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Kina Grannis – Valentine February 9, 2010

Posted by Rish 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 ]

Sublime – Santeria February 7, 2009

Posted by Rish in Uncategorized.
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It’s always a strange thing when you discover music that you think is awesome only to find that when you go away to check on what the artist is up to at the moment, you discover their death that happened several years before, as is the case for the  lead singer of this band. This track comes from the bands self-titled post-homously released album which is full of feel-good tracks with a funky, sun-drenched sound. This particular track is my favourite from the album and shares similar traits to Griffith Project’s track  “First Train Stop” which I posted about here.  It has a great reggae, laid-back groove fitting for the sound of a late summer afternoon. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes long, this is something to quickly get you out of the winter blues I’m experiencing in the UK right now. Enjoy.

Sublime – Santeria
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[ From the Album “Sublime” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

http://DIRECT%20MP3%20LINK

Jack Johnson – Mudfootball (Live) September 18, 2008

Posted by Rish in acoustic, live, soft rock.
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I recently got my hands on some pre-“In Between Dreams” releases from Jack Johnson as I heard the track “Posters” being played on the rather awesome Radio Paradise which I recommend if you fancy some alternative laid-back tunes. The album “In Between Dreams” along with Frank Turner’s first LP “Sleep is For the Week” were the soundtracks that featured heavily on my hungover mornings at uni which I played in constant rotation annoying anyone within the immediate, and non-immediate, vicinity of my room with my incessant… well I was going to call it singing but it sounded more like a drunken lout shouting at the top of his voice in an effort to drown out the pain of a throbbing headache. One track that was missing from my version of “In Between Dreams” that featured as a bonus track on the UK release is this: a live recording of “Mudfootball”, who’s original (as well as “Posters”) featured on his previous album “Brushfire Fairytales”. I came across it in the most random of places – whilst on hold to the company Bizzenergy when having to call them at work. Now being on hold is always frustrating, made even more so by the sorry excuse for music they choose to play to you while you wait, but hats off to Bizzenergy for playing music that I actually wanted to stay on the phone to listen to and for allowing me to discover the missing gem from my version of “In Between Dreams”. It took me a while to track it down but I’ve managed to get my hands on it to share to you, my luscious readers. It’s an upbeat, fun sounding live recording featuring a bouncing harmonica, a great sounding live guitar that hits around the minute-and-a-half mark, and a sense of spontaneous and effortless riffing that’s played at ease – something you can only capture in live sessions.

Jack Johnson – Mudfootball (Live)
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[ From the Album “In Between Dreams” (UK Bonus Track) |
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Griffith Project – First Train Stop June 19, 2008

Posted by Rish 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 ]

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

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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: ]

The Roots – Rising Down March 10, 2008

Posted by Rish in hip-hop.
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TheRootsThe Roots have always seemed to stay true to their name and release music that featured raw, uncut slices of rap’s most dark and thoughtful material. What I connect most with to their music is the machine-gun delivery of Black Thought’s always on-point rhymes and their use of live instrumentation in studio recordings. Their music tends to sound a lot more organic then the processed sounds of other hip-hop producers.

The Roots are planning to release their landmark tenth studio album titled “Rising Down” at the end of April and I’ve managed to grab a rip of their first single “Birthday Girl” which is the most commercially-sounding track I’ve heard from them, possibly ever. They’ve lent the hand of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump to sing the hook and it’s resulted in a really light, laid back tune. The lyrics however, aren’t as much and band member ?uestlove describes the track as “‘the most beautiful statutory rape song ever!“. (Note that the quality isn’t the greatest on this recording but when I get my hands on a better one I’ll hopefully get round to uploading it).

The Roots – Birthday Girl (Feat. Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy)
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[ From the Album “Rising Down” | Buy CD: | Download: ]

The next track “Get Busy” is also taken from the new album and is a polar opposite of the one above. It’s a really raw, aggressive cut with a buzzing, heading-knocking beat (similar in feel to Nas’s “The Thief’s Theme” only rougher) and features guest MCs Dice Raw and Peedi Peedi with scratches provided by DJ Jazzy Jeff.

The Roots – Get Busy (Feat. Dice Raw, Peedi Peedi & DJ Jazzy Jeff)
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[ From the Album “Rising Down” | Buy CD: | Download: ]