Even before she released her debut album, Sing to the Moon on Columbia, the buzz and anticipation surrounding Laura Mvula was building. And it's easy to understand why after just one listen. The English singer possesses a rare charisma and one of the most beautiful voices we've heard in some while. Unlike many of the British female soul singers to emerge over the last several years, whether it be Amy Winehouse, Adele, or Emeli Sande, Mvula sets herself apart aiming not to overpower her audiences but rather to seduce them. With the songs of Sing to the Moon, her enchanting debut, she succeeds.
For well over a decade now The National have been uncompromising in their approach to music making. On their sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me (4AD), the Brooklyn-based band further embrace their ominous personality that seeks to find beauty though sorrow and darkness.
The final piece of the Vampire Weekend trilogy once again finds a winning combination, and is perhaps the best of the bunch.
The anticipation for Modern Vampires of the City (XL Recordings), the third album from Vampire Weekend, has been building for quite a while now. The band has given us a little taste of what to expect through some calculated live performances and online videos, but this week the full scope of what's been brewing for the past few years finally comes to realization. A band always tied to high expectations and hype, Vampire Weekend consider Modern Vampires of the City to be the final piece of a trilogy that began with their 2008 self-titled debut and their Billboard topping follow-up Contra in 2010. This new album doesn't just follow in the footsteps of their first two albums, it challenges both its predecessors to be musically more creative and lyrically more stimulating.
A set of songs doused in honest Americana, sung by Patty Griffin - one of the most engaging voices in music...
Patty Griffin is really one of those rare treasures. Over the course of a career that started about 20 years ago, she has stayed true to her music, her fans and most importantly herself. She's built and endured a career as a true singer-songwriter, letting her voice and songs carry the weight. Her new album American Kid (New West) is a special collection as it's a tribute to her late father. It's a reflective and touching collection of songs told through both her eyes and his. Musically it's what we've come to expect (and admire) from Patty Griffin, a set of songs doused in honest Americana and sung by one of the most engaging voices in music.
When it comes to young bands it’s always exciting to discover something innovative. Sometimes it’s the pure potential of what you could hear the band doing two or three records down the line that causes the type of captivation. When it comes to Little Green Cars, a five-piece band from Dublin, it’s a lot of both.
In making their third album, Stories Don't End, Dawes explored new found independence, new partnerships, and a change in scenery. Despite all those variables the results are very true to what we’ve come to love about this band. Dawes rekindled the spirit of the 1970s Laurel Canyon scene on their first two albums. And while we reconnected to a sound that may have felt familiar, we really fell for a band that was creating a personality all its own. On Stories Don't End, they harness that personality and truly reflect what we’ve seen blossoming over the last four years.
ATO Records celebrates the life and music of John Denver, featuring covers of Denver's most popular songs by a diverse group of artists including Kathleen Edwards, Amos Lee, My Morning Jacket, Train, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and many others. The album is slated for release Tuesday, April 2, 2013.