Archive | December, 2011

Music for a Winter Night

29 Dec

British based girl group The Pipettes song “A Winter’s Sky” is an ode to a shy girl who meets a boy underneath a winter’s moon. Though it is unclear whether this song is about love or death.

The lead vocals gently glides and shines smoothly over the mid tempo beat.

But it is the perfect harmonization the group delivers throughout out the track, especially on the chorus which makes “A Winter Night” a magical, lullaby.

It is easy to lose oneself in the angelic sounds of the pipettes, as the song capitalizes on the innocence of retro songs such as Shelly Fabraes “Johnny Angel.”

Crawl into bed, get underneath the covers and let The Pipettes sing you to sleep.

Discography: We are the Pipettes (2006). Earth vs. The Pipettes (2010).

Official Website: http://thepipettes.org/

It’s Only December

16 Dec

No current artist better filled the shoes of The Ronettes and The Shirelles than Amy Winehouse.

Her passing left a gaping hole in the music world.

But the spirit of Winehouse’s passionate sound is alive and kicking in Nikki (Leoni) and Rich (Velonski’s) song “December.”

The song takes listeners on lyrical journey of love through the seasons:

“We used to walk holding hands in the park in early September/We were back in the park making love by the end of November/Now I’m here by myself in the dark and it’s only December.”

Leonti’s rich, soft voice sails over the mid tempo song accentuating the simple melody which intentionally or not borrows from The Shirelles “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and the Ronettes” “Be My Baby.”

 The end result is  song that successfuly captures the emotion and soul of iconic girl groups, with one lone songstress.

Don’t Kiss The Pierces Goodbye

7 Dec

With a slow, almost mystic trance sisters Alison and Katherine Pierce, better known as The Pierces, dish out seduction, revenge, and naughtiness the only way they know how.

In song.

The odd mixture of lust and wickedness is stamped all over “Kissing You Goodbye”

Alison takes the helm on this track, providing the heavy vocal lifting, while Catherine joins in on the choruses and harmonies.

The 60’s psychedelic vibe, hypnotizes listeners as the instrumentation perfectly melds with the smoky vocals and sexually mischievous lyrics

“Young love waits out the window and I said go home,/Cause he don’t know it’s not his problem /And he don’t know I’m not at home/Clock strikes three in the morning and I lie sleepless, /Cause he don’t know I broke my promise /And he don’t know I’ve done this”

It is easy to compare the sisters to 60’s icon Nancy Sinatra, in particular her hit song “Bang Bang” which oozes danger and love.

With the perfect mix of sin and sensuality, with a retro twist, “Kissing You Goodbye” is one song you don’t want to kiss goodbye.

Discography: The Pierces (2000), Light of the Moon (2005), 13 Tales of Love and Revenge (2007), You and I (2011).

Website: http://www.thepiercesmusic.com

 

Say Hello to Mayer Hawthorne

7 Dec

The opening doo-wop/R &B harmonies of “When I Said Goodbye” by  Mayer Hawthorne, have convinced my own family members that it is a genuineundiscovered 60’s soul song, akin to Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, and The Drifters.

They are shocked to discover the song was released in in 2009.

In 4:08 Mayer Hawthorne delivers, both musically and vocally, what might be the most sincere, authentic retro R&B throwback I have heard.

Hawthorne’s voice is deep and strong, but most of all earnest. You believe he is truly experiencing the pain of a breakup.

Combined with superb back up vocals which smoothly sail in and out of the track, and simple, honest lyrics, “When I Said Goodbye” is a song which successfully ushers the past into the present by paying homage to the great R &B and Doo-Wop bands that are now long gone from the radio waves.

Discography: A Strange Arrangement (2009), How do you Do (2011)

Official Website: http://www.mayerhawthorne.com

Glory Be To “Gloria”

3 Dec

With a roaring drum roll, an angelic chorus of “ooh’s” and manly grunts, sweedish band Mando Diao burst into your eardrums on their track “Gloria,” in a highly theatrical manner.

Shades of 1960’s pop rock surface in this energizing song, in which co lead singer Björn Dixgård taps into his inner Tom Jones. The gruff growls and vocal Olympics Dixgard brings to the table echo’s Jones many hits

Glittering in over the top vocal and musical licks, “Gloria” delves into the retro rock genre, injecting garage band style with a retro Tom Jones meets The Animals flavor.

One can almost picture women’s undergarments being flung into the air.

Eerily similar to “Gloria” is Jones masterpiece “Delilah” . The lyrics both feature dramatic scenarios where a woman is seen as an object of desire, to the point of murder.

In “Gloria” the Chorus swells:

Gloria alone now forever/Gloria away in the air now/Gloria she’s no longer your slave

She now watches him from “Heaven’s Gate”

The lyrics also allude to the fact that the man has told Gloria many lies in his “freakshow” and is responsible for her misery.

In “Delilah” the songster confesses that he is a slave to a cheating woman who is no good for him.

“But I was lost like a slave that no man could free”

So of course he resorts to murder.

“She stood there laughing/I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more”

Dramatic enough for you?

Discography: Bring Em’ In (2002), Hurricane Bar (2004), Ode to Ochrasy (2006), Never Seen the Light of Day (2007), Give Me Fire (2009)

Official Website: www.Mandodiao.com

Don’t Miss Eliza Doolittle

3 Dec

Many artists sample bits and pieces from other songs into their own tracks, but on “Missing” British songstress Eliza Sophie Caird, better known as Eliza Doolittle, goes one step further.

She turns the sample into an entire song.

The track’s fourteen opening seconds quietly play the 1950’s song “Come Softly to me” by The Fleetwoods.

Suddenly Doolittle’s pop, british perky voice cuts through with a refreshing energy, carrying on the simple melody of The Fleetwoods hit tune.

Doolittle’s voice commands, in a song all about getting noticed.

“Nobody notices at all/If I stood on a chair I’d be taller”

As the chorus kicks in, Doolittle accompanies the backing track of “Come Softly to me” both fitting together like a gloved hand.

Because I’m missing/ how you found me/
If anybody has a key to spare a little dream for me /I’ll let it be/
That you find me, find me, finally found me .

Unlike other British artists, Doolittle’s cockneyed accent is clear and present, adding a colorful sound to the tune which matches Doolittle’s colorful personality.

She expresses this in her unique vocal modern-yet-retro style, along with her sassy lyrics

“When you see me in your favorite spot/Just remember I could give you a lot”

As the song ends, Doolittle’s voice cuts out, the Fleetwoods track signing us off.

An infectious tune that after one hearing you’ll be humming for days, “Missing” is 3:40 minutes of pure pop bliss.

Discography: Eliza Doolittle (2010)

Official Website: http://www.elizadoolittle.com