Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Ibeyi, Sea Change, Bjork, Pastel Ghost and Grimes...

It has been a while since I've blogged music, though sometimes it's good to sit on these things and check yourself for that 'love on first listen' that can get bored and the 'lack of immediacy' that can turn into a full blown love affair.

 Ibeyi meaning 'twins' and is made up of the French/Cuban sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz (daughters of Buena Vista Social Club percussionist Miguel Díaz). They fuse all sorts of cultural influences and genres in their debut. Tracks like River, Ghosts and Oya create a haunting atmosphere of past Cuban folk influences, electronica and jazz with harmonies that you can be lost in. Oya I would say is my favourite track for its Bjorkiness...listen below.

This debut has an overall feel of tradition while breaking new ground and the sisters' dynamic and love of family in Mama Says saturates the piano and percussion arrangements with a spiritual voice in lines like "come to the river, wash my soul". There's a synchronicity in the way they work with an electronic edge inspired by their love of Yoruba culture mixed equally with a love for popular music. Ghosts starts with a "Welcome to my Earth..." leaps about perfectly with an otherworldly enchantment that grounds you with the beats of creation. Here's a live clip of River.

Highly recommend this self titled debut if you like a bit of fusion.

IBEYI official site

Sea Change: Breakage

This has nothing to do with Beck other than Ellen Sunde who fronts this electronic beautifulness wanted to make a record that made her feel the same way she did as teen playing Beck’s album.

If you want a rest from all the glitchy experimental sounds going around, some of it sounding a bit too much like effort to listen to and leaving you wanting to scream, ‘its not experimental if everyone is doing it’ then this is worthy at the very least, dreamy for its delicate ambience.

Gorgeous voice, atmospheric music, Wooden House starts and sets a standard at the consistency to follow, Above echoes the sound of Fever Ray in the backing but eclipsed by a coverlet of shimmer,  and Fearless reminds me a little of The XX in that sort of droney chillout thing. Stairs has swallowed a Fever Ray pill too but it’s all so layered it weaves together so nicely and perhaps more accessible for some pop antenna.

Knives, We Run through to the closing track Raan consistently work their charm as you take in soundscapes that could help you drift off into a dark forest looking for fairies or lying in long grass looking at the Northern Lights. Come on she’s from Norway, it’s got to be said.

As annoying as it is, I’m keeping up my track record of discovering a band and finding out they played a London show only a few days before, I can count on two hands how many times this has happened. Anyway here’s to next time.

Sea Change official site

Bjork: Vulnicura

The new Bjork album is superb, definitely Tardis trip to the 90s on Vulnicura with her love of strings coming to play. Black Lake without a doubt is my fave, the strings, the beats of feeling and echoes the beauty of Joga. Here’s the trailer for the album, it seems she has a vagina shaped forest maintaining her modesty, this album is her heartache and pain after a break up, rolled into an emotive and enormous healing soundscape. It's definitely the album to please those Bjork followers who stumbled confused through Biophilia. Every song feels like a snapshot of a memory building up to a release; it could have been self indulging but with Bjork's brilliance, it feels like a journey.

Jump here for a  clip of her singing Stonemilker at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Big thanks to my blog friend Oliver for suggesting Ibeyi and Sea Change. Here's a piece he wrote on The MoMA Bjork Retrospective in New York that enhances the whole 'experience' of Vulnicura. Glamglare: The MoMA Bjork Retrospective.

The BBC aired Army Of Me: Bjork Now in honour of International Woman's Day. 28 days left to listen. Again, recommended, she's never a dull interviewee.

Now a quick round up of tracks floating about online...

Pastel Ghost are promising to resurrect a sort of Crystal Castles type vibe if this debut is anything to go by. Gorgeousness…

And the finale...Grimes aka Claire Boucher is back. There's a stumbled explanation of this track having been on the long awaited new and then scrapped album, it feels like she's in some kind of confidence crisis releasing music and awaiting a response. Well here's mine, it's bloody catchy and great so please hurry up with that album.

I expect my next music update will be me screaming like a fangirl over Morrissey. Countdown time to 27th and a trip to Peaky Blinder land. 

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