The NBT Flagship Podcast : Caught You Looking

(to download right click on this red text link below and ‘save as’ or simply stream by hitting the arrow ‘play’ button on the cassette above!)

4th July 2011 NBT A

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Four VERY different acts

with one thing in common

they are all brilliant independent artists!

Tara Nevins

Peter Brynglesson

Oh My Darling

Radio Drive

The 24hr streaming NBT Radio
http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/
iTunes: NBTMusicRadio

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The NBT Review 118

BoneDome review by Martin Smit

Phyllis Sinclair review by Guest writer Beth Wimmer

Thintankubator – BoneDome (SummerBreak)

This is one jumpy jived up Sandman that takes us on our journey, maybe not the most serene of dreams perhaps but full of sparkling intrigue and that kind of refined chaos that the best sweet nightmares should have.

Now imagine this, that in an alternate universe, Bowie actually succeeded with Tin Machine, that instead of white suits and an 80s sheen, he found a Tv on the Radio and shoved it into a grunge house party, called all the punks, stole that nervous twitch right from under the Hold Steady and OH you are about half way there.

Because in spite of the uncanny thin white duke voice and other much talked about influences/inspirations this band carries their own weight, their own soul baggage, their own fire, anger and hatfulls of hope.

‘he ain’theavy, but he is fat and American, but the girls still love him’

well…

The band doesn’t’ sound fat and their love is complicated, one layer of tough flirting folded into another layer of wry observation, mixed well with a spoonful of desire.

Catch the´essence of mid afternoon FM and late evening AM radio waves and you have the beginnings of the knowledge that makes these songs shine.

 There are elements of self destruction within the stories, and even the most fragile of the tunes that could be, would be, ballads have something dirty and shifting and raw at their core.

Perhaps´these are cowboy songs for men going to war, maybe these are space epics for the illusive alternative office worker..

 All I know is that the band skips defining and that is a very good thing indeed

 http://www.bonedome.net/

Dreams of the Washerwomen -Phyllis Sinclair

I just listened to Canadian Singer/Songwriter Phyllis Sinclair’s “Dreams of the Washerwomen”, and I now feel inspired and sad: in touch with my childhood and my joy and empathy for it.

Like Phyllis, my siblings and I are the children of a hard working, single mother. So Phyllis Sinclair’s clear, precise, plaintive voice combined with her intimate observations on growing up and finding strength really hit home for me.

The clean, pure, simple yet rich-sounding 10-song album opens with “Washerwoman’s Lament”, an ode to anyone who works
hard, repeatedly, doing “simple” work for a living. The song reminds us that simple chores, done daily, are gruelingly exhausting.
Yet Sinclair’s solid acoustic guitar and light-hearted, sweet voice spur us through “just another day to carry my load”, bringing to heart deep respect for those who work so physically hard, day in and out.

Throughout “Dreams of the Washerwomen” lovely mandolin voicing and sparse yet precise background harmonies add
agreement and sometimes levity to Sinclair’s poignant observations.
The uncomplicated production, by Canada’s Stew Kirkwood, enhances the important messages of life and struggle and appreciation that Phyllis Sinclair so graciously and intimately shares with us all.

“Morning Laughter” is a melodic, kind reminder of the small blessings in life that get us all through. In “Our Side of the Line” a joyful, celebratory homage to home sweet home, the comforting, joyful violin leaves the listener with the smell of fresh
cut grass and a grateful appreciation for home. The messages are universal.

On “Sunday Best” the sublime accordion solo accompanies perfectly the innocence and questions of a child, remembering how simple and special Sundays always were.

The beautiful, electric guitar solo in “Finding Ontario”, along with the slow, steady-train-home feel, really sold me on every reason I could think of to return “home”. With Sinclair’s meditative lyric “little baby bunting it’s time to go a-hunting for home”,
I was moved to make my pilgrimage home too.

The song that clinched things for me, emotionally, was “Latchkey”. Sinclair’s plaintive, empathetic yet comforting ode to a lost, hurt, young soul, in the form of a scared baby bird, brought to mind the sad and frightening uncertainty of being alone, without parents or guidance.
The beautiful string section enrobed and heightened Sinclair’s inspiring plea of understanding and encouragement. “Latchkey”
brought tears to my eyes.

Phyllis Sinclair’s third album, “Dreams of the Washerwomen”, conveys a powerful and appreciative tribute to small town pleasures, accomplishments, struggles, and acceptance for our lot in life, while time both drags and flies by.

http://www.phyllissinclair.com/

Tracks from Both albums
are being played on the NBTMusic Radio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

and have been featured
on several NBT Flagship Podcasts recently.

The NBT Review 115

  Six Hurdles – History Of The Trade (Independent Release)

 The opening song shoots towards us rocket like revealing a complex sequence, tunes within tunes, post punk verses, math rock dance moves. Starting out drill bit intense, bits of Wire you don’t dare draw a breath, then tempo change, stadium chants, pop goodness, care to jump around with me?

 Going Nowhere, goes pretty fast in search of the cool hook, gets there, swings along the mirror ball shatters and doesn’t let up,as you fall for it, you decide you need this EP in your record collection, file it next to the Foals perhaps.

