When a band is described to me as “it’s a bit like Coheed and Cambria; it’s a bit like Mew, but so much more” – you know I’m there! Although I’ve chosen a song that doesn’t exactly represent too many similarities to the aforementioned bands, you will notice the styles in some of their other tracks. Lapko is a Finnish band that formed in 1996 and is described as “alternative rock” – but once again, genres fail us here – there’s subtle hints of prog, indie, and basically just a unique feel that can’t be easily put to a few categories. Today’s track is taken from their latest 2007 album, “Young Desire”. If you like it, you should also check out the “Scandal” album. For now, here’s “Not Your Son”:
When I first heard Kristofer’s music, I almost thought I was listening to Ally Kerr again – today’s track has the same kind of feel – a sort of folky/country pop/rock mix. Swedish born singer-songwriter Kristofer Ã…strÃ¶m has had over 8 albums/EPs since 1998 (plus part of the band “Fireside”). His latest album, “RainawayTown”, was released just this year and features a splendid collection of music, this time with a full band to back him up. I actually heard about him from one of the postings on Jimmy Eat World’s band blog – and I’ll take anything new and good I can get! Here’s “Just a Little Insane”:
theEndorphins are a melancholic progressive-ish rock band from the Netherlands formed in 2003. The three band members Astrid van der Veen, Arjan Hoekstra and Dennis Edelenbosch create a smooth mix of music with many different instruments and dueling dual (see what I did there?) vocals. Astrid has also worked with previously featured Ayreon, creating the progressive metal Ambeon project. Whilst looking for labels to work with, they have already put out several songs, available for free from their theEndorphan (see what they did there?) website, but they say their real best performance is in live shows. This track is “See It Clearer Than It Ever Was”:
The Motorhomes, until late 2004, were a five-piece band from Sweden complete with pop-heavy feel-good songs. After two albums with several big hits, even abroad, the band split in 2004 after their front man, lead singer Mattias Edlund, left because of personal reasons. Another sad end to a pretty damn good band. “I Wanna Make You Sing” is taken from their second last album, 2002′s “Long Distance Runner”:
White Willow is a famous Norwegian band trained in the mystic arts of… art rock! Which can basically be described as a mix of everything in a big pot. Their latest album released last summer, “Signal To Noise”, features today’s track – the aforementioned melting pot of folk, progressive rock and the beautiful voice of their new vocalist, Trude Eidtang. Aptly titled, “Joyride” is one of the most upbeat tracks of the album, and you definitely need to hear it:
Reminder: I’m currently away on holiday and unable to reply to comments or emails until Monday 9th. Tracks have been posted in advance during my absence. Please keep on visiting every day for new music!
Now I already introduced you to Arjen Lucassen a fortnight ago, and as always I must follow up on my promises – and that involves later showing a sample of Ayreon. This track is from his latest album, “The Human Equation” – a 20-track “prog rock opera” about a man who on the edge of death faces his emotions as personifications and to understand what has happened to him. It’s an awesomely epic album with a great story, with each track representing a different day of his experience. Day 11 is “Love”, one of my favourite tracks from the album. It also has the added bonus of featuring the vocals of Heather Findlay from Mostly Autumn (see previous post). Ayreon is currently producing his next album with a variety of vocalists, and just yesterday it was announced the drums and first vocalist had been completed.
Kent, a famous rock band from Sweden, sings in – you guessed it – Swedish. And that’s fair, its their language! But there’s something that might not come across when you give them a listen. Even though their songs for the most part appear uplifting and jumpy, the actual translation and the meanings behind the lyrics, is quite different. This track, “Den dÃ¶da vinkeln” is from their latest album, “Du & jag dÃ¶den”, which literally translates to “You & I Death”. The theme may be somewhat dark, but don’t let that stop you from taking a listen to today’s track. Kent are currently producing their seventh studio album due out later this year.
Let’s take it down a notch today – Magnet, otherwise known as Even Johansen from Norway is a singer-songwriter who produces some lovely melancholic songs. Now this song might not technically be his, but Magnet’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay, featuring vocals from Gemma Hayes, is every bit as wonderful as it is calming. Perfect for a lazy bank holiday weekend, oui? You can have your cake and eat it too.
Big in Denmark, Carpark North produce an exciting synth rock sound which reached the top of the Danish charts. Their second album “All Things to All People” reinvigorated the band in 2005 after fans feared the end of the band with a two-year hiatus. It may have been two years since their last album, but on their website, the band writes that they are writing songs for a new album due out later this year. Good news for fans of their music!