I thought I'd change things up a bit & bring you some beautiful sounds from both sides of the pond (to keep my inner duality happy). As you can tell from my Latitude post, my music vibes are definitely acoustically inclined. I love the nu-folk scene, & singer-songwriters/bands who have a unique, relaxed sound.
I recently got to catch Passenger at a small gig in Leeds. Mike Rosenberg, the man behind the name, is a busker by trade & nature - which is probably why he is able to create such an intimate atmosphere at his gigs. His chat and even his songs create a rare repartee with the audience - he's a great joker & storyteller alike. 'I Hate' is always a crowd-favourite, thanks to its universal, all-important truths: I hate ignorant folks, who pay money to see gigs, and talk through every fucking song... And I hate queuing up, for festival toilets, especially when you need a shit.
Let Her Go, video below, is a brilliant, heartfelt song. I also love an old duo Mike did with Katie Noonan called Bloodstains. Passenger is a perfect example of consistently good music, and he's easy on the eyes too! I reckon he's on the brink of stardom, so best to check him out now..
This Chicago-based trio are especially dear to my heart, as the two vocalists are cousins of mine. The band are just starting out on the scene, recording songs and performing in bars & cafés, but their raw talent in both performance & song-writing is sure to take them far. They seem to have snuck off with all the talent in the family. Just kidding, we're not strictly related, so there really is no explanation for my tone deafness.
I find their sound incredibly reminiscent of First Aid Kit, a Swedish folk duo - I've included a video of my favourite song of theirs, Emmylou, below. If you do anything today, listen to Monster on Moonrise Nation's Soundcloud page, written and sung by 15-year old Arden. Then you should listen to the rest.. I'm just telling you where to start. Midnight LSD is a fresh new release to check out.
When I was over in Chicago a couple summers ago, staying at my 'second home', we had a visit from another (distant) cousin of mine called Jordan, who plays in the up&coming band Kingsfoil. I returned home from the bars with my cousin Ana to find two members of Moonrise Nation & the whole of Kingsfoil having a jam session in the front room. It was a spectacular, beer-hazy moment; hearing the groups collaborate & listening to Jordan play an acoustic version of If You Love Something Push It Away, my favourite song of his. Kingsfoil have since taken on Frankie Muniz (Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle) as their drummer, so I'm hoping for another private gig soon!