Starflower

starflower

Starflower have finished recording a follow up to their excellent debut album Moment In The Sun. The second album entitled Ceasefires will be released this fall, but you can already get a sneak preview, because they just added a couple of great songs from the upcoming album to their myspace.

Starflower at myspace

Starflower photo by Maria Arponen
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The Duke & The King + other things

I finally got The Duke & The King album on friday and I’m totally addicted to it. It’s Simone Felice’s new project and I think I love it even more than The Felice Brothers (which is a lot said).

The Duke & The King at myspace

I’ve been a bit of an lazy boy lately and haven’t even done those top of the week lists, but during the last few weeks, I’ve been mostly listening to The Jayhawks anthology, that excellent The Emitt Rhodes Recordings 2-CD set that is finally out there and available for everyone, Haruko’s Wild Geese, Magnolia Electric Co’s Josephine and now this gorgeous The Duke & The King album Nothing Gold Can Stay.

I also have a goal to get this blog rolling smoothly during the fall and winter, but we’ll see how it goes. No more promises that I can’t keep though. Not sure about adding more reviews eventhough I did one “my kind of review” tonight. If I can convince myself that they are worth writing, maybe I’ll do a few once in a while. But they definitely won’t be that frequent that you should start filling my mailbox with promo copies.

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Haruko: Wild Geese

haruko

Haruko: Wild Geese (Bracken Records, 2009)

I’m not sure does it make me a sad case that I’ve always considered records as my friends. Maybe it’s the fantasy land of an anti-social boy/man/whatever, but that’s the way I want to treat records. After all, these treasures can learn to know more about you than your closest friends.. Well I suppose if ones writes gushing emotion-filled reviews about these friends, the “real” friends might learn to know the same feelings that were born when one’s heart and the core of the record melted together..

Haruko is a german folk singer-songwriter Susanne Stanglow whose debut album Wild Geese has become a good friend of mine. We’ve shared a lot of quality time together during the summer nights. When I’ve been walking around the sleeping city, Wild Geese have guided and guarded my path. When I’ve been reading a crime novel, Haruko’s beautiful phrasing have injected so much warmth into the characters that even the evil ones are ready to give up life of crime. When I’ve felt sad & stressed, Wild Geese have flown through the headphones, captured the emotions, made them stronger for a while before taking away the surface layer and revealing all the good stuff I failed to see.

Wild Geese is intimate and hauntingly beautiful. Even when you are taken into a fairytales it somehow manages to feel very personal. Eventhough I’ve never slept out underneath the stars and can’t build a fire to safe my life, Haruko brings the nature so close to my heart that suddenly becoming an outdoor type doesn’t seem like a bad option. It’s a very beautifully crafted folk album and eventhough these are home recordings, it sounds absolutely wonderful to me. A huge studio treatment couldn’t have made a significant improvement, but in a worst case it might have killed the down-to-earth warmness of the songs. There might be a lot of more high profile folk releases out there, but most of them will struggle to hold so much charming magic and fragile melancholic beauty inside them.

Picture

Haruko at myspace
Bracken Records Website

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The Shazam: Meteor

Final Meteor Layout 6

A great rockin’ power pop band The Shazam returns with a new album called Meteor. It’s also a return of Not Lame label. For a while Not Lame has not released any music and have only focused in being the finest power pop record store in the world. However, new The Shazam album probably sounded so mouthwatering that Bruce just had to bring Not Lame label back to the front. The sound clips indeed sound great and I already ordered a copy. I settled for the “normal” version, but until wednesday morning one has a possibility to get the limited edition with bonus cds etc.

By the way. I already failed with my promise to buy at least one album from notlame.com every month. I don’t think I ordered any during july. But my excuse is that I was waiting for july’s new releases which never came, because Bruce was on well deserved holiday. I will make it up by making at least two orders during august. Tonight’s The Shazam order was the first one and I’ll make another one when the next bunch of new records hits the front page.

Not Lame Website
The Shazam Website
The Shazam at myspace

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Astrid Swan & The Drunk Lovers

astridswan

Astrid Swan’s new album Better Than Wages is due out on 2nd of september. The single Your Bitches was digitally released a while ago, but now you can also download a song called Unrelated for free. Both songs are also playing on her myspace along with another new song entitledMisfit. Visit Astrid’s blog and/or myspace to find the link for the free download.

Astrid Swan at myspace
Astrid Swan Blogspot

Astrid photo by Varpu Eronen
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