MUSIC

SARA BEREILLES COVERS GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD BY ELTON JOHN

sara-bareilles-2013-650-430Oh, man. I am such a sucker for a good cover and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is my favourite Elton John song (Rocket Man is a close second). Here Sara Bereilles accomplishes what, to my knowledge, no one else has ever managed: a successful rendition of this great song. And LIVE. I initially wasn’t crazy about the singer but that was before I actually sat down to listen to her sing and let me tell you, her live material is something, this girl is super talented. It reminds me so much of Eva Cassidy who sang a haunting rendition of Over the Rainbow among other great tracks before she died. Check out the video below.

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AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE – JUNIP

junipJunip – After all is said and done. This song requires no explanation. Simply a marvelous song by a marvelous Swedish band. This group is in my all-time top 5 so please give it a listen! And of course… enjoy.

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EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH HINDS BROTHERS

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WHAT IS THE HINDS BROTHERS SOUND IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Aden: I think it is largely based on tradition. We draw from the singer/songwriter influence (Dylan, Lennon/McCartney, Harrison) as well as old and new harmony groups (The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel), with a strong leaning towards a rootsy, organic production (The Band, M Ward, AA Bondy). To draw another comparison to The Beatles – we are different songwriters coming together to enhance each others songs, so Hinds Brothers ends up more than the sum of it’s parts…

Wren: Of course we also have that brother harmony thing going on… We’re a creative foil to each other, and we’re also a great production team.

YOUR TOP THREE ALBUMS OF ALL TIME?

Aden: Jeez that is really very difficult to pin down! But here are a few of our favorites. All Things Must Pass & Living in the Material World by George Harrison, Revolver & Abbey Road by The Beatles, The Band by The Band, Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan, Songs of Leonard Cohen, Astral Weeks – Van Morrison

Wren: Songs of Love and Hate – Leonard Cohen, Wasteland Companion – M Ward, This is the Sea – The Waterboys, Aha Shake Heartbreak – Kings of Leon, The Wild the innocent and the E Street Shuffle – Bruce Springsteen, Desire – Bob Dylan

YOUR MAIN MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

Aden: We have both been influenced by our father Kevin Hinds, who was a professional musician through the 70’s & 80’s and was signed to CBS and EMI. The Beatles, George Harrison and Bob Dylan are touchstones for me personally, and one of SA’s greatest ever songwriters Syd Kitchen had a huge influence on my musical life…
Wren: As Aden mentioned Dad is a big influence. I love Otis Redding, Leonard Cohen’s lyrical genius, M Ward and also Bob Dylan.

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THE PROCESS OF COMING UP WITH, AND ULTIMATELY RECORDING A TRACK:

Wren: The process of writing and recording for us is quite a natural flow and we really just act as channels for the songs we write and ultimately record. We have always recorded at home and tampered with sounds and layering of different textures. ‘Ocean of Milk’ in particular has seen many hours in different recording studios around the country and gave us the opportunity to connect with some great musicians along the way, so there’s been opportunity for a lot of creativity and bouncing ideas around… It seems to happen very naturally, so again there’s that flow that we go with.

Aden: Ya, we just try not to swim against the current… Album Cover

YOUR DEBUT ALBUM ‘OCEAN OF MILK’ COMES OUT ON AUGUST 27th AND FEATURES A GREAT SCREEN PRINT FOR A COVER. WHAT IS THIS ALBUM ALL ABOUT AND DID YOUR VISION MATCH THE OUTCOME?

Aden: The cover is an original pen & ink drawing by Dominic Strauss. It’s hard to pinpoint what it is about really – it’s a collection of songs that seem to live together rather well. Themes include being lost and being found, the wanderlust of man, the ocean, and the heart of reality… There is a natural flow through the record, and it has moments of light-heartedness and humor along with it’s deep waters. But it is ultimately a collection of songs, and each song has it’s space and place in the overall picture of ‘Ocean of Milk’.

Wren: I must say the outcome, even though it took a while to materialize, does match pretty closely the vision we had at the beginning of the project – though I have no idea how we got that right.

YOUR MUSIC FEATURES SOME WONDERFUL BACK-UP INSTRUMENTALS, HOW DID IT ALL MATERIALIZE? 

Wren: Ocean of Milk has been in the making for 2 years, working on and off as our budget and goodwill of friends allowed us. We started out with the songs, and just thought about how we would ultimately like to hear them. We were mostly attracted to a rootsy, lush and acoustic vibe, and were hearing instruments like upright bass, dobro, pedal steel, violin, and accordion in our heads… We made notes, and found out the players along the way!

