Series 8 and Steve Lamacq on 6music has thrown his weight behind it. One listen and you’ll understand why. So do exactly that: listen to the song below and then go and buy it. The sample is a crappy quality, so do the song justice and spend 79p on this one.
Hello all. As many of you may know, and perhaps many may not, there is a wonderful talent out there by the name of Lucy Rose. She first caught my ear doing backing vocals on Bombay Bicycle Club’s A Different Kind Of Fix (although she apparently helped a little on Flaws too) and I was intrigued. Having heard the radio DJ say her name, I promptly forgot it until this popped up on my Twitter feed. It’s just come out and it’s a wonderful pop record. If you’re a fan of Laura Marling, Feist and others of that ilk then you will most definitely like it, although Lucy Rose brings something new to the table. Whereas Marling is often praised for sounding wise beyond her years, Rose seems perfectly happy to enjoy being young.
I am going to start by saying that I owe this post entirely to The Guardian’s New Band of the Day. Their eleven hundredth and twenty sixth act is High Highs, a Brooklyn-based Aussie band. I could write something original, or I could direct you towards something that somebody else has written. Guess what I’m about to do… Go read their thoughts. Read more of ours…
Blackbird, the Beatles song written by Paul McCartney in 1968, is one of my favourite songs by the Liverpool foursome. So when I saw that a guitar group had turned the two minute song into one that is over ten minutes long, I approached it with a certain amount of skepticism. I needn’t have. It’s become a whole different song, where they’ve taken the original and turned it into a theme for a piece that circles the original, only occasionally dropping back into it. Sadly, my words cannot do the song any justice. So you should listen to it and admire the virtuosic playing of the two sets of Australian brothers, Slava & Leonard Grigoryan and Joseph & James Tawadros. It’s a stonker.
It’s not often that I’ll feature this kind of act. There are so very many female folk artists out there that it can become a little hard to distinguish between them all. Luckily Laura Hocking provides us with something a little different. What could it be?…
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If you like the songs then buy the music, go to the gigs and get the merch. If you're an artist and you'd like us to take your song down just let us know (email the editor at sacha[@]safetyfunandlearning.com) and we'll make it disappear.
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