Maybe you’ve read about our album cover shoot, but now you can hear what all the fuss is about. Gabrielle Aimée has a new album coming out and stylistically it’s a huge departure from her earlier work. Some of that might have to do with teaming up with Leo Sidran who produced, arranged and played all the instruments, and Hector Coulon handling the recording and mixing, but from the first few chords on ‘I Know Better’, her vocals slide into a warm, comfortable place that instantly draw you into the song. Check out her new facebook Band Page, and make sure you listen to the bluesy ‘Have You Ever’, a song she penned with Song of the Day favorite Nadia Ackerman. And for you New Yorkers looking for something to do over the Thanksgiving weekend, Gabrielle will be playing at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1 on Saturday November 26 at 5:00PM
Late last year, Nadia Ackerman kept telling me about a singer/songwriter friend of hers with the most amazing and soulful voice that would immediately have me thinking of a female Tom Waits, and that I simply must meet her. Well, since then I’ve gotten to be very good friends with Chiara Angelicola…..Bird Call as she’s known on stage…..and while her vocals can go to the dark, bluesy place that Tom calls home, on her latest EP, Other Creatures, she’s recorded covers of songs from Fleetwood Mac, Nick Cave, Man Man, Kate Bush and Beck that don’t simply parrot the originals, but instead her unique voice gives a heartfelt interpretation to each one in her own style. I remember when Beck released Sea Change…his melancholy country-blues masterpiece…and how ‘Lost Cause’ quickly became my favorite song on the album, so hearing Chiara throw a sitar in the mix really caught me off guard. This from Chiara…..
“Lost Cause is one of my favorite Beck tunes. I think the Sea Change record influenced a lot of people my age at the time it came out. It signaled a major shift in the music world. I knew that it would be a challenge to recreate, but I was working with some really talented people and we found a way to diverge from it in a spiritual and organic way and stay true to it at the same time. I think the sitar really expresses the spiritual and emotional aspects of the song alone. I’m really glad we went that route.”
You can follow Bird Call on her website, then go pick up a copy of the Other Creatures EP on iTunes for only 7 bucks!
Finally…I was gonna drop the video for ‘Lost Cause’, but Chiara tells me that apparently Deli Magazine is getting a temporary exclusive on that one, so you’re all gonna hafta do with Beck’s original version and I’ll drop Chiara’s version when it clears Customs…..
With that little rant outta the way, I’ve culled through everything I tossed out over the past 12 months, tried to keep it real by touchin’ on all the food groups, and finally come up with a pretty good mix of indie, guitar-strummin’, singer/songwriter, power-poppy, electronica and alt-rock goodness. And I gotta say, it was bloody hard this year to keep it to only ten choices! Each year, it always amazes me at the sheer quality of the music I stumble upon that quite frankly, most people will never even hear! Cee Lo may get 50 million YouTube views and Kanye is washing the road grime off of his Lamborghini with Cristal, but I’m still gonna champion these performers because they’re turning out music I can actually listen to!
So even though this will undoubtedly be looked upon by some as yet another full-of-shit Top Ten list…I give you…..
The Damn Ugly Photography Top Ten Songs From 2010!!!
10. JOHANNA AND THE DUSTY FLOOR
Love Is A Breakable Thing
The theatrical, Joy Division-like fuzzy vibe these guys have working must have been catchy, ‘cuz a lotta you wrote thankful notes to me back in February and said you coughed up a few bucks to buy the EP. You can follow INU over at Inu Music.
It was indeed a very bad day when Audrye Sessions announced a few months back that they were packing it in…we were crying like babies here at The List…but back in May when Ryan sent me this song we were amped by the frenzy of fun ‘Bad Day’ laid down and so looking forward to more from would end up being the final ‘sessions’. But Ryan assures me his new EP will be out this month and you all know I’ll have a taste when it becomes available!
I loved Portishead, so it was natural I was gonna love Phantogram. The sad, drowsy guitars, the scratchy backtrack and even Sarah Barthel’s voice that’s a dead ringer for Beth Gibbons…’When I’m Small’ had me swaying side-to-side back in January. Check out Phantogram over on MySpace
6. ANDREW BELLE (featuring KATIE HERZIG)
I first found out about Andrew Belle after seeing Katie Herzig (#3 on the list this year) in concert and ‘Static Waves’, the duo they did together, showed up on The List in October. You can follow Andrew Belle on his MySpace Page or over on his website
The first time I heard ‘Changing Your Mind’, it gave me an ache in the back of my throat…the kind of heartfelt ache that convinced me even back then that it was bound for the end of the year list. You can’t fake this kind of soulful singing. Check out Bob Schneider on his MySpace page.
I never knew when I went to see Brandi Carlile I’d come away with a bunch of CD’s from Katie Herzig, but that’s why we go to see live music, right? You never know who’s gonna pop up and grab you! Katie is a special talent and you can follow her on her website or over on MySpace
There was far less electronica on The List this year, but my love of dream-pop and the fact that this song stayed at the very top of my iTunes folder all year ensured it a spot near the top of this years list. And I could listen to Alejandra and Claudia Deheza trade off harmonies all day and night! Get more SVIIB on MySpace or on their Website
Over the past few months, Nadia has become BFF’s with The List…we even shot her new album cover package…so ya can’t be too surprised to find her sitting on top of this years heap, and nobody deserves it more! She’s such an amazingly gifted songwriter and that strong, expressive voice can melt even the hardest heart. Her second album, The Ocean Master, is due to be released this Spring…in fact, she and Harvey are in Wales mixing the record it as I type this…so please, head on over to her facebook page for more information.
Here’s a last-minute, what-am-I-gonna-do-tonight suggestion for all you NYC folks who are just sitting around looking for an excuse to get off the couch…Nadia Ackerman has an EP release show tonight at the Rose Music Hall in Williamsburg. I’m gonna be there…wanna join me?!! And as further enticement to get you interested, as today’s Song of the Day I’m offering up ‘I Love You More’, one of the six little love letters she wrote in a week, recorded at the piano in her apartment and is releasing as ‘A Little Moment, Vol. 1’. Check out Nadia on her facebook page
Johanna Cranitch has been whispering in my ear for a while now about fellow Aussie songbird Nadia Ackerman, and today I have something to share off of The Circus Is Back In Town, her latest album. Now chances are even if you’re unfamiliar with her music, you might know more about Nadia than you think…she’s been getting a lotta notices recently for her vocals on the new UPS ‘Logistics’ campaign…even syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz has been Tweeting about it…I actually think he’s got a thing for her, cuz he’s mentioned her more than once…! I suppose it’s understandable that Neil might have fallen for the girl with her breathy, beautiful voice calling out to him from the TV, but still…a teeny bit creepy.
Anyway…I love the song. The relaxed, languid way she shuffles through the verse has an almost narcotic feel to it, and the simple piano and electronic backing loop that accompanies her is both classic and psychedelic at the same time.
To find out more about Nadia Ackerman, check her out on her facebook page. You can also keep your eyes on The List…I have a feeling we will be hearing…and seeing…more of Nadia in the near future. And if you haven’t seen it already, here’s that UPS commercial I was telling you about…