The Jimmy C (update!)

April 19, 2012

Well, I already wrote about this Australian musician back in January (you can read about it here), and recently had the fortune of interviewing him for the upcoming issue of German music magazine¬† CRKO (where you’ll find this blog in a column format from now on), and not only is he a talented multi-instrumentalist but such a sweet, down-to-earth kinda guy I’m making an extra effort to promote him (arrogant rockstar wannabees take note!) With about 30 new songs written and recorded – you wanna talk ‘prolific’? – there’s a 5-track rough-mix sample available on his Bandcamp starting today.

Being a big fan of his previous album Glamour & Fame (if you’re looking for great-sounding 60s styled pop make sure you check it out) I was pleasantly surprised to see his songwriting and arranging skills having matured, and as a fellow musician it was great to see him move away from genre and instead focusing on songs – style be damned. In it’s rough format this is still a great collection of tracks and it’s obvious Jamie has found his voice. Now all we can do is sit back and just enjoy the fruits of his labor. The songs are free to download so what are you waiting for?

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://thejimmyc.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.thejimmyc.com/

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Karen Dalton

February 2, 2012

Well, this Oklahoma lady certainly wasn’t anyone I was familiar with up until finding her albums on Bandcamp. Never reaching success like contemporary artists like Bob Dylan, folk artist Karen Dalton released only two albums in the 60’s and passed away in 1993. Living a tumultous life, she never got a chance to focus on a career and being a strongwilled woman, she didn’t exactly have the record industry stumbling over themselves in order to work with her. Until independent label Delmore Recordings decided to dig through the vaults in order to find more recordings to unearth.

The album 1966 compiles recently found reel-to-reel recordings made by her estranged husband during a late-night rehearsal, and just like Strawberry Heritage it’s naked and raw folk music in its purest form. With sparse instrumentation – mostly just a twelve-string guitar – the focus remains on the songs themselves as well as Karen’s fragile-yet-powerful vocal delivery. Fourteen great tracks, some covers and some being unknown originals – all worth giving a listen. Check it out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://delmorerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/1966
Website: http://delmorerecordings.com/

Jacob Bullard

January 2, 2012

More low-key Americana folk is served up by solo artist Jacob Bullard on his latest release Growin’ Seed. A Michigan native, he started making music after finishing college and has so far released two EP’s and one five-song demo.

Simplicity is the key with the main instruments being Jacob’s own voice and his acoustic guitar. Stripped down and with a modest production this is mellow, heartfelt music perfect for life’s laid back moments. Two releases are available as a free download, so check him out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://jacobbullard.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.jacobbullard.blogspot.com/

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

December 27, 2011

For a true slice of unique music I can highly recommend pan-Asian project Yamantaka // Sonic Titan‘s debut album YT//ST. Downright impossible to label, the band is a collective formed by performance artists alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood mixing up tons of influences in order to create what they themselves call Noh-Wave operas.

A blend of stoner, electronica, industrial noise and Chinese folk music, I was blown away by this outfit’s sheer creativity and even though it certainly won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, just give ’em a listen and discover something truly out there!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://yamantakasonictitan.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.ytstlabs.com/

Strawberry Heritage

December 22, 2011

Just like all the studio magic in the world can’t turn awful music into hits (well, it used to be that way), no amount of tape hiss or lack of decent recording equipment can take away the impact of great songwriting. Grand Rapids trio Strawberry Heritage is a perfect example with their seven track EP The Demo Tapes that might actually have gained from it. A sort of low-key mix of indie and heartfelt folk music performed with guitar, banjo, percussion and some occasional violin it was presumably recorded live, giving it a homey, honest feel that’s really endearing and makes you focus on the songs themselves.

Totally unproduced you still get treated to some really nice music with hooks and a down-to-earth quality that suits them perfectly. Available as a free download you should definitely check these guys out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://strawberryheritage.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Strawberry-Heritage/323347821015080

Shakey Graves

December 20, 2011

For a nice slice of true Americana, try Shakey Graves debut offering Roll the Bones. We’re talking stripped-down alterna-country displaying some really nice songwriting talent (low on info I’m guessing it’s a one-man outfit). Laid back songs, nice (spartan) instrumentation and heartfelt vocal delivery it has that timeless feel that characterises good folk music. Add a bare-bones production for that “homey” feel and you got a low-key lil’ winner!

Ten songs in all – including a live song plus a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s I’m on Fire – perfect for listening on those rainy days when you got nothing better to do than smoke cigarettes and stare out the window. I had a hard time finding a favorite track, and the album has no set price, so make sure you check it out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://shakeygraves.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://shakeygraves.tumblr.com/

King Lollipop

December 20, 2011

Well, here’s a nice slice of fun music! Oakland resident King Lollipop first album Woodland Whoopee Songs of Ol’ Callowhee brings to mind what Buddy Holly would sound like if he was re-imagined by John Waters. Nice trashy fun served up with acoustic guitars and a low-budget rhytm section that actually included the kitchen sink, the album offers up thirteen “anthems” about trailer trash livin’ – all steering clear from the high brow crowd.

Actually a member of Californian garagers Shannon & The Clams, the self-professed “Goblin king of the Junkyard” is fun in a silly way, and his low-tech bubblegum take on rockabilly is actually quite endearing and infectious. Available as a limited edition cassette on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records too!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://kinglollipop.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/King-Lollipop/160470364000161