Tag: Simply Red

Despite his relative youth, 20 year-old  Bay Area-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Simon Lunche has actually had a rather lengthy musical career that he can trace back to when he was a small child: he took up guitar when he was 5, eventually becoming one of the youngest endorsed artists in the history of Gibson Guitars; but he’s best known as the creative mastermind and frontman of The Blondies, an act that formed when he was just nine. The Blondies acclaimed album Just Another Evening was released in June 2016, right as Lunch was about to graduate high school.

While several of the older band members decided to focus on finishing college, Lunche opted to forego school and pursue music full-time. And although Lunche had written The Blondies four, full-length albums on his own, the Bay Area-based singer/songwriter and guitarist found that working as a solo artist added a much greater degree of creative freedom — and as a result was an unexpected evolution in his sound and songwriting approach. “As I started working on my new music, I rediscovered the reason why I picked up guitar in the first place,” Lunche says in press notes. Expanding on the technique he’d developed and sharpened since he was a child, he advanced from his former role as a rhythm guitarist and started crafting more intricate and richly textured guitar lines. “I don’t go for that shred-happy stuff that’s going to blow the roof off,” he says. “For me, it’s more about slower, smoother playing and more melodic lines that really stay with you in a special way.”

Lunche’s forthcoming solo debut, was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Dave Reitzas, who’s worked a wide array of artists from Barbra Streisand to The Weeknd, and the album reportedly draws from the Bay Area-based singer/songwriter and guitarist’s longtime love of Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen with a natural soulfulness and thoughtfulness. “I think as you get older, you start to appreciate these little moments in time in a way you maybe never had before,” Lunche says. “A lot of what I’m writing right now is about dealing with change and trying to move forward, but still holding onto some reminiscence of the past.”

“Cherry Wine,” the first single off Lunche’s forthcoming solo album is an effortlessly soulful yet lush and carefully crafted take on pop that draws from 60s and 70s songwriter-centered soul and Northern soul, with a loose, bluesy guitar line. To my ears,  the song reminds me a bit of Simply Red‘s  “Holding Back the Years” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” complete with a soaring, gospel-inspired backing vocal section — and a wistful and heartache-filled nostalgia. The new single finds the young singer/songwriter writing and singing from a perspective that belies his relative youth while aiming at something timeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Humanist and Globalist Pop Sounds of Daby Touré

Daby Touré is a Mauritanian-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter, who has had a lifelong love and obsession that began with listening to The Police, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson over the radio; however, he can trace the origins of his music career to when he taught himself the basics of guitar, while possessing an instinct that music was to be his life.

As a teenager, Touré relocated to Paris and his lifelong passion for music gradually drew him away from his studies in business; in fact, Touré began fully immersing himself in Paris’ jazz scene. And after several years of experimenting with his sound and songwriting, Touré met electronic music artist and producer Cyrille Dufay in 2003 — and the duo collaborated on Touré’s critically applauded breakthrough album Diam, an album that was signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records. Interestingly, as a result the Mauritanian-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter opened for Gabriel during the renowned British artist’s 2004 Growing Up World Tour, which allowed Touré to have a growing international profile — with the album being added to playlists across France and the UK.

In 2006, the Mauritanian-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter was nominated for Discovery of the Year in that year’s BBC World Music Awards and he released his sophomore effort, in which he collaborated with sound engineer Ben Finlay, who has worked with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Simply Red, Jeff Beck and Robert Plant; and mixer and engineer Tom Oliver, who has worked with Sinead O’Connor, U2, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, Susheela Raman and Charlie Winston. The following year saw the release of his third full-length effort Stereo Spirit, an album praised internationally for material that possessed catchy hooks and singalong-worthy lyrics — while pushing his sound towards the genre-defying.

By 2009, Touré collaborated with bluesman Skip McDonald on the Call My Name EP, an effort that Sing Out! described as being “neither African nor blues, but instead pulls from both and also from rock, a touch of pop and even dub for a unique, appealing and — its as to be said — quite commercial sound. The two voices and styles complement each other perfectly, and the songs they’ve created – for they seem more like creations than compositions – summon up echoes of their histories, but end up in a hybrid that’s essentially completely new.” With the success of his collaboration with McDonald, Touré has collaborated with an increasing number of internationally recognized artists including French pop artists Francis Cabrel and Maxime Le Forestier on Touré’s 2012 French language effort Lang(u)age — and he’s performed alongside Bob Geldof, Rihanna and Enzo Avitabile, among others.

As Touré explains in press notes “I was born in Africa And all the traditional music I picked up when I was young is still in me and that doesn’t change. But in my music I am still searching, and mixing, and trying things and that’s what I am doing now. I have travelled far from the ‘traditional’ or ‘folkloric’ music of my country.” In fact, over the past few years, the Mauritanian-born, French-based singer/songwriter has increasingly has merged the linguistic sounds of the six languages he speaks while moving towards a more globalized and universal sound — all while maintaining the accessibility that won him international attention.

Although his most recent effort was 2015’s Amonafi, which was released through renowned indie label Cumbancha Records, the internationally renowned singer/songwriter will be in town for two sets at Subrosa on Thursday night and to celebrate the occasion, released the music video for album single “Oma.” Sonically “Oma” is a breezy pop song that owes a debt to dub and reggae as much as it does to traditional African folk music in a seamless fashion and with an infectious, crowd-pleasing hook Throughout, Touré sings in several different languages — including English for part of the song’s hook, which gives the song a jet-setting, globalist universality. And yet, the song draws from a personal experience. As Touré explains of the song “One day as I was walking down the street, I passed a woman and her children. She was alone, sitting on the ground, and asking for charity and nobody seemed to care. This woman spoke to me that day. She inspired this song. Oma is this mother’s cry.”

The recently released music video for the song is a fairly straightforward take on the song, that follows after the song’s thematic concern with the video having Touré encountering a homeless woman and her child, and Touré approaching this woman and her child for a friendly and empathetic conversation that influences his song.

New Video: Júniús Meyvant Returns with More Carefully Crafted 60s-Inspired Sounds and Striking Visuals for His Latest Single

With the release of Floating Harmonies’ third and latest single “Beat Silent Need,” the Icelandic singer/songwriter will arguably cement himself as one of the finest, contemporary, blue-eyed soul singer/songwriters on either side of the Atlantic as his sound nods at 60s and 70s soul, paired with thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics. In this case, this particular song focuses on loneliness and the desperate need for love and to be desired, the self-doubt, confusion, misunderstandings and fear that frequently sabotage our relationships, the difficulties of honestly connecting with others and the blind hope that in every subsequent relationship that we’ll somehow get it right — although most of us fail miserably some way or another.

The recently released video begins with a couple in the middle of a bitter argument as the man drops his woman off for a pregnant woman yoga class taught by a neglectful asshole. When the women bolt from their class, they are subsequently chased by both the yoga instructor and our protagonist’s boyfriend. And it ends with the pregnant woman, worriedly driving herself and her companions to a hospital as they all experience labor pains — without the asshole men in their lives.

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.

 

 

 

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.