Archive for the ‘Singer-Songwriter’ category

like a dandelion in september: RuRu

3 September 2009


Who? RuRu (now known as Isaac Russell)

What? Softness on a guitar, Indian Summer music

Sounds like? Vandaveer, Josh Ritter, Josh Rouse

So, I’m back. I was kinda wasting my evening, so i thougth: well let’s upload a song of some good music. I’m still looking for other ways to keep this blog going, cause i would like to give musical tips. I just don’t like spending time writing about it I guess. (And i hate the uploading as well, that’s how lazy i am) (well, most of the time it’s just lack of time)

Anyway, this album is one of the finest I’ve heard this year. It sounds like pretty average singersongwriter pop, but I can be a sucker for plain and simple (next to being a sucker for complex and weird voices)

So, You just enjoy this, while the Indian Summer is blowing away the last bits of Summer. Time to let the leaves fall. This is a little bit of fire to prepare for the cold.

Amazing by the way that the guy was only fifteen when he made this.

RuRu – Elizabeth

RuRu – Why?

You can listen to more songs here:

And buy the album please!


Another Bear Band: Himalayan Bear

14 March 2009

himalayanWho? Himalayan Bear

What? Long orchestral songs with a voice like DM Stith or Department of Eagles

Sounds Like? DM Stith, Department of Eagles, Chris Garneau

I adore all the projects of Casey Mercer (Frog Eyes, Blackout Beach), but before you start running away because you can’t stand his dead grandma-voice: this is not a Casey Mercer project! No, it’s a project of  Ryan Beattie who plays the guitar in Frog Eyes and is the lead man in a band called Chet. (Which i don’t know, but will check out in the near future, as in now, while I’m typing this.)

Anyway, Himalayan Bear is sort of this solo project of Ryan Beattie, together with someone from Godspeed!You Black emperor (yes, some guys have just everything). They make really nice, orchestral songs that mostly are longer than 5 minutes . Beattie’s voice reminds me a bit of new hype DM Stith, with this sort of swoon in the timbre (that’s just a hollow phrase of me not knowing how to describe a voice).

So, listen to the songs, then go to Self Righteous Records and buy the album. It’s really late night greatness.

Himalayan Bear – City Wind

Himalayan Bear – Lo, Lonesome Island

P.S Chet sounds pretty good too, maybe a bit dramatic.

Fireplace Songs: Vandaveer

1 March 2009

07_vandaveer_lowresWho? Vandaveer

What? Solid Singer-songwriter stuff

Sounds like: Josh Ritter’s little brother

no. I’m not really in the mood for writing something, but i also don’t want this blog to die. So I’ll just keep this microblogging size. If you need some heartwarming stuff, go listen Vandaveer.

That’s all.

Vandaveer – However Many Takes It Takes

Vandaveer – Marianne You’ve Done It Now

The Album ‘Grace And Speed’ is available on Gipsy Eyes Records.

Street Anarchy Acoustic Punk Poetry: Paul Baribeau

14 October 2008

Who? Paul Baribeau

What? Blood honest acoustic Punk

Sounds Like? Andrew Jackson Jihad, Jeffrey Lewis (without the jokes), The Mountain Goats, almost everything from Plan-It-X records

THe first time you hear Baribeau, you think “damn, what’s so special about this? Just a guy with a guitar.” At least, that’s what I thought. I listen to quite a lot singer-songwriters and Baribeau didn’t really strike me as special.

But good music sometimes needs to grow onto you. The second time (and every time after that) his songs really moved me. He is not very poetic (contrary to the title of this blogpost), but he is blood honest (at last that’s how I perceive it). I don’t know if Paul’s life really is so sucky like in the song ‘Never Get To Know’, but it sounds to me as real. In a way, you can say it’s a bit the early Daniel Johnston without the Piano and the psychosis.

Paul Baribeau – Ten Things

Paul Baribeau – Never Get To Know

Paul Baribeau – Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen cover)

You can order his albums ‘Paul Baribeau’ and ‘Grand Ledge’ on his MySpace. Especially Grand Ledge is amazing.

