Recently I’ve come into possession of a grand total of 41.7 hours (611 tracks) of new music. It’s quite dizzying just how much listening I have to occupy myself with over the next few weeks. Although I bought some of this music, lots more was given to be by the illustrious Larua Lamb and the fantastic Christian Houlgate. Laura has a portable hard drive with just about everything cool on there (I also appropriated the first two seasons of West Wing while I was raiding said hard drive). Christian has one up on Laura though as he is in possession of an external hard drive with a terabyte of memory. Something which simultaneously turns me green with envy and makes me all giddy and excited about technology.
This musical exchange was by no means a one way trip however. Among other artists, I offloaded Regina Spektor, Colin Hay, Robert Downey Jr, Edie Brickell, and Gretchen Lieberum to Laura. To Christian, I showed a depth of YouTube talent and will shortly be imparting as much music to him as is possible.
All this music sharing in the air made me want to share some with you, my trusty readers. I’ve chosen to show you two independent artists who I’ve discovered both on YouTube and on Twitter; but also to point you in the direction of two signed artists who, in all probability, you’ve never head of.
When I first took a look around her reverbnation page, I was totally blown away by her voice and I just couldn’t stop listening to her over and over again. After forgetting about her for a month or so, my interest was reawakened when she re-released the song ‘Not A Girly Girl’ with her new mic and then also her new song ‘The Meaning Of Life’.
If you’re looking for clever lyrics, a really beautiful but by no means delicate voice, an acoustic sound, funky harmonies and general chill out excellence, look no further.
**EDIT** They’ve recently upgraded the site quite a bit so I think that the music player works without much fiddling about so the following about checking her myspace doesn’t really apply as far as I can tell. **EDIT** [The site can be a bit tricky, you have to click play all then the play button and then the player is in a pop-out window. If you can’t get the hang of it, check her myspace, though that doesn’t have all of her songs.]
Yet another of my many YouTube finds, AJ is a young guy who’s just a pleasure to listen to. Whenever I see a new video of his appear in my subscription box, I get all excited because, unlike with other YouTube artists, I know whatever he chooses to do will be excellent. For goodness’ sake – the guy sang a whole song in Thai* and I didn’t notice over the sound of the awesome.
Another great thing about AJ is that he has a huge group of friends who are also making music YouTube. AJ is by no means the best of them either, although he’s pretty close to being so. If you subscribe to him then you’ll doubtless be introduced to about fifteen other fantastic artists when he does a duet or a trio with a few of them. I particularly recommend checking out his friend ebgarcia3 if you get the chance.
If you’re looking for some fantastic covers of your favourite songs (along with a few of his originals), sung by a guy with a great voice and pretty rockin’ piano and guitar skills who can arrange beautiful harmonies for himself and his friends. Look no further.
There are two videos here (just in case you couldn’t count). The first in on AJ Rafael’s channel so go subscribe to him there. The second is on one of his friend’s channels which is why there’s about 3 mins at the end where she’s talking about her album. Enjoy!
Few people have heard that the wife of Paul Simon (as in Simon & Garfunkel) sings and has two albums out. I first discovered Edie Brickell on the Windows95 startup disk. There were two music videos, one of Weezer singing ‘Buddy Holly’ and then Edie Brickell with ‘Good Times’. I really loved her music but I relatively forgot about her until about a year ago when I had a sudden craving for childhood music. To satisfy this craving I went out and impulsively bought her album. It stands as one of the most successful impulse buys I’ve ever had.
Her soulful voice is the perfect accompaniment to her laid back style and beautiful lyrics. Her song ‘Lost In The Moment’ is one of only about five songs to actually bring tears to my eyes. I find her perfect to relax to but at the same time, I’m drawn into the song so much that I can imagine everything she’s imagining. Edie never fails to bring a smile to my face. If you ever want to make me happy, put her on.
Here’s that music video from the Windows95 disk. Such a good song, even if Barry White does turn up in the middle.
Coeur de Pirate
Last Tuesday was my first time privately tutoring English with a uni student who is the daughter of one of the teachers in my school. After the lesson was over, I stayed for dinner and we all began to talk about English vs French culture. It was a hoot I tell you. Aside from occasionally coughing *Trafalgar*, I managed to borrow about ten CDs of French music. I needed an education obviously. Some of them were awful – I’ll be documenting why in a later blog – but some was just fantastic.
Coeur de Pirate is a French-Canadian singer who is just so much fun to listen to. It’s as if a playful child is singing the songs but the music is quite complex at times and flows along perfectly.
I don’t even think that you need to understand French to enjoy her music. I can’t catch all the words and to be honest, I’m not that bothered because her songs are so beautiful. From what I catch of the lyrics, I know that they’re pretty cool but never feel francophobes, it all sounds nice. :)
Not only is her voice angelic, her piano playing skills are also not to be sniffed at. Just listen to the ‘Intermission’ track from her album.
So there you go, four fantastic musicians for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Aren’t I nice?
*Not that there’s anything wrong with Thai, but I generally don’t like music in a language I can’t understand. I think it’s because I really love lyrics and if I don’t have a clue what people are singing it gets a bit annoying. Obvious exceptions to this are Sigur Rós and Yael Naïm.