CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

 
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Friday, Jan 16, 2015
With herky-jerky drums and layered pad synths, Bjørn Torske's "Eight Years" is an example of the early Norwegian disco scene that spawned artists like Todd Terje.

At the end of January, two works by the pioneering Norwegian electronic musician Bjørn Torske, Nedi Myra and Trøbbel, will be reissued on CD and vinyl. This will be the first such treatment received by each record; both saw small releases in 1998 and 2001, respectively. Torske’s work is notable for its importance in the lineage of electronic music in his home country.  Fellow Norwegian electronic musician Todd Terje, whose 2014 LP It’s Album Time! is ranked 34th on PopMatters’ Best Albums of 2014, says of Torske, “Nedi Myra was one of the first house albums I bought, or at least that´s what I THOUGHT it was. Weird futuro-bossa and foggy disco-not-really-disco was more like it. And for years I actually thought that was Bjørn on the cover, and that he lived out in the woods with his guitar… tsk tsk.”


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Friday, Jan 16, 2015
With a cool percussive pattern and plinked notes juxtaposed against a windy, beautiful violin, "Miles of Skyline" is an instrumentally sophisticated number by the promising folk outfit River Whyless.

One wouldn’t be wrong in grouping the North Carolina quartet River Whyless in with many of the other so-called “folk revival” groups at the moment, but these musicians are distinctive in several key ways. Rather than focus on layered vocal harmonies (Fleet Foxes) or rousing calls to camaraderie and sentimentalism (Mumford and Sons), this group brings interesting and sophisticated musical technique to the forefront. On “Miles of Skyline”, drummer Alex McWalters lays down a knotty rhythmic foundation upon which Ryan O’Keefe plucks a pizzicato-esque guitar pattern in tandem with Halli Anderson’s rustic violin. Best of all, none of these nuanced arrangements ever get too assertive, allowing Anderson and bassist Daniel Shearin’s vocals room to breathe. In a genre that’s getting increasingly oversaturated by the day, the unique compositional style of River Whyless is a breath of fresh air.


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Friday, Jan 16, 2015
David Strange once said that “reality is inherently psychedelic." One listen to his track "Lion Tattoo" and you'll be able to see why.

On the surface, the tune “Lion Tattoo”, the closing number off of David Strange’s forthcoming self-titled EP, sounds nothing more like a graceful lullaby on fingerpicked guitar. If one listens closely, however, to both the subtle production technique and the lyrics (there’s talk of a boy with tentacles at one point), it’s easy to tell that Strange is, well, an artist that more than lives up to his name. Then again, one was probably already clued into that fact by one gander at the EP cover art—thank the heavens for strategically placed fish. Below you can stream this weird and delightful little song, which encapsulates an epigram of Strange’s: “Reality is inherently psychedelic.”


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Thursday, Jan 15, 2015
British singer/songwriter David Gray teamed up with country darling LeAnn Rimes for a new version of his song "Snow in Vegas", a track off of his 2014 LP Mutineers.

In his 7 out of 10 review of David Gray’s Mutineers for PopMatters, Colin McGuire writes, “It’s easy to say that David Gray’s latest set… is the kind of follow-up to 1998’s smash White Ladder for which longtime fans have been waiting some 16 years.”


To kick off the new year, Gray released a new version of the Mutineers number “Snow in Vegas”, where he is joined by LeAnn Rimes in a lovely duet.


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Thursday, Jan 15, 2015
With beautiful vocals and entrancing strings, Manika Kaur's "Aukhee Gharhee" is an alluring opener to her new album, Bow to You Waheguru.

The best religious music doesn’t proselytize. Rather, it enraptures you in its beauty, showing the strength of its convictions without forcing you into its grasp—it invites you into communion with it, no matter your walk of life. The talented songwriter Manika Kaur knows this, a fact that can be heard on full display on her latest LP, Bow to You Waheguru.


The record’s press release gives some context for the LP’s lyrical explorations: “Kaur’s musical output is inseparable from her spiritual heritage. All her songs flow from her devout Sikh faith, from the songs and sacred stories her family shared as she was growing up in Australia.” As evinced by tracks such as opener “Aukhee Gharhee”, which is laced with gorgeous violin, Kaur’s ability to make her unique religious experiences feel universal in their magnanimity of feeling is a powerful one.


Stream “Aukhee Gharhee” below.


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