Canadian violin wunderkind and singer OWEN PALLETT brings both a legacy of classical music training and a lovely hybrid pop sensibility to his unique knife-fight chamber rock.
Noted for his string and orchestral arrangements for ARCADE FIRE (‘Funeral’ and ‘Neon Bible’), BEIRUT (‘The Flying Club Cup’) and Alex Turner’s (ARCTIC MONKEYS) side-project THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS (‘The Age of the Understatement’), and for his win of the inaugural Polaris Music Prize, Owen fuses emotive indie rock with chamber-music experimentalism into stunningly powerful songs of barbed wit and offbeat beauty.
His lush solo violin channelled through a sampler, looped back on previously plucked rhythms and layered in real time with flowing melodic lines and vulnerable-choirboy vocals, Owen is a miraculous one-man orchestra, his fantastical tapestries of sound ranging from delicate, otherworldly ambience, through wryly romantic chamber pop songs, to ferocious, rafter-shaking, symphonic-rock: whilst watching him add each new layer gives a keenly thrilling pleasure, the high-wire energy of his live show compressing all the wonder and virtuosity of an illusionist’s sleight-of-hand performance into a three-and-a-half-minute pop song.
The real truth is, OWEN PALLETT’s FINAL FANTASY are the best thing out of Canada since (cue same old Canadian famous types list like NEIL YOUNG, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT yadda yadda yaa), well, to be honest, OWEN PALLETT is the best thing out of Canada. He won a Polaris Music Prize for god sakes.
Now anyone who’s seen him play live, or drooled at the live footage on You Tube will realise that this is going to be something truly exceptional. Using his violin, a bunch of effects pedals and samplers, he loops up complex rhythms and tunes that then get played over, and multi layered that quite frankly, blow your mind.
We’ve also secured possibly one of the best live spaces available in the whole of the UK after the Union Chapel in London – The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff.
We all know about Owen’s various projects as mainman in THE ARCADE FIRE, LES MOUCHES, THE HIDDEN CAMERAS and PICASTRO and his killer LPs ‘Has A Good Home’ and more recently ‘He Poos Clouds’, but how do you all fancy a blast of totally brand new material too? Well that’s what you’re gonna get folks.
‘The one-man string section and Toronto music scene mainstay known as Final Fantasy plays wildly inventive songs – some with a chamber-pop sensibility, others closer to the nu-folk of Joanna Newsom – all featuring his violin bowed, plucked, and looped into a sound that is at once ambitious and intimate.’ PITCHFORK
Right. Listen. Miss this, and all your mates will take the mickey out of you for years. What? OWEN PALLETT came to town, all the way from Ontario, played on your doorstep, and you couldn’t be arsed going!? Think about it….
Mariee is ALELA DIANE’s soul mate, the pair are very rarely seperated. Mariee has been an integral part of Alela’s astonishing career as much as Alela has contributed to Mariee’s. I assure you, in all honesty, you will be completd blown away by her. She is magical. A total one off.
The tale of MARIEE SIOUX begins as delicately and spiritually as her captivating song, as a small ember introduced to the universe that soon grew into a flame of hope and illumination. Her dazzling debut album ‘Faces in the Rocks’, weaves together the poetic interpretations of the universe’s deep truths and interconnectedness that have intrigued her since childhood. Each spin invites listeners to be the cast in Mariee’s entrancing tale with a journey ahead that is only beginning.
The stage was set in her hometown of Nevada City, CA, a historically creative community in which artists have flourished over the ages, where Mariee intertwined the vivid verse she had been writing as a child with the life lessons she has learned as an adult for this powerful record. Her roots had been planted deep in music through the love of her mandolin-playing father, but it was not until Mariee ventured a life-changing trip to Patagonia at the age of 17 that she began to play an instrument herself. She soon perfected the spry, delicate finger picking guitar technique featured on ‘Faces in the Rocks’, a faultless accompaniment to her strong yet sweetly cooing vocals, and toured internationally with her adoring compatriots BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT.
