Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CD Review: New Independent Music Releases From Around The World

Danish singer/composer Astrid Nora recently released her new album on September 8th under the moniker Where Did Nora Go. It is her third album through G-Records/Rough Trade and shows her growth as a performer. The new thirteen-song release has a very gentle flow as Nora's voice and cello calms your nerves and invites you to relax and get lost in her songs. The album begins with the whispers of "Passing Through," before heading into the first two singles from the album "Shelter" and "Shimmer." While "Shelter" is a soft, subtle touch of jazz/pop that really allows you to focus on Nora's vocals, "Shimmer" has a slithery rhythm that looks to be in common to early Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse. Nora does an outstanding job bringing her emotions into her songs as in "Taking Me Over." Her voice sounds so fragile in "Kankucho," that it gives the music more strength and meaning. The album closes with the wonderful piano ballad "Hearts Of Hearts." To find out more about Where Did Nora Go, please visit wheredidnorago.tumblr.com.
Next, from Belarus comes the experimental band Port Mone with their latest album "Thou." It was released back on September 8th through the Hevhetia (Slovakia) label and features instrumental music recorded out in a forest. This three-piece band left the confides of a recording studio and brought their equipment out into the woods to capture a more earthy, acoustic feel. The new nine-song release is unlike any of the mainstream music out now. At times, their sound is comparable to early Pink Floyd, as the Floyd experimented with their sound in the late-sixties/early seventies. Plus, the most notable instrument on these recordings is an accordion, which provides the musical atmosphere for this album. To find out more about Port Monetrio, please visit portmonetrio.com.
Returning to the U.S., Texas folk band Lost & Nameless recently released their second EP of the year on Sptember 9th entitled "When You Walked Into The Room." They released an earlier EP back in March and brought in Grammy Award winning producer Bil VornDick to bring their music to life. The new six song EP begins with the two-minute title-song which gets the blood pumping.  Singer/musician Kimberly Zielnicki takes the reigns on "Say Goodbye" as her vocals just soar. The gentle touch of "May I" and the uptempo closing instrumental of "Matthew's Reel/Reel A Levi Beaulieu" shows the diversity in the band's sound between folk and bluegrass. Lost & Nameless have a handful of dates left on their calender, mostly in the Texas capital area. To find out more about their new album "When You Walked Into The Room," please visit lostandnameless.com.
Heading up north, Canadian singer/songwriter/musician Bill Majoros is preparing to release his latest double album "Record Collector" under the name The Foreign Films. He plans on releasing one side at a time, then the entire 18-song collection in one vinyl package. The five-song release of "Side 2" begins with the alternative grunge of "Emily Blue," while "Teardrop Town" has more mellow, but raw White Stripes-like feel as the music dances around in your mind. He visits the pop/rock sound of "Broken Dreamers," before closing "Side 2" with the psychedelic swirl of "Land Of 1000 Goodbyes." To find out more about The Foreign Films and his latest double-album release, please visit theforeignfilms.com.
Finally, from Tel Aviv, Israel comes the self-produced debut album from The Memory Plant entitled "An Epic Triumph." The six-song EP showcases a band experimenting with their instrumentation, beginning with the feedback frenzy of opener, "Memory Implant." They head into a more progressive rock territory with "This Love" as they mix tempos and vocal styles. The big payoff comes at the end of the album when the band takes you on a six-and-a-half minute journey into the raw, experimental rock of "Any Dancing" as they mix hard rock with ambient sounds to try and create a new and exciting rock movement. To find out more about The Memory Plant, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/MemoryInPlant.

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