Thursday, April 15, 2010

Holly Miranda

I'm a big fan of Holly Miranda but I didn't know it before I saw her in Minneapolis at the 400 Bar on Monday night. I had never seen her live and only knew a handful of her songs. Basically, I didn't have a ton of expectations going into it, I was mostly intrigued and curious. After she sang the first note, however, I knew it was all over and I stood, transfixed, reveling in every gorgeous note, bridge, and chorus. Her voice! The songwriting! The band's instrumentation! The covers (Yoko and Etta James)! It really was one of those rare experiences in life where I was completely and utterly blown away. This is some deep stuff right here.

Miranda and band landed in Minneapolis after wrapping up a 9-week van tour, much of it in support of Tegan and Sara. During the set she mentioned being tired, so, this begs the question, if I was so moved by a worn-out Holly Miranda, what would happen if she was in tip-top shape - would my head explode and pop off? Don't answer that.

Miranda is on the fast track to big things. Her first solo full-length album, The Magician's Private Library, put out by the excellent XL Recordings, was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and given the nod of approval by Kanye (true story). She's put in her time in NYC and I would imagine she'll be playing bigger and better venues as more people are exposed to her (touring with Tegan and Sara, as well as The XX doesn't hurt). She is a true talent, seems genuinely sweet and down-to-earth, and I hope she will be rich soon.

Gorgeous: "Slow Burn Treason"

Adorable, yet informative (Stone Roses shout out!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just a quick drive-by posting of the following video, which has been floating around online for the past few days...

I've always quite liked Jazmine Sullivan, and thought her debut album Fearless, was a great collection of songs that are quite different to a lot of the other monotonous R&B on the radio currently. There's no doubt Jazmine has a big voice, and that she's been doing this for a long while, but the video below gave me literal chills all the same.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Mixtape Monday!

1. DJ House Shoes is one of the biggest reps of Detroit hip-hop around. He was also a close friend of J Dilla and knows beats as well as any dj or producer working right now. He just released a free beat mixtape, which is fresh and inventive and even features Karen O on a track.

You can also listen to his podcasts and dj sets (including a set from the infamous outdoor LA party, the Do Over!!).

2. Mick Boogie has been mentioned before on this blog, and, all I have to say is --- this guy. THIS GUY. He's always doing something amazing, and has released yet another mixtape. Instead of mashups this go-round, Boogie's latest is a mixtape in the old school sense of the term - shining some light on up and coming artists with production from legends (Jazzy Jeff!).

3. Trackademics is a Bay Area MC and producer and has just released his third mixtape. Elements of cryphy with some synth and melody. Ahhhh. He also has Mark Ronson's stamp of approval, which we love here at OSS! He also releases music on Fool's Gold Records, one of my favorite labels out there right now.

4. The Roots take on J Dilla's instrumental genius with an amazing mixtape. Do I need to say more about the amazingness of this project? No. No, I do not.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Angus & Julia Stone have come a long way since 2006, the year they released their debut EP Chocolates and Cigarettes. While always representative of the unique Australian folk scene, the early songs were somewhat cutesy, without much to distinguish the brother/sister duo from other, more maturely established acts.

Cut to 2010, which sees the release of their second full-length EP, Down The Way. Still present are the ethereal vocals of Julia Stone, similar in many ways to those of Cocorosie's Bianca Casady. The folk is still there, as well; now, however, it's been supplemented with lush string arrangements, more aggressive percussion, and lyrical and structural maturity not as present on earlier works.

Let's not forget ole Angus, either. He takes lead vocals on some of the albums's strongest tracks, such as "Draw Your Swords", where he musters a bit of quavering vulnerability as he whisper-sings lyrics like, "You are mine, I am yours, let's not fuck around". While such schtick could easily become tiresome with most indie acts, Angus & Julia Stone manage to pull off such affectations convincingly, and the album as a whole is refreshingly listenable.

Down The Way is now available in Australian, UK, US, Canada, and France, as well as on iTunes.

Check out the group's MySpace for song previews, tour dates, and more info.