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10-12-2013 // Album: Beccy Owen - IMAGO|
This year is slowly coming to an end. Bloggers are looking back, the people that claim to know what they're talking about are already looking ahead into 2014. And I'm just sitting here enjoying another 2013-masterpiece.
If you are wondering who Beccy Owen is, you can could use Google. You could look into the 4 items I've written about her in the last 7 months. You might even have a look at her Facebook, read her Twitter or visit her website (if she has one..). But the best way to really get to know her is by listening to this album.
Beccy Owen doesn't hold back and tells us all about herself. The good, the bad and the ugly. She wraps her little personal stories in breathtaking music. Making this a musical experience beyond the mind or ear. It's much more than just a collection of music, it's a 31-minute trip that takes you through all the emotions Beccy has gone through in the past. And that's a lot to take, but it's completely worth it.
I remember listening to her 2002-debut this Summer over and over again and being very curious and a little scared about her upcoming work for IMAGO. Could she really write an even better collection of songs? I have been disappointed by so many artists in the past when they'd release new music. Beccy Owen is the exception to the rule, this is even better than anything I've ever heard from her. I've instantly forgotten what that debut album sounds like. When I think Beccy Owen, I think IMAGO. I think talent. I think beauty. I think I'm a little bit in love.
I'm not this fanatic about an album that I've barely heard as it was released 24 hours ago. Beccy shared a review version with me a few weeks ago and I'll admit it took me a few days before the love started to bloom. It needed a few spins, but I'm sure I've heard the album more than a 100 times in just a few weeks. Yes, that does mean about 4-5 times a day for 3 weeks straight. It is thát good (I'm getting a little Jeremy Clarkson-vibe here).
I remember tweeting about "You Can't Afford To Feel It" and saying it's not as beautiful as the live version that was used as a pre-release teaser some time ago. But I'll have to take that back. Now that I've heard it a few dozen times I love the album version at least as much as the live version. Her voice is warmer live, but the extra layers of an album version work very well here. Just like any other note on this album, it's perfect as it is.
I apologize for being this euphoric about an album. But as it doesn't happen very often that I'm this passionate about a record I guess that makes it even more clear that I'm absolutely in love with this album. I know I've used the phrase Best Album of the Year before (just a few weeks ago for Jeroen Kant, but this is the last time and this is just a little bit more real than any other time: Best Album of 2013. No doubt about it.
06-12-2013 // MixTape: Well-Played 002: Slow Down|
There's nothing like taking a little quiet time after a long and rough week. Just let the world be for what it is, ignore the universe and take a step back. Play some easy tunes. Cook yourself a fine meal. Open up a bottle of wine and maybe read a little in a book that doesn't take a whole lot of your attention to still be interesting. Most of those things are up to you, but I can provide some fine relaxing tunes. While I'm cooking an easy, but delicious dinner, with a great cigar & beautiful bottle of wine impatiently waiting for me. Have a relaxin' Friday night, my friends.
Taken from SUMIE's self-titled debut album released last Monday.
Keaton Henson - 10am, Gare du Nord: What's not to love about this?!
First single off Katie Bulley's debut solo album 'Lone Wolf'. Set for release Spring of 2014.
Tessera Skies - Soliloquy of an Astronaut: Amazing title, beautiful song.
Sam Morrow has such a fine voice and this is such a great song.
"My name is Jeffrey Wright and I wrote an album for my son, Owen. He was born on August 8th, 2013." How cool is that? And this instrumental album is very much worth hearing.
Love the song. Love the video. You might be reading something, but it would be a shame if you'd miss out on the vid, although it might just be drawing your attention away from the song.
7 tracks for the weekend. Or Monday morning. Or Thursday afternoon. Whenever you feel like taking it down a notch, relax with some fine music. It never fails me and I hope it'll work just as good for you. Now to set fire to that cigar & have myself another glass of wine. Cheers!
03-12-2013 // Track: Richard J. Birkin - Accretions / A Lullaby Hymn (Parts I & II)|
More instrumental beauty: Richard J. Birkin's "Accretions" and "A Lullaby Hymn (Parts I & II)" are 2 beautiful pieces of music. I tried to explain all the things you're hearing, but he's done it so much better himself in the press release:
“Accretion discs are the beautiful tails of a black hole, formed by stars being dragged into that invisible thing that spells the end of matter, the observable universe, and known physics. They’re nightmarish, really. But from this distance they’re beautiful stationary things. By the time we look at them they’ll’ve already spiralled, changed, moved, chewed up who knows how many worlds.
