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.
“I was put on a course into the crazy business and bohemian lifestyle of a musician shortly aftter I was born. At my baptism, the preacher told my parents he had a vision that I would be a strong willed child (my mother will vouch for that) and grow up to be a singer. Ever since I was first told that story as a child this little feeling nagged at me. I actually started trying out for bands at the age of 19. My second audition was for “The Rose Chronicles.”
“I guess the Rose Chroncles thought I passed the test because they asked me to join after that first audition. 3 months later, after only two gigs, we were signed to Nettwerk records. Rose Chronicles’ full length debut garnered a Juno award in 1994 for best alternative album. The album had sold about 15,000 copies last time I checked.”
Rose Chronicles toured across Canada a few times and also performed in a few cities on the East coast of the US.
Vancouver Island chanteuse Stef Lang's star is rapidly rising. Her debut album 'The Underdog' was nominated for Pop Recording of The Year at the 2011 Western Canadian Music Awards; her first single "Mr. Immature" rose to #5 on the Billboard Canadian Emerging Artist chart, and her follow up single, "Slave2Love" was the #1 most added song on Canadian Radio upon release. With a coveted S.L. Feldman Showcase at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, 2 nominations and a live performance at the 2011Canadian Radio Music Awards (CHR and HOT AC) - Stef Lang is definitely a name you'll want to remember, and one you won't be able to forget.
With an accomplished career including a platinum debut album, a sophomore Juno Award winning album for Best R&B/Soul Recording, chart-topping singles and videos, movie performances and numerous accolades under his belt, singer, dancer, actor, songwriter and producer Shawn Desman is launching his highly anticipated new album. And it’s undeniable that Desman’s third highly anticipated album “Fresh” represents a tremendous progression of his career. From the moment he released his self titled debut platinum-selling album in the fall of 2002, Shawn Desman has enjoyed phenomenal success in the music industry. His album spent an incredible 49 weeks on the SoundScan Top 200 sales chart and produced two Top 10 singles and two number one videos. He instantly proved he was about to become a superstar entertainer worthy of all the critical acclaim and destined to be at the forefront of the global music stage.