Salon Sounds

The quest for new music is  the search for a needle in a haystack…endless, frustrating and rewarding when you achieve success.

Blogs, reviews, apps, i-tunes, web sites, internet radio there are a million places to look for music that touches your heart, moves your feet and engages your mind

Here you will find a straight forward (brief) guide to the music on rotation in the salon right now…without too many works and with plenty of links so you can figure out whether you like it or not!

Tinashe  Aquarius

The Facts

Tinashe Jørgensen Kachingwe is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, actress, director, and former model. She began her entertainment career at the age of 3 when she began modeling and acting. In 2012 Tinashe released two critically acclaimed mixtapes In Case We Die and Reverie which she created in her home studio. After the release of the mixtapes, Tinashe signed with RCA Records. She released her third mixtape Black Water and released her debut solo album Aquarius. When Tinashé released her debut single “2 On”it stayed at #1 on the rhythm radio charts for over 4 consecutive weeks and peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming her first Top 40 hit single.

The Press

Upon its release, Aquarius received acclaim from music critics, who commended its production, lyrics, and themes, with reviewers comparing it to the work of Janet Jackson. The album debuted at seventeen on the US Billboard 200, selling 18,821 copies in its first week. It also charted in Australia, France and the United Kingdom. Aquarius explores a variety of genres including R&B, pop, alternative R&B, Dean Van Nguyen of the NME described the album’s music as being a “decadent alt-R&B” which he compared to the work of The Weeknd and Aaliyah. August Brown of the Los Angeles Times called the album’s music “weird, wonderful world of experimental beat” which he compared to other PBR&B singers including FKA twigs and Kelela, continuing to say the album has rhythm and swing “yet cut through with melancholy.” Andy Kellman of AllMusic described the album’s musical style as being mostly “low-lit, slinking in tempo, and stitched together with several interludes”, which Kellman described as being influenced by The Velvet Rope by Janet Jackson.

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The Style

From top to bottom, this is an amazing album that brings together every essence of what made R&B such a dominant genre in the early 2000s. Not only that, but it’s a modern blueprint for what an album should sound like in 2014, because most people are not releasing albums. They’re releasing 10 songs and a bonus track. This body of work is cohesive from the opening song “Aquarius,” to the “The Storm” outro. And that’s another thing Tinashe learned from the greats like Janet Jackson, who’s albums always transitioned perfectly between songs. Aquarius is smart, it’s dark, it’s deep, it’s club-friendly, it’s guy-friendly, it’s radio-friendly, it has lyrical depth, it blends genres, it’s cohesive yet diverse

alt-J  This is All Yours

The Facts

alt-J (also known as ∆) is an English indie rock band formed in 2007 in Leeds, England, by Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals) and Thom Green (drums).

The Press

Downbeat and often acoustic-led, the plan is to infuse their sound with a more natural-sounding human warmth. To the same end, there’s added passion alongside the pastoral themes. Bar the southern gothic chants of ‘The Gospel Of John Hurt’ there are few big singalong moments like ‘Breezeblocks’ here, but plenty of fun being had: witness the flurry of samples after ‘Bloodflood Pt II’ that leads to a slow, computer-addled cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’, the Black Keys blues pastiche ‘Left Hand Free’, . Alt-J Mk II, then: an impressive expansion, with hugely improved connectivity.

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The Style

The band’s debut album An Awesome Wave was released in May 2012 in Europe[2] and September 2012 in the United States, and won the 2012 British Mercury Prize. Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released on 22 September 2014 and went straight to UK number 1

The album starts with the delicate piano, guitar and string paean ‘Arrival In Nara’, it emerges that Alt-J have ramped up their pastoral side. Wasps flit between songs, birdsong chatters, church bells chime and there’s an outrageous recorder interlude called ‘Garden Of England’

The Avener The Wanderings of the Avener

The Facts

Tristan Casara (born 23 January 1987), known by his stage name The Avener (/ˈævənər/), is a French deep house and electro music producer. He best known for his 2014 single “Fade Out Lines”, a deep house rework of “The Fade Out Line”, a song by Phoebe Killdeer & The Short Straws.

The Press

Constantly present on the top of the iTunes Electronic Chart for many months now, and more than three million plays on Spotify, Fade Out Lines creates the surprise and is going to be the hit of summer 2014, but also most importantly, the anthem of the new generation !

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The Style

The Avener is a multi-faceted, discrete and complex artist. As a confirmed producer, The Avener has multiplied collaborations, and decides now to focus on his solo career. He finds his inspiration through his different experiences around the globe.

