wed 27/05/2020

singer-songwriters

The Songs of Coronavirus and Lockdown Life

At the start of March an obscure alt-metal outfit called Cegvera released a concept album titled The Sixth Glare. The physical album featured the headline “DISEASE” alongside a photograph of a woman in a protective facemask, and the sleeve notes...

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Album: Badly Drawn Boy - Banana Skin Shoes

In 2000, when Badly Drawn Boy released his debut album, The Hour of Belwiderbeast, it felt like an embarrassment of riches. Along with the string of singles he’d previously put out, ranging from the lo-fi to the luminous, Damon Gough’s creative tap...

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Album: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Mosaic of Transformation

A singer-songwriter of somewhat mystical bent, originally from a forested island in the US Pacific Northwest, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith really came into her own when she discovered vintage synthesizers. In particular, her masterpiece, 2016's EARS,...

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Album: Joan as Policewoman – Cover Two

Glorious Joan is back! Eleven years after her first covers album, with that very cheeky artwork, comes Joan Wasser’s celebration of "songs I adore" – 10 tunes that she’s been working on ever since 2009.Those lucky enough to have caught her in...

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Album: Damien Jurado - What's New, Tomboy?

He's only in his mid-20s, but this is Seattle singer-songwriter Damien Jurado’s 15th album. Veering away from a predictable path, his career is dotted with sonic experimentalism alongside a tendency to try abstract lyrical forms. He also appears on...

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Remembering John Prine, one of the great American singer-songwriters

John Prine, who has died at the age of 73 from a Covid 19-related illness, was one of the great American folk poets. Having spent his early adulthood pounding the sidewalks as a mailman in Chicago, he never quite shucked that blue-collar aura of the...

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Colors performance stream on YouTube review - vocalists on lockdown

The Colors studio in Berlin has quietly created one of the biggest new brands in music from filming back-to-basics performances with laser-focused branding. From international megastars (Billie Eilish, Mac DeMarco) to up-and-comers, singers and...

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Christine and the Queens/Instagram review - musical missives during lockdown

Since she burst onto the global scene in 2014 with her debut album, Chaleur humaine, Christine and the Queens' (aka Chris, real name Héloïse Letissier) work has been difficult to pin down. Is the French pansexual singer-songwriter-performance artist...

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Album: Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud

Waxahatchee’s fifth album wasn’t intended as an escapist fantasy. Written shortly after Katie Crutchfield decided to get sober, Saint Cloud documents a journey towards self-acceptance; one woman’s reckoning with her past and its impact on the people...

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Album: Morrissey - I Am Not a Dog on a Chain

The best place to start with Morrissey's new LP is the title track, which begins as a petty dig at the media. "I do not read newspapers/ they are troublemakers", the singer croons indignantly. But then, as the music builds and his anger mounts, Moz...

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Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Eventim Apollo review - and the band played on

Elvis Costello is arguably – perhaps unarguably – the most enduring and genuine talent to emerge from the mid-Seventies pub and punk scenes, and his two-hour set on Friday night demonstrated that he’s still a compelling performer, full of energy and...

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Classic Albums: Tears for Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, BBC Four review - anatomy of an anthem

Roland Orzabal, co-founder and lead guitarist of Tears for Fears, laughs to himself often during this documentary — the latest in the BBC’s often-excellent, always-forensic Classic Albums series. “I agree, I agree, it sounds great,” says Orzabal. He...

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