The Hotness: Bat For Lashes “The Haunted Man”

Bat For Lashes The Haunted Man Review Laura All Your GoldBat For Lashes is the stage name of English solo artist, Natasha Khan, and one of my favorite artists of the past 10 years. She is about to release her 3rd album, The Haunted Man, and it is a thing of beauty.

While listening to Bat For Lashes’s tunes, all sorts of  images pepper my mind. The one I always seem to go back to for some reason is an image of the life of a gypsy; her days, her thoughts, her emotions, her highs and lows. Each one of Bat For Lashes’s songs tell a story, and they’re all crafted so perfectly that it’s tough to know what the best part is. Is it the songwriting? Her voice? The production? Or is it her brutally honest lyricism? The whole package is simply incredible.

For me personally, the biggest selling point is her voice. Each song is built around passionate, powerful vocals; which fall somewhere on the Kate Bush-continuum stylistically, though lower than Kate’s in reality. Her harmonizing is at times breathtaking and generally dramatic, but it’s always interesting; you can’t help but want to go back to the beginning of each song to attempt to uncover a new vocal trick you might have missed upon first listen.

A few years ago, Bat’s single “Daniel” was the most played song in my iTunes library. While there’s no immediate standout track that I can see rivaling my (repeated) love of Daniel, I’m really enjoying The Haunted Man as a whole more than I did 2009’s Two Suns. I’ve already heard a few naysayers talking shit about the album, which personally I don’t get; this record is brilliant and I can’t stop listening to it.

The first single off the record is an INCREDIBLE heart wrenching ballad named “Laura.” However, I’ve decided to post the most radio friendly track and latest single off the album, All Your Gold. Have a look at the sexy video below.

*Bat For Lashes’s 3rd album, The Haunted Man, is out 22 October via The Echo Label.

http://www.batforlashes.com/

 

Bat For Lashes “All Your Gold”

The Hotness: Emily Wells

Emily Wells Mama Album CoverEmily Wells is an NYC-based violinist who also sings and plays a bunch of other instruments. Not sure how I came across Emily, but I’ve been pretty addicted to her 9th album, Mama. (I can’t believe she’s come out with 9 albums and I’m only just now hearing about her.)

Like many good things in life, I had to peel away a couple of layers before I really began to connect with Emily’s music a few weeks ago. One morning, I skimmed through the first few tracks on Mama and wasn’t grabbed by it initially, until I got to track 5, Johnny Cash’s Mama’s House. Amazing.

Style wise, Emily’s music is all over the place while still managing to sound cohesive. One minute she sounds as if she’s been plucked off a Kate Bush or Bjork album and the next she sounds as if she’d be comfortable trading country tinged lines with Shelby Lynne.

But the real selling point to the record for me is the subtle violin touches throughout. I’m a sucker for some strings and I’ll be damned if I’ve heard any used as beautifully as Emily uses them on the album.

The album itself is very up and down tempo wise, and my preference is for the more upbeat tunes. But the whole record is worth a listen. Be patient and give Mama a few listens AFTER you check out Johnny Cash’s Mama’s House below.

*Emily Wells’s 9th album, Mama, is out now via Partisan Records.

http://www.facebook.com/emilywellsmusic

 

Emily Wells “Johnny Cash’s Mama’s House”

 

The Hotness: Niki & The Dove

Niki & The Dove is a somewhat mystical-sounding Swedish pop duo, comprised of Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf. They’ve been around since 2010 and just last year released their interesting debut EP, The Drummer, on Sub Pop.

I wrote about The Drummer last year – specifically, the catchy-as-hell title track; which lead me to the rest of their music, a blend of everyone from Kate Bush to Stevie Nicks to Siouxsie Sioux and even a more poppy version of fellow Swede, Fever Ray. I’ve been hooked ever since.

One of the coolest things about the current state of the music industry is that artists are more focused on quality now than ever before. They strive to release an EP of 6 or 7 killer tracks, as opposed to a full album of 12 tracks, 6 of which are often times filler. Call it what you want, but I call it the ‘Robyn Approach’ – as is was her who created the blueprint for how pop artists are beginning to unleash their music to the masses. Like her or not, Robyn’s influence has been MASSIVE and fascinating to watch.

For some artists, the EP approach means us fans typically don’t have to wait 4 years in-between releases and, as is the case with Niki & The Dove, sometimes only have to wait a few months for brand new music.

Today, we give you not one, but two amazing tracks from Niki & The Dove in the form of their latest single “The Fox” and upcoming single “DJ, Ease My Mind.” Have a look at the videos below.

*Niki & The Dove’s latest single, The Fox, is out now and available to download for free; while their upcoming single, DJ Ease My Mind, is out 26 February – both via Sub Pop.

http://www.nikiandthedove.com/

 

Niki & The Dove “DJ, Ease My Mind”

 

Niki & The Dove “The Fox”

 

The Fredhead Weekend 10!

Every Friday, Fred Hystere sends a note to fans of the site and streams 10 of his favorite songs. Then he takes off his pants on camera and makes up a dance to each song. (That last part isn’t true..unless we’re dating)

4 March, 2011

Hey everyone and welcome to the end of the week!

This week has been another great week for the site, especially in terms of the numbers of articles that were shared! Sometimes looking at stats can leave your head spinning, but other times it gives you great insight into what you’re doing well.  It seems as though you all are really loving DAILY FRED, which makes me very happy!  At my core, I’m a guy who is obsessed with music, but also loves making people laugh. Thanks for all of the nice emails about my writing, as well..I take great pride in bringing you quality writing, just as much as quality music.

I work so hard on this site every day. This is a 7 day a week job, with all of the research I do on my weekends to prepare me for the week ahead. If you guys saw just how much work goes into making this site what it is, you’d be quite impressed. This weekend I will be finishing my latest Mini Fred Op-ed about Lady Gaga. I don’t find Gaga fascinating as a person, but the polarizing effect she has on everyone (especially the gay community) is such an interesting study in marketing and psychology, if nothing else. So keep an eye out for that.

I can’t tell you how excited I am that March is upon us..March has historically been a tough month for me, because I used to suffer from really bad asthma and allergies. However, a few years ago, I was diagnosed with an allergy to gluten and soy.  Since cutting them out of my diet, my allergies and asthma have 100% disappeared! Crazy! I suffered every year since I was a kid and now I know why. Food allergies are one of the most underdiagnosed ailments out there, and I am living proof of how a change in diet can change your life. Since becoming gluten and soy free, not only are my asthma and allergies a thing of the past, but my psoriasis is gone, my aches and pains are gone, and I no longer suffer from stomach cramps. If you’re interested in reading a really good book on the effect of diet on our lives, I highly recommend Clean by an MD named Alejandro Junger. It will change your life!

Ok, enough pontificating..on to the music!  Check out The Fredhead Weekend 10, below, and I’ll see you all next week!

Nakedly Yours,

Fred Hystere

 

1. Fredrika Stahl ‘Fling On Boy’

2. Freezepop ‘Hypothetically’

3. Anna Calvi ‘First We Kiss’

4. Bat For Lashes ‘Strangelove’ (Depeche Mode Cover)

5. Billie Ray Martin ‘Sweet Suburban Disco’

6. Braids ‘Lemonade’

7. Kate Bush ‘This Woman’s Work (Echoes Remix)’

8. Icona Pop ‘Still Don’t Know’

9. Rainbow Arabia ‘Mechanical’

10. Konnichiwa ‘Celestial Navigations’

 

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