At the end of 2013, combining his love for Deep House and Electro, but also his vintage influences from Rythm’n’Blues and Soul, The Avener re-works « The Fade Out Lines » by Phoebe Killdeer into a beautiful electronic journey, with a haunting and sexy melody, classy and unifying sounds. As soon as we hear the first note we are immersed into a Bluesy & Soul atmosphere. The Gibson brings the vintage color while the acoustic drum kit gives way to a deep beat that makes us want to dance.

MØ No Mythologies to Follow

The Facts

Karen Marie Ørsted (born 13 August 1988 in Odense, Denmark), better known by her stage name Mø (stylised as MØ), is a Danish singer-songwriter. Mø, whose name means “maiden” or “virgin” in Danish, has been compared to electropop artists such as Grimes and Twin Shadow.

The Press

In 2012, Ørstad began creating a cappella pop songs and began collaborating with producer Ronni Vindahl. Although she initially started performing a blend of ‘crunk rap’, she has repeatedly mentioned that the Spice Girls are the reason she started making music. Her favourite was Sporty Spice and she has even released a cover of ‘Say You’ll Be There’.

MØ co-wrote and provided vocals for Swedish DJ/producer Avicii’s song “Dear Boy” which was later featured on his debut album, She also collaborated with Diplo on ‘XXX 88′, after a connection with the producer on Twitter. The song appeared on her 2013 EP Bikini Daze.

MØ’s debut studio album, No Mythologies to Follow, was released on 7 March 2014 with reviews calling the album “complex and euphoric”, while The Guardian noted that “what [MØ] lacks in originality, she makes up for with warlike ardour”

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The Style

Mø’s music has been defined as “electro music with guts”. Her work has been likened to various artists, including Siouxsie Sioux and Janet Jackson. Ørsted was seven when she became interested in music thanks to the Spice Girls. As a teenager, she became interested in punk music and anti-fascist movements, listening to Black Flag, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and especially Sonic Youth, saying she looked up to Kim Gordon as a “big hero and role model”. MØ stated to Billboard that she doesn’t strive for the mastered vocal “perfection” you hear from most mainstream artists; instead, she aims for a natural sound stressing the importance that they not be “too polished.”

FKA Twigs LP1

The Facts

Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known by her stage name FKA twigs, is an English singer-songwriter and dancer  “FKA” stands for “Formerly Known As”. She became known as Twigs for the way her joints crack. She added the acronym FKA to her name when another artist called Twigs complained about her use of the name.[Her debut album, LP1, was released in August 2014.

The Press

Described as a singular kind of diva who asserts herself subtly, twigs sings in a near whisper and while sultry R&B is an increasingly crowded genre, Twigs emerges the high priestess. She manages to craft a cohesive aesthetic that draws on modern R&B and electronic while also remaining inventive, few debuts possess such control and ambition all in one; LP1 is the rare album that manages to sound both lived in and completely futuristic.

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The Style

Much has already been said about LP1 being a headphones album, I disagree with this,  I want to hear this on gigantic speakers, bass turned up. She exists in a space entirely of her own, this is her direct appeal – this deeply unusual, insular, strange music, constantly and alternately giving and holding back, exposing vulnerability and commanding.

Movement Movement

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The Facts

With a vibe described as ‘seductive nocturnal music’, it was only a matter of time before Sydney based trio Movement, Jesse James Ward / Lewis Wade / Sean Walker pricked up the ears of industry folk.

The Press

Movement inhabit a shadowy subspace where R&B and dance music begin to blur together and blend. Their single on Modular, “Us”, transcends standard lyrical lecherousness, the vocal take is light and controlled, but it burns with menace and the type of heat lent to whispered threats in the corner of a black-lit club: “When we’re alone in the dark/ And I could take you right now/ You’re the way that I want you/ Moving for me.” Flecks of steel drum sprinkled throughout the song’s second half serve as welcome bits of color and light, an indication of the band’s gift for cultivating atmosphere– the darkness of “Us” threatens to overwhelm, demands a search for relief.

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The Style

In a short amount of time, Sydney trio Movement have staked a formidable claim to their self-described style of “minimal soul” by transforming pulsating beats and smooth R&B croons into a euphoric mélange of intimacy. Their sound possesses a unique texture thanks to its throbbing bass, steady claps, and delicate keys. It’s an ominous affair that finds the hushed breaths of vocalist Lewis Wade soaring into powerful howls on the turn of a dime as the chorus defiantly declares, “I never felt you.” And just when the thick haze clears up, “Ivory” unleashes a colossal guitar solo in its finale that trades in understatement for Prince-level grandiosity. It’s an abrupt moment made possible with mixing from the Weeknd affiliate Illangelo, further proveing that Movement possess the skillset to flourish.

