Archive for flute

CLARA ENGEL-Songs For Leonora Carrington

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

The new release from Clara Engel, is wonderfully artful. The Toronto singer/songwriter’s ‘Songs For Leonora Carrington‘ is dark and introspective alternative art-rock, that sounds like musical poetry. The 5 tracks are beautifully melodic, with powerful themes that tug at your emotions. There is pump organ, flute, and theremin layered over some simple, yet very cool guitar and vocal tracks. The choir used in ‘Anubeth’s Song‘, is heavenly, while the reverb on ‘Microgods Of All The Subatomic Worlds‘ helps to create a dynamite surreal vibe.

I have listened to most of Clara Engel’s  music, and she seems to have a habit of diving headfirst into my psyche, and triggering my emotions. Not that I’m complaining. ‘Songs For Leonora Carrington’ is pure poetry. Wonderfully emotive, with melodies that soothe and caress the soul. You can stream & purchase your copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE HOT SPROCKETS-Brother Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

hs6I have been following The Hot Sprockets since their 2011 release of ‘Honey Skippin. I was fortunate enough to catch this Dublin, Ireland band at Canada Indie Week, part of a North American Tour to promote the June, 2014 release of their latest album, ‘Brother Nature‘.

The album opens with “Quarter Roam“, with its powerful vocals, great changes, and choral harmonies. The combination of acoustic and electric guitars is wonderfully melodic, and I think I heard some slide guitar in this track. The melody rocks, the effects are cool, and I dig the drumming. The early rock and roll influences on “Boogie Woogie“, are almost Rockabilly. This song delivers a high energy tempo, with dynamite and unexpected changes, some dynamite harmonica, and a great vocal track. “Shake Me Off” brings great harmonies, cool changes, and wonderful hs3instrumentation. The country-blues sound of “Comin’ On‘ offers some sweet guitar picking, a dynamite bass line, and a great melody. A wonderfully lively track. “Lay Me Down“, a beautifully sweet song, with acoustic guitar, nice harmonies, wonderful vocals, and, as an added bonus, some way cool banjo. The western style of “El Torro“, an instrumental, comes across like a cowboy tune, a great song to listen to on a cattle drive! It brings wonderful guitar, and great harmonica. The powerfully “Show Me The Weight” gives up dynamite guitar and great harmonies.  “Women & Chile”  delivers some R & B vibes, incorporating great guitar effects, wonderful drumming, a cool melody, and perfectly placed harmonica. One great track! The melody of “Someday” joins the acoustic guitar picking to create a simply serene track. “Soul Brother” just plain rocks. A wonderful tempo brings this blues-rock track to life. There are great guitar riffs and a way cool solo, wonderful harmonies, dynamite changes and insanely good vocal effects. The bluesy, acid hs2rock sentiment of “Heavy On My Mind“,  reminds me of Steppenwolf. With a cool guitar riff that drives the great melody, and incredible drumming, what else could I ask for? Well, The Hot Sprockets thought that flute would be a good idea. They were right. Amazing! The incredibly wonderful “Homeslice” offers a great melody, coupled with sweet harmonies, over what sounds like strings and a mandolin. My favorite track on the album, “The Worried Kind“, brings a great melody delivered by a wicked vocal track. The changes and harmonies are wonderful, and I hear strings! The song has a John Lennon thing going on, both in melody and vocals, and I like it. A beautifully written and performed song!

 

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Well, there you have it. Brother Nature. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album for the 4th time, and it just keeps getting better. The songs are insanely good. The production, wonderful. These guys can write. These guys can play. The album has a ‘live off the floor’ feel to it. I haven’t heard this much energy in an album in a long time. The Hot Sprockets refer to their music as ‘country dirt”. I prefer to call it Irish Soul! Brother Nature is one of the most powerful albums I have heard in 2014, filled with the unusual, and the unexpected.  A definite must have for your collection, and a definite contender for I Can’t Believe My Earz’  Album Of The Year. Don’t just take my word for it, listen here: http://thehotsprockets.bandcamp.com/album/brother-nature

 

 

 

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TOXIC MELONS-Bus Therapy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

tm12So, the story goes that Paul Fairbairn, Pablo Melons himself, was taking a lengthy bus trip and became so inspired, that he  the he got the idea for the entire album right there and then. Why not? George Harrison was said to have written “Blue Jay Way” on a plane!

