Tag Archives: folk-pop

Free Download: Rae Morris – “Skin”

13 Jan

Rae Morris

Rae Morris could be a name you are already familiar with, she has already released a reasonable amount of solo material and toured with some fairly large and well known acts. Despite this, hers was not a name we were familiar with until she suddenly seemed to be the subject of many an online and twitter conversation. The reason was her involvement with the returning Bombay Bicycle Club, specifically providing vocals for their latest track, “Luna”. With her name now known, we were intrigued when a new solo track popped up on our Soundcloud profile, and even more interested when we sat back and pressed play on “Skin”.

The simple piano intro immediately sparked a childhood memory but while it wasn’t a fantastical chocolate factory that Morris was taking us to, the journey was still one steeped in wonder and powerful emotion. Taken from her forthcoming solo album, “Skin” sounds like the exploration of a deserted city at night, a familiar place made magical as the lights shine down on us and the shadows spark the imagination into a world of mystery, passion and heartbreak.

Her Marina-esque vocal through the chorus offers familiarity but there is more magic to be found as she takes us by the hand through the quiet streets to a world of swirling string arrangements and crystal piano lines, all while the clock tick-tock’s the daybreak ever nearer. As the night draws to a close Rae slips off into the distance, like a folk-pop Cinderella, and just like that our far too short time in the world of “Skin” is ended.

Thank goodness for the repeat button.

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Listen: Solander – “The Woods Are Gone”

7 Jan


We could probably just tell you that Solander are Swedish and leave it at that. Such is the ever growing legion of incredible artists that originate from within the Kingdom of the Swedes you would know immediately that this post would include fantastic music and we could just leave you to the listening. That though would not do Solander justice, and this is a song that is deserving of some attention and much love.

Taken from their forthcoming third album, Monochromatic Memories, “The Woods Are Gone” is a hauntingly evocative four minutes of swirling, swooning folk pop. It touches you, washes over you and makes you want to just stop and listen.

The clackity-clack rhythms rattle along like a craft animation of a train on a journey through the snow filled night. A solitary passenger stares out through the corrugated card window, marvelling at all that is around him as scenes, animals and surroundings fold and metamorphosis into new shapes and creatures as the journey progresses. Birds become fish as a lake passes by, trees collapse into buildings as the mountains give way to a village within this dark and fantastical world and all the while the melody floats by the window with deceptive urgency. The strings augmenting the sense of drama while keys and banjos dance an intricate dance of wonder and beauty.

It is the kind of song that makes you subconsciously conduct it; makes you wave your hand around as if standing in front of the duo of Fredrik Karlsson and Anja Linna and their supporting cast of musicians. You’d believe yourself to be caressing the music from within them, when in actuality it is they that are caressing you, your soul and your imagination through melody and sound.

”The Woods Are Gone” is out now and available as a free download from the Solander bandcamp page. Their new album, ‘Monochromatic Memories’, is due to be released in the UK and worldwide in early February on A Tenderversion Recording.

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Review: Brooke Annibale – Words In Your Eyes EP

25 Jan

Brooke Annibale

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Brooke Annibale is a singer songwriter of considerable talent. Her 2011 album, Silence Worth Breaking, was nominated for an Independent Music Award and won the people’s vote award in the Adult Contemporary category. Now she has returned with a new EP that showcases her propensity for perpetual musical motion and the evolving nature of her sound.

Words In Your Eyes supposedly represents a move away from the acoustic folk-pop styles which were evident on Annibale’s debut album, and while there is lot more on offer here, she hasn’t completely left it behind. Nor should she as it serves to add much to the other elements she has blended into these six tracks.

That folky, country background is apparent in her voice; her dreamy, dreamy voice. We could quite easily get lost in her vocals. At times light and breathy, such as on “Tragically Beautiful”, it skips along playfully. At other times it drops, the emotion it conveys is that much deeper, more heartfelt perhaps, but despite this strength of tone, it never loses its warmth or gentleness.

There are little reference points dotted all over, country, pop, ambient and folk all play a role, heck there is even minute elements of Led Zeppelin hidden within “Silence Worth Breaking”; the track her debut album was named after but didn’t feature. One of the major elements within the whole EP is the orchestration, the gorgeous, sumptuous orchestration.

We’re suckers for a good string section and Brooke Annibale uses hers fabulously. From small, subtle inflections to big, dramatic emotions, the strings add so much to each of the six tracks on Words In Your Mouth. Violins soar, lifting the melodies high upon their wings while cellos rumble darkly underneath. The emotional resonance of her songs is enhanced exponentially as the strings glide alongside her vocals; undulating with the pitch of her voice and the sentiment of her lyrics.

Never is this symbiosis better than on “You Don’t Know”, which is a stunning 3 and a half minutes of pop music. It brings to mind the high points of Morcheeba’s classic Big Calm and their use of strings, little embellishments here and there building and building to a great swirling denouement. Here they play amongst the guitars and drums before everything comes together in a tumultuous, shimmering ending.

Words In Your Eyes is a collection of delightful, pop songs, sung beautifully by an extremely talented young lady. This one will be on repeat for quite some time, of that we are certain.

Brooke Annibale’s Words In Your Eyes EP is released on 5 February and can be pre-ordered here.

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