Monday, September 28, 2009

Joy Williams

If you have been following this music blog then this week’s artist will be familiar. If you haven’t then shame on you! There is some good stuff here! Back in May I did a feature on John Paul White, which turned into a double feature as I discovered his new duo The Civil Wars with Joy Williams. I quickly fell in love with the duo and knew the name Joy Williams sounded very familiar to me. After doing some research on Williams I came upon some surprising information. This was the same Joy Williams who was once blond and released purely Christian albums! Now she is brunette and fully emerged in the pop folk and singer/songwriter world of Nashville. The transformation was so different that I only recognized her name! I remember her hit tracks that played on Christian radio and I was never really struck by them but now I cannot get enough of her music. If I really wanted to pursue being a solo artist the new Joy Williams is the type of artist I would want to be. Her music is moving, her style is vintage bohemian and all around wonderful. Can you tell I’m a huge fan? She has quickly become one of my top five favorite artists and I cannot get enough of her music on Brite Revolution. You all know how much I love Brite.

There isn’t much information on Williams online but I was lucky enough to find a bio on the Brite Revolution site. She is currently 26 years old and has been involved in music and touring for a decade. She signed with Sony/BMG at age 17 after turning down offers at age 14!! She has been nominated for quite a few Dove Awards. In 2005 she broke off from her label to try a new direction with her career. While I love some Christian music I feel that artist are often stifled and forced to adhere to a specific formula. I feel reaffirmed in my opinion hearing the difference in William’s music then and now.

I have a strong feeling that her music will be taking off very soon. Two of her tracks have been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, known for featuring new artist, including the very emotional season premiere. I was actually watching the premiere while doing my research on Williams and couldn’t believe it when I heard them play “Speaking A Dead Language” on the show. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped. What are the odds?

Williams is currently touring with Ten Out Of Ten, which is a collaboration of ten amazing artist, several featured here, and a part of Brite Revolution. You can find several of William’s new EPs on iTunes as well as new music each month on Brite.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about Joy William and hearing her music. If you like what you hear make sure you go purchase some her music or join Brite Revolution! You can see more on Joy's Myspace or check out her blog about her travels with Ten Out Of Ten. Also, if you want to check out her duo The Civil Wars there is a link on the side bar for their live album release.

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think! Happy Monday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

William Fitzsimmons

I feel as though I have bit off more than I can chew with this week’s artist. My good friend Allegra suggested him to me a few weeks ago. She had started listening to this guy William Fitzsimmons and wanted to find out more about her new favorite artist. As I have mentioned before, she and I have very similar taste in music so if she likes something I know I will too. So I looked into Fitzsimmons, read his bio, and realized this was not an artist that I could figure out. His upbringing is so unique that you know without a doubt what has shaped him into the artist his is today. So rather than making any of my own assumptions I’m going to just give you some facts.

William Fitzsimmons is the youngest child of two blind parents. His parents, since they were blind, brought in a large selection of musical instruments including a full pipe organ that his father built into the house. His childhood was spent filled with sounds and music as well as an education on the greats of folk music. James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan of course were some of the few. Of course to me this sounds like the greatest upbringing to a music lover like myself. I grew up in a home where music was rarely played with the exception of classical, a little Julio Iglesias and Neil Diamond. Where my music makes my dad “nervous” and is just the “same notes over and over.” My love and taste in music came from God knows where but was definitely not born in the home like Fitzsimmons. This upbringing does have his affects as he is described as one of the oddest people you will ever meet and struggles with social skills and the art of shaving… His beard reminds me of the creepy guy in the small town who all the children are afraid of until one day he saves your life and turns out to be just a weird but good person. I’m pretty sure a guy like that is in every movie.

Though Fitzsimmons was raised on music it was not the career he pursued. Here is where he gets even more interesting to me. He actually pursued a career working with the mentally ill in the mental health industry. It takes a special person to want to work with the mentally ill and apparently he was one of them. William became a practicing therapist but music was calling him back. Now he incorporates therapy and music singing about things he believes matter most.

Fitzsimmons released his first album, Until We Are Ghosts, in 2005 and the next year released Goodnight. Both albums were self produced until his most recent album, The Sparrow and the Crow, released in 2008 which is his first studio recorded album. My favorite track is the first on our playlist and is off the newest album. It is a duo with a currently unknown but familiar sounding female, which is probably why I love it so much. I cannot get enough of male/female duos! I was only able to upload two tracks this week due to technical difficulties so I added a coupleto the old flash player. Fitzsimmons reminds me of Peter Bradley Adams who used to be a part of the duo Eastmountainsouth that tragically is no more. So if you like this music checkout Adams and Eastmountainsouth.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s feature. Please let me know what you think as comments our welcome. I also love new music suggestions and as my friend now knows, those suggestions just might become one of my features. Also, if you have an artist or band that you love you can write your own blurb and become one of our midweek features!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

MUSE at the VMAs

I had to share the video of MUSE at the VMAs with you. "Uprising" is their new single and I love the bass on this track. They are one of my top 5 favorite bands! They are such passionate performers and their new album rocks.

Anyone else feeling like joining some sort of revolution after listening to this song? This could have been William Wallace's fight song!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Fine Frenzy

There are some people who are incredibly gifted and talented in the arts. Then there are those who are just gorgeous people. It’s the people who are both beautiful AND talented that make the rest of us just look bad. Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy is one of those people. Long gorgeous red hair that would make Poison Ivy jealous, dimples and amazing lips. Wrap up that package with an angelic voice and songwriting skills and I suddenly feel less than average. Lets add that she is only 24 and her band A Fine Frenzy has just released their second album this past week. The new album, Bomb In A Birdcage was one of Amazon’s Daily Deals and I have not stopped listening to it since I added it to the trusty iPod. Check out three tracks from the new album.

My First experience with A Fine Frenzy was actually on a mixed tape. Actually it was a CD but mixed CD doesn’t sound right to me. I’m sure we have all received one at sometime in our life whether it was from a special someone or a friend. Most of my closest friends live about 3 hours away so I make a lot of weekend trips up to see them. Since I have amazing friends they have often made me mixed tapes for my long car rides with their current favorites. Those mixes have been some of my favorite things I’ve gotten from my friends. The last one I received was a double disc set and it felt like Christmas putting it in the CD player not knowing what was on it. A Fine Frenzy’s track “Almost Lover” was on that mix and I immediately fell in love with it. Her music has changed a bit with the new album but it seems to only be getting better. Since, releasing her first album in 2007 titled One Cell In The Sea A Fine Frenzy has toured with Rufus Wainwright and Brandi Carlile.

Alison taught herself to play piano and began to write her own songs. She loves the outdoors and literature as well, which is where she found the name for her band. A Fine Frenzy comes from a line in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I hope you enjoy a little sample of her music. If you enjoy it please go buy the Bomb In A Birdcage because the entire album is excellent.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks feature. Please let me know what you think. I love comments!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Paolo Nutini

This weeks feature is one of my all time favorite artists. Don't let the name fool you, Paolo Nutini was born and raised in Scotland. I first heard his great track "New Shoes" on his first album, These Streets. The other tracks below are from his new album Sunny Side Up. It is a great album and is one of my top five favorite albums of the year. I apologize for the short post but a weekend camping trip has consumed my time. Enjoy!

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