The Return Of The Skyt Muties

SKYT MUTIES STORM THE BARRICADES

 

Skyt Muties have their roots in the alternative music scene of Joburg in the late 80s, and consist of Andrew Kay on bass and vocals, Dave Pickover on drums and Charles Grass on guitar.

 

The band formed in the wake left by the demise of Andrew’s glam-rock trash band the Party Dolls following a near-fatal motorbike accident that put him in hospital and  left him out of action for a few months.  Once he was back on his feet he worked in the props department on the Bles Bridges movie, and soon after, was approached by Dave Pickover and Stephen de Swardt to form a band. They used as their base of operations Stephen’s house on a farm outside Potchefstroom, where they would jam on weekends, and turn the volume up to 11.

“The Muties always had a BIG sound, as Stephen was partially deaf, so in order for him to hear anything we had to play really loud.  Add to this Dave is a big lad, who knew only one way to play drums, and that was to pound the skins with all his might.  Stephen was also in the business of making PA speakers, so we had an inside track to getting the gear we needed to play at top volume. I wanted our music to have a hard, industrial edge, which I felt should reflect the state of the nation at the time. Fashionable music had become soft, and I had this vision of a musical explosion in my head.”

 

Thus the Muties were born, the name taken from a character in 2000 AD, the pooular sci-fi comic that was best known for creating the character of Judge Dredd.  The comic had at its core a humorously apocalyptic vision, and in one of the stories a mutant called Feral (half dog half human), a particularly rebellious mutant youth, had emblazoned on his T-shirt “Skate Muties” as he was a skater.  Andrew adapted the name to take on the meaning of Skyt, as in a low-class South African male of questionable character.  Andrew’s vision of SA was tempered by the vision in the comic, and this influenced the writing and early sound of the Muties.  Andrew was also heavily influenced by the writing and songs of Jonathan Handley of the Radio Rats. In songs like 9mil, which have survived to this day and remain a firm crowd favourite, a gritty sci-fi edge posits the anti-hero in an uber violent, sexist and racist context, a comic-book portrayal of characters that were all too real in South Africa at the time, and naturally who remain so in the new, Democratic dispensation.

 

The Muties literally exploded onto the Joburg scene with a triumphant show at one of the Merv the Swerv events at Jamesons in 1989, that had on its bill the Genuines, the Dyslexics and the Unhinged, as well as many other great bands on the scene at the time.

“For some reason the Genuines decided to play a jazzy set that was laid back, and when we hit the stage, all hell literally broke loose,” remembers Kay.  “It was incredible, chairs flying and a mosh pit that included the whole club, this mass of heaving humanity, sort of all screaming together as the Muties provided the soundtrack to a catharsis that was evidently in great need by the audience at the time.  I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before or since.”

 

Sadly, The Muties disbanded on Andrew’s artistic exile to Britian in the early 90s. “I had to leave as everything was freaking me out, I couldn’t take the hatred and violence anymore, and although our songs were violent, the Muties were definitely a peaceable band.  We incorporated aspects of flower power into our apocalyptic vision, if you can picture such a thing.”

 

One could argue an early and tenuous link to sci-fi films such as District 9 and naturally the phenomenon that is Die Antwoord, who have expanded on the theme to a far greater depth. The Muties never limited themselves to the sci-fi angle, though and on Andrew’s return to the Beloved Country in the mid 90s The Muties reformed briefly.  Andrew had taken up musical studies full time at the Wits School of Music, and had signed to peermusic SA, who fronted the money for a recording that became “unto Thine Own Self Be Cool”, five tracks recorded at Willem Moller’s Sharp Street studios. The writing is upbeat, melodic, catchy and carefree, a world away from the apocalyptic vision that was 9 mil, and also is a testament to the times in as much as the New SA was itself going through a honeymoon period of transformation during which so many positives seemed possible.

 

Gallo records showed interest in signing the band on the strength of the EP, and began negotiating on a deal with the Muties, which for various reasons never materialised, not the least being the band disbanded once more. Just before that happened though,  the Muties recorded a number of tracks at Sharp Street with Willem Moller once again at the helm.  Andrew is in contact with Willem at the present time, and who has so far unearthed a total of seven Muties tracks from the vaults, which will become the backbone of that first Muties album.

 

In the meantime Stephen de Swardt has tragically passed away, but after Dave contacted Andrew in 2012 and posted Unto Thine Own Self Be Cool on Youtube, it was decided to reform the Muties once more, and rope in the services of Charles Grass, with whom Andrew had worked in 2012 under the name AK and the 47s.

 

The Muties’ first gig is happening in Joburg on the 31st of October, literally 13 days before Andrew’s 50th birthday.  The band is rehearsing the material off the EP, including 9 mil, and will showcase some more recent material that is more acoustically oriented, but which contains the characteristic bite and melody of the Muties of old.  Thus far the Muties are also booked to be performing a New Year’s Eve bash in Estcourt, organised by Andi Grannersberger, a long-time friend of the Muties, and who recently pulled off a great musical weekend at Zingela Lodge.

 

For more info contact Andrew Kay on 082 456 2726, or email him at andrewkay97@yahoo.com  Google Skyt Muties Unto Thine Own Self Be Cool to listen to those earlier Muties tracks.