I have this endearing image in my head of an astronaut paused infinitely on the edge of a black hole, as the explanation of what happens when you get there. I think this comes from a junior school book on space, where everything is simplified, where wonder is prized over fact.”
A Lullaby Hymn (Parts I & II) has a less overwhelming description, but in the end it's the sounds that matters the most. And both tracks are equally beautiful, so all is good in the sound department. I love these tracks and there's a lot more great music on his soundcloud-page, so be sure to check that out if you're loving it as much as I do.
01-12-2013 // Track: Luke Howard - August|
Beautiful track from Luke Howard's May-release Sun, Cloud. A fully instrumental record by a master composer and pianist. Eleven breathtaking tracks, all taking you on a flight into the clouds. Listening to this on a Sunday evening with a good book comes very close to perfection, hear the whole album at http://music.lukehoward.com!
30-11-2013 // Track: Meneer van Dalen - Tussen Neus en Lippen|
Gotta love Dutch college bands.. It sounds like a lot of things I've heard when I was younger and still in school, and it also just sounds really nice. That's probably me, fancy bloggers would rip these guys a new one, but I love it. Meneer van Dalen is at the very core of all great music, trying out their sound being young and (for now) being pretty fucking good it at. great song!
27-11-2013 // Track: Beccy Owen - You Keep Flooding In|
Beccy Owen's new album IMAGO is set for release on December 9th and I've had the pleasure of receiving a review copy last week. It is already among the best albums I've heard all year and that's after just one week. The album isn't available to stream online, but the opening song "You Keep Flooding In" is and it sets a perfect example of the album. It's one of the album highlights and it shows off perfectly how great of a singer Beccy Owen is.
25-11-2013 // Must-Have of the Month: Jeroen Kant - De Lafaard Kapitein|
Perhaps my (new) Best Album of the Year, but I haven't heard it enough yet to know for sure. This is without a doubt a great album, but the truly spectaculair albums stay with me for months and years. As I've just recently discovered this Dutch beauty, I can't say anything for sure, but I can tell you one thing: This is (at least) one of the best albums I've heard this year.
Jeroen Kant is the Dutch combination between Tom Waits: brilliant and original lyrics (google translate is your friend, start with "halvezolenpad"), and Nick Cave: more original lyrics, but with an intense dark twist (same job for "Mijn Mooiste Mijn Liefste Mijn Alles Mijn Bruid").
It is not just in words that Jeroen Kant reminds a lot of the previously mentioned great artists. The sound of "Ratten In De Schuur" is very much Tom Waits. Is this becoming a 'he sounds like this and this-'review? Hell no! Jeroen Kant is completely original. I can not think of any (Dutch) artist that has ever blown me away like he does on this record.
Again with this song; the lyrics. The sound. The song. I can feel the dirt, I can look the working men in the docks in the eyes and feel their pain. The pain they feel in their worn out bodies, working themselves right into their shallow graves. While missing their homes, the warm and sweet love of their friends and families back home. Maybe not me, but I'm sure a lot of people can relate to the feelings of this song.
This is my new line: Alles Staat In Brand. The song builts up, grabs you tightly and spits you out just when you expect it to last forever. Which it could, and maybe should have.
For me, this album has the same intensity as Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is a very strange comparison in styles, but not in intensity and Kanye's album is now 3 years old and still hits the record player 12 times a week. I don't think I'll get tired of this, ever. Every inch of (Dutch) talent that's out there wishes they could record an album like this. I sure as hell don't consider myself a talent, but even I am jealous.
Brilliant. Fucking. Record.
25-11-2013 // Monday Morning Kick-Off: Firewater - A Little Revolution|
This song is a little older (it was on the 2012-release International Orange but it's in my Soundcloud-playlist and I listen to it a lot in the early hours of the days. Especially on Monday morning this is a great song to get myself moving and when no one's looking I even do a little dance to it. Have a great week!