Music bits and pieces

As it is the end of a bank holiday weekend, thought we would finish with a little music post.

I've discovered another new favourite - Kissaway Trail. Despite sounding like an Enid Blyton book about little fairies and elves, their new album is great.  Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips, Granddaddy come to mind.  The vocals are a tiny bit 'whine-y' at times but the music is uplifting, tuneful, and interesting.  An 8/10 and would be surprised if it doesn't make it onto the album of the year.

Someone told me that is is over 5 years since John Peel died.  I've just ordered this compilation put together in his honour.  I loved his programme for many years and he was responsible probably more than anyone for getting me into interesting popular music - particularly around the punk era.  I remember the buzz of hearing Elvis Costello (Less that Zero) and the Ramones (Sheena is a punk rocker) for the first time on his show in my first year at uni.

Anyway, what you may not know is that he had a softer side; here are three folk / country female artists and tracks he loved; if the Spotify links don't work, look them up directly on Spotify or Youtube!

Sandy Denny – Who Knows Where The Time Goes? - BBC Session - John Peel 11/9/73

Just one of the most beautiful songs of all time.

Laura Cantrell – Not The Tremblin' Kind

Peel himself struggled to explain why Laura and her voice and songs affected him so much.  But I'm glad he introduced me to her music.

Neko Case – Twist the Knife

This is a candidate for sexiest 'country' song of all time - Peel played it three times running one night.  Just how twisted are the lyrics?  You can judge.  She's something pretty special live too.

Very exciting news - a actually got an email from a real live musician saying he liked the blog and would  I feature his work!  I have to admit I didn't expect very much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Tristan Clopet has an excellent voice, and strong, well-constructed songs; and his personality seems to come through which is key for a new artist.  On second and third listening, several songs were lodging nicely in my brain.

My one issue is that his breadth of styles might be confusing for the uncommitted.  He swings from a Coldplay / Kooks / Thirteen Senses / Longpigs tuneful pop/rock thing  (So Alive) to a funky Chilli Peppers vibe (Proximity Bomb).   Now, I think you can get away perhaps with this sort of variation if a. you've already established an audience and / or b. you are an absolute cast-iron genius (like Beck - although even he made his name with a particular style before he exposed his range as it were).

So based on my huge history of advising successful bands (none at all actually to be honest) I would humbly suggest the first album needs to show a clear sense of direction and focus, one direction of the other.  Although as my wife (who loves the Chillis and the Kooks) pointed out, 'people can just download the tracks they like anyway'.  And talking of downloads, you can download his EP here and pay whatever you see fit for it.  Support new music!!

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