The Jezabels The Brink

TheJezabelsTheBrink

The Facts

The Jezabels are an Australian four-piece indie, alternative rock and disco pop musical group that formed in 2007. They consist of Nik Kaloper on drums, Samuel Lockwood on lead guitar, Hayley Mary (also known as Hayley Frances McGlone) on lead vocals, and Heather Shannon on piano and keyboard. From 2009 to 2010 the group issued a trilogy of extended plays, The Man Is Dead, She’s So Hard and Dark Storm—all produced and engineered by Lachlan Mitchell. Two of their releases have reached the ARIA Singles Chart Top 40: the Dark Storm EP and their single “Endless Summer”

The Press

The Jezabels utilise an extremely talented and wide-ranging female vocalist with a genre they feel they’ve created; intensindie. Their first single, Endless Summer, has been the most successful so far, but City Girl and The End are examples of the direction this band are starting to take. There’s almost an 80’s style that finds its way into various tracks, while the tunes are so upbeat you’ll be bopping away on the first listen.

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The Style

Jezabels singer Haley Mary sums up their sound perfectly as ‘Bronte-esque gothic (and) melodramatic’. Channelling Kate Bush, Freddie Mercury and Cyndi Lauper, Mary’s vocals are a force to be reckoned with”. By 31 December 2011, the album was certified gold by ARIA for the shipment of 35,000 units “Endless Summer” was performed ‘ by both Josh Pyke and Jack Vidgen. In late 2013, the Jezabels released a song titled “The End” as the first single release from their second album The Brink, which was released on 31 January 2014.

Milky Chance Sadnecessary

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The Facts

Milky Chance is a German alternative pop folk rock duo with reggae and electronic music influences made up of Clemens Rehbein as vocalist and musician and Philipp Dausch as DJ. The duo finished their secondary education at Jacob-Grimm-Schule. Clemens and Philipp were in a jazz quartet known as Flown Tones where Clemens played bass guitar and Philipp was a guitarist.

The Press

Originally, Rehbein and Dausch played together in a local band, but after graduation, the group disbanded and Rehbein and Dausch continued on as a duo. In 2013, after playing two promising live shows, Milky Chance began work on their debut album. When they were finished, they uploaded several of the tracks, including the catchy “Stolen Dance,” to YouTube. To their surprise, the song became a viral hit, racking up millions of views and leading to several sold-out tour dates for the band. Milky Chance’s full-length debut, Sadnecessary, appeared on Lichtdicht Records in 2013.

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The Style

Sadnecessary, the debut album is an experimental, rhythmic and rare release that is the perfect accompaniment for a chill-out session. The unique voice of Clemens (a 2014 version of Bob Marley) and the extended sections of instrumental strumming, beating and bopping create a sound you’ve never heard before; an indie reggae pop that breaks away from general classification. The title track ‘Stolen Dance’ is receiving airtime on various radio stations, one of the more upbeat entries that demonstrates vocal ability, memorable beats and lyrics that stick immediately.

Kelis Food

Kelis

The Facts

Kelis Rogers (/kəˈliːs/; born August 21, 1979), better known as Kelis, is an American singer-songwriter and certified chef. She has won Brit Awards, Q Awards, and NME Awards, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards and has released six regular studio albums so far. Outside her native United States, she had 10 top ten singles in the United Kingdom alone.

The Press

The album was seen as a return to Kelis’ earlier sound, its music was described by New York Daily News as being one of her “most consistent and organic sound of her career”, noting influence from Fela’s Afro-beat, Memphis soul and classic R&B. The production is characterized as containing a “dark bass, a warm organ, some spicy splashes of horns.”

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The Style

Kelis collaborated with Scottish producer Calvin Harris on the song “Bounce”, the lead single from Harris’ third studio album, 18 Months.[28] The song was released in June 2011 in the United Kingdom and debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart. Eclectic in its feel, the album’s opening track “Breakfast” can be described as a “breezy track. “Jerk Ribs” is a “feel good” song, that is built “soaring over funky horns and whistles.”Let Forever Be” is a pop song built on layers of live horns and strings, with production characterized as being a “burbling synth line reminiscent of Stevie Nicks’ “Cobbler” is a dancefloor song like a “James Brown-esque funk” workoutwhile “Bless The Telephone” is an acoustic guitar ballad, which was originally performed by vocalist Labi Siffre, the song also doubles as a duet with Sal Masekela, who sings the melody along with Kelis.