 

You can hear tracks from Skyt Muties and a rare Party Dolls track on the NBTMusicRadio all over the 24 hour stream but specially during the 7 PM and 11 PM Berlin time slots

 

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The NBTMusicRadio Fantastic Themed Hours THREE :”Comfort In the Turbulent World”

”Comfort In the Turbulent World”

11 PM Berlin Time ( 10 PM UK/5 PM New York)

AND

10 PM California Time ( 1 AM New York) For our USA/Canadian Listeners.

Bring the disturbance home! due to many requests to have the hard rock section a little earlier for our European audiences, and a little later for our USA listeners, we have joined together the ”Comfort in a hard place” and ”More Fun In the Turbulent World” in a marriage of much anticipated excitement and organised chaos!

So now its not JUST Rock of the HARD variety, there will be PUNK on all its deviant forms and ages, METAL from the darkest dark to the sweetest pop edge,there will be INDUSTRIAL, a slice of GOTHIC, and a big scoop of PROG. there will also be a smattering of BritPoP just to liven things up.

please note: in this incredibly eclectic category more than any other; i get so many new bands every week, so the line up will CONSTANTLY be changing, shape -shifting, evolving, so If you dont hear your heroes one night you will be sure to hear them the next. but PLEASE do support all our indie bands, as they share the stage with the more famous makers of this noisy art.

Oh and finally broad minds are available at the entrance, dont come in without them :)

Featured (in no particular order)

Stiff Little Fingers, Voice Of Addiction, Hawthorne Project, These New Puritans, The Jam, Black Flag, IceAge, The Eversons, Thee Now Sound, Tokyo Police Club, Big Dipper, Shonen Knife, These Animal Men, Pylon, Interpol, Ty Segall Band, Revel 9, AeB,Eudora Fletcher, Mos Generator, Crawley, Odoghan,Baht, Shattered Destiny, Kill For Eden, The Mighty High, Dropbunny, The 31st Of February, Elizabeth, Title Fight, Love Of Diagrams, The Ruts, Be Your Own Pet, Echobelly, At The Drive In, Link Wray, St J and Rici Martins, Spartan, Grenouer, American Head Charge, Godard, Jai Alai Savant, My Talking Pua, Test Icicles, Wire, Deep Purple, Grifter, Pulled Apart By Horses, Gun Outfit, M185, Sweet Ray Laurel, American Head Charge, The Monks, Late Cambrian, Spizzenergi, Felt, Monochrome Set, Honeymoon Killers, Orange Juice, The Wild Eyes,Ulterior, Eternal Summers, male Bonding, Soft Pack, Dutch Uncles, Buzzcocks, Violent Femmes, Kill Kasper, Mammut, War On Drugs, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Afghan Whigs, Vaccines, Thirteenth Floor Elevators, S.C.U.M. Swell Maps, Stone Iris, Yuck, The Replacements, Dogs Bollocks,Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Phoenix, Sonic Youth, D.U.N.E., Bruiser, Moist, Fen, MaHA Rocks, Carta Marina, Reverend Horton Heat, The Simpletone, The Cooper Temple Clause, Akarusa Yami, The Black Keys, Heavy Pink, Motorhead, screaming Trees, Skyskratcher, Blue Cheer, Ministry, Deftones, Alice Cooper.

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The NBTMusicRadio ”Essence Of The Song”

NBTMusicRadio once again presents the finest new independent creators of that strange difficult sweet thing we call the SONG. From the First thought birth, to the final note laid down in the studio, we asked a selection of artists about their craft.

Once again Featured Artists brought to you by the wonderful folks at Hemifran An independent A&R, promotion and marketing company, based in the heart of Sweden,The Artists they represent range from the USA’s finest Americana/Country/Rock outfits, to Europe’s most talented singer/songwriters, and EVERYTHING in between.

All these artists and the songs they talk about can be heard every day on the NBTMusicRadio: 9 AM AND 10 PM New York Time

3 PM and 4 AM Berlin Time 2 PM and 3 AM UK Time (Australia/New Zealand plus 6 or 9 Hours on Berlin Time)

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And now without any further Chatter here are the Artists.

My Darling Clementine

www.facebook.com/mydarlingclementine.music

NBTMusicRadio: On your website, you mention how Elvis Costello’s ‘Almost Blue’ Provided a gateway into understanding, and perhaps more importantly, starting to love country music. It had the same effect on me, I realised that there was more to this music than the syrup soaked clichés, AOR stereotypes that the normal indie kid would run miles to avoid. Do you hope that the music you make as My Darling Clementine will do the same thing for a new generation, or is 2012 a very different time, what with music mags and websites constantly championing Country and Alt/Country as the saviours of modern indie pop? ( I notice that, also on the website; you stress that this is not a ‘parody’ record, which would indicate that you feel Country is STILL not being taken seriously)

MDC: It would be nice if it did, and i would be delighted, but i think these days more younger fans are aware of more genres of music and younger kids often look back in time for inspiration. Maybe in our day it was about the ‚‘moment‘ what was happening ‚‘‘now‘‘ as it was all so exciting.

When I first started down this country road, the likes of Uncut and Mojo were not even aware of the alt country thing, Uncle Tupelo, The Jayhawks had just come out, and it was still a genre waiting for a title. These days those magazines champion Americana, and so you get someone like Ryan Adams with an audience of guys ranging from 20 year olds to guys in their 50s and 60s.

The Parody comment was really aimed at the UK, where Country Music maybe still has a bad rep amongst those who only just see the surface. Lou and I are deadly serious about these songs and how we went about trying to re-create the sound and feel of those great country duet albums from the late 60s/early 70s. That said we are having a bit of fun with the look and the imagery, enjoying wearing the polyester!

NBTMusicRadio: You describe ‘ How Do You Plead’ as a collection of songs about ‘love, separation, bitterness and acrimony.’ In country music, the duet, specially the male/female duet has always been the perfect setting to create these themes. Why do you think this is?

