Category Archives: +++ female vocals
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I needed something special to lift my spirits after five days of the USA’s new narcissist-in-chief, and all the horrible, horrible things that have already happened, and all the horrible things that I’m sure still will…
Folks, this is how it’s done, musically. This is how it’s done. You wanna be great? This is how it’s done vocally/melodically. This is just how it’s done. This is the sound. This is the shit. That is all that can be said.
Orla, you will go FAR.
I am so sick of stupid hipsters of 2016. I’m sick of the lo-fi, “bedroom pop” sound, even though I do love a lot of artists who are in that genre (truly). I’m just sick of the hipster bullshit (yeah, I’m starting this off on a very personal note but, I feel the need to get it off my chest)….. 2016 hipsters (aged 19-24, respectively) are some of the most elitist, too-cool-for-school assholes I have ever met. I see a lot of holier-than-thou bullshit daily, in my facebook feed, and it makes me feel nauseated. Young people…. you think you know good music? So far, the 10s (2010-present) hasn’t bred a lot of good music. I knew about true, good music 25 years ago, you attitude-riddled fuck-bags (phew! Do I feel better? No! I don’t! But thankfully, I’m about to talk about Liz Phair).
Twenty-three years ago (yes, that’s 1993 for the mathematically-challenged…. and yes, 23 years. That’s over two decades!)………. I bought Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville CD after reading a glowing review about it in Rolling Stone (remember when people used to take a chance on music, before being able to hear it?) It was the third CD I ever bought. It took me two weeks to get together the $15 for it, because I was poor as shit.
Liz Phair was the original DIY punk girl. Every song on Exile In Guyville is written entirely by her, and produced (with additional instrumentation) by Brad Wood, who also recorded Ben Lee’s brilliant solo debut Grandpaw Would, and Ben Lee’s second record (my favorite of his), Something To Remember Me By.
I am reminded of Liz Phair tonight, as I saw a facebook post by a former guitar student of mine, who I started teaching in 2008 (she’s now 18). She was absolutely raving about Liz’s music, and specifically Exile In Guyville. She said she wished she’d gotten into Liz Phair’s music sooner. I told her she got into it at the perfect age (I was 17 when I bought Exile and spun it to fucking death).
Liz hasn’t ever, and will never, top the brilliance of her debut record. The second album Whip-Smart is alright, but the lead single from the album “Supernova” is absolute shit. It’s her worst song, in my opinion. But the actual song “Whip-Smart” is super-good.
Liz’s 3rd record, the initially-rejected (by the major label who she went to) Whitechocolatespaceegg, is super good, and is reminiscent at times, of Exile. I have the initially-rejected version in my collection, and the commercial release that die-hard Liz fans know (her 3rd album was mostly ignored).
Fast-forward a few years, and Liz sold out, with “Why Can’t I?”. It’s a lovely little pop song, but co-written by professional songwriters, so it loses its credibility, and fast. I haven’t touched any of Liz’s music beyond that song, after one listen… as I don’t think any of it is worth listening to, more than once. It’s just over-produced pop garbage.
But man.. that first record. WHOA.
Enjoy it… and fuck this 2010-2016 hipster bullshit. A lot of it is entirely forgettable. But this record certainly isn’t. This record is everything RIGHT about the 90s, and female-fronted (and female-written) alternative rock/indie. PERFECTION. Don’t you ever forget it.
side note about the very first CDs I ever bought (all of which, I still own): The first, and second CDs I ever bought were The Smiths’ self-titled album, and Dinosaur Jr’s Bug. Other CDs I bought after Exile In Guyville include Juliana Hatfield’s Become What You Are, Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream, and Louder Than Bombs by the Smiths.
When I feel alienated (which I basically do, every day, with the things I like/love/am into, and the way I live my life)… it’s always music that saves me.
Archive is/was a trip-hop/electronic duo who collaborated with various people throughout the years. In my opinion, and the opinion of many other people who are familiar with their music, they made only one great record: their first. And it is truly magnificent. It’s called Londinium. It was released in 1996. Please listen to it, and enjoy thoroughly. This is my all-time favorite trip-hop album. The first two Portishead records can’t fucking touch this, and neither can all the other “classic” trip-hop groups. No. This is the king of them all.
This is music for loneliness, isolation, confusion, longing, nostalgia…. it combines the best of hip-hop, trip-hop, classical, jazz, soul, and the ambient glow of the best Pink Floyd.
Archive, please collaborate with this phenomenal (and completely underrated) rapper and female vocalist, again…. this is truly perfect music. Absolutely fucking superb.
(YouTube playlist of Londinium, in order)
Check out the ORIGINAL music video for the song “Londinium”, featuring the rapper AND vocalist! I never even knew what they looked like, for years. haha. So rad!
Oh, Seams. Dundee, Scotland’s own. Two tiny four-song EPs (absolutely flawless), then called it quits.
What a soaring voice… soaring instrumentals and arrangements. Young brilliance. Perfection. YouTube playlist of “Colours and Maps” EP:
This EP is everything perfect about indie rock/pop. Everything perfect. Enjoy.
Mmmm…… Scandinavia. Always. The magic they create. Why couldn’t I have been born in Norway or Sweden? I mean shit, I am mostly of Scandinavian ancestry (Denmark, mostly), but…. ugh. I just wish I wasn’t American, sometimes. This music created by Scandinavian artists always resonates through my soul. I listened to Nina Kinert non-stop on the weekend of August 27th and 28th. Superb.
Seekonk RULES. PAINFULLY underrated group. I guess they broke up. But they left some great music behind.
I discovered Bess when I found out she was Ingrid Michaelson’s backup singer a few years ago. After hearing Bess’s small handful of albums, I realized she’s a better writer than Ingrid (and I love Ingrid, don’t get me wrong). And I like Bess’s voice a lot, it’s like Ingrid’s but with less affectation, I think. The melodies Bess writes are just more soaring, interesting, and quirky. Still catchy as hell, but something sets it apart from the typical pop. One of my favorite songs of hers is “Weak Link” (the last video featured here).
I think Rogers lives in Ingrid’s shadow, a lot. But hopefully, this post will shine a spotlight on her. Because she’s fucking incredible, by herself. Thanks, Bess.
I’m listening to “Perfect In My Mind”…. and I keep forgetting how fucking good this band is. This is Greta Morgan from The Hush Sound‘s side project…. when The Hush Sound was on hiatus for a few years…. the dude formed the band Stamps… and released an album called “Stamps Play Tramps” (at least I think that’s what it was called). And Greta released the Gold Motel EP, then a full-length to follow. “Perfect In My Mind” is from the EP.
Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish…. pick it up. Oh, and you better own everything by the Hush Sound, because holy shit… they’re brilliant and always have been. I think I wrote about them before. Hell, come to think of it, I probably wrote about Gold Motel. I’ll find out as soon as I choose these categories and tags for this entry…. haha.