While seeing Iron & Wine at The Fox Theater in Oakland, CA a couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to catch show opener Laura Mvula. With a vocal style echoing back to Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, I was taken back by the timelessness of Mvula’s voice, the soaring orchestral arrangements, and the sheer musicality of her band.
Never Shout Never has added a second show to their upcoming stint at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA. The shows, part of their previously announced The Xmas Tour, will take place on 12/21 and 12/22. The 12/21 all acoustic set is now sold out. The newly added 12/22 show will consist of a full electric set.
Singer/Songwriter and guitar instructor Laura Zucker has just released a new album of carefully crafted songs called Life Wide Open. Zucker, who just came back from the NERFA conference and was one of the winners of 2013’s West Coast Songwriters Association Best Song competition, clearly can construct a terrific turn of phrase. But it’s her compositions as a whole that make you feel like someone just wrapped you in a warm blanket.
Today Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene premieres the new music video for “Bullied Days,” the second single off of his sophomore solo LP You Gots 2 Chill. The video for the track, which features vocals by Daniela Gesundheit of Snowblink, finds a distressed man on a bridge whose day is suddenly turned around when a little girl unexpectedly befriends him. This moving video for “Bullied Days,” was directed by Dick Tears and Coconutfrills.
Some folks just know how to do amazing things with their instruments. Take Mike Dawes for example. He slaps, taps and caresses his way to brilliance in his video performance of "The Impossible." The song, from his album What Just Happened?, showcases this performer's innate melodic instinct.
After returning from her 6th European tour this past spring, Bloom got to work finishing her new EP Big Dreams which released yesterday, November 12. With typical Bloom style, the songs are a collection of social commentary and tuneful pop flavors with some tongue in cheek ideas thrown in for good measure.
I view my songwriting like an athlete views his or her sport. I have to practice. I have to stay in shape. So I do it every day. I can stack the odds in my favor by starting with a distraction-free space. I need to feel quiet and relaxed and able to channel things that are deeper than the inputs from my immediate surroundings. I don't want the phone to ring, or the TV buzzing away in the background. When inspiration hits I need to be able to receive it clearly. If I don't catch it, someone else will.