MDC:  I guess it appeals to the voyeur in us all, the part of us that turns the TV down when we  gear a row going on nextdoorm so that we can eavesdrop on what they are shouting about.

Also a man and a woman singing to eachother is a very powerful emotional thing, more so, I think, than just singing out to an audience. Ot is a musical conversation, and as we all know, conversations can be polite, loving or often even angry and bitter, or just down right rude! Lou and I are perfecting the latter all the time.

Victor Camozzi

http://www.myspace.com/victorcamozzi

NBTMusicRadio: The title track of your new album ”Roadside Paradise” seems almost to be a lament for a not very polished past, can you tell us how this song came to be written

Victor: It’s a lament. It’s also a love letter. You stumble around for enough years and you start to realize it’s your warts that make you what you are, not your so called “strengths.” Somewhere along the line I figured out that imperfection is far more interesting to me than perfection. That’s true in a lot of ways. Take the people I talk to in bars wherever I go (Christ, I’m a veritable addict of barstool conversation)—my philosophy is that the dude with perfect teeth and a perfect job and the right brand of shirt can go fuck himself. I’d much rather meet the three time divorcee staring down another busted romance and wondering where it all went wrong. There is something honestly human in that. Beautiful in it’s falability. As for the origins of the song “Roadside Paradise”, I can’t tell you where it all came from, but I can tell you where it began. There is an old 24 hour diner not so far from my house in Austin. Once upon a time, it used to be a truckstop. But the town has grown up around it. Still, in the wee hours, when I’m there far more often than I should be, it attracts that uniquely American cast of drifters and underground highway ramblers, the cast offs and coulda beens, and it was there sitting in one of those old vinyl booths…thinking about the countless joints just like it that have always felt like home to me….that the first words began to tumble out on my napkin (penned in left over crayon if I recall). There’s something about a joint that can serve you chicken fried steak, scrambled eggs and gravy at 4:15am that just moves me in ways both idiotic and divine.

 NBTMusicRadio: The album has a big bar room band sound with more than a touch of bravado and sadness mixed with a hint of devil may care humour, yet its just the two musicians driving the tracks,what prompted you to use just yourself and Matt Downs, and what differences arise when recording like this as opposed to a full band.

Victor: Matt and I go way back. Waaaaaaay back. Back before I ever even got the balls to perform my songs in front of anyone other than my cat Picasso (RIP). Matt and I were buddies. Buddies who shared a similar vibe and a similar taste in music. Aside from being a damn musical genius, he was just a close friend. So early on he was the guy I played my songs for when I was starting out. For my first album, that evolved into us laying down some basic tracks, which I then took to Bill Small and Walt Wilkins and produced into “3 Peso Cigar” with a full band. But for the second album–”Roadside Paradise”–Matt and I got to messing around with some early tracks, and at some point he just looked at me after a couple whiskeys and said “Y’know…I think I might like to see this one through.” And that was enough for me. Matt gets what I’m going for…sonically and cosmically. It doesn’t take a lot of words. A couple hand gestures, a belch and a fart, and he’s nodding his head, good to go. I could add more musicians…and for the next album we may bring in a couple folks here in there…but adding too many cooks just creates more people I have to explain to. I’m just lazy enough (and smart enough) to lean on the musical telepathy Matt and I share and not question the good thing that I’ve found.

I See Hawks In La

http://www.iseehawks.com/

NBTMusicRadio: Dear Flash was inspired by a novel, ‘Divine Right’s Trip’ by Gurney Norman, How did that come about ? and how hard is it to install the essence of a novel into a four minute song?

ISHILA( Paul Lacques): The Whole Earth Catalog was a big part of my life when I was 17 years old, back in the1970s. The hippie movement in the U.S. had fled for the countryside, lots of small farmsand communes starting up in every state, and I wanted to be a part of that. The Catalogwas a compendium of farming/survivalist knowledge, everything from home birthing to geodesic dome making to hunting and composting. We recently found a copy of the 1974 Last Whole EarthCatalog, and Rob and I got immersed in Gurney Norman’s serialized novel “Divine Right’s Trip,” which appeared every few pages throughout the catalog. Gurney’s a fine writer, captures some very dark contradictions deep in the hippie/gypsy lifestyle, and we are pleased to have contacted him and made his acquaintance. He likes our music, which is quite a thrill for us.

“Dear Flash” is an imagined letter 40 years later, from protagonist Divine Right (DR), a kindof everyman hippie, to the cooler and more together Anaheim Flash, whom we imagine as having some idyllic mountain farm. DR has lived all the conflicts of the 60s onward, and wants to rest and grow a garden.

NBTMusicRadio: the cover of the album is either sunset or sunrise, though the underlying mood on a lot of the songs is a end of day weariness, acceptance, lament, very similar in mood to Springsteen’s Nebraska, (emotionally of course if not musically), there are exceptions, but what was it in the writing and conception that made this album in particular such a ”sunset/sunrise” record?

ISHILA( Paul Lacques): You’re right on all counts! We got lucky with the lighting, did the photo at sunset underbrooding skies, and it poured rain on us as soon as we were done. A beautiful afternoon.

The mood of the album is definitely one of battered souls accepting life as it is, a bit stripped of our activist/political stance of past recordings. It’s just where we’re at today, writing what’s on our minds, like all of our albums. Our previous songs were very influenced, willingly or not, by the darkness of the Bush administration and our urge to fight,however hopeless that fight might be.