 Dear Sir/Madam I would like , ‘Facts’ to be number one on the charts, the nation needs that shot of speed and sensibility. This is all sparkly, raw energetically beautiful.

 Then epic in miniature, ‘Alkaline’ bursts shockwave from the gentle static, a summer anthem from a winter perspective. And I realise that this collection shall not stray too far from my player these coming nights and weeks.

 Find out more

http://www.historyofthetrade.com/

 Skyskratcher EP – Skyskratcher (Independent Release )

 A different beast here, over a gently (twisting) slow burn, prog rock vocals slide (circa ,perhaps, early killer Queen ) the guitars ebb and flow, now intense, now just tense, always threatening to explode, there is allure in its admiral restraint.

 Skyskratcher seem to have forecast the Arctic Monkeys new rock direction, but seem less cynical about it, its 70s met with Now, a young sound with old(er) influences,conducive to headbang hedonismyet slippingg into a welcome reassuringcontemporaryy vibe as well.

 Often skipping the structure of quiet-loud- quiet and just doing the quiet building into frantic, the music insists you try see this band live, or for those of us,from that sad land ‘far away’ insists that you imagine the ToughTumble n Roll of the stage.

 That is why, when the fragile is allowed, it is so satisfying, giving the songs those varying Moodcolours of orange into rust and beyond. Something innocent yet sweaty pure about it all

 http://skyskratcher.com/main/

 both bands will be featured on the NBT podcasts (both the flagship cast and the dark electric cast) in March. And will be playlisted on the NBTMusic 24 hr radio from this weekend

 http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

 

The NBT Review 114

  Tilt – Brett Ryan Stewart (Rainbows In Grayscale Music)

 Sometimes the day to day struggle can seem like a never ending sleepwalk, to get through it you go through the motions, ignore the fear as comrades fall by the way, as they give up and fall deeper into that apathy, that all too reassuring slumber.

Or what happens is you gather your soul up into you, stand and decide to fight on, to overcome the dull, the ordinary to start living again.. to wake up.

 And this is how Tilt begins.

 This is an album that celebrates rejuvenation, the finding of inner strength , about not giving up and yes, allowing yourself to let a little sunshine drive you forward.

 And if this sounds so far, so hippy , oh you would be wrong. This is powerful pop, with country dirt and indie edge, the production glimmers to be sure, but there is no sense of sugar coated emptiness, daytime radio varnish, but rather beautifully thought out song-play and craft.

 This singer knows that the past can create inelegant disturbances and that relationships can tear at the human and create monsters, that life can be a torrid tough old thing to tear through, but instead of choosing grungy self-pity or old C and W whining Stewart makes music that kinda struts, giggles and strolls, slips into the car radio and brightens up the day. Not shouty pointed anthems, but something more subtle, more lasting.

 When its needed he dips the tunes into something slightly seedy, covers them with a sprinkle of ambiguity, so nothing comes out soft, nothing gets too sweet. Stewart seems to know that the charcoal smudges in that colourful portrait add just the right essence of truth, that you had to first gently embrace despair to kick it fully away.

 Find out for yourself

 http://brettryanstewart.com

 The album has been featured on several NBT podcasts and is playlisted on the NBTmusic 24 hr radio station

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

 

The NBT Review 113

  Alive (Book and CD/ Deluxe Edition) – Tallulah Rendall (Transducer)

 The music is only the start of things..The Songs are only the beginning of this creative journey, Plays, artworks, videos, performance and the documenting of these collaborations form the basis of the book that accompanies the set of tunes.

 And yet as a diligent reviewer, one who hopes to try to get at least a little into the soul of the work, one must for the moment put aside the book and approach just the music, then come back to the book and then the music together.

 If this all sounds like hard work, let me assure you it is not, it is an adventure, a game, an experience that I found I did not want to end, and indeed it did not have to end, because each collaboration added another dimension to an already dense and sparkling universe.

 So it is highly recommended that when you get this album, make very sure you get the book too.

 But now I must be brave, and plunge just into the music, give my own thoughts on what I think takes place. Because everything starts with the music and the music shines differently into each listener’s soul.. and a reviewer can only report, this is what I heard, felt, saw, and in that way (when positive) inspire others to start their own journey (or in the rare negative case) give warning that the trip may not be worth it.

 I am of course double cursed/blessed as I have already reviewed Alive the EP, so now I must shed the shackles of the Previous and dive in as if all is new, listen with innocent ears as it were.

 The title track, is a tumble-drift of awakening, a bare sketch morphing into a colourful living swirlThing, it is the shot of adrenalin needed to, ‘go bathe in the light’, all PJ Harvey guitar rumble, galloping into the intensifying maelstrom, along with Anna Calvi, Rendall seems to be heading this lovely trend of darkly yet empowering pop music coming our way in 2011.

 then a switch in mood, its magical ballroom dance, romantic harmonies, falling in love music,the instruments create a pleasant pressure, the equivalent of being lost in a fog and fascinated by it.

Playful even, the way the intro to ‘Nothing Is Over’ evokes an old time Western ballad which stretches wilful into something sultry and sly.

