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Kina Grannis – Valentine February 9, 2010

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in adult alternative, pop.
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Kina Grannis is someone I discovered some years ago on the site Digg.com when the site creator Kevin Rose spoke about her on the video podcast Diggnation. She made a rather cringe-worthy song dedicated to the site which got a lot of diggs (votes) providing her with plenty of exposure. A couple of years later and another story was posted on Digg about a new single and video announced from her called “Valentine” (released at an appropriate time) which is one of those tracks that I feel compelled to share. This song is an incredibly infectious little ditty, and has echoes of the demo version of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” which I posted some time ago, with its incredibly laid back and stripped down sound. The previews of the other tracks I heard from the album on her homepage sound beautifully produced and with a really organic sound, reminisent of the album Coco from Colbie Caillat I’ve blogged profusely about previously. This song flows easily over the air with it’s summery, mellow sound and if this track is any indication of what the rest of the album may sound like, I’m intently waiting on hearing it.

Download:

Kina Grannis – Valentine (Zipped Download from Official Site)

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[ From the Album “Stairwells” | Pre-order Album Here ]

Griffith Project – First Train Stop June 19, 2008

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in blues, reggae.
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So here’s that track I found on that random porn site. Don’t ask me how I came across it… or indeed why I’m telling you that I found it there, but it is a great track that probably doesn’t deserve the association I’ve given it with the erotica industry, as it isn’t by any means sleazy or has any indecent associations with it (…aside from the one I’ve just mentioned). In fact, when I first found this track, I had a hell of a time trying to get my hands on a copy as it was promptly removed from the site in question, but I managed to finally get hold of it some months after I first heard it (from their official site no less) and realised why I became obsessed with trying to track it down. This is an excellent tune that is a really chilled out, laid back jam with a soft reggae beat. The verses are bridged with casually tossed off guitar solos that feel almost therapeutic when combined with the soothing vocals of the male lead. The band have actually made this track, along with the entire album it’s taken from, free to download from their site so I recommend you check it out. The songs all share a similar sound to “First Train Stop”, most with a chilled out Blues feel, while others border on to a more upbeat, funk-rock style. My picks include “Westside“, “What Goes Around Comes Around“, “Backyard Party Song” and “Everlasting Seed” which crosses into an improvised Jazz sound.

Griffith Project – First Train Stop.mp3
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[ From the Album “High Socks On A Tenspeed” | Download: Official Site ]

Music from my travels… May 5, 2008

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in pop, reggae.
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This may be the most random post I’ve made on this site but I feel I must share the soundtrack of my trip to Malaysia. To be honest, the tracks listened to while sipping Tiger beers on the beaches of Kuantan and Port Dickson among others mainly consisted of two albums – Colbie Caillat’s Coco (which got an obscene amount of plays) and Bob Marley’s greatest hits )(which got an equally obscene amount). Colbie Caillat I have already posted about and I seriously recommend that you check her out for some really summery, easy-going music (now that the season is almost upon us). What was surprising is the success she’s had over in Asia (you would always hear one of her songs played quite frequently on the radio/MTV Asia) and the relative lack of success she’s had in the UK by comparison. I can’t quite put my finger on why this may be the case but I can only think of how saturated the market is here with sub-par singer songwriters that when someone comes out with a genuinely good album, it’s easy to get unnoticed and swept under the rug.

So anywho, I guess I better share at least one of the Bob Marley tracks that was played in frequent rotation. He’s a pretty easy recommendation to make if you want something to play in the background when it’s a glowing day on the beach. I’ve noticed that it just gets everyone in the mood to enjoy the atmosphere, relax, and have a good time with those around you. It makes for an almost cathartic experience. Tracks that were on constant repeat included: “Three Little Birds”, “One Love/People Get Ready”, “Buffalo Soldier”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Jamming”, “Waiting in Vein” …and of course, this. Enjoy.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is This Love
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[ From the Album “Legend” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

While walking around on my travels, I often heard the faint sound of steel pans playing here and there which got stuck in my head. It’s a situation which I’m sure many people have been in where you recognise a melody that, even at just a few notes long, you’re sure you’ve heard before but irritatingly you can’t put your finger on where. Well I somehow managed to have an epiphany which led me to the unlikely source of the soundtrack to the 1993 film “True Romance” which, I think you’d agree with regards to this particular track, plays quite a fitting tune for a summery vacation.

