After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music, while her solo debut -- 1995's Tigerlily -- helped pave the way for a number of female performers in a pre-Lilith Fair market. She continued releasing albums well into the 2000s, often examining specific genres or subjects, although Tigerlily remained her biggest-selling record.
Coury Palermo has been making music since he was 11 years old. Something in his nature couldn’t keep him from making melody, lyrics and his mom’s old guitar come together in unique ways. During the process and resulting years, life happened and shaped this Nashville- based musician into the artist he is. To say it quickly: Coury makes music for people who love music. He marries a well turned phrase with a melody that seems to fit like a glove and does what an artist does: creates something that hints at just a little bit of magic around the edges. On this, his first full length release, the broken way we love, we hear his truly unique critique of the world around him and we are reminded that music is simply more than something that plays in the background, it is something that adds to who we are as people.
Thom Donovan, singer, songwriter and guitarist, began his career as a session musician—recording and touring worldwide with a variety of artists. Unfulfilled by his work performing other artist’s compositions, he formed a band of his own called Lapush. The goal was simple—“To make records that I would buy”. The band’s debut album, Someplace Closer To Here(456/Fontana), was released in 2005. Later that same year Lapush made their network television debut on Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC. The album’s second single, “Aurora”, was featured in the cult television series “Moonlight” (CBS). The album and single each peaked at #15 on the Alternative/Specialty Charts. The band’s second album, Modern Blues, was released in 2007 through their own imprint. The first single, “Closer”, has appeared in MTV’s popular show, “The Hill’s”.
Signed to Nettwerk's management, label and publishing rosters, the Vancouver-based, China-born singer-songwriter Wanting set the stage for sophomore album Say The Words with 2012's Everything In The World. Her first offering for Nettwerk exploded last year in Asia with a #1 debut in China. Single “You Exist In My Song” raked in more than 100 Million combined video views, was the #1 radio single in China for 8 consecutive weeks and received over 10 awards. Ballad "Drenched" was also featured in the hit Chinese film Love in the Buff, solidifying her as a veritable sensation in Asia as she also developed a formidable online following. Everything In The World has now been certified 6x Platinum and received 15 Best New Artist Awards across Asia. Wanting closed out 2012 with a performance on The China Central Television New Year’s Gala, viewed by an estimated audience of 700 million.
Celebrating a bratty, tongue-in-cheek viewpoint and a spunky indie-punk style similar to Art Brut while applying an assortment of instruments akin to Architecture in Helsinki, the seven-piece group Los Campesinos! (a Spanish name that roughly translates to "the Peasants") formed in 2006 in Cardiff, Wales. The lineup took shape around Cardiff University students Aleksandra (keyboard, horn), Ellen (bass), Gareth (glockenspiel), Harriet (violin, keyboard), Neil (guitar), Ollie (drums), and Tom (guitar), all of whom began sharing vocals (as well as the last name of Campesinos!). The group played their first show at a college function in May 2006; by the following August, they had built enough of an audience to secure an opening gig for Broken Social Scene. Later that year, Los Campesinos! signed to the U.K.-based label Wichita Recordings, which released the band's first single in early 2007.
The band's name is taken from Hampden College in Donna Tartt's novel "The Secret History". The book focuses on a group of college kids embroiled in a pagan cult.
The Hampdens have played with Ben Lee, Evermore, John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, Thirsty Merc, Sarah Harmer, george, Rob Thomas, and Missy Higgins.
Their debut independent EP, Brightness Falls, was released independently in August, 2003 to rave reviews, with the first run sold out within two weeks. A second run was pressed and subsequently sold out. The success of the Brightness Falls lead to Sony releasing their follow up EP, Even World, in May, 2004. Even World was recorded with Dave Parkin at Blackbird Studios in Perth and mixed at Metropolis Studios in Melbourne. Their third EP So Young It Hurts was released in 2005 on Rubber Records. The EP was mixed and recorded by renowned UK producer Eden, best known for his work as side-kick for Nellee Hooper (Madonna).
You're always going to prick up your ears and pay close attention to an artist with a name like Alessi if, like us, you consider 1977 Top 10 hit Oh Lori by Guilty Pleasures demigods the Alessi Brothers to be a work of wavy-haired, sun-kissed, orchestral-pop genius. Alessi Laurent-Marke is an 18-year-old Londoner whose often sparse acoustic lullabies put her more in the next-Laura-Marling category, but when she and her compadres lay on the strings her songs do assume a poppy lushness that is quite captivating. Her song, Constellations, for example, is a picture of rapture made all the more magical by the generous use of harp and violins (it's actually about freckles). Then again, if you're into the raw and the powerful, the stripped-down visceral and impactful, Laurent-Marke's breathy vocals, tendency towards the ornate and general air of whimsicality are about as far removed from, say, Florence & the Machine as you can possibly get. Horses for courses, innit.
It's been a time since we heard from Tasmin Archer, although it comes as something of a shock when you do the math and realise it's ten long years since her last album. Now she's back with 'On' , a stunning collection that proves yet again that wise old maxim that the best things in life are indeed worth the wait. As you would expect, it's a record of hugely atmospheric songs, rich with potent melodies and intelligent lyrics informed by her own unusual experience - and the result is a comeback that is as triumphant as it is welcome. To explain what she's been doing since we last heard from her, it's necessary to put her long-awaited return in the context of Tasmin's earlier success. When she shot to the top of the charts in 1992 with 'Sleeping Satellite', it was a popular misconception that she had come from nowhere to become an overnight sensation.
Hailing from Odense, Denmark, the five young guys in The Kissaway Trail have set sail for new shores, armed with an album full of love, hope and loss. On deck they have their labels Bella Union in the UK, Europe and Japan, and Speak n Spell in Australia, and Playground Music in Scandinavia. The self-titled debut was released in the UK in April this year to rave reviews calling it “a savagely beautiful noise” (NME), "the debut album of the year so far." (The Independent) “mesmerising” (The Guardian), “an absolute revelation” (The Fly) and simply, “phenomenal” (Rock Sound). The band’s live performances are also taking the critics by storm, with The Guardian declaring them “this year’s jawdroppers” and Drowned in Sound concluding that, “the whole experience sticks with the attendee for days, weeks afterwards; they should one day, soon, be playing to far larger crowds.”
Although one of Canada’s biggest country music stars, Johnny Reid strays from the traditional country sound more often than not. The Scottish-born Canadian played three sold out shows this October in Manitoba and demonstrated his versatility and talent on stage every night. Johnny captured audiences with his nine-piece band, including a three-piece horn section and two back up singers, who offered up two hours of heartfelt ballads and soulful R & B tunes. His sound is not what most consider country, but what makes his music fall into that genre is his songwriting. Johnny finds much of his inspiration from love, family, relationships and all the things that country music is known for. His openness and genuine character are visible on stage as he chats with the audience like old friends between songs.