“New Kind Of Lonely” is certainly the sunset to that era, with the irony that the Obama administration is a carbon copy of Bush, with perhaps an added layer of deceit and false promises.

So in a way we’ve thrown up our hands, given up on the American people and the fate of America, and are trying to live our lives as peacefully (and low carbon) as we can.

The preaching era is over for us, at least for the moment. The songs are far more personal,are actually about our own lives in some intimate detail, and that’s a big change for us.It is a sunrise of sorts. I’m not sure what the new day is, but it feels different. We feel great personal hope, but our apocalyptic views of the future are unfortunately intact.

Tom Rodwell

http://www.tomrodwell.com/

NBTMusicRadio: The album is recorded with no effects, edits or overdubs, would you call yourself a musical ‘purist’ or would you be absolutely horrified by that description?

Tom: Well on one hand, no I’m not a purist, since I like to blend and change my source material and influences, and I consciously experiment and improvise with the structure of the songs I work with. It all melts together into my own language of sorts – so it’s more like a raw and personal “style” than a collection of tunes.

But that in itself is quite a purist idea really. I’m a fan of the blues players who were a law unto themselves – like Skip James, Albert Collins and Fred McDowell. Each had their own unique characters, even if their songs could at first glance be drawn from the same well as another musician’s. Which goes to show that really blues is communal music that no-one owns, where inflection and interpretation – art – matters more than ‘skill’ or braggadocio. Look at Lightnin‘ Hopkins or John Lee Hooker – on the surface quite similar players, but with utterly different temperaments and ways of seeing, and utterly different lives. I only hope to be purist in the sense of trying to continue developing my own musical language, and follow my nose and be honest with myself. That’s all you can hope for.

 NBTMusicRadio: On the website you speak about the Blues as a dance form, does this come naturally from the traditional lyrics’ rhythm or does it only become obvious once the guitar and percussion is attached, and how does this affect how you approach the creation of a song?

Tom: The music comes first mostly; I typically start a song from a brief, blunt musical accent, and then think of what to sing on top of it. But sometimes the lyrics do suggest a phrasing, and it’s fun to experiment with it all. What happens if you take a lyric that conventionally works in a shuffle atmosphere, but lay it over a reggae-dancehall rhythm instead?

Tempo is important too – and because my right foot taps out the rhythm to all my songs, it has to start from there. So the feet lead the head! I’m always trying to get people to move to this music – surely that is what it is for, this feeling of warmth leading you out of the darkness. Plus if women dance, then men dance, then people buy beer and then musicians get paid.

 HungryTown

http://hungrytown.net/

 NBTMusicRadio: A few of the songs on the album are triggered by events within the world at large, A volcano’s Eruption, Moving into an old house and so on, but then the themes are pointed inward, become an exposure of the ‘internal’ as it were (The Title track could be about the inactivity of depression for example) and this mix is rather wonderful, so my question (‘at last!’ I hear you sigh) how do you create these personal miniatures, is it a long process of introspection, or does this balance come without thought.

HungryTown: Every song requires a slightly different approach, and I often experiment to find the one that works best. Over the years, I’ve discovered that I like to tell stories from the first person perspective. My characters tend to be fictional, but I use my own experience and perceptions in a way that might make those characters and stories more believable

Our songs usually begin with an idea—a tale we’d like to tell, or an event that we want to relate. Ken often comes up with these ideas.

 After that, I try to find the right perspective. This can sometimes happen quickly, but it may take months. I’ve always been intrigued by the year 1816—a volcanic eruption the year before created a thin layer of ash that encircled the globe. Enough light was blocked so that the temperature in some northern regions experienced winter conditions the following summer. At first, I envisioned a narrative poem set to music.

 I tried writing in the third person, but the result felt detached and academic. I couldn’t imagine myself singing such a song. At some point, I decided to turn away from delivering a history lecture, and instead made 1816 a setting for a fable. I told a story from the viewpoint of a pregnant young girl, who is promised marriage by her lover in a spring that never arrives. Once I got this idea, “Year Without A Summer” seemed to write itself, and the resulting lyrics were more fluid and much more natural to sing.

The process was similar with the song, “Any Forgotten Thing.” Ken came up with the title, and the idea of using an old house as a metaphor for loneliness. I really liked this idea, but couldn’t get a grasp on how to make it into a song, especially one to which others could relate. To this end, I tried to be loose with the metaphor, to leave plenty of room for listener interpretation. I waited a while, hoping for the right images to appear.

Eventually I began to picture a person’s hands becoming unreliable–maybe because they shake, or they’re arthritic, or whatever. I liked the idea of the body breaking down, like any old machine. So that was the first verse. For the second, it seemed important to incorporate time and solitude. For the person in the song, there’s no point trying to keep up with the clock, so why bother winding it?

 My favorite part of this song to write was the subject thinking about replacing the doorbell, if only to hear it ring once again. This image seemed to fit, and to show–hopefully in a subtle way–how much time has passed since this person has had a visitor. For the last verse, I wanted to deal with the issue of regret, because it seems as though that might be connected with loneliness. And I got the image of someone examining their memories or themselves the way one might rummage through old items tossed into an attic, trying separate the treasures from the trash. Finally, I wanted to suggest the possibility that this period of loneliness is only temporary–an in-between time that allows for self-reflection.

 NBTMusicRadio: I believe Ken worked on the Rebecca ‘solo’ recordings as well, so to both of you; what is the fundamental difference between those and Hungrytown?
HungryTown: The fundamental difference between the Rebecca Hall and Hungrytown recordings is basically the passage of time–performing and recording as a duo is something that happenedgradually for us. When we met in NYC many years ago, Ken was a rock drummer in about seven different bands and I was singing torch songs in Soho bars. I was not writing songs at all at that time, just learning to perform and do my own interpretation of standards.