The Head and the Heart Let’s Be Still

 The Head and the heart

The Facts

The Head and The Heart is an indie folk-rock band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in the summer of 2009 by Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), the band also includes Charity Rose Thielen (violin, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (piano), and Tyler Williams (drums)

The Press

Following their celebrated eponymous debut of 2011, Seattle’s The Head and the Heart released their second album Let’s Be Still late last year to critical acclaim. The six-piece went from busking and playing open mic nights to selling out San Francisco’s Fillmore, Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, New York’s Terminal 5 and more.

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The Style

Consistently presenting a perfect mix of solid songwriting, sweet harmonies, minimalist drums, hand percussion and solid bass The Head and the Heart continue to win over new fans with their live show. The band has also charmed audiences through performances on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Late Show with David Letterman, the legendary Austin City Limits and Coachella to drop just a few names.

Broken Bells After the Disco

broken bells

The Facts

Broken Bells is an American indie rock band composed of artist-producer Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) and James Mercer, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the indie rock band The Shins. Broken Bells compose and create as a duo, but are joined by a full band on tour. After the Disco is the second studio album by American alternative rock band Broken Bells. Recorded with the seventeen-piece Angel City String Orchestra and a four-piece choir, the album was released January 31, 2014.

The Press

The album has been rated as “the perfect soundtrack for the morning after” a night out and generally the press feel that the band “raised their game” on the release “by simply delivering fatter hooks, juicier melodies, dreamier vocals and more of the dark shimmer that enveloped the duo’s 2010 debut.

 

 The Style

This isn’t an album where you have to listen to it a second time to figure out if you like it or not, it’s an album will push its way to the top of the stack after the first listen. Every track on this album is unique; you never have a problem trying to figure out when one track ends and another begins. One great thing about Danger Mouse is that he likes to approach projects with the ‘less is more’ attitude regarding the sound. He doesn’t cram tracks with every sound wave he can think of just because it’s possible to do that, and the way James Mercer compliments this attribute equals just the absolute perfect mix of cosmic folk and groovy funk in the form of a brilliant record.

Pharrell GIRL

Pharrell

The Facts

Girl (stylized as G I R L) is the second studio album by recording artist and record producer Pharrell Williams. The album is Williams’ first studio album in eight years, since his 2006 debut, In My Mind.[4]

The lead single of Girl is the Academy Award-nominated song “Happy”, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. The album contains appearances by Kelly Osbourne, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, JoJo, Alicia Keys, Tori Kelly and Leah LaBelle.

The Press

Upon its release, Girl received generally positive reviews from critics.It is a relentlessly positive and unselfconsciously joyful tour de force. It’s fun, frivolous, and low on excess. It’s an enjoyable dance-pop album it makes a pleasant change from the overwrought wailing that routinely afflicts R&B.

 

The Style

Called a feminist “almost-concept” album in early reviews, Girl is Williams’ attempt to “eliminate what he sees as an understandable degree of uncertainty over what his attitude to women actually is.” He said that he felt the need to clarify himself in the wake of “Blurred Lines” controversy, as with the song’s “questionable lyrics, and the nature of the aesthetic of the video The opening track on the album, “Marilyn Monroe”, begins with an orchestral string introduction. The song’s production is characterized by Williams’ signature “skittering” beat and “bumping” bass line. The album’s first single, “Happy”, is a neo soul and funk song that Williams sings in a falsetto singing tone. “Come Get It Bae” features uncredited guest vocals from Miley Cyrus, the song is a funk song with playful beat

Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe

The Facts

Devonté “Dev” Hynes also known as Blood Orange, is a British singer, composer, songwriter, producer and author. He has written for artists such as Florence and the Machine, Diana Vickers and The Chemical Brothers Hynes was born and raised in Ilford, Essex but has resided in New York since 2007. Hynes is currently producing and working on songs closely with Solange Knowles on his third studio album which is set to release in early 2013 alongside Mutya Keisha Siobhan on their debut album.

The Press

Hynes returns to the stage as Blood Orange and his slick, eclectic show is matched by an outpouring of audience affection He’s been a half-hearted indie punk and a convincing geeky minstrel, but after almost three years away, Devonté Hynes is back in London in his most successful incarnation yet, as fully fledged pop sensation Blood Orange.

