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Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live
Band of Horses have a new album, Mirage Rock, coming out in September. They perform at The Mann on August 17 with My Morning Jacket. Selah Sue releases her self-titled U.S. debut on August 21. Both artists will be here for an XPN Free At Noon show on Friday, August 17!
Band of Horses will burst onto the Free at Noon stage August 17th. The band, which traces its origins to Washington state, has survived a tumultuous history: of the four original members, only frontman singer-songwriter Ben Bridwell remains. Bridwell is supported by Tyler Ramsey (guitar/vocals), Bill Reynolds (bass), Ryan Monroe (keyboard), and Creighton Barret (drums). Renowned as soulful rockers with a touch of country, they have garnered a faithful following and numerous awards.
Band of Horses (originally "Horses") got its start in 2004 as Ben Bridwell's pet project after the breakup of his previous band, Carissa's Wierd. Their first album, Everything All the Time, was an indie hit in their northwest corner of the United States. In 2005 they got their first real break, opening for Iron & Wine and catching the ear of the Sub Pop label. Under Sub Pop, they were able to re-release Everything All the Time in 2006 to a larger audience.
The band moved to South Carolina, Bridwell's native state, before releasing their next album. "Cease to Begin" debuted in October, 2007, peaking at 35th on the Billboard charts and exposing the band to their first critical and financial success. Three years later, the band released an even bigger album, "Infinite Arms," this time under COlumbia Records. "Infinite Arms" received the rousing support of critics and fans alike, culminating in a Grammy for the band.
The band's newest album, "Mirage Rock," was produced by recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Glyn Johns. Johns has worked with such artists as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton, to name only a few. "Mirage Rock" is scheduled for release on September 18.
Sporting big hair and a bigger voice, Belgian songwriter Selah Sue has gotten significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Her 2011 eponymous debut album sold over 400,000 copies in Europe and peaked high on many European charts. She has won two European Border Breakers awards. Selah Sue, whose real name is Sanne Putseys, taught herself acoustic guitar at age 15 in her hometown Leefdall. She was offered a record deal at age 17 by Universal but declined, preferring to write her own songs.
Selah Sue's sound might be best characterized by her song "Raggamuffin," which was the title track of an EP she released in 2010. Selah Sue delivering reggae-style vocals might come as a surprise from a young white European girl, but her control and raw soul talent prevent her from coming of as gimmicky. Her patois-inflection is not at all forced. Her rise to stardom was swift. She first attracted fans on the web with a handful of videos. In just a short while she was opening for Prince when he came to Antwerp, Belgium, recording a duet with Cee-Lo Green entitled Please, and traveling the European festival circuit.
Her soulful sound often draws comparisons to Amy Winehouse. Like Winehouse she often covers The Zutons. She considers Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and of course Bob Marley to be her major influences. Sue studied psychology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven while trying to launch her musical career. Her studies have helped her better understand human emotion, and understanding that has helped her craft a resonating live performance.