Featuring Grammy-nominee GENTLE THUNDER’s enchanting sound on a redwood-carved Native American flute as well as her own famed father Gary Sobonya on mandolin, Mariee recorded Faces in May 2007 with a troupe of Nevada City’s talented musicians. Recorded with the intent of aligning the magnificence of the human voice with the universe’s creative energy, each song is a stirring exploration of life. Her tales range from the profundity of friendship on the single ‘Friendboats’ to the yearning of self-understanding on ‘Bundles’, each laced with fabled images and poignant verse. ‘Two Tongues at One Time’, recently released on a rare 7” vinyl, is a sonnet-filled homage to the ancestors who traversed the wild lands of America hundreds of years ago, reminding listeners of our vital ties to our past.
Continuing the folk tradition of songwriting greats such as JONI MITCHELL, KATE WOLF and NICK DRAKE, ‘Faces in the Rocks’ glorifies an appreciation of the working spirit and the oneness of nature that remains timeless.
Nevada City-based songwriter MARIEE SIOUX spits piney rhymes over oaken-tuned acoustic plucking. Her twilight narratives detail encounters with ghosts, myriad woodland creatures, and her mom. But with a voice that bends around the branches with more flexibility than her fellow folk-nymphs, you couldn’t pick a better guide for your night-hike. – Jennifer Maerz, SF Weekly
MARIEE SIOUX was a delight, an amazingly poetic and telling lyricist, and she seemed to be the den mother of the pack, delicately plucking and strumming an acoustic with her eyes closed. – LA Record
A.K.A Stephen Black formulated in the hills of North Wales some 10 or 11 years ago, initially as a way to impress girls and to waste Sundays. Locked inside his parents’ loft he would noodle and tinkle with his Casio keyboard, a £10 Tandy microphone, a little four track recorder and his father’s guitar. The culmination of this experimentation was the first two batches of SWEET BABOO songs. Firmly rooted in Welsh Psychedelic Pop (S.F.A, GORKY’S ZYGOTIC MYNCO) and a love of his Parents records (BOB DYLAN, JOHNNY CASH) the songs would be early inclinations of the music SB makes today – a love of the country strum, flashes of keyboard wizardry, sweet, if slightly off key, harmonies and songs about girls, putting heads in vases, drinking and sleeping.
Not letting disappointment influence him, the ever autonomous SB released two singles himself, ‘Mountain’ and ‘C’mon Beef’ over the following two years. Cardiff’s elite received them with healthy applause and SB was reaching further a field with airplay on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio Wales. More prospects came. SB played at the Green Man Festival four years in a row, and supported the likes THE HIDDEN CAMERAS and JEFFREY LEWIS. People noted his musical talent and adaptability moonlighting in other Cardiff bands such as NEON NEON member CATE LE BON’s solo project and SPENCER McGARRY SEASON.
2007 was a good year for SB. By mid April he was asked to play bass in GORKY’S ZYGOTIC MYNCIi front man EUROS CHILDS’ solo project. High profile gigs at Glastonbury festival, a tour in both Europe and America, a recording session with Grammy nominated producer Mark Nevers in Nashville ensued.
In the summer SB was asked to assemble DANIEL JOHNSTON’s backing band for the Cardiff leg of his European tour, as well as offering his solo services to support. This was another big deal for Steve, his second hero of the year.
The record was officially released on SWEET BABOO’s own record label Businessman Records in September 2008 receiving positive reviews (word magazine) and was championed by the likes of Mark Riley (BBC Radio 6), Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1) and Stuart Maconie (BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 2).
In January 2009, SWEET BABOO, along with a gang of musician friends entered the studio to record, what would eventually be become SWEET BABOO’s second album ‘Hello Wave’. It is to be released September 2009 on Businessman Records.
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