Britain’s Wendy Bevan is a wide-ranging artist with multi-disciplinary interests across culture. As much a performance artist and visual artist as she is a musician, Bevan commands attention with her theatrical style and enigmatic music that conjures mini movies in the listener’s head. She’s performed at London’s ICA and the Hackney Empire, as well as having her work incorporated into several film soundtracks. Now this modern day Renaissance woman is about to release her debut album, Rose & Thorn, tomorrow and you can preview it here. Bevan’s sound is built around drum machines, synthesizers and strings from the Balanescu Quartet and it verges between dark wave and cold wave.
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Tommy ’86 will release Transhumanism on October 28 via Blood Music, though a taste from the record, “L.V.T.H.N. Central Unit” is available now. Heavily influenced by the synthesized sounds of the 1980s, the French musician has been active since 2011. Creating records with pulsing, Euro disco sounds and a sense of adventure and humor, TOMMY ’86 calls to mind the recent work of John Carpenter, and, at times, Zombi.
If 2014’s 27 was a stepping stone to adulthood, new single “Burn Away” from M. Lockwood Porter is the sound of one cautiously settling into life’s uncertainties. A Yale alumnus and former English teacher, the California singer/songwriter born in Oklahoma and raised on punk music finds himself in a different place these years as he awaits the release of his third album, How to Dream Again: “I’m in love, in a very healthy, serious relationship, and I’m happier with where I’m at in terms of my music, but with being further along in my personal life come new questions like ‘How do you maintain what’s good about a relationship? How do you keep it from going stale?’”
Dan Kok: Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson made his name with lo-fi recordings of intricately composed acoustic tunes. And while he hasn’t ever deviated too far from those roots, “Rivers” find him adopting a fuller sound accompanied by horns and piano. There are spikes and other hints of the unpolished recordings and Matsson’s dense lyrical imagery has only become more dense since the beginning of his career, but the sound is cozier and easier. It seems that he’s managed to add instrumentation and warmth without sacrificing his unique artistry. [9/10]
Recorded live in one take, the bubbly “Goodbye Temporarily” set the tone for Far Cries and Close Calls, the forthcoming album from Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Calvin Abney. Decamping to Little Rock, Arkansas, to record his latest LP, Abney notes of the lead single, “It was the first song approached when entering the studio, and gave the entire space, along with those involved, a calm yet energetic sense that we were going to create something glowing and real.”
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