Female vocal leads are strong this year – stronger than I have noticed them to be for awhile. Overall, 2013 has been a good year for music that I like. The fact that much of it is led by a woman is a happy surprise. I thank NPR for introducing me to a number of my new finds, and I am happy that some artists that I have enjoyed in the past have resurfaced with new music over the last 9 months.
I will take a few posts to go over some of my listens – provide you a brief intro, give you some sample lyrics, and link to a performance. I hope that you might find something that you enjoy too
Boy – Mutual Friends
Naturally, the group Boy is composed of two women. One is German; one is Swiss. There is nothing amazing about this album, but it fun to listen to. The lead singer has a good voice with a lovely hint of accent in it. The two harmonize well and sing songs about love, relationships, happiness and disappointment. It is easy to like.
The trunk is filled with records
And books and tears and clothes
I’m smiling on the surface
I’m scared as hell below
And the rear view could picture
What we leave behind
Drive darling, drive darling,
Drive darling, drive darling, drive
Drive Darling – Boy
Camera Obscura – Desire Lines
It has been four years since the band Camera Obscura has released an album.Desire Lines again shows the dreamy, lavish, rich sounds of this Scottish band, led by the vocals of Tracyanne Campbell. The arrangements are wonderful, and her voice swayingly pulls you along with each song.
New year’s resolution – to kiss you like I mean it
With cheeks the colour of Rhubarb we’ll be fine
Everybody’s rushing around like they got a meeting
I just want to be here with a friend of mine
We decided to brave the elements of Spain
Because The Seven Year Itch was on telly again
– New Year’s Resolution – Camera Obscura
Giant Drag – Waking Up is Hard to Do
Giant Drag is Annie Hardy – a thirty something Californian who has been performing for several years, but is releasing only her second full album. By accounts, Annie has had a pretty crazy existence over the last few years, but she has her stuff together now and is feeling okay. She says, however, that this will be her last album as Giant Drag. She is a fun lyricist and her voice is a mix of punk rock singer/50s girl group. If you can imagine it, “Garbage Heart” a take-off on “You’re just too good to be true.” “Heart Carl” is lovely.
Still got your trash in my car
Minus that old garbage heart
Make no mistake when I say
That I prefer it that way
Garbage Heart – Giant Drag
Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – Love Has Come for You
This is a treasure of an album. Edie Brickell has been a favorite of mine since her New Bohemian days. Here she is teaming with Steve Martin on a collection of songs that they have written together. The style is bluegrassy, but there is much contemporary about them. Edie still has that raspy voice that has drawn me to all of her albums, and Steve Martin plays a mean banjo.
When you get to Asheville
Send me an email
Tell me how you’re doing
How its treating you
Did you find a new job
Did you find a new love
Is it everything that
You were dreaming of
– When You Get to Asheville
I hope you take a listen to a few. Let me know what you think.