Credit: Anna Victoria Best

Featured Artists – May 2015

Every month the AUPEO! content team decides which artists are especially worth lending your ears to. Please enjoy our selection for May 2015!

Nadine Shah
What a voice! The British Singer/Songwriter Nadine Shah combines the darkness and drama of PJ Harvey teaming up with Nick Cave – a bittersweet desire. Please Nadine, take us to your crypt, we won’t fight back… as long as you sing for us.

East India Youth
The second record for William Doyle aka East India Youth. Culture Of Volume is a combination of sound experiment and pop, fascinating with a significant voice. You can win tickets for his Berlin show here.

Miami Horror
Nothing horrible about this Australian four-piece – actually their amazing new album All Possible Futures might be the only warming light you’ll need this summer. A collection of sun-soaked dream-disco gems that will definitely be a highlight of our summer soundtrack.

Son House
One of the true pioneers of Delta Blues. He influenced the likes of Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. Starting his recording career in the early 30s, he only reached international recognition during the 60s ‘Blues Revival’ where he enchanted his audiences with passionate stage performances and fierce guitar style.

Victoria Spivey
Having her first hit record “Black Snake Blues” in the 20s, Victoria Spivey inspired many blues artists with her raunchy lyrics. After a 10 year break from show business in the 50s, Victoria Spivey was again high in demand during the sexual revolution of the 60s.

Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum has been around for a while now, and it seems a long time ago that he presented his very well-received debut ‘Pointless Nostalgic’ back in 2002, and since then he’s matured musically and released a collection of fine albums that demonstrate a strong development as an artist over the last decade. He was chosen as Guest Director of the world-renowned Cheltenham Jazz Festival which took place at the beginning of this month, overseeing performers as diverse as Gregory Porter to Squarepusher, Martha Reeves to Kurt Elling, and many, many more.

Cassandra Wilson
A giant of the Jazz world, Cassandra Wilson returns this month with a new album of radical takes on the music of Billy Holiday. Sounds familiar? That’s probably because José James also presented an album of his interpretations of Holiday’s music earlier this year. Well, who can blame them when Billie Holiday’s music is such a vast ocean of creativity and finesse, it’s hardly surpring that she inspires so many others! ‘Coming Forth by Day’ is available on AUPEO and can be heard in the ‘Sing The Jazz’ station.

Other Lives
If you listen to these guys from Portland it’s never really clear whether you’re awake or dreaming. With their folky indie songs Other Lives swing somewhere between reality and illusion. And after their fabulous Tamer Animals they’re back with their third record Rituals.

Daryle Singletary
It’s been six years since we’ve heard anything new from Singletary, and now he’s back as if he couldn’t keep quiet any longer. “Pack it up, Son” and “Get Out of My Country” advises the Traditionalist singer on his 2015 release There’s Still a Little Country Left. This album is full of commendable choices, especially the inclusion of the great Johnny Paycheck and his outlaw throw-back “I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised”.

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
These renowned banjoists, married both literally and musically, weave together their combined illustrious talents to make something as old as folk-music shine like new. Their eponymous album is a very calculated Americana blend, taking on an array of bluegrass and folk styles that come together with seamless improvisations.

Ciara
With everyone and their mother jumping on the atmospheric PBR&B bandwagon, Ciara’s Jackie feels like a refreshing throwback to 90’s pop and R&B. Very commercial, but in a very good way.

Tinashe
Amethyst may ‘only’ be a free mixtape, recorded in Tinashe’s bedroom, but it also happens to be full of hazy songs to chill to on a lazy summer night.

St. Germain
St. Germain releases a new album after 15 years of radio silence.The first single, “Real Blues,” has been released and features the vocals of Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Credit: Andy Ford

Win East India Youth tickets with AUPEO!

East India Youth is back with his new record Culture Of Volume. Win tickets for his concert in Berlin at Berghain Kantine in May 2015.

With his debut Total Strife Forever William Doyle, the man behind East India Youth, was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. At the end of last year he played a show at the legendary Heaven Club in London, a club that’s played host to Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Lady Gaga and Adele, amongst others. Not too bad for the 24-year-old. With Culture of Volume the British musician returns with his second record as East India Youth, and again comes up with a smart combination of Electronic Music and catchy Pop Melodies.

We’re giving away 2×2 tickets for the East India Youth concert at Berghain Kantine in Berlin on May 19th 2015, presented by AUPEO! Just write an e-mail to community (at) aupeo (dot) com with the subject East India Youth and just give us your name. Deadline is May 17th.

Credit: Warner

Featured Artists – April 2015

Every month the AUPEO! content team decides which artists are especially worth lending your ears to. Please enjoy our selection for April 2015!

Christine & the Queens
Yes, we’re late! This pearl of Pop was already released last year and it was a hit in France. Now the rest of the world begins to understand what is so charming about this bilingual singing in English and French. Thanks to Christine & the Queens for this euphoria!

Courtney Barnett
This Singer/Songwriter comes all the long way from Australia to tell her stories and transports a nice nonchalance with her songs. Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit is what Courtney has titled her debut record. And now it is our turn to sit down and to listen.

