Tag Archives: Jazz

Sinephro – “Rosier”

30 Jan

Soft, stark, elegant and beguiling. The debut solo outing from Sinephro is three minutes of understated monochromatic electronic beauty.

Having collaborated with the likes of Blanda (on the seductive and warped jazz infused electro ”Relief”) in the past, Belgian singer/composer/producer Clara Sinephro has stepped out on her own with the utterly mesmeric “Rosier”.

The composition is stunning, layer upon layer of sound is woven together with precision and care. The melody trickles gently over the smooth echoes of the rhythm. Keys build like the sun rising over the horizon, lighting new elements as it does. Strings flicker, piano lines twinkle, harmonies twist and entwine as one and all the while, Clara’s soft vocal floats through “Rosier” like a mist.

As well as bewitching us with this stunning piece of electronica, Sinephro is currently working on a jazz album and there are definitely jazz elements at play here. The structured free-form nature of the arrangement, the blending of disparate sounds into one gorgeous whole, this is an artist who knows exactly what she is trying to do and how she wants to do it.

Soulful, smooth, cool and warm at the same time, with “Rosier” Sinephro has stepped forward and shown herself to be an artist well worth keeping an ear out for in the future.

Get to know Sinephro: Facebook

Listen: Twyaen – “On The Pettibone Tide”

21 Oct


There must be something about Monday’s that draws us to Twyaen (sounds like wine), for it was on a Monday back at the start of August that we became the first to introduce the music of the mysterious pair from the ‘welsh parts of England’. Since then, the imaginatively code-named duo (ThutDragon and Moors Trekkah) have been gently picking up praise and acclaim from a number of different sources all over the place, not just the English parts of England.

The mystery hasn’t abated much in the two months since; aside from the pronunciation of their name we’ve learnt nothing new about them, but neither has the quality of the music. Their latest, “On The Pettibone Tide” feels like a track dipped in summertime like an apple gets dipped in toffee. The guitar sound riffs like an 80’s pop song on a track that Moors Trekkah says was “inspired by the colloquial name for a river that meets the sea, just off the coast near a beach I used to go as a kid. It’s about that first wave that takes you to a new life, away from what you know but want to leave behind”. All of which all sounds quite beautiful and full of hope and warmth, but then he also said “I imagine it’s how you feel as you’re dying, on the way to your next living plane”, and to be fair, that’s not quite as lovely a description.

That’s very Twyaen though, the music is beautiful and emotive and fills you with a sense of peace and wellbeing, yet the essence within it can be cold and uneasy. Here the soft vocals drift on a breeze of synths, joined by dandelion clocks of beats and melodies as they float across a sun filled field of down tempo R’n’B strings and electronics. It’s just the sort of thing you need on a Monday to ease you into the week ahead. Enjoy.

Stalk Twyaen: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

Listen: Twyaen – “Keep On Waiting”

5 Aug


It’s Monday, no-one really likes Mondays no matter how much they try to convince themselves otherwise. So, how about we get over this grumpy feeling by starting the week with something completely new, and really rather beautiful?

We know little about the mysterious duo know as Twyaen (not to be confused with Tywin, Game of Thrones fans) beyond what they have told us themselves. We do know that they are pretty darn new though, they only created their Facebook page (the marker against which all band ages are surely measured) last week, so this is your chance to get in before the ground floor has even been built.

The pair, who claim to be from the ‘welsh parts of England’, have code-named themselves ThutDragon and Moors Trekkah, and yes, our ‘piss-take-o-tometer’ was flashing bright red and wailing out an alarm at this point. But we had already hit play on the Soundcloud link by then and soon we found ourselves hitting play again, and again, and again.

“Keep On Waiting” is a song of simple elegance and mellifluous charms. It takes jazz elements, down-tempo electronic, pop and R’n’B and blends them into one moment of sensitivity, pain and misplaced optimism. Xylophonic touches illuminate the blurred vision of an early winter mist amongst the footprints-in-the-snow-crispness of the electronic beat below. It’s a gentile tune but soaked in heartbreak. Captivating in its simplicity, an icicle melting in the winter sun, like a love so beautiful and then over, as if it never was at all.

Take a listen to “Keep On Waiting” below and Monday will start to feel a little less stressful and look a lot more beautiful, honestly.

