Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yes, There Are 5 Covers Inside This Post.

Finals are approaching worryingly near. Which means more concentration on my academic career. It won't be over until mid-June, and I'd better get prepared from now, so I'm afraid time between posts will grow longer than usual. I'll still drop in from time to time to phone in a cover post or two, though. Oh who am I kidding, covers are this blog's specialty. You guys made that clear. So here are 5 more great ones to add to your collection. Enjoy!

Yael Naim - Bachelorette (Bjork)
Robyn - Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)
Groove Armada - Crazy For You (Madonna)
Cibo Matto - Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden)
Coldplay - Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Kylie)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quickie: Kimura Kaela - No Reason Why

The random shit I run into on the internet. Yesterday I was checking Cotton Mather's Wikipedia page, which noted that an ex-member is now in Farrah, one of my fave discoveries of 2007. So by instinct I clicked on Farrah's page to see what's new in their camp. Apparently, they're working on materials with a J-pop starlet I've never heard of before, Kimura Kaela. And to return the favor, she covered their song 'No Reason Why' as a track of her new album "+1". There you have it - a J-pop starlet covering a song by a band relatively unknown in their homeland. Oh how I love the Japanese! Her cover's actually pretty good and faithful to the original, in a jangly, happy-go-lucky power-pop Shonen Knife way. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though only after 30 seconds in did I realize she was actually singing (or trying to sing) English! Do cork an ear to her sunshine-filled cover, or watch the appropriately stop-motion visual companion, if you like watching a kawaii Japanese girl fooling around.

Kimura Kaela - No Reason Why (Farrah Cover)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sybille Baier - Colour Green: A Lost Gem

Sometimes, the right cover can embody the music within without ever speaking a word. Such is the case of the cover above. A sepia-toned old photograph of a young woman standing in the middle of a static field with both eyes closed. The first time I saw that image, I felt so strongly inclined to find out more about the music, even though I knew nothing about the artist in the first place. Turns out there's a very interesting story behind the release of this album, 'Colour Green' by Sybille Baier.
In the early '70s, Sybille Baier was working as an actress in Germany. After an inspiring road trip experience, she came back rejuvenated and started recording her songs on a home recording device. They never saw the light of day as Sybille decided to give up her career for domestic bliss, and later moved to the US with her family. More than 30 years later, her son, Robby, now a musician, compiled a CD worth of her early works to give out to friends & families as a gift. The Orange Twin label got a hold of a copy and in 2006, 'Colour Green' was officially released. I am not too familiar with these circles of music, but I have to say I'm glad I gave it a listen. Sibylle's voice is mesmerizing and alluring in its own way. Most of them time, it's only her and an acoustic guitar, and that stripped-down setting allowed her voice to be the main instrument, carrying the simple melodies and little stories from another time. It's a kind of record you would prefer to appreciate in solitude, you know, like sitting still in your room and wallowing for hours. It's more about the mood, the mood that evokes nostalgia and quiet, undescribable feelings. A lost gem, I'd say. In some ways, the story of an unreleased record made by your mom many years ago managing to find its way to a certain audience 3 decades later, it's quite moving, isn't it?
The good part is that inspired by all the positive feedback, Sibylle is now writing songs again with her son, and an all-new record is to be expected this fall. I know this is not the kind of music I would usually cover, but give it a try, and who knows, maybe it will inspire you to grab a flashlight and go up to your attic in hope of finding a record of your mom hidden somewhere. I asked her, she said 'No. Never happened', so no cashing-in for me :-(.

Sibylle Baier - Tonight
Sibylle Baier - I Lost Something In The Hills
Sibylle Baier - Softly

(Colour Green, 2006)

Visit her official site or herSpace, made by her son.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Quickie: Britta Persson - Winter Tour

Chamber-esque piano pop tune from Sweden with a soaring, addictive chorus consisting entirely of "ah-ahs". I love this song, and feel compelled to find more about her music. This one is from an old album, the latest one is 'Kill Hollywood Me', out last year.

Britta Persson - Winter Tour
(Top Quality Bones and A Little Terrorist, 2006)

Watch her in motion:

Visit her MySpace.

PS: A little experiment of mine. These brief posts were born because sometimes I really like a song, but can't bring myself to write a whole passage about it. In the future, I might do more of these types due to my time restraint. Hope this is okay and you like what I posted today.

Quickie: The Republic Tigers - Buildings & Mountains

Melodic soft rock with a layered, dreamy chorus. Just the kind I like.
Think: The Shins, Midlake, Keane.

The Republic Tigers - Buildings & Mountains
(Keep Color, out soon)

Here's a well-shot visual companion:

Their MySpace.

Quickie: Nicole Atkins - Maybe Tonight

This song is MAJOR. End of.
Recommend if you like: Duffy, Adele, Candie Payne, Amy.

Nicole Atkins - Maybe Tonight
(Neptune City, 2007)

Watch the video.
Check out her MySpace.