I first encountered Toxic Melons in May, 2013, and my love affair with their quirky U.K. sound continues with the new release, Bus Therapy, which I was fortunate to get pre-release.

The album opens with “More Or Less“, showcasing way cool  piano and organ, a great melody and super harmonies. The song could be on any XTC album. “Journey“, an instrumental, has a dynamite musical melody that sits under  electronic effects to create a Close Encounters feel. The acoustic guitar of “Let Me Sleep” is reminiscent of early Bowie, and fits perfectly among the weird keys that create a circus tm13atmosphere.  Interesting melody, sweet harmonies and a precise and tight guitar solo. “Disco Balls“, an amazing satire of the genre, nails it, with a great disco beat, cool changes and transitions, and  great electronic effects. The cowboy sentiments of “Just One Beer“, captured by the saloon style piano, hide just below a sweet melody, nice harmonies and cool guitar riffs and runs. “Getting Old“, with its melancholic melody, delivers dynamite strings and horns, great transitions, and a cool bridge. I can’t help liking the vocal track. “Take Me Back” is beautifully melodic, with harmonized vocals that rival The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. That good! The track kills, with amazing flute and acoustic guitar, and wonderful arrangements. I am particularly fond of the vocals being the primary instrument here. Surprisingly, I have 2 favorite tracks. The wonderfully fabulous melody and sweet harmonies, combined with some way cool piano,  and lyric- “was a need to change the world before her lifetime expired; no complicated reason, just the way she was wired”- had me asking why “Change The World” hasn’t been on a Nilsson album. “Not In Love” has a great pop melody and  lush harmonies. The guitar and piano are dynamite, and I really dig the guitar runs. The bridge is perfect. Great pop song!

tm11Bus Therapy is my kind of therapy. Truly inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

Check out Toxic Melons and help this band:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11591364/toxic-melons-bus-therapy-kick-starter-campaign

 

 

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JANN KLOSE-Mosaic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

jk2Well. Well. Well. I have listened to Mosaic, the latest album by Jann Klose, for the third time.  At first I was not sure what to make of it.  It simply defies genre.  The album is off the beaten path, and as eclectic as any I have heard. The reggae beat of “Make It Better“, the Irish folk ballad style of “On & On“, the Calypso influence of “Four Leaf Clover“, and the southern Roots feel of “Beautiful One“, make this a true mosaic of music.

Jann Klose writes songs with beautiful melodies, and wonderful changes and transitions. His lyrics speak of love, and love lost. The instrumentation, as diverse as his musical stylings includes great 1960’s organ, maracas, violin, flute and oboe, and I think I heard an accordion and some vibes, and electric piano. The arrangements are flawless, with beautifully woven harmonies. And, I find, Jann does not end songs. Somehow he leaves them hanging there after they stop. Very cool. Yes, this guy can write.

jk3Not just another singer/songwriter, this German now living in New York, comes from the same mold as Scott Walker and Tim Buckley.  Jann Klose is a story teller. An artist who paints with music and words. His vocals are outstanding, powerful, yet filled with emotional fragility. The acapella version of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren“, devastatingly beautiful.

jk1My favorite song on the album, “Long Goodbye“, kills. This quintessential pop-rock song, contains everything: great melody, awesome guitar riffs and solo, powerful drumming, amazing vocals, and a way cool organ. Jann’s voice conveys so much emotion, one can feel his desperation.

I am not certain why this man is not a household name. The album, as exceptional as it is, throws more at you with each listen. It is timeless, as any good piece of music should be. Go listen to Mosaic now. Listen a few more times. Buy it. You will want to listen again, and again. Mosaic is that good.

You can listen to Mosaic:  http://jannklose.com/audio/mosaic/

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