Then, inspired by the 1997 re-issue of the Harry Smith Folk Anthology, I picked up a guitar for the first time and began to write songs based on traditional ballads.
My first album, Rebecca Hall Sings!, was recorded very simply on a Tascam 4-track. The songs were coming so quickly for me at that time, and I was just trying to get them down.Ken helped me with some basic arrangements, and wrote all the harmony parts. We were very casual about this recording; it was something we just did for ourselves, so we were surprised when a local radio station, WFMU, got hold of a copy and started playing it
regularly. That was really encouraging, and we started work on my second solo album,Sunday Afternoon, very shortly afterwards.

This time, Ken was even more involved, he wasresponsible for all the arrangements and production, and we co-wrote a few of those songs.By that time, I was performing regularly with various New York City musician friends–my lineup was basically whoever could get to the gig that week. And Ken would come up on
stage and play harmonica sometimes, and would sing harmonies with me. Once we had a gig booked, but all my usual band members were out of town, so Ken and I just decided to dothe gig by ourselves.

We realized that we really liked this new, stripped-down approach.We began performing as a duo, traveling to gigs all around New England. We both still had day jobs at that point, but we were so unhappy at work, and so contented when we were playing music, that we just decided to see if we could make a living by touring. So in late 2003 we quit NYC, and moved to the hills of Vermont–a great place to write and record, and much more affordable than Manhattan!

We were still performing under the rather ungainly name “Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson,” and realized that we needed a band name for ourselves. At around that point, we had just finished writing a song called Hungrytown Road–a country waltz inspired by a real road in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia–that seemed to be popular at our shows. One day Kensaid, “why don’t we just call ourselves Hungrytown?” and the name just stuck. Very soon
afterwards we began work on our eponymously titled debut album. Hungrytown took about three years to record, and featured several guest musicians–excellent bluegrass pickers The Virginia Ramblers, as well as our friends Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar from The Mammals. We had so much fun making that album, and the mobile recording method really reflected our travels during that time. It was recorded at various locations along the
east coast–a double-wide trailer in Virginia, a home studio in the Catskills and a traditional New England meeting house.

A few years of almost non-stop touring went by, and we wrote many songs while we were on the road. Finally, in 2010 we realized we were ready to make a new album. We took a two-month break from performing, and this time around decided to do the whole thing byourselves, in our home studio. We co-wrote many of the songs for Any Forgotten Thing, and Ken wrote all the arrangements and played multiple instruments on these recordings. We
brought in our talented neighbor, Laura Molinelli, to sing backing vocals on a few tracks, but otherwise, it’s just us. We wanted this album, more than any other, to reflect our sound as a duo, and were very pleased with the result.

Oh My Darling

http://www.ohmydarling.ca/

NBTMusicRadio: Although your album is titled ‘’Sweet Nostalgia’’ and the music you make is steeped in tradition, the listener never feels that your album is a museum piece, there is something reassuringly modern in the feel.  Could you explain how this ‘’essence’ of 2012 onwards slips into your music, and what modern acts thrill the ladies of OMD

Oh My Darling : We all have a true love for traditional sounds and songs, whether they are Old-Time Appalachian, Franco-Canadian Métis, Bluegrass, Irish traditional or classic country, we find our common ground in the love of the traditional sounds. But we all are very inspired by what is going on in the music scene on the current stage as well. We find ourselves inspired by amazing groups like The Punch Brothers, Joy Kills Sorrow, Andrew Bird, The Goat Rodeo Sessions and modern songwriting styles, anything that is pushing the boundaries within this genre. We are inspired by the traditional sounds and put elements of that into our sound but we love to create new rhythms, chord progressions, lyrical and melodic styles that may be unorthodox to the hardcore traditionalists, we like the blend of something old and something new

NBTMusicRadio: While the music is indeed sweet, the lyrics hint at darker themes at times, illicit affairs, love and betrayal, escaping the city and so on, was this something that only cropped up in this album or is the balance tween dark and light a very necessary thing for a perfect album.

Oh My Darling: When we were looking at the collection of songs that we had for Sweet Nostalgia, there was an underlying theme of nostalgia that ran through all of the songs. Nostalgia can hold many sentiments, love, loss, hope, despair, sadness, joy… We weren’t looking to write songs that had particularly dark or light sentiments, we just wrote. As the songs came together the feeling of nostalgia pulled all the songs together. The presence and balance of dark and light belong to us within the songs and on the album but also the feelings of sweetness and beauty of reflecting on the past

Marty Rivers

http://www.martyrivers.com/

NBTMusicRadio: The album was recorded in Nashville; do you think it’s important to go to the ‘source’ as it were when recording a country music album or could just as fine album be created in Malta for instance?

Marty: Although I believe that a fine album can be produced almost anywhere but to bring together in one place such a wonderful group of top ‘country music’ session musicians together with such a producer like Gary Carter is very hard unless I’ll bring them all over to Malta; even still, Nashville itself is a source of inspiration to any musician or songwriter so even though it will be interesting to records my next project here on the island but Nashville surely is The Place.

NBTMusicRadio: In the Song Run Angel Run are you writing about any city in particular when you call it ‘this damn Babylon’?