Hans Zimmer – You’re So Cool
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[ From the Album “True Romance OST” | Buy CD: |
Download: ]

Finally, I want to share a track that I only had the pleasure of discovering some six or seven years ago while on a previous excursion to Malaysia . It’s a really good example of how different audiences from across the globe get exposed to different tracks that, I can only assume, the record labels believe would do better in certain territories over others. Jennifer Paige is someone you may remember who had success with the hit single “Crush”. She quickly dropped off the radar here in UK, however she was still being promoted in other continents which led me to the discovery of this track “Stranded” – a brilliant cover from the artist Plumb. Despite being released so long ago, and despite it’s lack of success in comparison to “Crush”, I still find this a glorious pop song that I would have regretted not hearing due to the simple fact it wasn’t promoted in my region. It’s an interesting example of how much music we are conditioned to by record labels who decide what they think would perform better in different territories, and what we may be missing out on if we don’t have the opportunity to come across it by our own means.

Jennifer Paige – Stranded
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[ From the Album “Positively Somewhere” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

Wyclef Jean – Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant April 27, 2008

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in Uncategorized.
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It wasn’t until I was out traveling in Malaysia when I heard that Wyclef Jean had a new solo track out and was back on the radio. The fact that I missed the whole fanfare that he had released a new album late last year of incredible variety and quality maybe down to my own lack of keeping tabs on an artist who I’ve enjoyed the works of for many years and who has been around for as long as I can remember. )It could also be the fact that despite an album of such quality, it hasn’t had anywhere near the recognition it should have deserved here in the UK, and as recent sales figures suggest, not nearly enough on the other side of the Atlantic either. Memoirs Of An Immigrant is the second volume of an album released well over 10 years ago so some may believe it’s well overdue (something that Wyclef apologises for in the record) but it has spawned tracks that literally cross genres (sometimes even during tracks) of all sorts from Rock, Pop, Rap, Reggae, Latin and even Bhangra. It also features artists that you’d believe were seemingly out of place on an album such as this including Serj Tankian (of System of a Down), Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel) and Norah Jones. It’s hard to pick the tracks that I want to share because of the sheer number of great ones. You’d be missing out if you don’t check out this album immediately.

This first inspiring track features southern rapper T.I. and has an incredibly singable chorus (something that’s not a rarity on this album). It has a paced out, laid-back beat lined by the strumming of an acoustic guitar, and T.I.’s smooth ad-libs feel right at home when playing off Wyclef’s preaching vocals.

Wyclef Jean – Slow Down (Feat. T.I.)
(Removed due to DMCA notice)

[ From the Album “Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant” |
Buy CD: | Download: ]

The second track I’ve decided to share is similar in mood to the first and features Jazz singer Norah Jones. It’s a quite a breezy, summery track and one that rolls off your back maybe a little too easily at times but leaves you feeling light and relaxed by the end of it. Other picks from this album include: “Sweetest Girl”, “Fast Car”, “Heaven’s in New York” …and much more. You’ll be missing out if you don’t check this release out soon.

Wyclef Jean – Any Other Day (Feat. Norah Jones)
(Removed due to DMCA notice)

[ From the Album “Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant” |
Buy CD: | Download: ]

Jason Mraz – I’m Yours March 5, 2008

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in pop.
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Jason Mraz is an artist that I discovered around the same time as John Mayer. )During that period, they were often compared with one another in terms of their somewhat similar musical styles, however while John Mayer went on to develop his sound with a more Blues feel to it and gained massive critical acclaim with his album “Continuum”, Jason Mraz instead adopted a similar sound to his first LP and, in turn, was quite brutally slaughtered by the critics for his album “Mr. A-Z”. Warranted, while that album was not half as fun as his first (“Waiting For My Rocket To Come”), it wasn’t the complete catastrophe that you may have led to believe. That said, I won’t be sharing any tracks from it, but instead a new track from his third soon-to-be-released studio album titled “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things”. It’s penned to be out on 20th May and will be the first from Mraz to have proper collaborations on it from the likes of Colbie Caillat and British singer-songwriter James Morrison. This track “I’m Yours” will be the first single. It sounds a shade too similar to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s (what a name eh?) cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” but that said, it does still hold it’s own as a great, breezy, chilled out song.

Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
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[ From the Album “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” |
Buy CD: ]

I thought I’d also share the first single ever released by Mraz which made me take notice of him initially. It’s a track which I instantly fell in love with the moment I heard it due to its positively gleaming outlook on life. It is the very definition of the perfect pop song, stupidly catchy and a track that leaves a smile on your face long after you’ve heard it. At least, that’s the effect it had on me. Other picks from this album include “I’ll Do Anything”, “Curbside Prophet” and “You and I Both” – all of which are worth checking out if you enjoyed what you’ve heard here.