The Go! Team
Go away winter, your time is up! There’s nothing better to indicate that the time of suffering is over than a new The Go! Team album – enter “The Scene Between”. As always, the six piece from Brighton guarantee to hit you with the sweetest musical whiplash you can imagine. And we’re in for the sugar rush.

Purity Ring
Talking about sugar… There might not be a sweeter voice out there in indie-land than Megan James’. The only problem with Purity Rings singer is that all the sweetness is poisoned. There is always that morbid touch in the duo’s etheric anthems – but actually that’s what makes them so enthralling.

Mickey Guyton
The 2014 album Unbreakable, which was only four tracks, debuts one of the strongest new female voices in Country Music. Since unleashing her hit single “Better Than You Left Me”, everyone has been waiting to hear what’s next. She actually wrote that song about moving to Nashville. So if she just recently got to Nashville, there ought to be a lot more Mickey Guyton songs coming soon.

Jason Eady
Why does Jason Eady sit down when he plays live?  Maybe because he’s super serious about his songs. Eady’s new concept/traditional-country album Daylight & Dark shows clear intent, both stylistic and introspective. This is A+ Traditional Country songwriting.

Vijay Iyer
New Yorker Iyer returns this year with his third album for the ECM label, Break Stuff. This trio has been working together for a decade now, and it certainly shows in the music, which is a fine and technical blend of influences from a broad spectrum, from the minimalism of Morton Feldman to hip-hop-esque drum breaks to the Detroit techno of Robert Hood. 

José James
A highly skilled Jazz singer, James has often found popularity within the crossover sphere of Jazz and R&B or Hip-Hop. His new record, however, is a tribute to the great Billie Holiday, and while he retains the grooviness and bubble of his previous work, he also presents a very tender and intimate portrait of the late Lady Day.

Action Bronson
Hooray! Finally, a major label debut from Mr. Nice. It’s no mean feat to pull off a very credible Hip Hop album full of tongue in cheek one-liners, punchlines, storytelling and deliver them over booming East Coast beats which nod heavily towards psychedelic rock! Yes, there’s a guitar solo too.

Kendrick Lamar
Fresh from delivering heat for Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar is back with what is likely to be the most progressive Hip Hop album all year musically. Or the last couple of years, or more, or for the next couple of years. That’s not all, however. The lyrics are impossible not to pay attention to. To Pimp a Butterfly probably deserves the often over-used term Instant Classic!

Jamie xx
The man behind We’re New Here, a remix album by American recording artist Gil Scott-Heron, and one third of The xx, will release his first solo album in June. Don’t miss it with Aupeo!

Shed
With a new EP and his face on the current cover of groove mag, Shed shows no sign of slowing down. Check him out on Aupeo!

LIF-Embassy Of Music

Featured Artists – March 2015

Every month the AUPEO! content team decides which artists are especially worth lending your ears to. Please enjoy our selection for March 2015!

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson, again! If you’re still wondering how a casting show winner can make a sustainable career, you might have missed Ms. Clarkson as the prime example. Her formula for success seems to be pretty simple, but it’s effective enough to keep her running for seven albums and a 13 year winning streak in the music biz: release a quality Pop album about every two years. Maybe throw in a christmas album from time to time.

Life In Film
Are you looking for the right soundtrack for the first sunny days of the year? Here It Comes – the debut record of Life In Film. Just listen to Get Closer, the first single of these indie pop rockers from the UK, to put you in the perfect mood for spring.

Twin Atlantic
Ok, featuring a band who released their last album in August 2014 doesn’t make us look too fresh. We ashamedly admit that it took some time to peel the “boyband for indie girls” label off Twin Atlantic and appreciate the overproduced power of their latest opus. What did we find under that label? Big melodies, tender hooks, a very intriguing Scottish accent and, ahem ok, some good-looking guys too.

The Soft Moon
The third strike of Luis Vasquez, akaThe Soft Moon, is called Deeper, and there is no better name for a record like this. A frigid sound of post punk and (dark) wave hammering to the bone.

Nicolas Jaar
Young and talented composer Nicolas Jaar has just finished his first soundtrack for a vintage Russian movie called The Color Of Pomegranates. Find his most beloved songs on AUPEO!

Four Tet
This coming spring sounds exciting already as Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden, has announced his new album is finished. If, like us, you can’t wait to hear it then find comfort with AUPEO!, tune in to listen to his best tracks.

Chris Potter
A saxophone player well established on the Jazz scene, Chris Potter just seems to go from strength to strength. He returns in 2015 with another album on ECM, Imaginary Cities. This record features an 11-piece band, demonstrating the creative prowess of Potter not only as an incredible player, but as a versatile and masterful composer and arranger.

Clark Terry
On the 21st February this year, the Jazz world said goodbye to one of the few remaining great pioneers of the genre. Clark Terry’s mastery on the trumpet, and his popularisation of the Flugelhorn in jazz, made him legendary to brass players and other Jazz musicians alike. His effortless swing and blistering chops set him above anyone of his generation, and he even taught Miles Davis back in the 1950s. He played with the greatest names in the history of the music, and will be hugely missed by many.

