Sunday, 17 June 2012

Barbarossa - Butterfly Plague E.P

evocative synths and scattered drum machines breath life into the beautifully delicate Butterfly Plague E.P, creating a perfect example of how to tug on the heart strings with just a few simple concepts, a fragile voice and a little technology.

since catching Barbarossa live at a charity gig late last year and gorging myself on whatever sounds of his the Internet could offer me, I have been eagerly anticipating the release of new material.

a folky nuance on display in previous offerings is hard to shrug off, by no means a bad thing, as it lends the tracks a genuine warmth and earthiness, a certain campfire feeling that draws you in and engages with you on a personal level.

indeed, Temporary and the Stones are both shot through with heartfelt emotion and completed with vocal turns that are so entrancing so as to mark out Barbarossa as a leading light in post-break up anthems, destined to be played on repeat in the bedrooms of the lonely across this land.

and it pains me to say anything against it, but I certainly wish that this release offered up just a little more...

those, like me, that have been waiting for the return of Barbarossa are dreadfully teased with just two brand new tracks, supplemented by a re-recording of 2006's sublime Stones (and an additional remix of the hypnotic title track exclusively for those that still consume their music on vinyl).

so it is that the Butterfly Plague E.P serves as a timely taster of a unique talent, a talent that I would plead effervescently with others to witness live at all costs, and I plead with Barbarossa to grace us with more material pretty sharpish (please).

Monday, 11 June 2012

Misha B

As the years keep progressing, I must admit that with each passing series I am subjected to more and more x-factor than I'd care to admit to.

And even when my viewing is kept to an absolute minimum, the contestants of 2011 are the ones that I had a greater awareness of and as a consequence, actually formed opinions on.

for all my kicking and screaming, there was one episode (and one performance in particular) that silenced my moaning and had me having to pick my jaw backup from off the floor.

Misha B was an absolute revelation to me, and her unique rendition of the already ubiquitous Rolling In The Deep was a thoroughly brave choice, refixing it with her own larger than life interpretation that was far too good to simply stand as just another entry in the UK's largest karaoke competition.

It would have made me happy to have seen her win the whole thing, but to be honest, she was far better than that, she didn't belong there, but it gave her a welcome exposure that it would have been hard to find elsewhere.

Now the time has come for her to throw off the shackles of Simon Cowells talent show albatross and make a name for herself independent of the normal reality tv expectations of drab cover versions.

more recent efforts by ex-X-contestants seem to have wizened up to the fickle music business and far more time and thought are put into post-TV careers.

But Misha B should be the star that outshines the rest of her peers, if she is willing to flaunt her obvious talent and exploit her previous TV notoriety to reach the maximum audience possible, she should live up to my high expectations.