mon 01/09/2014

folk music

CD: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

When you listen to J Mascis’ solo work – 2011’s Several Shades of Why in particular, and now this follow-up – it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else. Which is ridiculous, of course: as frontman of still-active slacker-rockers Dinosaur Jr....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of American Music

Various Artists: Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of American Music Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4This is one of the most important reissues of the year. As the year ends, it may become the most important. Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of...

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CD: Fink - Hard Believer

The danger of working successfully in many genres is that fans come to expect something revolutionary with each release. A secondary threat is that you succumb to generic schizophrenia, and thus are never quite sure which voice to speak with. Fin...

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CD: Richard Thompson - Acoustic Classics

There are two Richard Thompsons – the deft acoustic magician and the electric guitarist shaking the rafters and the bones of the most committed air-guitar headbangers. He's unique in that no other guitarist could kick out the jams on the electric...

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CD: Emma Tricca – Relic

Ostensibly folk, Emma Tricca’s second album Relic sounds more like a devotional song cycle heard in a church than on a club or festival stage. The massed chorale of Tricca’s voice which opens “Sunday Reverie”, the spectral organ of “Golden Chimes”...

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CD: Bellowhead - Revival

Impressively old sea shanties with stacked up vocal harmonies and sing-along choruses. Check. Captivating explorations of desire, drink and death. Check. Luxuriant, high spec arrangements presenting an ear-catching crazy quilt of influences. Check....

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CD: First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

Something about First Aid Kit has always seemed a little too polished, too perfect. While there can be no denying that their 2012 breakthrough record The Lion’s Roar is a rich, lovely listen – in no small part thanks to the charm of Klara and...

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CD: Eliza and Martin Carthy - The Moral of the Elephant

They've performed together on stage and in the studio since the first Waterson:Carthy albums of the early 1990s, but this is the first time Martin and Eliza Carthy have recorded as a duo, and they've kept it lean and clear with just their voices,...

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Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 11

Denmark’s Broken Twin take the lead in the latest of theartsdesk’s regular round-ups of the new music coming in from Scandinavia. Debut album May is melancholy. Minimally arranged, with lyrics addressing the pain brought by the passing of time,...

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CD: Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain

Nobody ever accused, say, Dylan of having a voice that didn't mature with his songwriting. It’s something that springs to mind every time I try to put my finger on exactly why I’ve never warmed to the country-folk sounds of Conor Oberst’s latter...

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CD: CrossHarbour - CrossHarbour

Materializing out of London's thriving traditional Irish music scene, this debut recording from new five-piece CrossHarbour presents an 11-track collection whose appeal should go way beyond traditional Irish music initiates. Featuring a judicious...

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theartsdesk in Aarhus: SPOT Festival 2014

At last night’s Eurovision Song Contest, host country Denmark submitted “Cliché Love Song”, a weedy Bruno Mars-a-like designed to ensure they did not win for a second year running. It came ninth. While understandable that Danish national broadcaster...

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