New Year New Music Part 2 – Paul Thomas Saunders

I got an email from a PR before Xmas. Ok, I get a lot of emails from PR people and each one provides me with a little burst of guilt in recognition of the fact that I will never, ever listen to the stuff they are sending.

Except this one was different. It told me that Paul Thomas Saunders – a longstanding favourite round here despite the fact he’s only ever released a handful of EP’s – has signed to Atlantic Records. Atlantic! Home of some fucking great soul music! And…er….The Darkness! Despite that, it’s been wonderful to see an artist who first came to my attention1 a few years ago when he was releasing tracks here and there on tiny labels, to get A Proper Record Deal. Yes, such things still exist.

And here he is with a new track. He’s parked the reverb-laden guitars for reverb-laden keyboards, but the glorious other-worldliness remains, and I can imagine the new EP Good Women will be filled with much the same. Have a listen to taster track “Mutually Assured Destruction”, below.

The EP is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Go buy.

1 Thanks to a PR person who wasn’t even representing him; she just loved what she’d heard and was spreading the news off her own back. He’s that kind of artist.

New Year New Music 2014 Part One – Blessed Feathers

First off this year, here’s something from last year. Trawling around some music blogs using the marvellous Hype Machine, I came across a band called Blessed Feathers. I knew nothing about them whatsoever, other than they made sort of folky, bit of banjoey music, and what I heard was quite frankly, lovely.

So in wanting to dig around a little bit (hey, I do try and put some effort in you know), I came across a single comment in their Soundcloud page which said simply “In February of 2013 we shoved our apartment into a storage unit to travel the continent and live out of a tent. These are songs”. Curious. Now, if I were a proper journalist I’d have followed that up a few days ago, rather than just listening to their songs a bunch of times and going “Hey, this is lovely stuff”.

Turns out there’s rather more to this than just taking a nomadic turn to your life. Donivan Berube met Jacquelyn Brupre whilst working at a pizzeria, but he was a Jehovah’s Witness, and she wasn’t. Trouble ensued, as it shouldn’t do, and just the other day an interview on the NPR website was the catalyst for a fraught and somewhat overwrought set of comments on religion and freedom and whatnot. Donivan has posted a follow up the Blessed Feathers site here in which he makes the salient and ever-lasting point that hey, we should all just get along1.

Which is, of course, 100% correct. There are many people out there who wish to impose their views on you, and tell you that you are wrong for following their own path. These people, Mr Berube and Ms Brupre, are to be mostly ignored. Don’t let the suckers get you down. The grace and delicacy with which you’ve handled this situation is exemplary. I can’t imagine being anything like as nice.

Anyway, back to the music. It’s great, with “Real Song For Emily” being the one I’m listening to the most right now. They had an album out in November last year, as well some EP’s, which should give me plenty to listen to on the cold January morning commute, when all you want is lovingly crafted, beautifully sung songs.

Buy their stuff here.

1 I am of course, just being flippant – there’s rather a lot more to his response and I’d suggest you read it after listening to the interview.