Loving the Music - the Sound of May: 15th - 21st May 2020
From my favourite sisters in rock, Larkin Poe, and their new album, to the cleverness of Jacob Collier and Pomplamoose (and quite a bit of listening in between) made up the third week of May.
This series of blog articles cover a week of mini-feature posts from the Loving the Music Facebook page and group. This makes it easier for our music-loving community to search through our ever-growing archive of songs, backstories and trivia.
15th - 21st May 2020 - Featured Musicians:
Larkin Poe - Fink - Jacob Collier - Pomplamoose
15th - 18th June: My favourite sisters in rock have a new release in the wind. Rebecca and Megan Lovell, otherwise known as Larkin Poe will release their 5th album, Self Made Man, on 12th June, and if any of the teaser tracks are an indication of what we have in store, it’s going to be the best one yet.
I’m starting today with the track ‘She’s a Self-Made Man’, which Rebecca explained as a song about the up-and-down ride that she and sister Megan have been on for the past 10 years of building Larkin Poe.
And where does the name Larkin Poe come from? Well, Rebecca and Megan’s Great, Great, Great Great Grandfather’s name was Larkin Poe, cousin of the famous Edgar Allan Poe. Now you know! Here we go with the first featured track from their new album and the title says it all, She’s Self Made Man.
Track two from Larkin Poe’s new album is a cracker of a song. The duo’s musical influence is founded in a love of classical music thanks to their mother, and rock gems from their father’s record collection.
Eventually, they wound up in bluegrass territory and released three acoustic folk albums as the Lovell Sisters alongside their eldest sibling Jessica before Larkin Poe emerged a year later with their first self-released album, Kin, appearing in 2014.
With a work ethic that has to be admired it is no wonder that six years and (soon to be) five albums later, these ladies have made an indelible mark on the music scene. They have played as invited guests with some of the biggest names around and have a history of sold-out concerts and festivals across the country.
Here’s the track 'Holy Ghost Fire' which sounds precision-engineered for crowd participation is set to be a favourite at concerts. Larkin Poe at their best!
In a Rolling Stone article, Rebecca Lovell of Larkin Poe, while discussing the upcoming album Self Made Man, said “When we planned this album we were armed with a lot of knowledge and experience from the previous records we’ve made. As we’ve got older, we’ve figured out what truly feels and sounds like us, what sounds represent us, and it comes out in the album. There is more vulnerability, with more space and a lot more harmony that harks back to our childhood growing up with the blues. With this album, I feel that Megan and I, even more than on previous albums, came together as sisters and were very real with one another about what we thought was working and what wasn’t, from a production standpoint.”
I have been a Larkin Poe fan from the moment I first heard them and think I have listened to nearly everything available, and I can honestly say that if these few tracks are anything to go by, this is their best to date and is destined to be BIG!
I hope the first day of the week has been kind to you all. Wherever you are, thank you for indulging my Larkin Poe obsession. To help you have a happy evening here’s the first single from their new album, Keep Diggin’. 😎
19th May: Tonight I’m featuring three tracks from two albums by a musician who has graced this page before, Fin Greenall, better known by his stage name Fink. He’s s a producer and songwriter with over 20 years of experience in the business, yet hasn’t seemed to have received the recognition he deserves.
Since hearing his 2006 album Biscuits for Breakfast I was an immediate fan and think I shared most of the album on my timeline. To date, he has released 10 albums, but the last two are of particular interest tonight. In October 2019 he released what has been considered his most intimate album to date, Bloom Innocent. Last month he released an acoustic version of the same album, Bloom Innocent – Acoustic. I know a few musicians and bands who have released acoustic versions of songs and sometimes whole albums but seldom to this level of perfection.
To give you an idea of what I mean, I am starting with the non-acoustic version and will post the acoustic version in the comments so you can form your own opinion. So, without further ado, here’s Fink with Bloom Innocent 😎
And here’s the acoustic version for you:
Continuing with our theme for tonight I have chosen the opening track of Fink’s album, Bloom Innocent, ‘We Watch the Starts’. Again, I’ll post the same track from the Bloom Innocent - Acoustic album in the comments section.
In an Allmusic interview, Fink tells that the track was recorded in one take and completely live.”When I finished the guide track I knew it wouldn’t get any better. Something I learned from my engineer/producer (Flood) over the years is that there is no such thing as a demo, they are all just different versions.”
This track shows Fink’s remarkable talent for layering sounds and moods, possibly a skill he learned in his early career as a DJ. Here’s We Watch the Stars. Enjoy. 😎
And here’s a live acoustic version for you.
In the early days of his career when Fink was a DJ on the circuit, he realised that mixes and albums of just five-years prior sounded extremely dated very quickly. “This was the danger of making electronic music back then” he explained, “the range of sounds you could achieve was pretty limited and therefore repetitive. I realised that many of the albums of 50-years prior were still fresh as when they were released. Wanting to make music with a shelf life longer than the next fad became important to me. That’s when I changed my direction toward singer/songwriter”.
