Saturday, July 22, 2006


New, Newish Or New To Me

A little round up of artists that that I have recently discovered that have new releases that are well worthy of your attention.
First up is James Hunter with his fourth album 'People Will Talk' out now on Rounder. Possible an artist destined to stay a critics choice with maybe success in the States, as he is probably about as unfashionable as it is possible to be. After devouring his grandmothers collection of 78's he has become suburban Essex's best blue eyed soul singer. Often compared to Van Morrison, Hunter had been taken under his wing having appeared on a couple of Van's late nineties albums. Morrison has even gone as far a describing him as having "one of the best voices and being one of the best kept secrets in British R'n'B and soul" heady stuff indeed check out this song 'People Gonna Talk' not the most original of songs but it makes me think of Sam Cooke and that can't be a bad thing. Listening to the song I find it hard to believe that it was recorded in Londons East End in the 21 century.
Quinn are from Glasgow, Scotland and I fell under their charm the first time I heard 'Slowmotion Smile' which is from their second album 'Luss'. Rumour has it that Kid Loco turned down an invitation to work with Madonna as he preferred collaborating with Quinn on this album. Quinn are comprised of Louise Quinn and Bal Cooke, and claim wide and varied unfluences such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Clash and also jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald. This song for me is not that far removed from Janis Joplin and Beth Orton two female artists that always gone down well with me.
Last up an other band releasing their second album, generally speaking a band that uses their name as the title of their second album could be suspected of lacking imagination. With Razorlight this is not the case as can be heard on 'In The Morning', a song that got me feeling all nostalgic, it manages very well to sound like the bastard son of the Clash and Franz Ferdinand. Recorded very simply in the studio with a minimum of technological aid, this approach has paid off, an album clocking in at 35 minutes with its ten songs, just like the good old days. Guitars sounding like guitars and being played at the same time as the rhythm section. Johnny Borrell has a very nice way with words and a pleasant voice and catchy melodies, so what more could one ask for? The only question I have is are they good live?

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