Over the last week I’ve been listening to a lot of female-fronted acoustic music, so in this week’s RockAtlantic post I thought I’d share three of my favourite artists which fit this specification and who provide a perfect soundtrack to accompany the spring sunshine here in the UK.
I previously mentioned Soley in one of my ‘introducing’ posts after discovering her music through a TV soundtrack. Soley originally formed part of the Icelandic indie band Seabear, contributing piano and backing vocals to the seven-piece, but has since branched off to become a promising solo artist, releasing her debut effort We Sink in 2011. Her compositions are very atmospheric, due in part to her dreamy vocals, but also because of her use of loops on guitar, piano and even vocals, which help to build deep textures that many singer/songwriters are unable to achieve. Even though Soley tends to favour darker atmospheres, her music is still wonderfully beautiful and with her odd lyrics providing intrigue and mystery, her music becomes incredibly addictive. Soley’s second LP, Ask the Deep, is set for release in early May, which follows on from last year’s haunting piano album Kromantik.
Going from dark and dreamy textures to pop-filled melodies, Canadian pop band Hey Ocean! are on the opposite end of the female-led acoustic spectrum. Lead singer Ashleigh Ball, who is also known for her voice acting work, is backed by a band consisting of guitarist David Beckingham and bassist David Vertesi, who both also provide vocals. Starting off as a funk-inspired, acoustic-focused act, their sound has evolved slightly over three albums to now incorporate more electric guitars and to have greater commercial appeal. Their latest album, IS, which was released in 2012, was their most complete and focused album yet, leaving me eagerly awaiting their next effort.
I was introduced to this Welsh duo by my girlfriend when she brought me along to their Union Chapel show last year. Their music is delicate and combines gentle acoustic passages with Sarah Howells’ soft and beautiful vocals. Since writing about the pop band last year, they have released their fourth album Joy, which is the perfect continuation of their (mostly) sombre brand of music. One of their biggest strengths is their choice of instrumentation in their music, such as the meloncholic piano of Multiple Love, the exciting cello riff from Little Letters and the inspired percussion on Race You Home. It’s a great compliment that their compositions don’t sound like they originate from a duo and seeing them live only helped me to appreciate the richness of their music.
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