This is proabbly some of the most exciting news we heard all year! Nonesuch Records will release Natalie Merchant?s new self-titled album on May 6, 2014. The recording is the multi-platinum singer?s sixth solo collection, and her first of entirely original songs in 13 years.
This self-produced album is the work of a mature artist with a clear and distinctive voice. Long appreciated for the depth and substance of her writing, Merchant has never shied away from weighty themes or subjects for her lyrics. She describes the new release as informed “by experience and keen observation,” dealing with issues of “love gained and lost, regret, denial, surrender, greed, destructiveness, defeat, and occasional triumph.”
Combining three decades of experience in song writing and album making, Merchant’s production style is nuanced and pure. Her voice is framed by a balanced blend of electric and acoustic sound throughout with musicianship of exceptional quality. String, brass, and woodwind arrangements mingle with Hammond organ and electric guitar improvisations. Players include John Medeski, Shawn Pelton, Clark Gayton, Uri Sharlin, Jesse Murphy, Erik Della Penna, Gabriel Gordon, and guest vocalists Simi Stone, Elizabeth Mitchell, and gospel singer Corliss Stafford. Continue reading
- Leave Your Sleep to be a picture book (thatklickitat.wordpress.com)
Karima Francis is one of the up-and-coming artists to watch out for in 2012. Her new album The Remedy is a collection of lyrically-poignant tracks with a great guitar sensibility. On the album, the singer shines the most on this cut. “Tonight” starts off sounding like a mid-90s’ college modern rock track reminiscent of the Gin Blossoms or Better Than Ezra. However, it slowly builds up into a beautifully constructed song with a catchy chorus of deep yearning and amazing vocals that will make you want to sing this sound out loud. It feels like a great marriage between Ani DiFranco’s directness and Natalie Merchant’s melodic marvel. This is truly one of the best tracks of the year!
Beth Jeans Houghton has a promising sound. It feels like a marriage between folk-country and a little recent Natalie Merchant thrown into it. All quirk aside, she is a singer-songwriter from Newcastle upon Tyne who plays “sweet and gentle folk music.” Beth Jeans Houghton has been described by The Guardian as looking like “Gwen Stefani with a touch of Brody Dalle”, with a sound that “is Vashti Bunyan crossed with Nico and Laura Marling”
In early 2011 Beth Jeans Houghton signed to Mute Records who announced that they will be releasing her debut long player in early 2012. The album was recorded with Ben Hillier whose previous production credits include Blur, Depeche Mode & Elbow.
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