The Tellers are a Belgian rock band. The band was started in 2005 by Ben Baillieux-Beynon (lead singer, guitarist). And through the years the lineup has been pretty unsteady, from just Baillieux-Beyon, to having 2-4 members. Currently I believe the band is a 4-piece group, with Fabrice Detry on bass, Cesar Laloux on drums, and Joos Houwen on guitar. They have had two albums to date, their first being Hands Full of Ink. This is the only album I have heard. The album peaked #7 on the Belgian charts and the group has enjoyed fame in their home country. They’ve also enjoyed success in Germany, the Netherlands, and, thanks recently to a part in a Canon commercial, France. The album has an alternative/Indie folk rock style that is very European. It’s definitely a good listen. The album has a good vibe. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on their more recent album!
You can check out their myspace (excuse me, my_____) page here: The Tellers
Noisettes are an indie-rock group from London. My friend Monique first turned me on them not too long ago and we both looove them! The band originally formed in 1996 when the guitarist – Dan Smith – and singer – Shingai Soniwa were attending the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon, both of whom had previously been in the band Sonarfly. The drummer – Jamie Morrison – was recruited by Smith after a performance on the UK TV show “Later…with Jools Holland”. Apparently the band quickly got quite the reputation as one London’s rowdiest acts.
Feedback about the band was largely positive right from the beginning. Entertainment Weekly placed the band on its November 2005 list of “Six Indie Brit Bands on the Cusp,” and said the band “sound[s] like high-drama, heavily syncopated swagger-and-sway rock, spearheaded by incandescent frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa.”
2 albums have been released so far: What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf? in 2007 and Wild Young Heart in 2009. I only have the latter and it is a CD that Monique and I constantly are listening to in the car when we adventure! It’s single “Don’t Upset the Rhythm” peaked #2 on the UK charts, and the album itself at #7. Essence magazine remarked that the album “has a 1960’s-tinged soulful rock sound that stays firmly etched in your mind.” I absolutely adore Shoniwa’s vocals! She is soulful, sassy, and powerful! And the energy on the entire album is just incredible. I don’t even think I could tell you which tracks are my favourite because the whole thing is so great!
They are currently working on a new album that is supposed to be released some time this year and I am super excited!!! Right now there are on tour (so wish I could see them!!!!) Check out their site: Noisettes I think “Never Forget You” is definitely one of Monique’s and my favourite tracks. “What you drinking? Rum or whiskey???”
dEUS is a rock band from Belgium. The band’s lineup has been somewhat unstable since their formation in 1991, but the current members include Tom Barman (1991-present), Klaas Janszoons (1991 – present), Stéphane Misseghers (2002 – present), Alan Gevaert (2002 – present), and Mauro Pawlowski (2002 – present). They have released 6 studio albums, but the one I am most familiar with is their fifth, Vantage Point, released in 2008. It is the first of their albums to retain the lineup of a previous album, and also the first of their albums to be recorded in their own studio at Borgerhout. Vantage Point was certified platinum and reached #1 on the Belgian charts.
The album has indie-, alternative-, and experimental-rock qualities to it. It is pretty chill. “Oh Your God” is an interesting track with incredible percussion and guitar parts and great vocals. It’s one of the more edgy tracks on the album. Vantage Point had 4 singles: “The Architecht”, “Eternal Woman”, “Slow”, and “When She Comes Down”.
I have their entire discography, but so far I have only really gotten acquainted with Vantage Point. I have high hopes for their earlier material and will definitely post more when I finally get a chance to take it all in!
Their website is pretty badass: dEUS
Troels Abrahamsen – Vocals, synth; David Krogh Andersen – Guitar; Mark Lee – Guitar, synth; Jens Skov Thomsen – Bass guitar, backing vocals; Mads Hasager – Drums
VETO is a Danish indie-rock band. They released their first EP, I Will Not Listen, in 2005 and their first full-length album, There’s A Beat In All Machines, in 2006, both released on the Danish hip hop label, Tabu Records/Playground Music Denmark. In February 2007 Veto won the award for Best New Act, as well as Best Danish Music Video at Danish Music Awards. Their song “You Are A Knife” was featured briefly in the American television program NCIS episode “Suspicion”.
Crushing Digits is the bands second album, and the one I first listened to (only moments ago in fact!) The entire album has a heavy electronic element and has a lot of great synth! (and I love me some synth sounds! Always!) Despite many tracks with driving rhythms and beats, I find it very chill. The vocals of Troels Abrahamsen are great. The first single from the album, Built to Fail, was widely successful on the radio receiving heavy airplay as “Ugens Uundgåelige” (Unavoidable of the week) on the public service radio channel DR P3.