Marty: Well, the City in mind was ‘L.A.’; many young people’s dreams are being shattered there; They go to Babylon with just a dream and so many of them end up living in the street; but in reality Babylon can be New York, London or any other big city or even Nashville; it’s great to see so many people living their dream but sometimes it’s also painful to see where so many of them can end up when they trust the wrong people

Nico Wayne Toussaint

http://www.wix.com/nicowaynetoussaint/lonelynumber

NBTMusicRadio: There is an unhurried languid feel about the songs on the album, were the recording sessions as calm and comfortable as this suggests?

Nico: The recording sessions were done in Montreal, Canada. The sound engineer / producer / drummer Nicky Estor is a long time friend, such as the guitar player. That session was like old friends getting back together. So it was efficient but without the pressure. Another element for your answer is that Nicky Estor comes from a New Orleans musical background, as well as blues. He loves music like Keb Mo’ or G Love and the Special Sauce. That kind of influences show also in his way to handle the mix and the overall approach of the production

NBTMusicRadio: Guy Davis contributes a stunning bluesy vocal on ‘How Long To Heal’ can you tell us how this recording came about?

Nico: My encounter with Guy happened in my home town, Bayonne, France, were Guy came to do a show, 5 days before i was flying to Montreal to cut my album. We played together that evening and his manager mentioned that it would be a great idea to have Guy on the album, since we were going to be so close one and the other, Guy lives in NY. I had only one song I wanted to play acoustic on the CD and that was ‘’How Long To Heal’’. It couldn’t be a better song for Guy and me to meet.

Brock Zeman

http://www.brockzeman.com/

NBTMusicRadio: The track, ‘Light in the Attic’ from a lyrical point of view has a cool and interesting structure, in that although it’s about the ‘traditional’ song theme of Break UP, it focuses rather on observing life AROUND it rather. How did the creation of this song come about?

Brock: That song was written all in one shot on my porch. I just picked everything out of the air as it fell into place. I like to put a lot of my surroundings and experiences into my songs. If you’re honest about what you do, what you do will always sound new.

NBTMusicRadio: How do you balance running a label and the fine focus that a new album insists on, and will you get some Mud Records artists to us to play on NBTMusicRadio ?

Brock: I like being in the studio as much as possible. Having a label gives me the chance to do that. People have given all of our releases some great praise, so we just keep doing what we do. I tend to lean on the side of music I’m getting the most response from. Sometimes it’s playing live, sometimes it’s writing and recording. I bounce back and forth and it somehow works.
Love to send you all the releases! Robert Larisey, Brothers Through The Hill & Tom House!

Elisabeth Carlisle

http://www.glacierrecords.com/

NBTMusicRadio: Songs like 6000 Miles have a lovely widescreen, cinematic feel to the way they flow, yet feel unforced and not over dramatic. How do you as a songwriter maintain that balance tween, a personal theme, and being detached enough to craft a tune that all of us can relate to?

Elisabeth:If you listen to my first 2 CDs you’ll discover that I primarily write from experiences, whether they’re my own or someone else’s. I can get pretty detailed in those descriptions, as I did in 6000 Miles. I think every songwriter that has spent a fair amount of time touring has a song about “coming home” or being away from those we love. I actually have a song called “Coming Home” on my Roll With the Flow CD! When it came to production the verses seemed to be more reflective and in thought, with the chorus popping out in more desperation. I love the band Train and feel that my production history is very similar to theirs. It must be that we’re both from the Bay Area and have grown up on the same style of music such as Journey, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, etc. So I think that the emotional energy that Bay Area bands have always produced comes out in me on a song like 6000 Miles.

NBTMusicRadio: for the EP, two songs were recorded in Sweden and two in California, to YOU when you have the finished songs what is the major difference in how the songs sound? (For example with the Swedish productions I found that delightful POP sensibility sneaking its way into the tracks)

Elisabeth: It’s not uncommon to have different producers on a CD. The trick is trying to keep a thread of consistency throughout the songs so they flow well together. For me that has always been my voice and keeping the keyboard prominent, which is my main instrument other than my voice. My first CD had 3 producers, with me as co-producer and had a “live” band feel throughout. For my second CD I wanted to have one producer with me and focus on a coherent style for each song. I also felt I was dangerously teetering on becoming too “Folk Rock” with my Northern California roots. I had been working in Sweden as a pianist and loved the “Pop” sound that many Swedish artists have. I thought that if I could combine those two elements of Folk Rock and Pop I’d have a true representation of me as an artist. My friend led me to Amir Aly at Yla (pronounced oo-la) Studios in Malmo where I ended up recording Roll With The Flow. I had moved back to California when writing for the EP, so time and distance only allotted for the two songs to be recorded in Malmo with Amir and my original band from Sweden. For me, it just doesn’t get better than that.

 Kenny Schick produced the last two songs and did a great job. He’s also from the Bay Area so they definitely swing more towards that original “Folk Rock” I was talking about. The major difference is that Amir does a lot more layering and looping, which brings a fullness and energy to the songs. I actually wanted Call Me A Mystery to be full on electronica, but my drummer Mattias wouldn’t have it. That’s where working with excellent musicians can help keep the balance. Of course, he was right in the end and the songs came out exactly as they should be.

 Kyle Carey

http://www.kyleannecarey.com/

NBTMusicRadio: from a lyrical point of view how difficult is the creation of a song, do the words just slip in themselves like old friends, or do they have to be coaxed into the structure of the tune?

