Music

Clara Hill's Folkwaves: Sideways

This is the folksy side of a dance machine.


Clara Hill's Folkwaves

Sideways

Label: Sonar Kollektiv
US Release Date: Available as import
UK Release Date: 2007-09-10
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Did you know there was more than one Clara Hill? I had a feeling about this from listening to her previous outing, 2006's All I Can Provide, but the evidence is abundant on Sideways. With All I Can Provide, a mostly high-energy set of thumping tunes, the German vocalist kept the dance floors in motion. As it turns out, the slower, more serene moments on All I Can Provide were foreshadowing the warmth she exudes on Sideways, although the latter depicts a decidedly sadder tone. Her brand of melancholy, however, translates into more melodies and harmonies. Here, the beauty of having stronger melodies is that they are accompanied by enchanting vocal arrangements. While the Clara Hill who thumps and pops is groovy, this slow-grinding folk version of Ms. Hill could be on the verge of something special. The first track, the Sade-styled "Be Like That", is the undisputed heavyweight of the pack (download that one for sure!), but other solid punches are the jazz-influenced "Everything", "Sad Girl", "Ocean Queen", and "Once I Know".

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Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

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This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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