Sunday, June 17, 2007


Good Music for A Sunny Sunday And Gardening !

I must admit that I have been rather absent of late this has been due to a number of factors one of which is that I have a large garden that needs attention especially at this time of the year as the recipe of rain and sun does wonders for vegetation growing at phenomenal speeds. I could of course ignore the garden but this would lead to my house being enveloped in a mass of greenery in a few years. Seeing as the weather has been more summer that certain summers this has not been a disagreeable task though very time consuming. It was probably because of this that I decided to give 'The Good Seed' by Ellis Island Sound another spin, and at the end of the day I was very pleased to have done so. Many of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering who the hell they are, Ellis Island Sound are one of Peter Astor's two on going current projects the other one being Wisdom Of Harry. The band, if we can say that for two people, consists of Peter with David Sheppard who were assisted by Josh Hillman from Willard Grant Conspiracy on this album. The result is very pastoral very English without being at all quaint. They hid them selves away in a old church on the borders of the windswept English counties of Suffolk and Norfolk and let the countryside breathe life into their music, one can almost imagine them looking out at the scenery as birds sung along with their music while resting their wings on the churches ancient beams. The album manages a subtle mix of traditional acoustic instruments, ukulele, harmonium, dulcimer with well placed and non imposing electronics. I've had a problem getting 'Summoning The Pharoah' out of my head these last few days with it's mantra like drone that comes something like an unplugged early period Kraftwerk. Then there is 'The Villagers' that demands your attention with it compelling violin motif. I'm not quite sure why the album did not impress me on first listen maybe it's just meant to be listened to while being outdoors, those wishing to take the open air listening experience further can catch them playing at The Big Chill and Green Man festivals this summer.
Keeping with low key music I was recently very impressed with Blair, a 23 year old lady hailing from New Orleans. Very much in the mould of classic singer song writers she wins you over with her charming voice and dangerously subversive melodies that waste no time in occupying space between your ears 'Half Moon' is fine example of this where half way through the song you start wondering if you have heard it before. 'Wolfboy' illustrates that she is equally at ease with backing from a sympathetic band and her songs support this treatment while loosing none of their finesse. I found myself thinking of early Brenda Kahn and Heather Nova while listening, not such a bad thing. These two songs make up part of her debut ep 'Pluto' that is available from CD Baby.

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