Welcome to the latest edition of the VIII, where I’ll be featuring eight different performers, currently on the move, whom I have enjoyed in the past, with a few recent discoveries as well.
Carla Bruni, known as the First Lady of France, is also a singer/songwriter and former model with a somewhat controversial past, with a relaxing voice yet easygoing presence. “Quelqu’un m’a dit” is from her third album, Comme Si de Rien N’Était, released this past summer. Bruni wrote all the songs on this album but one, and royalties will partially benefit some of her favorite charities.
Official Digs: Web site
Isn’t French Sexy?: Here is part of the translation to English:
“It is said that destiny mocks us
That it promised everything and gives nothing
It seems that happiness is carried in the hand.
When you stretch the hand and find madness
Still someone told me…”
I have to credit my friend Sassy for inspiring me to choose Beth Orton‘s “Ooh Child”. Orton’s sound has been described as “folktronica,” gaining her a large international audience before hitting strides with American music fans due to exposure on shows such as Dawson’s Creek, Charmed and Grey’s Anatomy. Her recent releases are “carbon neutral”, and her latest album is called Comfort of Strangers. This song was originally released in 2003, and has a nice dose of vulnerability balanced with hope and strength.
I discovered Carsie Blanton via MySpace; she’s from Philadelphia and I instantly fell in love with the intelligent simplicity of her lyrics with “Gutsy and Smart”. She’s got an absolutely adorable folk/pop sound—check out her music via her Quidplayer, where you purchase the songs you’d like (or the whole album) digitally at the price you set. Tip generously, people, and enjoy!
Official Digs: Web site
I adore Jack Johnson—he could be this generation’s folkier Eric Clapton. The sweet paean “Banana Pancakes”, from 2005′s In Between Dreams, is about wanting to pretend everyday that there is no need to go outside and not being with your significant other… we should all have days exactly like this. Another thing to love about Johnson is his philanthrophy—check out All At Once, his new social networking site encouraging the world to be active in their local and global communities.
I first heard Gary Jules‘ version of Tear for Fears’ “Mad World” on my friend’s Sirius show, OutQ in the Morning with Larry Flick, this past year; its piano accompaniment and acoustic approach seem to really strike the contrast of the difficult times of the world we live in now and the feelings brought on about the Iraq War, even though the version predates the start of that particular conflict. Jules’ version can be heard on the Donnie Darko soundtrack.
I discovered Morcheeba‘s “Blindfold” last night, surfing around various playlists at Playlist.com, which is a great resource to discover music. It’s too easy to say they are trip-hop, but I think they blend a few genres within the broader electronic category, as well as hip-hop and pop.
Official Digs: MySpace
“I Was Just Thinking”, by UK artist Teitur, reminds me a lot of one of my favorite artists, Matt Nathanson. This is another song that could easily be a soundtrack to life. The track can be found on his 2003 album, Poetry & Aeroplanes.
“But I was just thinking, merely thinking I’ve got loads of pictures
I’ve got the one of you in that dancing dress
But man I feel silly in that dim light just after doing you by the sight of My Kodak delights
I am sinking, merely sinking
I think about long distance rates instead of kissing you babe
I’m a singer without a song
If I wait for you longer my affection is stronger”
Last, but not least, is the beautiful Emm Gryner‘s “Hello Aquarius” Emm has been one of my favorite female artists for quite a while now, and she could easily be considered a rebel of the traditional major music system. She has always consistently written her songs (though she has put out some amazing covers), has released good piano/guitar-based pop music on her own label and has one of the best humor blogs I have ever read.
Thank you for reading, be sure to hear my new corresponding radio show, VIII, at The V at IRABBroadcasting.com, every Saturday at 8pm EST! You’ll hear these great artists featured here every week and replayed throughout the week! Keep rocking out and keep supporting up-and-coming artists.