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Free Download: Natalie Walker "Pink Neon"


Natalie Walker is an emerging singer/songwriter you should know about.

Serving up an elegant mixture of pop, folk and alt-electronica, Walker's music invokes memories of artists as diverse as Sia, Portishead, Everything But The Girl and even Allison Kraus. Her new album "With You" is filled with atmospheric, stylish tunes that create an exciting sonic vista that will appeal to both pop lovers and indie kids.

Take for example the track "Pink Neon" that combines Walker's mesmerizing vocals with rich and compelling instrumentation, and pop-oriented production stylings. It's such a gem. Pure and simple.

Raised in a strict Christian family, Walker was not exposed to a lot of pop music during her teen years. Instead, she listened to gospel and folk music. But when she heard the progressive sounds of Portishead, it dramatically changed her musical scope. "I remember the first time I heard Portishead. I freaked out. I fell in love with Beth Gibbons' voice. It was strange and different. That was sort of the beginning of the down-tempo, trip-hop vibe for me," Walker says in her biography.

Walker's music is both atmospheric and accessible, making it perfect fare for television and movie soundtracks. The singer's music has been featured on shows like "Ugly Betty," "Grey's Anatomy" and the Sofia Coppola's movie Marie Antoinette. (Click here to download "With You" on Amazon.)

Download Natalie Walker "Pink Neon"

August 27, 2008 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Listen to New Keane Track "Better Than This"

If you look in all the right place on the mighty internet, you might find a couple of tracks from Keane's new album "Perfect Symmetry" floating around. A radio rip of one of the tracks, titled "Better Than This" landed in my email box last night and let me tell you, judging from the sound of that tune, fans have lots to be excited about.

Just like "Spiralling," "Better Than This" is one of these tracks that is decidedly different than anything else the Brit trio has done before. Some might even wonder if it is really them.  But with the music always centered around Tom's distinct vocals, there is no doubt that Keane Version 3.0 has a lot of exciting stuff to offer.

"Better Than This" is a quirky number with fun, little vocal runs in its verses, handclaps, freaked out high-pitched synths and a xylophone towards the end. And that "You can do so much better than this/You can tell yourself you're doing your best" in the song's chorus is worth a million bucks. Check it out and be surprised. I love this track.

(Thanks to the lovely L.S. for always sharing the good stuff.)

August 26, 2008 in Keane | Permalink | Comments (7)

Free Download: Scott Simons "Start Of Something"


Scott Simons first captured the interest of pop lovers when he recorded a cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" and turned it into a gorgeous ballad that spread like wildfire online. He now tries to capitalize on his online popularity with his new single "Start Of Something," a ballad that easily matches the quality of the ubiquitous cover that got him noted last year. This new track  proves that Simons is a talent to watch with a knack for melody and an emotive, heartfelt delivery that makes you sit up and listen. Highly recommended.

Download Scott Simons "Start Of Something"

August 26, 2008 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Janelle Monae in Paste Magazine


"It's up to me to be thinking each and every day and night, about how I can help with my art, how I can make an impact and influence certain disbelievers and doubters of happiness and hope. [I want to] remind the world that creativity, imagination and beauty still matter. That people the world over have the same concerns: They love wonder. And they love a good story, a good melody—products that are put together with care and engineered to heal the soul."

-- Janelle Monae tells the current issue of Paste Magazine, adding that she wants to do in music what Obama has done in politics. Read the entire interview with La Monae here.

August 25, 2008 in Janelle Monae | Permalink | Comments (1)

Antony & The Johnsons to Release New Album


Leave it to Antony Hagerty to surprise us.

Check out the cover art of his new EP "Another World" that features a photograph of  butoh co-founder and Japanese dance legend Kazuo Ohno. The picture was taken by  by Pierre-Olivier Deschamps in 1984 at Paris Theatre du Chatelet. Ohno is known for his playful and grotesque imagery and butoh’s white body makeup.

Antony and the Johnsons will release the "Another World" on October 7th on Secretly Canadian (and on October 6th on Rough Trade Records in the UK). This will be their first release since the Mercury Prize winning album "I am a Bird Now"  which became a critical and commercial sensation in 2005.

Pivotal track on this EP is the environmentally conscious title track, "Another World." A press release further outlines, "Antony’s inimitable voice, mesmerizing piano and intimate arrangements punctuate the ideas on the EP. 'Shake that Devil' showcases his bluesy wail and its drone is soon replaced with a driving vintage R&B beat that illustrates the lyrics' ferocity."

In related Antony news, his duet with Bjork on "The Dull Flame Of Desire" will be released as a single with multiple remixes next month.

August 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1)