To close tonight’s selection from Fink’s Bloom Innocent albums I have chosen the acoustic version of a beautiful song, My Love’s Already There. Strangely, on the electronic album, the song is fragile with minimalist keyboards and bass. As beautifully ethereal as this is, I prefer this raunchier acoustic version. As with my previous posts, I will post the original version in the comments section.
Thank you for joining me tonight in exploring Fink’s two versions of the same album. In closing, let’s all hope that this week sees some easing of the lockdown restrictions that so many of us are trying to survive under. A quick tip: If you start sinking into the COVID-19 blues, change the music, crank the volume, and DANCE! 😎
20th May: I received a notification yesterday that Jacob Collier has released a new single from his recent album. Jacob Collier, for the uninitiated, is a musical prodigy in his early 20s who plays more instruments than most even aspire to, is a genius at vocal arrangements and understands harmony better than anyone I have heard, and having been a Manhattan Transfer fan for years, that’s quite a thing to admit.
Since winning two Grammy Awards for his first album on which he played all the instruments, sang all the harmonies and filmed the entire process – all in his own music room at home. He has gone on to release 3 more albums in quick succession and has been invited to give numerous masterclasses and has been offered residence at some of the world’s leading music schools.
Here’s the first of three Jacob Collier tracks I’m sharing tonight. This fun song and the second single release from his 2019 album Djesse Vol 3. The track features Kimbra & Tank and the Bangas whom I had never heard of before this video. Here’s In My Bones. Enjoy.
The second track from Jacob Collier for tonight is from the Djesse Vol 2 album and is a celebration of funk.
The first track I ever heard was his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s All Night Long, and by the end of it I was crying with excitement. Yep, I’m not ashamed to admit that some music gets me like that! I’ve included a link to the clip in the comments section for those who may not have seen it.
In this track you can hear Jacob channelling his inner Stevie. This was the fourth single released from Djesse Vol 2. Here’s It Don’t Matter (Featuring JoJo).
Finishing tonight’s Jacob Collier selection is the latest single release from the Djesse Vol 3 album. I suppose this is the closest that Jacob Collier comes to writing a pop song. But this is no normal pop song, this is another bit of Jacob genius.
Jacob Collier was scheduled to continue his world tour in 2020, but like most performers, his plans are on hold at the moment. I hope he heads to our shores someday, this young genius has become one of my musical heroes. Here’s Jacob along with Mahalia and Ty Dolla $ign with the song All I Need. 😎
21st May: I’m often surprised at how varied Pomplemoose fans are. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Pomplamoose is the band headed by husband and wife team Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. They’ve been around since 2008 and are experts in self-promotion on their YouTube channel with over a million subscribers.
But what is it that makes Pomplamoose so popular? Once you’ve heard one of their incredible mash-ups, for which they are best known, you’ll understand. And the fact that their fans are varied? They’re popularity spans age, gender and fans of rock, classics, goth, metal... you get the picture.
They are clever, slick and as you’ll see from the videos, they love what they do. I have only heard them do mash-ups and covers, so was intrigued when I got a notification about the release of an original, one of just a few they’ve released. I’ve taken a few listens and am happy to say it is fan-bloody-tastic. I’m saving the original for the final track, but starting tonight with a video that gives you a good idea of the Pomplamoose vibe. Here’s what happens when Annie Lenox meets The White Stripes, and it’s a match made in heaven.
The second mash-up from Pomplemoose for today is the dance floor classic from Disco Diva Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive and Maroon 5’s song This Love. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but with a good dose of Pomplemoose magic, it’s art!
As mentioned, Pomplemoose primarily promote themselves by means of YouTube, and their videos are made with two strict rules defined by co-founder Jack Conte: What you see is what you hear - (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice), and, If you hear it, at some point you see it. (no hidden sounds). This is the level of honesty that makes their videos so appealing. Enough blah-yak, on with the music! Here’s Gloria Gaynor meets Maroon 5. Enjoy.
And finally, here it is. In my opening post, I mentioned that I would be featuring a new Pomplemoose original. It’s often quite a risk for a band primarily known for their brilliant covers to cross over into releasing originals. Happily, this was no risk. This group of uber-talented musicians has it totally under control. With twelve years of making remarkable music and touring extensively, they should know what they are doing!
Thanks for joining me for my Pomplemoose selection. I hope it made existing fans happy and also introduced this amazing band to a wider audience. Enjoy your Thursday evening folks. Here’s Let Loose. 😎
I hope that you find these weekly recaps of Loving the Music mini-features make your musical world a little easier. Happy exploring! Join our Facebook Community here for a music group who does more than just post a link to a song.
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The Design Train is a social media marketing company run by music-lover Andrew Knapp, who also hosts the Loving the Music Facebook pages. The Design Train specializes in content creation on a wide variety of topics designed to compliment the client's objectives.
Words © Andrew Knapp
The author does not own the copyright of any of the videos used in the article