I was listening to some really fun things last week, lots of new gems that I think you’ll enjoy.
First up was Rufus Wainwright and his new album All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu. The album came out a couple of weeks ago but I honestly came across it randomly, not knowing it was in the works. This time around Mr. Wainwright has stripped away the theatrics of his last album for a minimal approach, pretty much just him and a piano. The effect is marvelous and this honestly could be one of his very best albums. A lot of the lyrics are centered around his family, which I’m guessing was sparked by his mothers fight with cancer and her passing in January. There’s no sass, no ego, just a deeply personal record which is sad and beautiful.
After that is probably the counterpoint to the Rufus, it’s a wonderful lady named Zee Avi. Zee is a Malaysian singer who released a self-titled album last year and it’s just about the cutest and cheeriest album I’ve heard in a long time. She basically became famous through YouTube, getting signed by a label that’s partly owned by Jack Johnson. Her style is kind of reminiscent of Feist or Regina Spektor and I would add that’s she’s just as talented. I can’t recommend this album more highly, it’s a gem.
Then there was Bonobo, who I read about over on ISO50. Real name Simon Green, Bonobo is a DJ and electronic musician who’s been making these kind of ambient trip hop albums for about 10 years now. I picked up his most recent release Black Sands and I have to say I’m totally impressed with it. The first few songs on the album sound like a hip-hop-esque soundtrack to a Final Fantasy game. If you need some epic sounding music to get some work accomplished this is my suggestion.