Helen Arney is another discovery that I made at this year's Wychwood festival. She was part of the Robin Ince Science show and performed songs on her ukulele. Based in London, Helen is a comedian, geek songstress, one third of science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd, and half of the greatest comedy girlband you’ve never heard of, The Balconettes. Have a listen to the song below and I just know that you'll want it in your collection. Ah go on, click 'download'. I spent 6 days in a field in the pouring rain to bring you these tips!
_I was a big Pipettes fan and used to spend loads of time on their messageboards. I was quite sad when the girls parted ways, that was until I heard Rose's new music. I was a bit under the influence when I first heard 'The Distractions EP' and was not expecting the experimental shoegaze that you're about to stream and hopefully download, but download the free EP from here instead of the SoundCloud widget below please. It's still free for you but better for her.
Alice Jemima is an 18 year old singer/songwriter from Devon. I've already mentioned her on here before so rather than repeat myself, I figured I'd repeat some facts from her official website incase you're not already familiar with Alice or her music. If that's the case, click play below and have a listen while you read the rest of this.
2011 saw Alice Jemima performing at a couple of high profile gigs, including the unveiling of the Olympic Rings at St Pancras International (where she played to the likes of Seb Coe and Boris Johnson). She was selected from hundreds for a spot on the BBC introducing stage at Wychwood Festival where Elisa Bray (Independent Newspaper) declared Alice to be ‘first and top of my list’. And chosen by BBC Introducing Bristol to ‘demonstrate the terrifically high standard and variety of music in the local area’ by playing at the BBC’s first live gig in Bristol.
Radio 1’s Rob da Bank played Alice Jemima, and later in the year, Tom Robinson at Radio 6 courtesy of Breaking More Waves Blog who lined Alice Jemima up alongside the likes of Rizzle Kicks, Curxes and made her the lead choice of song with ‘Red Coat’, produced in the studio of Grammy nominated producer Andy Chatterley and Jason Tarver, both of whom worked with Kylie Minogue on her album Aphrodite. BBC Bristol have been heralding Alice Jemima since her win at Teenage Rampage, Exeter in 2010, and she is a regular on their BBC introducing slot.
Look, that's enough writing and reading, by now you'll have heard enough to have made up your mind and I'll bet good money that the song is already in your downloads folder. Well done you, make yourself a hot chocolate, break open the biscuits and have another listen to it.
Ah the wonder that is Paloma Faith. What can I say that you won't already know? She first started performing in 2007 in a band called 'Paloma and the Penetrators', she was scouted by an A&R from Epic Records who invited her to play for the boss. Twenty minutes into the audition, Faith asked the manager to turn his phone off and when he refused, she walked out. She was later offered a position in Amy Winehouse's band but turned it down to continue working on her own material. She's got her second album coming out in a week's time, 'Fall to Grace' which I've heard and it is glorious! Whilst you're waiting, why not click here to get your hands on this free acoustic version of Black & Blue which is an Amazon exclusive, which means that you'll need an account/profile with them. This doesn't cost anything but will take a minute to do, which I know might sound off-putting but come on, 1 minute for a free exclusive Paloma song, and I can tell you right now, it's a corker.
Local Worcester music impresario Tina V fronts up her band This Wicked Tongue, hosts her own open mic night, is a judge on Txt Factor and has a solo career as well. What we have here is the title track from her first EP of the same name from back in 2009. There's 8 other tracks available for download plus a sampler track, it's all there for the taking. Google Analytics has shown me that I get twice as many visitors to this site from Birmingham than I do from Worcester so if that includes you, you may have seen Tina play at The Free Love Club at the Island Bar or her band at the O2 Academy. They're currently in a competition to win a record deal with RoadRunner records, so if you do know her (despite what she says) or you just like what you hear, why not click-through to this page and check out her band. You need to create a profile to vote but if you don't particulary feel like going through that process, you can still listen to three of their newest tracks on there which will push their play counts up a little and make them seem that little bit more popular. Ah go on, you know it's not that hard to sit on your bum listening to quality music!
Nerina Pallot is a great singer/songwriter based in London. Today you can download a track called 'English' which is a lovely song about her mum and imagration. You'll need to click here and pop your email in the box. It's worth it. I was thinking about what I could write about Nerina and whilst looking at her Last.fm page, I read this (about my favourite song of hers) which I thought was interesting and worth sharing:
Nerina Pallot is classically trained in singing and piano, and then engaged in a peripatetic career around the fringes of the music industry. Outside these various industry-related jobs, Nerina Pallot was an active part-time musician with an ambition to follow a career in performing and song writing. At some point her career took her to her favourite job of this time, as PA to the music industry executive Andrew King; a key figure in the management of Pink Floyd from its earliest days. Still following her ambition to pursue a musical career, Pallot signed to Polydor in her mid-20s, despite misgivings from Andrew King. This signing resulted in the release of an album containing self-penned songs; the ironically titled Dear Frustrated Superstar (2001). However, singles released from this album failed to make a sales mark as did the album. Following this, Nerina Pallot was dropped by Polydor among some bitter recriminations which are documented on her web site. This experience was later to lead to the writing of Mr. King, a touching, and very probably unique tribute to a senior music industry executive.
Mike Hadreas, also known as Perfume Genius is a singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington, US. Perfume Genius began when he moved from New York to his mother’s home in Everett, WA. In these relatively isolated conditions, Hadreas felt a compulsion to make music and began composing fragile yet brutally honest songs on the piano. By 2008 he had set up a MySpace page and began offering his music there, along with similarly spare and evocative homemade music videos.
From the BBC: Even if this follow-up to 2010’s debut Learning makes Bon Iver resemble Mastodon in comparison, the album title reinforces an emotional show of strength, and sometimes even an injection of musical welly. Though Learning’s stripped vocal/piano blueprint is Hadreas’ default setting, a fizzing guitar coda elevates AWOL Marine, Take Me Home adds echoing drums and pedal steel swoons in a doo-wop fashion, his own flights of falsetto included, and Hood is an even stronger take on that style. Normal Song also taps a 1950s dramarama, with the string synth mirroring the similarly retro-haunted region of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
But altogether Put Your Back N 2 It exists in a bleakly beautiful twilight zone of Hadreas’ own making. Indicative of this is No Tear, with his tremulous vocal (a touch Sufjan Stevens) on the chorus echoed by a creepy (as in Twin Peaks creepy) slowed-down vocal counterpart. But then Hadreas’ way of dragging you in to his sadness and confusion (and mirroring your own in the process) is a most bizarrely comforting feeling once you’re alone with him. And as Dark Parts puts it, in one of many memorable images or statements, “He’ll never break you, baby”.
Another fantastic song from Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Ivana XL.
Oh see my broken legs? Casts on both of them
It's just a token of his love, it's just a token of his love
Lord Jesus hear my prayer so that I may some day walk again
Have mercy on me, a miserable sinner
Have mercy on me.
Making your music folder better, one song at a time.
_Pretty much everyday I seem to find some amazing exclusive tracks that
some awesome artists are giving away for free as a special one off
promotion. Today, it occured to me that instead of just downloading
them, maybe reposting them on facebook if they're special enough/someone I know and
then moving on, I should start a little music blog on here. Even if it
doesn't last forever, it's still a free song for you each day that it
does! I'd say the character of this blog is mostly electropop and singer/songwriter but I've got plans for mathcore, post-rock and glitch-hop. A lot of these tracks have a download limit of 100 so get in there on the quick. I'd also point out that a lot of the songs will need renaming once you've downloaded them so I'd do them one at a time.