Jason Mraz – The Remedy
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[ From the Album “Waiting For My Rocket To Come” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

The Get Up Kids – Campfire Kansas February 21, 2008

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in soft rock.
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This is a track that I have been listening to for a while now that I picked up from a cartoon called Clone High. clone_high.jpgClone High was on MTV some time ago and got cancelled after it’s first season which I managed to watch in it’s entirety and loved. It’s about a high school full of the teenage clones of famous historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Ghandi, JFK and Cleopatra. It was actually created (with two others) by Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence and features the voices of Turk and Jordan among others from the show. The show has many hilarious moments, but as is the running theme with Bill Lawrence, also has some great music featured.

This track featured in the first episode (which you can watch in it’s entirety here) is one that I’ve had on repeat for so long after I first heard it. It’s called “Campfire Kansas” by The Get Up Kids and is a mellow guitar theme which is really infectious. It has an intimate feel to it and feels as if you are there in the scene set from the first verse: “woke up at 8, started a fire/had a few drinks we all felt inspired”.

The Get Up Kids – Campfire Kansas
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[ From the Album “On A Wire” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

We Are Scientists – Hoppipolla (Sigur Rós Cover) November 8, 2007

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in acoustic.
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This track is from the unlikely We Are Scientists and was recorded for their B-sides and rarities album “Crap Attack”. It’s a cover of a Sigur Rós song “Hoppipolla” which featured on the BBC documentary “Planet Earth”. They’ve done an awesome job at creating their own making of the song. The track is very chilled out in comparison to the original (which you should also check out if you haven’t yet) and the acoustic guitar is incredibly relaxing and soothing.

We Are Scientists – Hoppipolla (Sigur Rós Cover)
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[ From the Album “Crap Attack” | Buy CD: ]

Sigur Rós October 10, 2007

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in post-rock.
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Sigur Rós are an Icelandic band who I’m sure most people have heard )about now, if not from being featured in the BBC’s documentary “Planet Earth” (“Glósóli”), then maybe from the BBC’s Wimbledon adverts (“Sæglópur”) along with many feature films including “Vanilla Sky” (“Svefn-g-englar”, “Njósnavélin”) and “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (“Starálfur”). The thing about Sigur Rós is that their sounds create such deep atmospheres and massive sonic landscapes that their music almost tailer made for films.

I first had my taste of Sigur Rós after the hearing the quite awesome “Vanilla Sky” soundtrack which everyone should check out. From that, I got my hands on their second studio album “Ágætis Byrjun” which to this day stands as one of my all-time favourite albums. It really is nothing like you’ve never heard before. The tracks are both so mellow and so dramatic, both so beautiful and so dark. Anyways I thought I’d share a few tracks which are hosted on the official Sigur Rós site for all to enjoy. The music is really chilled out so I recommend you get yourself in the mood before you start listening.

This first song is from that very album and featured in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”. It is quite possibly the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard (that’s right, I’m making the assumption that everything you’ve heard in your life up to this point is not as beautiful as this) and plays like you’ve just had the most amazing epiphany.

Sigur Rós – Starálfur.mp3

[ From the Album “Ágætis Byrjun” | Buy CD: |
Download: ]

The next two tracks are from their third album “( )”. The first is very mellow and similar in mood as the above track and featured at the end of the “Vanilla Sky” movie (more info here).

Sigur Rós – untitled #4 (a.k.a. Njósnavélin / The Nothing Song).mp3

[ From the Album “( )” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

This second track is slightly darker and one that starts slow before building towards an explosion of sounds.

Sigur Rós – untitled #8 (a.k.a. Popplagið / The Pop Song).mp3

[ From the Album “( )” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

And finally, this track is again from their second album and has quite a jolly and optimistic mood to it. It sounds like the perfect track to conclude a film where all ends well. Check it out and you’ll get what I mean.

Sigur Rós – Olsen Olsen.mp3

[ From the Album “Ágætis Byrjun” | Buy CD: |
Download: ]

Tyrone Wells – Wondering Where You Are August 22, 2007

Posted by The Rish-Dizzle in soft rock.
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I found this track on Pandora.com. It’s a bit gay and poppy but I like it (go figure). If you guys haven’t checked Pandora out yet, you really, really should. It’s the ultimate tool for discovering new music and I have found so much good stuff on it that I’m damn sure going to be posting in the future. More soon.

Tyrone Wells – Wondering Where You Are
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[ From the Album “Snapshot” | Buy CD: | Download: ]