Aden: Very important was to find players who were into the music and could immerse themselves in the songs and their vibe. We ended up recording in 7 studios through Durban, Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, featuring 19 musicians on the record including ourselves – it really feels like one of those epic albums you hear about, you know, and you just have to hear for yourself…Hinds Brothers Band Shot

HOW DID THE BAND COME TOGETHER, AND WHAT HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN LIKE TO GET HERE? 
A & W: We have been performing around the country as an acoustic duo for around 4 years now, but have begun embellishing the live show in recent times by adding other artists and  instruments along the way. We’re at a place now where we can perform as a 2 piece, 3 piece, 5 piece or even more, depending on the occasion. We’ve maintained a bit of the ‘jam band’ vibe, and have got potential band members all the way along the journey.

WHAT DOES THE NEXT YEAR LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 

Aden: It’s hard to say as no-one is ultimately the master of their fate, but we will be touring ‘Ocean of Milk’ throughout South Africa starting with our Durban launch on  Saturday 31st August at Howard College Theatre with an all-star band including Sez Adamson on pedal & lap steel guitars, Richard Haslop on dobro & mandolin, and the ‘ex Landscape Prayers’ trio of Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby (fiddle), Bruce Baker (drums) and Logan Byrne (upright bass). Tickets are available through quicket.com

Wren: We’ve created our own indie record label, South Sea Records, and we harbour hopes of breaking into the international market – Europe, USA, Australia, Canada & Japan… We’ve also got quite a backlog of songs, so we’re already planning the next album, and we should also have an EP ready for release in some months time. Basically I think it’s gonna be pretty busy…

Check the band out at hindsbros.com and on Twitter at @HindsBros

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EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH JEAN-PHILIP GROBLER OF ST. LUCIA

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I have been a fan of St. Lucia since this last New Years Eve. A friend played it and I was floored to find out St. Lucia, in all its advanced awesomeness, was a man New York based, but South African born-and-raised. So here is what you need to know: Jean-Philip grew up in the Drakensberg Boys Choir, then spent three years studying music in Liverpool, now he resides in Brooklyn where he is penning St. Lucia’s debut album. Neon Gold will release the album later this year. Formerly a singles-only label that launched releases Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, The Naked & Famous and helped launch the careers of countless others.

I caught up with Grobler tonight and he graciously interviewed for Man of the Cloth. Here’s what went down:

WHAT IS ST. LUCIA IN YOUR OWN WORDS?

There are so many ways that I’ve thought about this, but to me, when I’m making the music, it’s about the feeling the music evokes. That feeling, to me, is the meeting point between happy and sad, melancholy and ecstasy.

YOUR TOP 3 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME? 

1. Radiohead ‘OK Computer’
2. Fleetwood Mac ‘Tusk’
3. Mew ‘And The Glass Handed Kites’

YOUR MAIN MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

I’m influenced by a lot of different music across the board, but the music that really deeply affects me is the music that has some kind of intent that is deeper than just making a pop record or making something weird. It’s music where the creator was trying to transcend the boundaries of their genre or perceived confines as an artist. For example, I feel that Kanye West really did it with his album Yeezus. That quality or result normally brings along a sense of conflict with it, and so it’s that conflict that you can hear in the music that really gets me. That being said, I also love a really well written and produced pop song, and the new Empire of the Sun album is full of them.

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THE PROCESS OF PUTTING TOGETHER A TRACK

It’s pretty much train of thought all the way through the entire process, from music to lyrics to production. I really try not to think too much about what I’m doing for as long as humanly possible, but then there is always an editing process that comes at the end that’s very important, and in many ways that’s the most difficult part because you’re switching brain hemispheres from being a hoarder to basically having to sift through this pile of stuff.

8099161071_cb6c8cc7bb_zWHAT HAS NEW YORK DONE FOR YOUR MUSIC? 

I feel like it has really opened my mind to a lot of different possibilities. I’ve really found myself here, and in a strange way it helped me to rediscover my roots by being detached from them. I realized that I’d had a somewhat unique life journey, and that in order to make my mark on this music world I needed to let all of those influences flow out of me unedited. And so, I let go. And New York helped me do that, but in the beginning the music scene really scared me to death because of its’ perceived ‘coolness’ and ‘jadedness’. But you just need to blaze through all of that and not give a shit.

YOUR MUSIC IS CERTAINLY A FAR CRY FROM ANYTHING LOCAL AT THE MOMENT. IN FACT, IT IS SO RELEVANT TO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC THAT YOU HAVE A CLEAR SHOT AT WORLD-WIDE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS AND THAT HAS YET TO HAPPEN LOCALLY IN A MODERN SENSE. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING DIFFERENTLY? 

