New Year; New Musical Discoveries
This post corresponds—but is NOT faithful—to Gab & Jam Episode 42 Musical Discoveries V2.0 Parts 1 and 2. It might be noteworthy to establish that this episode is a follow-up to our first Gab & Jam episode (https://youtu.be/pqObIeyy5FA ), which nearly a year and a half ago.
As you may already have figured out, we love discovering things that are off the beaten path, so you already know that our musical tastes are going to be as unconventional as we can handle. That is the reason we persist with trying to unearth music that lights that little spark when we hear it. And in an effort to share—because who doesn’t want to share—we thought we’d open up our personal musical encounters, so that we are all enriched. That’s always our goal around here, so . . .
If discovering new music is something you like to do, check out our Funky Happy People (Who Listen to a Variety of Genres of Music) Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2NMPCs8
As a happy accident, as we researched this episode, we noticed a common thread with at least half of the artists represented here and that’s they represent some sort of cultural, ethnic, or racial mixture, and for the ones that don’t meet that criteria, there is usually a musical or a genre mix happening. We will try to point out those “mixings” as we share them and their music with you. This is surely a “Prejippie”-style list, since we’re all about the mixing. (‘Don’t know what it means to be a “Prejippie”? Check this out: https://youtu.be/iEsGQawzY9Q )
FYI: Most of the “research” came from Wikipedia (which although is NOT a reliable source, but is the first stop often when trying to understand something or someone).
O n t o t h e a r t i s t s :
1. ST. VINCENT
Took her stage name from 2 places: a Nick Cave song and from the name of the hospital where Dylan Thomas died.
St. Vincent (Anne Erin Clark) began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and worked some of her teenage years as a roadie for her aunt and uncle, the guitar-vocal jazz duo Tuck & Patti.
She was born September 28, 1982 is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer.
After studying at Berklee College of Music for three years, St. Vincent began her music career as a member of The Polyphonic Spree. She was also a member of Sufjan Stevens's touring band, before forming her own band in 2006. She released a collaborative album with David Byrne in 2012 titled Love This Giant.
Her fourth solo album, St. Vincent, won her a Grammy for Best Alternative Album, her first Grammy award. She was the first solo female performer in 20 years to win a Grammy in that category.
Her unorthodox musical style has been characterized by critics as a mixture of chamber rock, pop, indie rock, and cabaret jazz.
2. SUFJAN STEVENS
Sufjan is an Arabic name, meaning "comes with a sword.”
Sufjan Stevens is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and artist, who began releasing his music in 1999 on him and his stepdad’s record label, Asthmatic Kitty Records. He is from Michigan and has slowing been building his artistic reputation to what it is today. He has been a quiet force in the independent music scene over the years, which is why he makes our list.
Not only is Stevens is of Lithuanian and Greek descent, but his music has been described as a mix of electronica, low-folk, and symphonic. Many of his songs have a spiritual basis, but he does not consider himself a Christian artist.
3. KACEY MUSGRAVES
She began songwriting at the age of 8, when she wrote a song called "Notice Me" for her elementary school graduation.
Non-country artists that Musgraves has mentioned as influences include Ryan Adams, Cake, Neil Young, Weezer, Imogen Heap, The Bee Gees and Electric Light Orchestra.
Kacey Musgrave is an American country music singer and songwriter. She self-released three albums before appearing on the fifth season of the USA Network's singing competition Nashville Star in 2007, where she placed seventh.
She later signed to Mercury Nashville in 2012 and released two critically acclaimed albums on the label, Same Trailer Different Park (2013) and Pageant Material (2015). Her first Christmas-themed album, A Very Kacey Christmas, was released on October 28, 2016. Her third studio album, Golden Hour, was released on March 30, 2018, to widespread critical acclaim.
Would you prefer to listen to the podcast of this episode?
4. DEAD LETTER CIRCUS
Dead Letter Circus used MySpace to announce the release of the debut album, This is the Warning, on 16 February 2010.
“We don’t ever write whole songs before we go into the studio. We generally take the seeds of songs."
Dead Letter Circus are an alternative rock band from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Their 2010 debut album. This Is the Warning, debuted at No. 2 on the Australian album charts and spawned a number of singles that were played heavily on radio, and was later certified Gold and voted by listeners into Triple J's Hottest 100 Albums of All Time, at number 86. The band's third studio album, Aesthesis, was released on August 14, 2015.
They used to perform wearing “virtually identical, face-concealing costumes.”
On February 5, 2013, the band announced a name change to "Ghost B.C." in the United States for legal reasons, but the B.C. is silent.
Ghost is a Swedish rock band that was formed in Linköping, Sweden in 2006. Ghost's music has been categorized in many genres, critics have classified them as heavy metal hard rock, doom metal, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, pop rock, occult rock, and arena rock. They have released four albums and their fourth studio album, Prequelle, in 2018.
Because of her father's job, which she prefers to not disclose, she and her family moved frequently, living in thirteen countries, including Turkey, China, Malaysia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, before eventually settling in New York City.