Monday, May 25, 2009

Justin Nozuka

This week’s feature is on a very young up and coming artist. Justin Nozuka is only 21 but has a soulful voice like he’s been singing for decades. Nozuka is a singer/songwriter who plays the guitar as well as he sings. His style mixes a little soul, blues, and pop to create a sound that is irresistible.

Not only can he sing and play the guitar but he writes his own songs including some heart wrenching tracks such as “Save Him” and “Criminal.” Nozuka began writing his own songs at age 12 and the earliest of his songs on Holly, "Supposed to Grow Old" and "I'm in Peace," were written when he was 15.

Half Japanese, half American Justin Nozuka was born in New York and grew up in Toronto, Raised by a single mother, Justin was the sixth of seven children, where all four of his brothers are artists in some form.

Nozuka’s debut album is titled Holly after his mother (awww…) and this introduction to his long career to come will keep you eager for more.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lisa Hannigan

So this week, since I’m leaving for Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday I thought it might be a good idea to feature an Irish artist. I considered Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova who make up the duo The Swell Season but since I featured a duo last week I thought I should change it up a bit. While perusing their myspace page I found this week’s artist , Lisa Hannigan, who, if you can’t tell by her last name, is a new Irish singer/songwriter. As I began to research Hannigan I discovered that this wasn’t my first encounter with her voice. For those of you familiar with Damien Rice you might recognize Hannigan’s voice as the female back up on most of Rice’s songs. I remember wondering, as I listened to Rice’s music, who the girl was singing with him. Hannigan left Rice’s band after 6 years when “artistic differences” arose (apparently this is a common occurrence for Rice) and she decided that this would be a good time to release a solo album.

Her debut album is called Sea Sew and was released in Ireland last September and in the U.S. this February. Her new album has not only made an impression on me but on Stephen Colbert as well. Colbert is not know for endorsing new music and rarely has musical acts on his show with exceptions for such artists like R.E.M. and Neil Young. So for Hannigan to be asked on Colbert’s show is a pretty amazing honor. Hannigan’s sound reminds me a little bit of Feist, and if you are saying to yourself, “Who’s Feist?” I guarantee you know her song from the iPod commercial, “1234 tell me that you love me more….” You know it ;)

Hannigan’s talents don’t end in singing and songwriting. She also plays several instruments including electric guitar, bass and drums as well as acting skills that led to her establishing her own theater company.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Monday Musicology. Please let me know what you think in the comments section including any new artists you think I might like. Also, since I’ll be in Ireland next Monday, the new feature might get delayed depending on my access to Internet.

Monday, May 4, 2009

John Paul White & The Civil Wars

We have a bunch of pencils in our supply cabinet at work that say "Who is this Josh Groban and why is his voice haunting me?" But for me this question should be applied to John Paul White and his music. The first time I heard White's music was while listening to Pandora radio at work. "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" started playing and I stopped everything I was doing to check in with Pandora to find out what I was listening to. Even today, if that track starts playing I set everything aside and just take in the music.

The first thing that comes to my mind when trying to describe White's music is that it is hauntingly beautiful. His first album is titled The Long Goodbye and features his songwriting talents that he not only uses to release his own music but also for other artists such as Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes and many more. Sadly, "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" is only available with the purchase of The OC Vol. 6 soundtrack, but The Long Goodbye is definitely worth purchasing. His acoustic style incorporates some of his folk roots as he was born in Alabama. He is also using that influence with his new music project, The Civil Wars.

John Paul White is teaming up with Joy Williams forming a duo group called The Civil Wars. They just did their first show this April and from the small glimpse of their music I know I'm going to be a huge fan which is why I decided to include them in this feature. Check out a video they just released of one of their tunes. I'm in love...

Along with the video I'm including The Civil Wars' first tracks and you can find out more information and even download some of the tracks free.


Hope you enjoyed this installment of new music! Please feel free to leave any comments on what you think of the music as well as any music suggestions you think I might like.