Here’s a short scoop on new- ish music and some great songs I’ve stumbled upon lately.
First up, the beautiful, mellifluous, bountiful sounds of duo Boy.
Boy are Valeska Steiner, the sweet sounding Swiss singer, and Sonja Glass, who plays bass and adds more instrumentation and backing vocals here and there. All vocals are in English, lucky for us – especially since some of the lyrics are truly majestic.Together they create a rich sound, both simple and complex – there’s only so much instrumentation two woman can play – but their sound is not in the vein of the stripped back feel of say First Aid Kit. Rather, they play with interlinking guitar lines, delicately woven like fabric in a cable-knit pullover, all glistening arpeggios and building chords – there’s a fair deal or production finesse that’s been added. If you watch them play live, or stripped back acoustic, such as in the video below, the song takes on a different life than the version on the record. The songs on record have various instruments added, layered vocals – all of which make for a more complex record, where each instrument or flourish added enhances the listen for home speakers. But the live & stripped back versions can be just as powerful. Enjoy the acoustic version of July.
And the song I’ve really been enjoying is the first track on the album, This is the Beginning.
Whether its because the girls are non-native English speakers who can bring an original and unique viewpoint to the English language, or – and more probably – the fact that their song-writing skills are advanced and even poetic in some instances, well, they know how to paint pictures with their words. They have some great lyrical couplings and evoke interesting images, at times in an almost story-tale fashion.
Take this couplet from This is the Beginning for example,
“Get on the buses, learn numbers and names
Your eyes are the camera, your heart is the frame”
A great metaphor. The lyrical content of their album Mutual Friends is expanded upon in the interesting but somewhat self-indulgent post on the Music is my First Language blog. AJ Lark also talks about how the album has a pseudo-concept feel to it, i.e. first track is named so because it really is the beginning of the album, and the tracks of the album take the listener on a journey leading to a fruitful ending. Check out what she has to say on the album anyways. And have a listen to the track.
I’ve also been enjoying Merz, a multi-instrumentalist whose real name is Conrad, and has four albums under his belt. His latest, released in January 2013 – I know I’m taking liberties with the title of this post – is entitled No Compass Will Find Home.
The song I’ve had on repeat is Credo, enjoy:
Also check out this video for a track from his second album, Loveheart – brilliantly animated for the arty fartsy’s out there.
Also for something different but equally as talented, check out this lady,