Peter Mulvey is a true musical craftsman, developing and refining his approach through genre experimentation and 25 years of hard work writing and playing all over the world. Even after 17 albums, Mulvey’s creative juices continue to flow strong. Noted singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco who has produced Mulvey’s new album says, “Mulvey has been honing his craft for many a decade, and it shows. He can play some badass guitar, sing to touch your heart, and write a song that will knock you down, and by knock you down, I mean lift you up.”
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Canada’s Del Bel are known for their downtempo pop-noir that owes more than a small debt to trip-hop. The group’s new album III will release April 7th via Missed Connection Records and Del Bel has a fresh new single in “Only Breathing” to whet your appetite for the full-length. This is subtle, layered, complex music that rewards multiple listens given that it’s nearly orchestral in its scope. Frontwoman Lisa Conway was combating some writer’s block in finishing up the record, and like many artists, she began to question herself and her work. That’s what “Only Breathing” is about, but you wouldn’t ever surmise from the music that Conway struggled with the song as it’s a moody and masterful display of her mesmerizing voice and all of the glorious musical parts that fill in the tune.
Charlottesville, Virginia indie folk duo Lowland Hum practice a sort of minimalism in their music. Focusing on soft and light tones, their songs possess an organic and fragile sensibility with spare instrumentation, right-on-the-money harmonies, and evocative lyrics. It’s a potent combination that has helped their fanbase grow quickly and passionately. On their latest video for the lovely “Folded Flowers”, the married Daniel and Lauren Goans, take a pastoral day in the woods where music fits the scenery as naturally as birdsong.
Experimental Brazilian composer Sentidor wasn’t always a fan of countryman Tom Jobim, the legend behind such bossa nova classics as “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Waters of March”. It was only after listening to 1987 album Passarim that he found a point of convergence between Jobim’s ideologies and his own. Focusing on both the personal and the environmental, Passarim has a dark edge to it—one that resonates with Sentidor’s political viewpoints and talent for musical deconstruction. On Am_Par_Sis, Sentidor takes Passarim apart and stitches it back together in wild and wondrous ways, laying out a vast, futuristic vision of Brazil built out of samples of Jobim’s work.
New wave synthpop band Animotion returns to music 26 years after their last work. Both of the original frontpeople of the group, Bill Wadhams and Astrid Plane, are back along with a revamped line-up for their new album Raise Your Expectations, which released 20 January via Invisible Hands Music. Animotion burst onto the fertile new wave back in 1985 with the mega hit “Obsession” (UK: #5 / US #6 on the charts), as well as further hit singles Let Him Go and “I Engineer” from the group’s 1986 release, Strange Behavior. Sadly, the original group broke up after that, and another album appeared in 1989, but with none of the original members.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article