Kyle: Lyrically every song is different, and the writing process is something I never try to push too hard. Some songs come very quickly, for example I wrote ‘Orange Blossom’ during my sophomore year of college. I remember I’d just returned home from a party where I’d felt very out of place and alone. I figured I might as well do something with the emotions charging through me so I sat down and ‘Orange Blossom’ came to me in a span of about ten minutes. On the other hand, ‘Adenine’ took about a week to write, and most of my other songs at least a couple days. I’m working on a song at the moment I think could take up to a month. When I’m writing I try to take breaks, and if I’m struggling for the right word or rhyme, I just let the idea sit for a while, and like clockwork, it eventually comes.

NBTMusicRadio: You describe your music as ‘’Gaelic Americana’’ when  the songs are still in demo form, do they veer to one aspect of this over another, or are the nuances of both those styles added subtly in the studio?

Kyle: Most of my originals are stylistically Americana in terms of their subject matter. The Gaelic/Celtic side of what I do comes from a background of having studied Scottish Gaelic and having lived in places like Cape Breton, Ireland and Scotland. The more Celtic influences found in my album are due to the fact that it was recorded in Ireland and produced by Donogh Hennessy, with mostly Celtic artists in the collaboration. So while the music started off as almost straight Americana, the other influences were added primarily in-studio.

I think Donogh and I balanced each other well during the creation process, for example ‘Gaol ise Gaol i’ the one Gaelic track on the album, is where his Celtic expertise really shines, and he was certainly at the forefront for the vision of the song’s arrangement. However, when the song was nearly complete, I worried that it lacked the Americana influence that it the main theme of the album, so I suggested we throw in a banjo part, and surprisingly, it fit great!

Tom Kell

http://www.tomkell.com/

NBTMusicRadio: ‘This Desert City’ marks a return to the studio after a lengthy absence , How easy was it to slip back into the ‘habit’ as it were, and what was the same and what was different  compared to past sessions, technically and personally?

Tom: Recording has really never been a “rare” occurrence for me.
While “This Desert City” does indeed mark my return to the radio, I’ve always been recording something it seems. I did a few “Gospel” records over the past few years and am constantly doing “publishing” demos of my songs. I write almost every day, so there’s always something to record.
The beauty of the “This Desert City” sessions was that I once again got to record with some amazing musician friends I’ve made over the years in LA. There just is no better band for my kind of songwriting. Every player and singer on that record was a perfect choice. They happened to be friends of mine too, which made the experience all the better. This project also marked the return of my collaboration with producer Jeffery Cox.

NBTMusicRadio: The track, ‘’The Way Of The World’’ is a gentle bitter sweet take on fame that twists half way through to become a much darker thing, can you tell us more about the writing and creation on this song?

Tom: “The Way of The World” is really just a compilation of the many stories I’ve read about or seen happen while living in Los Angeles for all these years. The next “big” thing is celebrated then discarded day after day, time after time. “She was a French girl, she came to LA for the heat” is the opening line. The rest was easy. It’s a story of fame, lust and envy, with the darkest of endings. I’m pretty sure I must’ve read about the shooting in The LA Times but don’t recall for sure.

West Of Eden

http://www.westofeden.com/

NBTMusicRadio:  the creative and recording process of this fine album is fascinating! Did these periods of isolation (the ‘Plura’ and recording at a remote coastal location, PLUS the tragic subject matter), affect the musicians mood in any negative way, after all on the surface of it; this is all rather dark stuff!

West Of Eden: Of course it had an impact on us. This is after all rather serious and tragic tales, but I wouldn’t say that it affected us personally in a negative way. I think that it made us work harder than ever before to create an ambience in the songwriting and recording that would suit the subject of each song.

NBTMusicRadio: on Songs like ‘Coffin Ship’ i was intrigued by the fact that there was a country/Americana feel to the music, how did this come about?

West Of Eden: I would say that the Celtic music and the Americana / country-music have a strong connection. In our part of the world (Scandinavia) we hear more of American music such as Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams than Celtic music on the radio, so it‘s no wonder that there could be some influences in our music. That said, I think a song like Coffin Ship also has a strong connection to the music of The Waterboys which was a heavy influence on us when we started West of Eden 15 year ago

Katrin

http://www.katrinmusic.com/

NBTMusicRadio:“Blame” is very Gospel in feel, a soulful requiem of sorts, did that sound spring from the subject matter, or was that something that happened in the studio?

Katrin: I wrote and previously recorded “Blame” in a more acoustic, stripped down way. The melody and lyrics have always been the foundation of the song. With the opportunity to revisit the song, and the atmosphere we had to record in ( a renovated church called Dreamland) That MUST have been an influence to the gospel comparison you speak of, but also, the musicians especially Daniel Weiss on organ made for a whole new vibe on this recording. Then there is the way that I have evolved as a singer, and there has been a deepening and a passage that I have experienced. I guess can attribute that to time, perseverance, and life kicking me in the ass. I keep coming back stronger

NBTMusicRadio: Songs like ‘ Far Away’ are pretty layered lyrically, both emotional and story driven, how long do you ‘live’ with a piece, before you take it to the next level of Musicians and the studio, and once there do you sometimes find that the process takes them into completely new directions or do they stay as close to your original concept as possible?

Katrin: All the musicians helped me take this song and make it into more. They rocked it where it called for it, and brought the intimacy in the lyrically vulnerable moments. Jerry Marotta produced this song and it was one of the first tracks we started with in the studio. I wrote part of “Far Away” a long time ago and decided to put it in the junk yard and scrap it for parts. It was either that or put it in the song cemetery. (A Scary place!)

That is when the chorus came to me “Got a minivan, parked right outside. Got a full tank, I could take a ride” and I thought about the person I was when I began writing the original tune. Stuck, and torn in a relationship I needed to leave.

