2012 is almost over so we collected a selection of this years Alternative & Rock Highlights!
Olafur Arnalds, Spain, Calexico, Zodiac and many more to discover!
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Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds original soundtrack for Sam Levinson‘s feature film debut ‘Another Happy Day’, starring Ellen Barkin and Demi Moore. Through relentless touring and determination this young artist has steadily gained recognition worldwide and continues his mission to lure an indie-generation of pop and rock fans into an emotive world of beguiling electronic chamber music and delicate classical arrangements.
“These Walls of Mine” is the latest release by the young American musician and composer, Peter Broderick, on Erased Tapes. It represents a tempt to strike a balance between voice and music. So the premise is pretty interesting: the album consists of a series of voice experiments, songs that show themselves as sort of musical conversations.
“The Soul Of Spain” contains the same gorgeous, dreamy, lounge-tinged pop that made their first album “The Blue Moods of Spain” a critical and cult favorite. The songs feature Josh Haden‘s smoky vocals, the trademark moody arrangements and the very special Spain-vibe.
Recorded in New Orleans, Joey Burns‘ and John Convertino‘s sixth album is a truly wonderful and most enticing set of songs. We feel strongly that this is the most exciting and songy CALEXICO record to date. There is no filler here (not that there ever was), just one amazingly strong song after the other. Stand-out tracks include Para, Splitter, Fortune Teller as well as The Vanishing Mind.
The artwork of “Mr. M”, the tenth studio record of Lambchop, bears a secret that lies beyond its visual surface. Kurt Wagner, as much a visual as a musical artist, turned away from music and picked up his brushes again to paint his way out of a funk that followed the premature death of friend Vic Chesnutt. Not feeling able to write any music at all, or at least not the way he did before, the work on the portraits eventually unveiled a new path into songwriting.
Satellite Stories is an upcoming band from Oulu, Finland. These guys seem to fight the northern winter in their own way writing real pearls of indie pop that tempts everyone into dancing. Just the right thing for long party nights. Already their first demo EP distributed by themselves ignited a small hype in Scandinavia that quickly spread over Germany, USA and Japan. In the clubs Satellite Stories have long since come to be much more than just a sleeper. After the hits as “Art Helsinki Scene” or “Family” the band is finally publishing their debut album “Phrases to Break the Ice“.
Nigel recorded MILLFOIL in 2010 at his home studio, a secluded spot in the mountains of North Georgia. It showed the sixteen-year-old’s grasp of fresh, solid musical structures. His lyrics, delivered in a voice both resonant and pure, hover in abstraction with an uncanny power to evoke. The songs flow between dualisms – dynamic and static, sheltered and open, light and dark – while covering feelings linked to growing up and finding a place in the world. This album can be seen as a time capsule of fragility and rawness for a voice that is now moved on to a new stage.
The third full-length “Guilty Guilty” meant a return to the DYI spirit, to a surrounding where friendship is more than a word. “Guilty Guilty” was recorded by J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines) after Scott, Martin, Patrick and Kurt had helped him to build the studio where the recording took place, the Magpie Carpet in Baltimore. Arctic Rodeo seems like the perfect label for Pilot To Gunner.
The bluesdriven rock band ZODIAC celebrates the 70s spirit without neglecting the musical development since then. Drummer Janosch Rathmer (also playing in Long Distance Calling) and supreme guitarist/singer Nick Van Delft started jamming in 2010. They soon found a common sense for the project that should become ZODIAC. Guitarist Stephan Gall (Rocketchief) and Robert Kahr (Rocketchief) on bass and organs completed the line-up short time later.
“Loyalty”, the latest album by German indie stalwart Phillip Boa, draws a clear picture of its influences: David Bowie, early Roxy Music, Joy Division and post-punk and yet manages to convey the effortlessness, heaviness and up-to-dateness of contemporary bands like Arcade Fire, The Vaccines or Howler. Phillip Boa has grown as a songwriter, his lyrics are illustrious, beautifully desperate, full of vivid images that manage to confuse and remind the listener of glorious film soundtracks. The arrangements and instrumentation are waiting to be explored. Phillip Boa and The Voodooclub: May the force be with them!
After a bunch of explosive albums, massive collaborations (Young Gods, KMFDM) and punchy on-stage partnerships (Nine Inch Nails, Prong, Ministry, Faith No More, Godflesh, Killing Joke), TREPONEM PAL is the spearhead of the French industrial musical scene.