One of the worlds finest vocal chamber groups, the Hilliard Ensemble, is unrivaled for its formidable reputation in the fields of both early and new music. The program featured on Il Cor Tristo exemplifies its distinctive style and highly developed musicianship in both repertoires. At its heart is a work commissioned by the ensemble from British contemporary composer Roger Marsh, “Il Cor Tristo,” a setting of cantos 32 and 33 from Dante’s Inferno, which deftly blends Renaissance techniques with a modern idiom. Marsh’s composition frames madrigals by 16th century composers Bernardo Pisano (1490-1548) and Jacques Arcadelt (c 1507-1568). As so often with the Hilliard Ensemble, the transitions between old and new are seamless.
Turin Brakes We Were Here Red River Entertainment
So what happens to an optimist when they have to face up to the realities of modern life? What to do when experience turns to weary pragmatism and - with it - wistful daydreams of escape? A decade and a half into a career that’s inspired artists as diverse as the Staves and Flux Pavilion, these are the questions posed by the sublime sixth album from Turin Brakes. From the majestic opening swoop and swirl of “Time and Money” through to the elegiac campfire slide of closer “Goodbye,” We Were Here finds the band - Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian along with long time collaborators Rob Allum and Eddie Myer - at their most assertive and consistent. We Were Here is a hypnotic collection of songs that nods to classic releases of the ’70s while triggering the existential dread that sits right at the heart of the information age.
Fit For Rivals Steady Damage Big3 Records
Fit For Rivals has only released one album – though that is about to change thanks to a passionately funded Kickstarter campaign. That said, the band’s debut, Steady Damage,is certainly worth revisiting. Anchored by incredible guitar work and Renee Phoenix’s stunning voice, Fit For Rivals was formed from the ashes of Rene’s former hardcore band, The Explicits, where served as both singer and guitarist. With Fit For Rivals, Rene shifted her focus from guitar and strictly onto her vocal performances and melodic approach. The band was complete after Rene drafted Thomas Amason for guitar duties. If Joan Jett, early 80’s thrash, and Lady Gaga get yr motor runnin’, then Steady Damage is the album for you. Dig in… And get ready for Phase Two.
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas Demons EP Instant Records
With 2014 on its way, Detroit’s Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas are going out with a bang as they cap things off with the final dates of their first nationwide tour and the release of their Demons EP. Comprised of five charismatic tracks, Demons highlights the raw strength of Jessica’s talent, influenced by the likes of Gogol Bordello and Tom Waits. While the title track and “Big Town” emphasize her theatrical, borderless sound, “Caught Up” speeds things up with saucy vocals and a flirtatious beat. “Shadow Boy” is a dark, cinematic ballad that allows Jessica’s voice to truly shine, and “Picture Me With You (Carnie Threesome)” is a sultry song that rounds out the collection with its hypnotic riff and gypsy cabaret overtones.
Holidays Rule Holidays Rule Hear Music/Concord
Holidays Rule is a deliciously diverse collection of seasonal music featuring an array of glittering contributions from across the musical spectrum. The set boasts 17 all-new recordings, including pop phenoms fun., the legendary Paul McCartney, indie-pop luminaries The Shins, Americana favorites The Civil Wars, adored singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (with Sharon Van Etten), playful popsters Fruit Bats, bluegrass revisionists Punch Brothers, soul icon Irma Thomas (with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band), cinematic rockers Calexico, eclectic troubadour Andrew Bird, Latin neo-traditionalists Y La Bamba, bluesy indie-rockers Heartless Bastards, alterna-folk standard-bearer Holly Golightly, roots quintet Black Prairie (featuring Sallie Ford), choral revival collective AgesAndAges, Fiery Furnaces alumna Eleanor Friedberger, and Seattle Americana outfit The Head and the Heart.
The Neighbourhood I Love You. Columbia
In early 2012 a mysterious band appeared online. The group, The Neighbourhood, revealed no biographical information, no photos and no backstory, offering only a moody track titled "Female Robbery." Fans and the press were confounded, scouring the Internet for any information that might lead them to the identity of these musicians. Pieces of the puzzle, some reflecting reality and some not so much, began to emerge. The Neighbourhood is a quintet. They are from California despite the British spelling of their name. They had a second track, "Sweater Weather," that would soon make a bigger impact. The band’s evocative combination of rock instruments with R&B and hip-hop aesthetics soon garnered supporters far and wide -- including BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe. For lovers of Sublime, Linkin Park, Coldplay, Ours, and Twilight.
Various Artist Mandela - Long Walk To Freedom Decca
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is director Justin Chadwick’s epic dramatization of the life of one of the world’s most iconic leaders, Nelson Mandela. Based on South African President Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society. Idris Elba (Prometheus) stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris (Skyfall) stars as Winnie Mandela. Naturally, the film’s soundtrack features music from the actual film including Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “War,” “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron, a few jazz and Afrobeat deep cuts, and brand new music from U2 (“Ordinary Love”).
Keith Jarrett No End ECM
Recorded at his home studio in 1986, No End illuminates hitherto undocumented aspects of Keith Jarrett’s music. He is heard here on electric guitars, electric bass, drums and percussion, overdubbing tribal dances of his own devising: “Somehow something happened during these days in the 80s that won’t ever be repeated,” he writes in his liner notes. “There was really, to my knowledge, no forethought or composition – in the typical sense – going on; just a feeling or a rhythmic idea or a bass line concept or melody. None of this was written down.” On the instrumentation: “Drums were always with me in some way,” Jarrett reflects. “I have always been drawn to instruments that you touch directly, without a mechanism in between. Therefore, I cannot say that I have ever loved the piano as much as the drums or guitar.” With, primarily, these instruments (piano – the instrument for which is well-known -- only a cameo role) Jarrett has shaped one of his most unusual albums.
7 Days of Funk is a collaboration between Dam-Funk and the one-and-only Snoopzilla -- aka the legendary Snoop Dogg. After an initial chance meeting two years ago, Dam and Snoop began to collaborate when Snoop invited Dam to perform with him at a 2011 SXSW show — the musical connection was inherent. “We're the babies of the Mothership,” says Snoop. “I’ve had funk influences in my music my whole career. Dam-Funk is cold. He’s keeping the funk alive and I knew I had to get down with him.” “Snoop knew what I was thinking without me having to articulate it. That’s how you know when you gel artistically with someone,” Dam-Funk says. “These beats were made for him and he laid down some of the smoothest harmonies and melodies I’ve ever heard. It’s hip-hop, but you can also hear what we grew up on, from ZAPP to Evelyn 'Champagne' King and Patrice Rushen.” As the title suggests, 7 Days of Funk is a party that won’t / don’t / can’t stop.
7 Days of Funk - 7 Days of Funk Stones Throw
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