Sunday, November 28, 2010

Acoustic Artists

Acoustic artists, well that's what i want to talk about. Mostly I'd like to introduce all who read this to some new acoustic music that's awesome and that perhaps you've never heard of. To start I'd like to name a few artists that I'll be discussing, those being: Iron and Wine, Matt Costa, Ari Hest, Damien Rice, and Jaymay

Jaymay. Now not a lot of people if anyone has heard of Jaymay. I'd definitely recommend listening to Corduroy and "Gray or Blue." One thing i love about Jaymay's style is that shes almost too cliche with her stories that she tells through her lyrics, which makes it appeal to a lot of people allowing them to connect on an emotional side to the stories she tells with her lyrics. While on the other end, I find some of her wording and the way she goes about portraying the consistent cliche situations is definitely quirky and different, which is what brings so much appeal from me to her music (not to mention her voice).

Iron and Wine. Iron and Wine is the stage name of an artist named Samuel Beam. Although not well known, one song did land a spot on the Twilight Soundtrack with the song title of "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" and another hit "Naked As We Came" was featured on Numb3rs season 3 episode, Grey's Anatomy season 2 soundtrack, and plenty of other TV shows. These are the main songs that have brought Iron and Wine out into what I'll call "the musical playing field." Although these songs are the most known and most recognized, i personally prefer "Boy With A Coin" and "Carousel" as a better showcase of the full potential of Iron and Wine. Another song that portrays the amazing finger-picking style of Sam, is "Communion Cups and Someones Coat" which is one of my favorites by them. I definitely enjoy the live versions of Iron and Wine more than the album versions, seeing that he is normally accompanied while performing live instead of harmonizing with himself he has another to do the harmonizing, which in my opinion sounds much better. The live at Bonnaroo 2005 series has a great song lineup.

Ari Hest and the 52 project, let me expand. Ari Hest did something called the 52 project that included of a full year of him writing one song per week and posting this song up for download on the internet accompanied with an explanation on how the inspiration for writing the song came about. He ended up letting the fans choose their favorite 12 songs and made an album called "Twelve Mondays" making reference to the day of the week he put out the songs to be downloaded. 2 of my favorites, which does include many of the 52, are "Reason To Believe" and "Cranberry Lake." "Reason To Believe" is a simple song, but has a depth behind it when the story is known. It long, but if you want to learn more about it look up the 52 project on his website The latter, "Cranberry Lake," has a good flow given from a different rhythm from the guitar. I also am a great admirer of both genders in one song and sometimes harmonizing, it adds almost another dimension to the music.  

Matt Costa. I came across Matt as an artist while listening to Jack Johnson's "Let It Be Sung" in which Matt Costa stars as one of the 3 artists. "Sunshine" by Matt Costa is one of my favorite upbeat acoustic songs. It displays Matt's great vocal range and ability to keep good tone. Another great upbeat song by Matt is "Yellow Taxi."

Last but not least Damien Rice. I don't even know where to start with Damien Rice. Well first off, I'd definitely say that his music is more of an "acquired taste" as they say. He has a wonderful control and usage of dynamics in his music, which sometimes can make his music almost drag on, but on the other hand gives his music much more depth. His voice is definitely different and was hard for me to like, but as I've given him a chance and payed more attention to his music I've grown to love his music. His lyrics are also superb. In "Cannonball" (keep in mind i was between two different videos, this video is much more entertaining to watch than the official video, and has no drums in it which i prefer, but definitely give the original version a listen) it has a great showcase of his lyrical ability. Another song "Eskimo" while completely lyrically incomprehensible, for me at least, the song is definitely a good example of something a little more out there. The song has a slower beginning and midway through has an opera singer belting the words, some in English and i think the rest in Finnish.

Hope you enjoyed and picked up an artist to help you relax and enjoy life.

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