Up-and-coming, 24 year-old, Michigan-based singer/songwriter and producer Daniel Wilson much like a number of pop artists grew up in a gospel music-loving home. Feeling inspired to create by using file-sharing programs, the Michigan-based Wilson […]
Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you may know that with the release of his debut single “Color Decay,” Westman Islands, Iceland-based singer/songwriter Júniús Meyvant quickly received attention across Iceland, Scandinavia and elsewhere for an old-school soul, funk, pop-inspired sound; in fact, the single was a breakout single that hit number 1 on the Icelandic charts, and as a result of the single’s success, Meyvant wound up dominating that year’s Icelandic Music Awards with nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Male Singer, which he also wound up winning — all of which naturally led to greater attention both across Scandinavia and the European Union, including airplay on Radio X, BBC Radio London, Amazing Radio and the song being chosen by KEXP’s Program Director Kevin Cole as his Song of The Year.
Last month, I wrote about “Neon Experience,”the first single off the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Floating Harmonies, a single that I think further cements the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s reputation for a sound that possesses elements of old-school soul, pop and funk in mid-tempo arrangement comprised of warm and soulful horn line, a gorgeous and dramatic string arrangement, twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line paired with an infectiously anthemic hook and a slow-burning sultry bridge. All of which are perfect for the silky falsetto. Also you have to add an uplifting and resilient message that could push even the most jaded and cynical through the doldrums in a song that sonically reminded me of the Daptone Records roster — while subtly nodding at the work of Simply Red and Chet Faker.
Floating Harmonies‘ second and latest single “Mighty Backbone” pairs a similar arrangement of horns, strings, guitar and bass with complex polyrhythm. And although the breezy song sounds as though it could have been written and recorded in 1963 as it possesses a careful and deliberate attention to craft — but with a subtly modern production sheen. Ironically, despite the fact that song feels remarkably upbeat, lyrically the song is actually quite bittersweet as the song’s narrator seems to be seeking something that he may not be able to ever truly achieve.
“Halo” The Elle’s latest single pairs beatsinmybackpack’s soulful production consisting of shimmering and twinkling keys, boom bap drum programming with The Elle’s cooly self-assured and sultry vocals portraying a narrator, who’s urgently, stupidly, foolishly and proudly in love — of the sort, in which you see your object of desire and love as being the most perfect creature on earth. Sonically speaking, the song manages to channel golden era hip-hop, classic hip-hop soul and neo soul and J. Dilla simultaneously but with a gentle cosmic sheen — and while being incredibly sensual.
Queen Alone may be Nicole Wray’s first full-length effort in some time; however, Wray is reunited with the original backing band from Lady Wray’s early days, along with Big Crown Records’ Leon Michels and Daptone Records Tom Brenneck handling production and as Wray explains in press notes the album is a “reflection of my soul. It’s who I am today. ” And as a result, the material on the album is inspired by the singer/songwriter’s life. The album’s latest single “Do It Again” is reportedly is a story about a failed relationship, as well as the story of a cherished and revered intimacy that the song’s narrator is desperate to re-enter regardless of the consequences on her heart and soul. Sonically speaking the song manages to channel What’s the 411 and My Life-era Mary J. Blige and bolstered by the Daptone Records famed horn section paired with silky smooth vocals.
Primarily comprised of its creative masterminds and founding members Daniel and Jenna Watters, Austin, TX-based indie soul act The Watters can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met as children. As the story goes, they first met while playing on the same pee wee football team in Sedona, AZ that Jenna’s father coached — although they did attend rival grade schools. The duo eventually went to high school together and at that point, began a collaboration that can trace its origins to when the duo performed together at their high school graduation and then fell in love; in fact, they’ve performed together for over 12 years, written together for over 8 and have recorded 6 albums together while in the Denver, CO then Nashville, TN-based nationally touring act The Oak Creek Band.
Now writing and performing together as The Watters, the duo’s forthcoming debut effort Great Unknown was influenced by Daniel and Jenna’s own personal experience. As Daniel Watters explains in press notes: “The concept of the Great Unknown came to us while we were in transition between Nashville and Austin. We were living in Sedona, AZ with my folks for three months having left Nashville and had no idea where we were moving to. Our bassist was going to move to California and so were we, but we happened to stop in Austin on our way back and fell in love. We were so torn on what to do, but we trusted our instincts and made the hard decision to leave our musical brother and start a new life in Austin. The Great Unknown is [about] the power of intuition and the beauty in uncertainty. Instead of finding fear in the unknown, I find it easier to see the beauty and opportunity in the unknown. Our move to Austin was a complete leap of faith, but a year later we are very happy here and feel an overwhelming support system here.”
Recorded at Cacophony Recorders, Great Unknown features some of the Austin, TX area’s best and most renowned musicians including Band of Heathens‘ Trevor Nealon, Golden Dawn Arkestra‘s Joe Woullard and Zumbi Richards and Erik Hokkanan and was recorded live to tape to best capture the band’s live sound. Album title track and first single “Great Unknown” has the band pairing Muscle Shoals soul with 70s AM rock — a soulful horn arrangement and Jenna Watters’ effortlessly soulful vocals are paired with jangling guitars and gently propulsive drumming, along with a careful and deliberate attention to craft. Lyrically, the song focuses on two very different things -taking a big chance on your dreams with the hope that things will come out in your favor but also on something that people often forget, sometimes you can’t fight the tide; things will sort themselves out in their own time and in their own way even your own dreams.
With the release of his debut single “Color Decay,” Westman Islands, Iceland-based singer/songwriter Júniús Meyvant quickly received attention across Iceland, Scandinavia and elsewhere for an old-school soul, funk, pop-inspired sound. “Color Decay” hit number 1 on the Icelandic charts and as a result of the single’s success, Meyvant dominated that year’s Icelandic Music Awards as he was nominated for Best Newcomer, Best Song and Best Male Singer — and he wound up winning the Best Newcomer and Best Song awards. Building on that buzz he was receiving across Scandinavia, Meyvant had a relentless touring schedule playing a number of sold out shows across the European Union. And naturally, the attention lead to airplay on Radio X, BBC Radio London, Amazing Radio — and the song being chosen by KEXP’s Program Director Kevin Cole as his Song of The Year.
“Neon Experience” Meyvant’s latest single will further cement the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s growing reputation for a sound that possesses elements of old-school soul, pop and funk as Meyvant’s silky falsetto is paired with a mid-tempo arrangement of warm blasts of horn, a gorgeous and dramatic string arrangement, twinkling keys, soul guitar and bass chords, infectiously anthemic hooks and a slow-burning and sultry bridge. Then add an uplifting and resilient message that will likely push you through the doldrums and the song sounds as though it’s indebted to the work of the Daptone Records roster — while subtly nodding at the work of Simply Red and Chet Faker as Meyvant and company pair a tight and funky groove with carefully crafted, introspective and thoughtful lyrics.
Meyvant’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Floating Harmonies is slated for a July 8, 2016 release through Record Records, and the Icelandic singer/songwriter will be supporting the album with a live at London’s Bushstock Festival on June 18 and a tour across the European Union during the fall.
Originally released as a Record Store Day B-side to his incredibly soulful cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Changes” with fellow Daptone Records labelmates The Budos Band, and a regularly occurring part of his live sets “Ain’t It A Sin,” is the third and latest […]
Originally released as a Record Store Day B-side to his incredibly soulful cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Changes” with fellow Daptone Records labelmates The Budos Band, and a regularly occurring part of his live sets “Ain’t It A […]