Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New to me... music I found and more that I want.

I'm not sure where to start this.  It has some aspects of things I saw and heard at festivals this summer and more than a bit that also comes from almost all things Americana, which comes from the last four years of festivals and then just trying to find what else is out there. It will be a strange mixture - rent by contradictions - of genre and style. It think I'll start with two artists who are in fact English. Most of us can be snobby about the music we like and I'm no exception but ultimately I don't mind if I hear about something I really like via obscure recommendation or daytime commercial radio.  If you find something that catches your attention here, that you then discover you like, then that is a bonus for me.
I have decided to start with the gentler option first.
The music is soft and ballad-heavy delta blues recorded in Nashville, with the vocal tropes that go with that, but then again 'Delta Maid' comes from Wavertree and while Merseyside has a long and glorious music heritage it is hardly on the scale of the Mississippi. Equally surprising, and perhaps a reflection of the change in UK music taste and the situation of the industry, it is a major label release (Geffen/Polydor).  The two album tracks that also appeared on the 2010 vinyl Broken Branches EP are less raw and conventionally produced, which might be a reflection of this.

The aforementioned EP is also well worth having. The version of 'Any Way I Want To' on it is for my money the best thing that she has done so far; it is world weary and yet perfectly resigned to the fact. If you can find the promo CD version of the EP it includes two very good cover versions too.
If it however leaves you thinking that it is all a bit soppy and easy listening then try this instead.  It is way more rattling and certainly not something to attempt if you are feeling the worse for wear - unless of course kill or cure is what you are after, in which case its just the job.
Ten all original songs from an artist in her early twenties when this, her début album, was released in 2009.
I had a listen to the songs on her myspace page but there was no easy way to be sure if it was representative of the album. It is released by German-based independent label Ruf Records and so I ordered it there and then. What a good idea that was!
It is quite a long album, at over 51 minutes, and I can't actually decide on my favourites on it despite a week of listening. One thing I can say for sure is that it doesn't suffer from the tendency of some such albums wherein either one or both of the artist and listener flags rather before the end.  Indeed it finishes with the longest track on the album  - Blackest Day - and despite its 8¼ minutes it is absolutely awesome.
It hardly needs to be said that her 2010 follow-up, Diamonds In The Dust, is next on my wants list and then to see her perform live.

I think I'll continue the theme with some genuine US artists that, although not new on the scene, have come in to the foreground of my conscience in the last couple of months.

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