 Then back to the throb, stand out (should be) single, ‘Colourblind’ the kind of thing, that you sway to immediately, as you fill up on that top of the roller-coaster vibe.

 The Joy of this collection is its balance. You never feel the song suffers from the application of studio craft, it is destined for radio waves and cyberspace but that knowledge is second hand, not cynically manipulated for maximum effect. The ambition never gets in the way of the personal.

 And then again I listen, this time with book in hand. I learn of wondrous art being made. Of tasks taken up, challenges accepted and met, with gleeful daring and …

 hope.

 This whole ‘product’ is a testament to the belief that art is a shape shifting goddess with boundless gifts.

 I urge you to go and get this

http://www.tallulahrendall.com/category/music/

 Tallulah has several songs on the new nbtMusic 24 hr radio station

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

 and is one of the featured artists on this weeks NBT Podcast

 http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

 

The NBT Review 111

  The Shakespeares EP – The Shakespeares (independent release)

 Tonight the bridge is built from the solo Merry Ellen Kirk, a bridge built upon her trademark twinkling piano and vocal sighs leading into the darker territory that this Duo inhabits. Still dreams, yes, but these dreams are more cryptic, the shadows corporeal (look they reach for our hands, to spin us in) she is the colour shifting balloon, he is the tumbling ghost holding hard against the pull of the string, the beauty here in the pressure, the interplay tween loose and tight.

 What Aaron Krause adds is something that divinely distorts the shimmer evermore, a touch of acoustic blues and a sliver of grunge, adding loops of thoughtful insecurity to the serene, toughening up the songs, making them scary and bold.

The balance however is perfect, the two artists compliment and strengthen each other and no song here sounds remotely like a solo effort grafted into a new project.

 The fine art of the female/male interplay within a pop song structure is something that has gained momentum in recent years and the Shakespeares can happily join the ranks of acts like She and Him and Jenny and Johnny, but bring something somewhat more ethereal to the stage.

 There isn’t a wasted second in this EP and it makes the listener crave more, more from the Artists both together as the Shakespeares and from their other musical adventures, solo or otherwise

 http://theshakespeares.us/

 tracks from this EP are being played on the NBT podcasts and the NBT 24hr streaming radio

 http://www.facebook.com/NBTMusicRadio

 Actors and Liars – Twin Brother (independent release)

 This slow build takes on different disguises, turn here and we find the slight wounded Gothic, blue spotlight on dark stage. Turn there and discover the jangle exuberance of the indie star confidant. Not so much statements of intent rather maps to pour over, invitations to join the exploration.

 This is the sound of future stars finding their voice, it is personal, often messy and always involving, it is music you want to stay with and music that gives up it’s bitter sweet secrets slowly, willfully, sly and shy all bundled up in atmosphere and delectable drama.

 One secret to its power is the holding back, the less is more template, chaos and theatre and grand gestures are hinted at, sketched, forshadowed, though dont get me wrong the songs are NOT afraid to rock out in that love of Pop way that Interpol or even Franz Ferdinand have. You know, the kind of song that when you hear it you just want to see it performed live, so you can jump around to it with a thousand other beguiled fans.

 The band is comfortable with the slight eccentricity of their songs, there are touches of the gleefully bound Julian Cope (ready to explode) and the sheer delight in the structure of the song, that Edwyn Collins has. In fact, as Twin Brother work at their craft they have potential to replace glow of (rather) less than satisfying bands like Glasvegas, in the indie Nations heart and minds.

 Hear Tracks from this Album on the NBT Podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

and also on the NBTMusicRadio (Facebook page here)

http://www.facebook.com/NBTMusicRadio 

The NBT Review 110

  The Foxpockets EP (independent release)

 there are some kinds of music that make the curious listener very excited, no matter the mood that surrounds him at the start, the music never fails to invigorate and intrigue. This music usually has folk as a starting point, is played and created with sheer joy by the musicians and is often layered, verbally and musically. Bands like Tilly and the Wall, Los Campesinos,Tunng and now Foxpockets are often labelled twee by a jaded press who seem to like a strong spoonful of angst with their cuppa alternative, (you know the type, the ones who write in little books and are afraid to dance when the band goes mad on stage.) and oh how wrong could that label be.

 This is simply music that makes one feel awfully lucky to have found it.

 The Nautical Song slow builds, adding instruments and vocal harmonising at a subtle pace, wonderfully restrained for a three minute tune. What is gentle becomes almost a jig before the song is done, the producer leaving the explosions for another time.

 Voytek is a finely sketched tale of war, Katharine Simner’s serene vocals counterpoint dark lyrics, all leading up to a most heavenly and moving instrumental break.

 And Wintersleep should really be play listed all over the damn place. Timeshifting, swaying, elastic it slips across three or four moods from thoughtful funeral to shy invitation to dance and ends way too soon.

 As a prologue to a full album, this is a delightful introduction to band that we will be hearing a great deal more of.

 http://www.myspace.com/foxpockets

 Hear tracks from this release on the NBT podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

 and in the next few days Foxpockets will be added to the 24 hour stream of NBTMusic Radio

http://www.radionomy.com/nbtmusicradio