London’s Blue House makes lovely, intricate indie pop music so light and airy that the melodies could be pasted on gentle rolling clouds passing above your head. “John the Unready” is one of two tracks that the duo, James Howard and Ursula Russell, released on September 9th via Canvasclub, Canvasback’s imprint for singles by up and coming musicians. Hushed “ba ba ba’s”, understated guitar lines, languid synth washes create a state of utter dreaminess. The video is animated and featuring a rabbit. Howard says, “Respect to Tjoff Koong Studios for making something so good with my cryptic instruction that ‘I imagine the video involving a rabbit.’”
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Evan Sawdey: Forget the fact that half of all of pop- and indie-dom (i.e. Diplo, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ezra Koenig) worked on this song in some capacity or another. The star of the show is (and always was) Beyoncé. “What’s worse / Lookin’ jealous or crazy?” she asks to her philandering man, and that one line, by itself, is defining: it’s not so much about her emotion, which in fact she’ll always carry inside her, but how she presents it. That’s the issue. This fella is burned no matter what, so here she is, in the unenviable position, trying to maneuver how to handle the way that people will perceive this blow up. When you get down to it, it’s about control, and even when he’s out of control, she’s going to do all she can to mitigate the situation. Therein lies her power, and therein lies her brilliance. It’s intense psycho drama, but lord you can also dance to it. [10/10]
Driftwood is a perfect name for this band of restless musical spirits and road warriors as the group describes their work as rooted in the land while exploring genres such as Americana, folk, old-time, punk, pop and rock ‘n’ roll. It works beautifully as Driftwood naturally inhabit whatever influences they choose to employ on any given song. Playing more than 150 dates every year has turned Driftwood into a high performance machine, a super tight band that can thrill crowds and craft great records with relative ease.
Luísa Maita perfectly personifies the multi-cultural character of her home city of São Paulo as she is the daughter of immigrants (Syrian and European Jewish) with a great love for traditional Brazilian music as well as the many off-shoots that have been developed by the many ethnic groups of Brazil. Maita is also thoroughly modern in her approach, incorporating electronic music into her sound as we hear on her new video for “Fio da Memória”, which also happens to be the title of her latest album. “The record is about what Brazil is today aesthetically, in this electronic age,” says Maita. “Fio da Memória” is a beautiful song with its gentle programmed beats and Maita’s stunning voice.
William Clark Green nearly became a rancher, like many good Texans, but we’re thankful that music intervened in those plans as Green brings some real rock ‘n’ roll punch to his straight from the heart country tunes. Like many notable Texas singer-songwriters, Green takes his cues from the storied legion of Lone Star State songwriters who have gone before and brings in the energy of rock and attitude of outlaw country. It’s a potent mix that make Green a tremendous live performer. On this live version of “Sympathy”, Green brings down the house and shows a musician quickly maturing to take his place alongside Robert Earl Keen, Joe Ely, and Billy Joe Shaver. Green tells PopMatters that he’s “never written a song with that much emotion in it in 45 minutes, and will never do it again.”