Check out their blog: VETO
The Kooks are an indie-pop band from Brighton, East Sussex in the UK. The band describes themselves as “pop” and their music is primarily influenced by the 1960s British Invasion movement and post-punk revival of the new millennium. They have experimented in several genres including rock, Britpop, pop, reggae, and ska, at times being described as “a less severe Arctic Monkeys”. One thing is for certain, their songs are catchy as hell and Naïve is my absolute favourite! Naïve is off their debut album Inside In/Inside Out, which was released in in 2006 and went quadruple platinum in the UK, as well as 2x platinum in Ireland and platinum in Australia. One of four singles from the album, Naïve is their most successful single to date. I wish I was more familiar with the album itself and more of their music, but I haven’t had a chance to get a good listen, but Naïve is a must-hear if you don’t know it!
I think this is just an amazing song. I listen to it in the car all the time and completely rock out. The lyrics and melody are simple but incredibly catchy. I think it’s so well written the way the music builds each verse/chorus. The percussion entrance gets me every time and the deliverance of the lyrics is just perfect. Lily Allen also did a cover of the song on the Jo Whiley Show which is pretty fantastic.
Alina is a newer find of mine from Lithuania. I am really enjoying her 2008 debut album: Laukinis šuo dingo. The album has been described as a collection of short piano-ballads, and indeed the piano is prominent and the songs are mostly 3 minutes – several under 2! Yet I don’t mind their brevity: I feel like she has something to say and manages to do it without feeling the need to repeat a chorus a thousand times or superfluously add bridges. And yet I am amazed that the 16 tracks can all be of such quality. Orlova’s voice is unique, and has an older-world sound to it. Music critics write: ” Orlova has a high-trilling voice and a unique line in exhilaratingly dark, Baltic folk pop”. The album also makes use of great instruments such as accordion and glockenspiel, as well as dark strings on many tracks. Many songs are haunting (Paskutinio Mamuto daina) and others have a dancing drive to them – Žeme, sukis greitai has great percussion behind it. I am actually listening to this album for the first time at this moment and every track is a new pleasant surprise of unique phrasing, dark expressivity and instrumentation. I feel like I’ll be burning this album immediately!
(This is not an actual video but you can at least hear on of my favourite tracks, Vaiduokliai):
*Youri Zaragoza – lead-vocals, guitars *Nathan Howard – guitars, vocals *François Lessard – drums, percussion *Jordan Larocque – bass, vocals * Béatrice Martin – keyboards, vocals
One of my favourite CDs I own I found on one of many trips to my favourite city: Montréal. I travel up there several times a year (and will hopefully soon reside there) and it is a tradition for me that any place I travel I search out and buy popular music. Montréal has an active and diverse music scene, and I have gotten many albums and artists there over the years. It was my second trip up, I believe, I stumbled upon Bonjour Brumaire and their debut album De la Nature des Foules. It is now a CD that is never out of my car.
The music on this album is just incredible. While my French is limited, I find the flow of the vocals to be catchy and well crafted – I just imagine it being brilliant. I find many of the endings to the album’s tracks well composed, as instead of fading out or abruptly ending many have a sort of interlude quality where new music is presented or at least taken in a direction you would not expect (i.e. the fadeout or predictable cadence); the endings to Prunelle and Argelès are particularly nice. Their instrumentation is also great, especially the use of more ‘eclectic’ sounds like the organ – in L’insouciance ne s’improvise pas particularly which also has great interaction with the percussion. My absolute favourite song on the album is Argelès – which, again, has amazing percussion throughout, and piano. The song really undergoes many transformations as it progresses, featuring piano and guitar riffs. The instrumental interlude about midway through the song is perfect and the re-entrance of the vocals is powerful as accompanied by the rolling drums. The track’s ending – a haunting organ and piano as the song winds down is also impeccable.
The group is pretty young as it only started work on their debut album De la Nature des Foules in January 2007, working with acclaimed producer Ryan Battistuzzi. The album won several awards, including Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Indie-Pop Album of the Year, and Discovery of the Year at the 2008 Quebec Indie Music Awards, as well as the SODRAC prize for best music for their song “Argelès” at the 2008 Francouvertes contest. It has been one of my favourite CDs since I stumbled upon in Monréal’s HMV. I hope I can catch them in a show sometime while I’m up there! Check out their myspace and give their tracks a listen and their videos a viewing: Bonjour Brumaire