August 1, 2007
Two reviews: A Fine Frenzy and Nees and Vos
Occasionally, folks are kind enough to send music my way and I have been rather ungrateful taking way too long to talk about it here. I am going to try to make up for it starting today, by posting some short reviews with songs for you to check out.
Frenzied is not an apt description of the music of A Fine Frenzy. While it is a perfectly fine band name, the songs of Alison Sudol are calm, lovely, delicate and seductive. In “Almost Lover” (see below), a song of relationship that was not to be, she is sensitive but not vulnerable, as her confidence flows throughout. There is heartbreak but not desperation, as she realizes that the relationship she hoped for is over. There is a tinge of resignation and the vow to move on – a bit bruised by not broken. The vocals are clear, powerful, and stunningly beautiful. Accompanied by the piano and some soft orchestration which rides throughout just below, never detracting from the powerful vocals. This is one of the most gorgeous songs I have heard in a long time.
Nothing makes for a great summer jam like some blazing horns behind soulful vocals. Add some organ and chances are I’m hooked. Case in point is “Pretty Girl” by Nees and Vos, who tick all the boxes on their disc “Extended Play”. Nees and Vos are the duo of Chris Vos, who provides vocals and guitar, and Andrew Neesley who gives us the the trumpets, keyboards and production. They combine jazz and soul with subtle but effective electronic flourishes. All six songs are strong, with the aformentioned “Pretty Girl” being my favourite on the disc. Another standout is their take on the classic Bill Withers tune “Ain’t No Sunshine” – they do justice to the standard version with the extremely soulful vocals, but add electronic beats and a killer trumpet solo making it their own.
This ep would be a great soundtrack for summer nights. I recommend that for the upcoming long weekend you find a porch, open a cold beverage, put on this album and you will be all set.
Here are a couple of tracks for you to check out:
And be sure to pick up the full album for yourself here.