Stalk Twyaen: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

Review: Polaroid 85 – Escapist EP

7 Jun

Polaroid 85 Escapist

It’s been over a year since we were first bewitched by the multi-stylistic electronica of London based musical collective, Polaroid 85. The three tracks of their debut Fuzzy Mornings EP were played over and over, and then over and over some more while we waited for more. Eventually the promise came, more music soon, a new EP in 2013 and like a blog Brad and Janet to a Polaroid 85 Frank ‘N’ Furter, we shivered with antici…

…pation at the prospect of new music and we waited patiently. Then waited some more. While time has flown by this year it has felt like it has stood still as well, the clock seemingly never ticking closer to the reveal. Then eventually, at last, an announcement. An EP, Escapist would be released in June, the wait was almost over. Now came the excitement and expectation, and the nagging feeling that absence had made the heart’s fondness exaggerated beyond what was reasonable. Had we allowed Fuzzy Mornings to acquire a God like status in our mind? Had its beauty become mythical in our remembrance and did Escapist even stand a chance to match up?

Deep breath, press play, take it all in. Pause, regroup, press play again, and again, and again.
Relax. It’s a triumph.

The sounds of Escapist are both reassuringly familiar yet sufficiently different from its predecessor to offer both a comforting embrace and a heart quickening moment of passion. It is more mature, more cohesive and coherent than Fuzzy Mornings, each track feels more rounded, broader and more varied. The intricacy remains, layers of sound entwine and dance together as one; orchestral arrangements, jazz flourishes, drum and bass, glitchy electronica, breakbeats, trip-hop; all live a symbiotic existence to produce cool, swirling marbled soundscapes. “The Time” and “Freefall” in particular have the liquidity of sound that we fell so in love with before, but with a new element, an added sense of delicate urgency played out through the elaborate drum patterns beneath.

More than any other, “The Birds” showcases a perhaps under-appreciated element of Polaroid 85, the lyrical content. It is easy to get lost in such sublime musical arrangements but “The Birds” cleverly shifts focus back and shifts the sound. Tori Amos like, the piano glides alongside Neeta’s velveteen vocals, occasional woodwind embellishments add to the softness before the strings come and lift us higher. To all intents and purposes it is Polaroid 85’s pop song.

It’s been a long time coming but unquestionably Escapist has been worth the wait. Each of the five tracks beguiles the listener and transports them to a world of soothed and invigorated bliss. Press play and let the music carry you away.

The ‘Escapist’ EP is released on 9 June on Reel Me Records.

Read More: ’P’ is for Polaroid 85.

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Review: Little Tybee – For Distant Viewing

10 Apr

Little Tybee

From the moment the violin swept in on the title track of Little Tybee’s third album, For Distant Viewing, we knew it was something we were about to fall in love with. Like label mates, Conveyor, the Little Tybee crew have a clear and rousing enthusiasm for sound, how it moves and how it works, though their approach is perhaps a little more conventional than the Brooklynites. Elements of folk, pop, country, jazz and even some bossa nova all marble and swirl as one across the 11 tracks of this hook-laden album.

After opening with some delightful, occasional tropical sounding, jazzy folk sounds, we are treated to four minutes of swooshing instrumentalism, laced with gentle prog-rock sensibilities on “Fantastic Planet”. “Herman” drips with aquatic, almost sonar style elements that complement the rich string orchestration before, seemingly out of no-where, dropping in a surprising moment of grinding reverb. It is as unexpected as it is perfect, but it remains the only fleeting moment of rough with the otherwise very smooth.

For Distant Viewing inculcates a care free attitude in its listener. Soothing, heavenly strings entwine with Brock Scott’s rich and slightly sweet vocals as they lick flame like around the rat-a-tat of percussion and the light twang of guitar. It feels fresh at every listen, as if it has just been conceived, improvised, jammed. It is an album that will make you smile, make you sway and hell, maybe even kick off your shoes and have a little shuffle.

Named after an island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, the music of Little Tybee has a sun kissed feel, not bleached out and surf swept, but bright and breezy. Part Vampire Weekend, part Simon and Garfunkel, perhaps even part Juan Zelada (for they have his charm in their song writing), it is like a glorious summer’s day, it is to be revelled in.

’For Distant Viewing’ is out now on Paper Garden Records and can be ordered, along with other Little Tybee goodies, here.

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