It wasn’t long after the new chorus came, that the song was fully arranged and ready for musician’s input and some pre-production rehearsals.

There are so many ways songs journey to their fruition. This one was particularly long, but that’s what it needed I guess. It was worth the wait and to have the courage to allow the evolution to happen.

Don’t Forget

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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

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The NBT Podcast Archives 1

due to the fact that the NBT Flagship Podcast has left its old home and made a place for itself right here on WordPress a gentle archive movement has begun. Downloads only for the time being. Starting with the last show hosted by Libsyn and the 2010 Wonderful Ones Broadcast.

The NBT Wonderful Ones 201o

(right click and save as)

NBT_Wonderful_Ones_2010

rare live recordings, cool covers, acoustic takes, specially recorded songs for the show

starring

Richard Kapp  Bill Price Dark Lily, Sarathan/Two Loons for Tea, Danika Holmes Tokyo Rosenthal,

Richie Lawrence 88 Kilos Of Sunshine, Marco Mahler Frequency Theatre, Pollyanna  Aaron English  Small City Calling

Ripple Music Mach Fox Tori Sparks Ruth Minnikin Peter Doran Adventure Spirit

Rebecca Turner Bird Eats Baby Merry Ellen Kirk Carta Marina Elika

Legendary Ten Seconds iCON Orange One Count To Fire.

Read about the artists HERE

SONGS LIKE THESE

(right click and save as)

11th_May_2011_NBT

featuring:

Small City Calling

Brian Lee

IAM:YOURHERO

Chainsaw Murphy

Tokyo Rosenthal

Pete Sinjin

Giula Millanta

HuDost

25th May 2011 NBT

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

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youcan SUBSCRIBE to the NBT Podcast audio HERE

Music manipulated

inspired and inspiring

the independent way

 Read Reviews on these Artists on the NBT Blog

Giulia Millanta

LadyTown and Jebediah Goodthrust

AaronEnglish

 also featured on this show

KimmieRhodes

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The NBT Review 120

Dropping Down – Giulia Millanta (Ugly Cat Music)

It’s a brave thing indeed to start of a set with a song that has, as its main focus, Anger. It could set us up for angst perhaps or that
shouty kinda righteousness that some protest singers favour. But ‘Right Between The Eyes’ balances the singers (rage) disappointment with a restrained sort of energy, holding back when it needs to, letting a gentle folk even reggae mood drift though, but keeping the bite, the tension perfectly.

It’s because its personal. And that’s the album’s defining core, these songs come from the heart and the mind, what takes place is seen through the singers eyes, what is felt is what she feels, and oh she is curious, feisty, humorous, yet introspective. And she manages somehow to make that introspection blossom outwards so that we become emotionally attached to the words and music.

She sets the scene, and often that scene is surreal, yet with a few words you catch on to all the characters, and where they fit, if only for a few seconds before they slip slide away, melt, fade into each other as she tumbles us gently into another chapter.

On the cover we see the artist seconds after taking the great leap off, down, into..where exactly? and we wonder if she will be able to
illustrate through her songwriter this ambiguous fear or joy or that satisfying mix of both.

Wonder no more, this free-fall is seductive, delicious even strangely comforting.

Her arrangements too fit this slow dive, never fussy, the instruments shift around the voice like the wind against the body falling,
special mention must be made though about Lorenzo Forti’s bass which slinks and curls around the songs, sly and provocative.

Millanta takes us on a quirky sideshow reading of Paranoid, which displays a subtle theatrical pose, before ending the set with ‘Floating’ which is placed perfectly as it seems to be an answer of sorts to all the questions raised within the previous stories, an acceptance of love, of self and finally of life.

Find out more

http://www.giuliamillanta.com

Look At The Sound – Jebediah Goodthrust (Independent Release)

 Holy Banjo Batman!  The Country superhero brings us another slice of home cooked rock n roll, or maybe its moonshine, He sure does strut across the speakers like a good old young man all dressed up fine for a Saturday night adventure.

Mr Heise plays about 85% of what goes on here, but weirdly this is the most BAND sounding album of his long curved career.

This is the Breakthrough collection the one that could shove those that merely admire into something resembling pure love. And I for one will rejoice mightily when that happens.

It even boasts a bona fide classic rock single in ‘Go’ which is a gloopy mix of Sweet Jane Velvets and Paul Westerberg  all applied with a big brush onto that unmistakable Heise Brothers structure.

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

There are ungainly waltzes (cowboys learning to love and dance, their minds half on that pretty face half on the hassles and weight of the world outside), and even that peculiar kinda post punk ballad type thing that only a certain type of deviant American really understands or gets right.. again though its the Heise twist that defines them, so its Pixies or Pavement (depending on the hour and the song) but with that  smudge on the windscreen perspective.

Personal favourite  for me, (let it be said that this collection is FULL of faves)  is ‘So Tired’ a song that builds and falls , builds and falls and  contains a delicate tension that bodes well for future releases and also gets that difficult creature that is Nelson’s voice just
right.

Look, they are never really gonna be mainstream, but this one flirts with the possibility, and is perhaps the brothers finest achievement thus far.

And if this ‘solo’ outing makes you , gentle listener want to explore the back roads that the Hit and Mrs and The Heise Brothers travelled, then that’s a damn good thing.

Http://thehitandmrs.bandcamp.com

 Tracks from BOTH these fine recordings can be found on the NBTMusic Radio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

 and they
will also be featured on the NBT Flagship Podcast going out tomorrow
on this very set of pages :)

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 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