Here’s a sweet pairing of Aldo and singer Mizan on a chilled-out gem called “All These Lines”. It’s a cool blend of Aldo’s musicianship and Mizan’s raw R&B vocal style. There’s just something refreshing about this cut. Maybe it has to do with its simplicity. Nothing gets in the way of the song’s purity — just a keyboard, a buttery, soulful voice and Aldo’s good sense of when to build up the track’s groove and when to dial it back and let Ms. Mizan do her thing. You can follow Mizan at facebook. If you dig her voice, do your ears a favor and listen to another Mizan track called “No Fool (Freestyle)” at soundcloud. – David D. Robbins Jr.
“I’m Leaving” is the seventh song off Low Roar’s sophomore LP release “0.” out now via Tonequake Records. It’s a beautiful song, featuring hypnotic lead vocals amid a cascade of bells, spacey keyboard, and slick red-metered bass groove. The band began with Bay Area artist Ryan Karazija, who moved to Reykjavik, Iceland — later adding drummer Logi Guðmundsson and keyboardist Leifur Björnsson. You can follow the group at facebook and twitter. You can grab your own free download of two “o.” tracks, four songs from Low Roar’s 2010 debut record and a previously unreleased b-side at this link. – David D. Robbins Jr.
I’ve been loving this hauntingly complex jazz-piano led remix of the Brazilian classic “Aquarela do Brasil”, featuring the vocals of Elza Soares. The DJ/producer of the remix is Mark E, and the song really is a kind of highlight to steer people toward Gilles Peterson’s Sonzeira project, “Brasil Bam Bam Bam”, a record that takes listeners on a journey into Brazilian musical culture and heritage through the country’s finest older and newer artists. This beats and strings in this remix really turns “Aquarela do Brasil” on its head, adding a kind of hypnotic depth and eerie obsessiveness. For some reason the jazzier elements remind me of listening to the Horace Silver Quintet. This track isn’t on the record, but another version is — one featuring Soares’ softer, emotional rendition. You can purchase it at this Amazon.com link. This will likely hit the spot for those of you who really enjoyed the “Red Hot + Rio” series. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Listen to this fantastic new single from Sydney’s Jugu, which is the alias of electronic pop vocalist Juliet Guterres. On the bio page of her official website she lists some of her influences as Little Dragon and Chvrches, and you can hear it. Her first E.P. “Getting Closer” was released at the end of 2010, but “Rolling” is her best track yet. It’s about a simple pleasure, finding release in motion: “You always roll when the times are tough / Sliding down / You like it best when the motion picks up, and the wind feels so cool.” The lead vocals are breathy and high-pitched, fitting the mood perfectly. Feels like this would be in the wheelhouse of fans of Saint Etienne and Rainbow Chan. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Here’s a preview of a pretty hushed track, “The Quiet”, from an artist called Chelou. The song is an intricate weave of acoustic guitars, electronic warped sounds, and an intermittent backing vocal. The lyrical imagery is a smoky blend of wistfulness and regret: “Tried to be different, but turned out just like the rest / Silver linings and tapestry / Survive the test of time / Broken dreams and memory / Are all that’s left to remind …” Follow Chelou at facebook and twitter. Note: All lyrics are unofficial. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Angus and Julia Stone have always been making sweet music together, and this first streaming track off the Aussie brother-sister combo’s upcoming LP release is no different. The first track we get to hear off this self-titled album is the dark “Death Defying Acts”, a slowly unfolding, poetic beauty that finds Julia singing in her uniquely raspy, high-pitched, breathy style: “I’m everything that slowly falls / I’m everything and I’m nothing at all / I will perform a death defying miracle / For someone with the chemicals to believe … / You can play our love to the sun / What have you done? / There’s a limit to the prizes we’ve won / Isn’t the same / Don’t give it a name / Let me remain / Let me remain / I’m everything I’ve ever been.” The guitar builds into a slick bluesy balladry with heavy percussion that flows with a low-key Zeppelin vibe. It’s a wonderful track. Follow the duo at their official website or on facebook. The record is due out August 1 via Republic Records. You can also pre-order it at iTunes. Note: All lyrics are unofficial. — David D. Robbins Jr.