God, I really don’t know. I’m just doing my thing. I think in a way I described it in the above answer. I just let go and let all of what is me just flow out without being self-conscious of the results. Actually, saying I wasn’t self-conscious is kind of a lie because it definitely wasn’t easy doing that. You know, in the beginning you imagine that people are going to judge you for doing that. And I just couldn’t help it that what was coming out of me was this joyful, happy (yet still melancholic) music, and in a lot of circles that’s not considered ‘cool’. But, that’s who I am and I have to live with that and fight for that. I have to fight to be taken seriously even though I’m a happy person who makes happy music. Sorry, I deviated a bit from the question there. But, I really don’t know if I’m doing anything differently, I just know what I’m doing, and I’m trying to be as true to myself as possible and trying my best not to care about outside opinions.

WHAT DOES THE NEXT YEAR LOOK LIKE FOR ST. LUCIA?

If all goes well and to plan it’s probably going to be insanely busy with a lot of time on the road. I’m really, really hoping that at some point in the near future we’ll be getting a call to come back to SA to do a tour. I would love nothing more.

Odgen Theater-Denver, CO-Feb 1st 2013

IMAGE 1 COURTESY OF SHERVIN LAINEZ, IMAGE 2 JAIME FERNANDEZ AND IMAGE 3 VINH NGUYEN

VISIT THE ST. LUCIA SITE FOR MORE

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MUST SEE: MERIVAL – MAMA, YOU

Anna Horvath is Merival, a Canadian bedroom chanteuse with remarkable talent. What is especially surprising is Merival should have thousands of views per video. Should. I like undiscovered Youtube singers but her subtlety and writing style makes her pretty special in my opinion. Give the girl a listen and click here to download her free music. Here is Mama, You.

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LIGHT HOME – JANUARY PLAYLIST

Man of the Cloth January playlist – Download here.

1  Passenger – Things That Stop You Dreaming

2  Matt Corby – Light Home

3  The Bees – No More Excuses

4  Matt Pond PA – Winter Fawn

5  St. Lucia – All Eyes On You

6  Admiral Fallow – Old Fools

7  City and Colour – As Much As I Ever Could

8  Cub Scouts – Do You Hear

9  Future Of Forestry – Would You Come Home

10  Elliot Smith – Happiness

11  Daniel Lee Kendall – Kings and Queens

12  Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros – Man on Fire

13  David Bowie – Heroes

All music is for sampling purposes only – please support the artists and buy their records.

 

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MUST SEE: MATT CORBY – BROTHER (STRIPPED BACK VERSION)

I have shared this song with you before but having just heard this stripped down version I was compelled to share it once again. Matt Corby is a ridiculous Australian talent and this song is a favorite of mine. I included one of his lesser known songs on the January playlist too! Check it out. 

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MUST SEE: BASEMENT SESSIONS FEAT. SEASICK STEVE

American blues musician Steven Gene Wold (Seasick Steve) features in the Basement Sessions this week and we have a video of his performance. Check it:
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OLD PINE – BEN HOWARD

I could only get the remix version of this song unfortunately, but this version is not bad at all either. The song comes off his debut album and requires no extra introduction. Great Sunday listening.

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BOY – LITTLE NUMBERS

I enjoy a feel-good song as much as the next person. Without realizing it I had been playing this particular track quite often and decided to share it with you today. They call themselves BOY, and this Swiss-German duo released their debut album ‘Mutual Friends’ late last year to Grönland records. To be honest I haven’t heard the rest of their work but if Little Numbers is anything to go by it should consist of some more of this mature pop music.

Thoughts? 

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PARACHUTE MUSICAL – REFLECTION

With all the driving I do these days in Johannesburg I find it comforting to listen to a lot of music. This is another one of those peppy indie rock tracks that I am enjoying right now. Just don’t expect to hear any more music from these DC natives, on March 5th they released a statement on their blog that said  “The past 7+ years have been some of the greatest moments of our lives, but at the same time, we all feel that this chapter has come to a close. We’re ready to try new things, go new places, see where life takes us.” The breakup was on friendly terms, as the band stated “we’re brothers and will continue to be.” Well, ok then.

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HO HEY – THE LUMINEERS

Barely a month into their debut album The Lumineers are taking their romantic and rustic sound across America on various intimate performances. They have a  great bio too (read it here). “Born out of sorrow, powered by passion, ripened by hard work, The Lumineers have found their sound when the world needs it most.” Take a listen.

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