The Style

While producing for the likes of Solange Knowles and Sky Ferreira, his soulful synth-laden solo work manages to be both upbeat and emotive, bringing together a wide variety of influences across hip hop, disco and funk

 The Civil Wars The Civil Wars

The Facts

The Civil Wars are an American musical duo from Nashville Tennessee, composed of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White. After releasing a live-performance album and a four-song EP, their full-length album Barton Hollow was released in 2011. The band won the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album in 2012. In November 2012, the duo went on hiatus, citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition. The Civil Wars released a second self titled album August 6, 2013

The Press

The songs are nothing short of radiant, from the perfect vocals to the organic, full-bodied arrangements, from the heart-rending lyrics to the way that producer Charlie Peacock surrounds everything in a smoky ambiance. Even in the quieter moments, like Williams’ dreamy French lead vocal on “Sacred Heart” and album closer “D’Arline,” there’s the sense that such raw, bare emotion has enabled The Civil Wars to delve deep to intricate details, but also to amplify the internal conflict to greater heights.

The Style

Indie, country folk best listened to drinking whiskey at 3:00 p.m. in a dive bar with your car packed up outside after a crushing breakup. And while they were never a couple — both are married with children — their best songs play off the will-they-or-won’t-they tension that fills the spaces between locked eyes and harmonized choruses.

Rhye Woman

The Facts

Rhye is an R&B musical duo based in Los Angeles, California. Its members are Canadian singer Milosh and Danish instrumentalist Robin Hannibal. Mike Milosh was born in Toronto, Canada and is an electronic musician and vocalist. He was a classically-trained cellist from age 3 and had become a jazz aficionado. He later moved to Berlin, Germany to pursue music as a vocalist and a producer. Robin Hannibal (birth name Robin Braun) was a member of the Danish duo Quadron

The Press

There was great interest as well as speculation amongst music journalists and reviewers about the group’s identity. Discussions also ensued about Milosh’s high and sigh-like contralto androgynous vocals. His voice and the band’s instrumentation are likened to those of British-Nigerian singer Sade and to those of Michael Franks and The xx.

The Style

Milosh’s soft, yearning voice made for an ideal match with Braun’s elegant, organic/synthetic hybrid sound — a modern form of R&B-inspired sophisti-pop.

Foals Holy Fire

The Facts

Holy Fire is the third studio album by British band Foals, released on 11 February 2013 in the United Kingdom on Transgressive Records. Foals Yannis Philippakis – vocals, guitar Jimmy Smith – guitar Walter Gervers – bass, backing vocals Edwin Congreave – keyboards, backing vocals Jack Bevan – drums

The Press

NME gave the album a rating of 9/10, praising the fact that it “is a record that bursts out of the speakers” and adding that although the album is energetic, “it’s the way that the album as a whole unravels and blooms through repeat listens that marks it as Foals’ finest moment to date”. Drowned in Sound stated that “not only is Holy Fire utterly sublime, it’s a record that’s been six years in the making. A record where Foals have focussed their many triumphs and missteps into one cohesive statement”. Ian Cohen of Pitchfork Media called Holy Fire an “ambitious record, one that operates on an artistic economy of scale, where the lustrous production and singles like “My Number” and “Inhaler” do the heavy work of confirming Foals’ headliner status”.

The Style

Indie Rock in the true sense of the word. The album has an electronic 80’s inspired feel, with the blend of classic rock instruments & technology If you like Cut Copy, The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire then this will be your thing

Broods EP

The Facts

Broods is a pop music duo from Nelson, New Zealand, composed of multi-instrumentalist Caleb Nott and younger sister Georgia Nott on vocals. They released the single “Bridges”, which went to No. 8 on the New Zealand single chart, and signed with Capitol and Polydor Records. They released their debut EP, Broods EP, on 30 January 2014, which will be followed by a full-length album in August.

The Press

“Broods” includes the startlingly good single “Bridges,” which was posted online last October and has since earned 464,000 plays on Soundcloud, as well as the previously released track “Never Gonna Change.” Broods have worked closely with Joel Little, who produced the entirety of Lorde’s debut album “Pure Heroine,” and the brother-sister duo of Caleb and Georgia Nott also happen to hail from Lorde’s hometown of Auckland, New Zealand.

The Style

“The Lorde comparison has come up quite a bit, but I kind of expected that — working with Joel and being a girl that’s from New Zealand, that kind of meets the criteria of a Lorde impersonator,” Georgia Nott told Billboard in November. “I think Lorde’s incredibly talented, and… it’s impossible not to be in awe of her or be influenced by her in some way, but we have to build our own identity outside of ‘Lorde and the rest of New Zealand music.'”

If you loved Lorde but are looking for something fresh and new with amazing harmony the these are two are an amazing fresh new talent to make us proud