Nothin’ as sad as sex: Dana Hilliot

14 September 2008

Who? Dana Hilliot

What? a sad guy singin’ dirty songs

Sounds like? Milo Jones, an acoustic Arab Strap (or Aidan John Moffat to be more precisely)

Would the use of the word Radiohead and ‘In Rainbows’ get me more hits in Google? I guess not, but still I want to talk about this so-called revolutionary idea of releasing full albums for free on the internet. They were not the first! Okay okay, they were the first real big band, but still.. If you just look at a blog like Free album galore, which has been presenting free albums for many years now, you’ll see that the internet is a place where many bands promote themselves by putting an entire album online for free.

A few years back I accidentally, on my many music hunts online, a french guy who doesn’t really sing but mumbles more, and sings songs about “his own life”. Those many adventures include a lot of pussies and breasts and asses (wonder how many hits THIS will give me), but instead of just making awful elektropop, he manages to create beautiful folk songs, especially on his album ‘I was a rabbit and I won’.

this is how he describes himself in his biography:

“Well, let’s say in bulk and without any hierarchy: Dana Hilliot… Low-fi storyteller, slow-core crooner, indie-folk ambassador, soft-porno songwriter, serial-lover, serial-loser, ex-punk who became a neo-hippie, joyful depressive person, prince of his own darkness, and pretty rough guitarist… “

Anyway, go out and listen to his songs. I won’t link directly to his mp3’s, cause you can just go his site on and stream the album in its entirety. Songs that are recommended: ‘Girl’s Asses’ and ‘Jurassic Part’. On his personal website you can find more links to other albums.

I’m really big friends with bigbird: PWRFL Power

7 September 2008

Who? PWRFL Power

What? Japanese naïve pop, or antifolk

Sounds like? Sesame Street, Kimya Dawson, Currituck Co. ( strange references I know)

Japanese naive pop is an existing genre. Think of bands like Maher Shalal Hash Baz (as if there are that many people that know them. I’m not really that fond of that japanese band, although they do have some nice tunes sometimes.) or 4 Bonjour’s parties.

How to define this genre? The people are Japanese, and they play songs that are a bit child-like. I know there are many other definitions (one saying that the artist is japanese and hasn’t got any musical background, meaning the instrumentation he uses is naïve). That last thing is definitely not the case for PWRFL Power. He’s a Japanese American, and is quite good at playing the guitar. In his fingerpickin’, he sometimes reminds me of folk guitarists like John Fahey and Currituck Co.

The funny thing however is that he mixes that up with these naïve lyrics (well, in most songs), so that you get songs about tootbrushs, cats and bananas.

PWRFL Power – Alma Song

PWRFL Power –  Coffee Song

He has released a brilliant EP on Catbird Records (which is unfortunately sold out), and a full album release on the indielabel Slender Means society. I must admit though that, although the full album contains most songs of the EP, the EP is more enjoyable, just because it’s shorter. PWRFL Power tends to make his songs sound mostly the same. This got a 0-star review on Tiny Mix Tapes by the way, which is a bit harsh.

I am a jolly good twee: Benji Cossa

31 August 2008

Who? Benji Cossa

What? A Sixties lo-fi pop singer-songwriter

Sounds Like? Sixties boysbands but on his own. 

It’s kinda hard to come up with good comparisons for Benji Cossa. I first thought of The Beatles, but on second thought, it’s maybe more Beach Boys. But even that comparison sucks. The thing with Cossa is that he sounds so familiar, that it’s hard to describe. Well, not that hard, cause he surely he is twee, lo-fi, pop and a singer-songwriter (actually this is proving my point)

He used to be on the fabulous Magik Marker records, also home of the Pavementesque indie band Boat (you will learn more about them on this blog someday) , but his latest album ‘Vault Volume II, Jewels and Gems’ is released on Serious Business Records, of which i haven’t really heard before. Anyway, you can go there to buy his latest album.

On his website there are a few tunes, including ‘Volcano’, a less lo-fi song which he recorded for a soundtrack for a movie I have never heard of. The other song is of ‘Benji Cossa’s Vault 1’

Benji Cossa – Volcano

Benji Cossa – Four Wheels