Sunday, April 22, 2007

Two music discoveries

Those of you who have known me since high school (Scott) and those of you who have intimate knowledge of my CD collection (I thought Dave, until he accused me of hating all music recorded before 1981), know that my music taste skews toward Lillith Fair more than the Warped Tour or Ozzfest. Maybe, I really am a lesbian trapped in a dude's body? Anyway ...

The first is Bassboosa, a quintet from England. Here's the bands' MySpace bio:

Lead singer Jasmine Badir and keyboardist/production Tim Clarke met whilst working in a London record store a few years ago and began writing and recording songs together, blending atmospheric pop with strong melodies, stirring lyrics and a creative mix of electronic and live instrumentation.

They have just completed their much anticipated, self-produced debut album which was written, recorded and mixed almost entirely in Tim’s makeshift studio in his parent’s attic! Coming from very different musical backgrounds - Jasmine’s influences from the likes of Jewel, Alanis and Tracy Chapman, whilst Tim has come from a strong classical background with a passion for electronic music – they have created a unique sound of their own, instantly recognizable by Jasmine’s intoxicating and infectious vocals combined with Tim’s intricate and atmospheric musical textures and production. OK, I know that the Jewel reference could be frightening, (I once suckerly bought Pieces of You), but worry not. This is good stuff. There's a bit of Jem in there, but with an airier, breathier voice.

Thanks to huge support from Sat Bisla’s Passport Approved radio show in the US (aired on Indie 103.1, LA, WEQX, NY and KNRK, Portland, OR) 2006 saw Bassboosa finding themselves a loyal fanbase before they had even finished or released their record. BTW, this show has a Web site, so check it out and scoop everyone on the next big imports.

Their cover of the Chris Isaak classic "Wicked Game" became a No.1 hit on KNRK, Portland, Oregon. "It is the most requested song we've ever had in the 11 years we have been on the air," says KNRK programme director, Mark Hamilton. Word is now spreading fast and radio stations all over the US and now in the UK are picking up on the Bassboosa vibe. Honestly, the cover is only so-so. Giant Drag's cover blows this one away.

2006 also saw Bassboosa move onto the stage with their fantastic band. In May they played their first US dates. As well as a packed acoustic evening at LA's Key Club, they also headlined to a capacity audience at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, selling over 1700 tickets. I totally missed this, dammit.

Now, with the album ready for release, a video (shot in the Spanish desert) in it’s final stages of production and more tour dates planned in both the US and Europe, 2007 looks set to be an even more exciting year for the band. Yay, more U.S. tour dates.

Second music recommendation is Kate Walsh (NOT FUCKING ADDISON FROM GREY'S SOAPY HOSPITAL).

She looks a fuckuva lot like KT Tunstall, but the music is very different and so is her voice. It's very intimate. She lists the following as her influences on her MySpace:

Longpigs, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Talk Talk, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Red House Painters, Magnet, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Sufjan Stevens, Debussy...chocolate.

A combo of Joni Mitchell and maybe Bic Runga seems to be running through my mind as I listen to Your Song right now.

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