By now, Daniel Rossen's name is synonymous with the kind of raggedy, whimsical, airy music he writes. A contributing songwriter and musician in Grizzly Bear, Rossen often saved his most personal compositions for his other band, Department of Eagles, which shares Grizzly Bear's roots in Rossen's undergraduate years at NYU. Both bands saw success, and Rossen continued to work in both projects.
A surfer and songwriter, Ben Howard's two loves intertwined when the English surfing world became the first audience for his quiet, meditative music. At the encouragement of friends, Howard released two EPs and was soon invited to tour with Xavier Rudd. Howard is a talented artist in the vein of labelmate and influence Nick Drake, with similarly dark and soulful lyrics.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:06 pm
Young Man is Colin Caulfield, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer of light yet deft indie-pop. While studying French and English at Loyola, Caulfield began putting cover songs on YouTube, and his lithe, lo-fi music soon drew comparisons to Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear.
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:58 am
Of Monsters and Men is an Icelandic sextet specializing in catchy folk-pop. The group came together in 2009 when singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir began recruiting backups for her acoustic solo act. In 2010, Of Monsters and Men gained national fame when it won an annual Icelandic battle of the bands; since then, the buzz has only grown.
Today's episode of Latin Roots features Felix Contreras, co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's online music program about Latin Alternative music. Also a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, Contreras specializes in jazz, world music and Latino arts and culture. A part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion in several Latin and jazz bands, Contreras is uniquely qualified to discuss Latin Alternative music. In today's episode, he speaks about boogaloo, how it developed and how it impacts Latin music today.
Grimes is the one-woman project of Claire Boucher, a talented and eclectic Canadian singer. Born and raised in Vancouver, she moved to Montreal for college but left to pursue her craft when her work as Grimes began to take off. Marrying lo-fi punk with dreamy pop, Grimes quickly became a fixture in Montreal's underground music scene. Boucher incorporates elements of dance, video and still images into her live performances, creating otherworldly and entrancing multimedia experiences in the process.
Emeli Sande is young, but she already has an enviable list of accomplishments under her belt. Along with a specialty in neuroscience from the University of Glasgow, she's become a global R&B phenomenon at just 23. The U.K. soul singer wrote her first song at 11 and began participating in music competitions in her teens. Given her powerful vocals and keen understanding of what makes a great song, there was little doubt that her debut would be a doozy — especially once her first single, the soulful "Heaven," became a worldwide hit.
Geographer's glittery, electronic pop-rock sound has been winning over fans on the West Coast for years. The trio formed in 2008 and released its first full-length album, Innocent Ghosts, a few months later. Now, four years after its debut, Geographer has finally returned with a new set of earnest, sonically sugar-coated songs.
After playing shows with their parents as children, the members of Haim now work as a serious stand-alone act. The Haim sisters are Danielle, Este and Alana, and their childhood experience of performing live has shaped them into a musical force as young adults. They first hit the L.A. music scene a few years ago — when each of the sisters was pursuing music, mostly in separate contexts — but their relatively recent decision to work together was inevitable.