Ashton Shepherd
Ashton Delilah Shepherd is an independent singer/songwriter from Coffeeville, Alabama.The most emotive songs on her albums are the ones she’s written. Her melodies are inventive, passionate and coloured by her legitimate southern accent.  She also has a cooking show called “Cookin Country” on her website.

John Fullbright
A twenty-something-year-old from Oklahoma. His 2014 album Songs will help shape Americana for the future. Fullbright compounds obvious outlaw influences into something really intimate and simple.

Johnny Winter
Crowning his 50 year career by receiving a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album in 2015 for his final album “Step Back”.  Johnny Winter and his Gibson Firebird can be listened to on AUPEO! 24/7

Drake
Do you like Drake? Do you? If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to find Drake in fine form on AUPEO! Go on, have a slice of Drake.

Your Old Droog
It’s rare someone makes it in the rap game relying only on beats and rhymes. Even rarer is an MC throwing out an endless stream of rock references over eleven tracks, each one a winner. Hit “Underground Hip-Hop” for Droog.

björk_photo by andrew thomas huang.jpg large

Featured Artists – February 2015

Every month the AUPEO! content team decides which artists are especially worth lending your ears to. Please enjoy our selection for February 2015!

Björk
How to deal with a break up of a 13-year relationship? Well, there is no answer for that. With her new album Vulnicura, Björk documented her own story – from the break up until the recovery. It shows Björk at her best and it’s up there with the great moments of her discography. A masterpiece!

Years & Years
They’ve been all over the usual suspects’ “Bands to watch in 2015″ lists, so we thought you might want to know what British Synth-Poppers Years & Years actually sound like. Enjoy a glittery updated mix of everything that made the 90s worthwhile.

Diana Krall
Diana Krall returns in 2015 with an album of songs she first heard on vinyl, from Elton John to the Mamas and the Papas to Bob Dylan, they’re all covers of iconic songs treated to her husky, rich vocal stylings.

Kenny Barron
Barron, now into his 70s, is one of those musicians who has been around for a long time and played with pretty much everyone from the Jazz sphere. His collaboration with bassist Dave Holland began in 2012, and they return with a beautiful, considered duo album that features some fantastic interplay between these two giants of the genre.

Sleater-Kinney
No Cities to Love, the first record after ten years from these indie-rockers, is filled with hits, hits, hits! Sleater-Kinney showing the right way to manage a reunion.

Bilderbuch
Yes, Bilderbuch are from Austria and sing about Austrian things and they won Austrian music prizes and everything, but come on, their genre-defying musical blend and undeniable nerdy coolness can be understood anywhere. And you can brag about being the Uber-Hipster at your next party if you know about Austrian Indie bands. A win-win-situation.

Glen Campbell
Since contracting Alzheimer’s Disease and thusly going on his “Goodbye Tour” in 2011, the great Rhinestone Cowboy has put out some of his most authentic work. Living at a Memory Care Facility and singing “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” has a circumstantial tone that his songs never had before. On the album See You There and the I’ll Be Me Soundtrack, the country legend sounds as old and farewelling as he is. This is brilliant and affecting music.

Punch Brothers
Chris Thile is always up to something edgy and amazing. This week it’s Phosphorescent Blues, the new Punch Brothers album, which is really beating at the hinges of Contemporary Bluegrass.

Arca
The tracks Arca makes rarely cohere to normal ideas of structure or rhythm. Nothing about the way Arca tackles sound is traditional. His music is somehow always more complex than it sounds. This talented young artist also co-produced Björk’s new album Vulnicura.

Luke Slater
The man behind some of the most lauded UK techno ever pressed to wax, Luke Slater has announced details for his next single under the moniker Planetary Assault Systems. The Eyes Themselves will land in February on Slater’s label, Mote-Evolver. While waiting for this release enjoy some of his best tunes with AUPEO!

Joey Bada$$
Boom Bap! Necks are broken here from constant head nodding to B4.DA.$$. Call it Golden Age revival, Classic East Coast, Underground or Real Hip-Hop, the pressures of carrying much of the weight of the future of New York hip-hop are nowhere to be heard on this long awaited debut studio album.

Big Sean
Keeping Detroit firmly on the rap map, Big Sean blesses us with “Blessings”. With Kanye West once again handling most of the production on Big Sean’s third album we will expect him to keep Detroit firmly in the charts also.

Usher

Usher doesn’t seem to mind us listening to I Don’t Mind on repeat for two months now. The release date of his UR album has been pushed back several times, but expect another single very soon.

The Weeknd
The Weeknd adding to the Fifty Shades of Grey hype seems natural. Never the artist to shy away from saucy subjects, and knowing the film’s theme, it comes as a surprise “Earned It” is very much a soul ballad, a love song of the traditional kind. We like surprises
Credit: Warner Music

Featured Artists – January 2015

Every month the AUPEO! content team decides which artists are especially worth lending your ears to. Please enjoy our selection for January 2015!

Mark Ronson
Everything is laid out for the arrival of Mark Ronson’s fourth strike. “Uptown Funk” – which we consider a monster single – tops the charts, Ronson took five years to find the best guest singers for his records and now it’s funkytime. “Uptown Special” will hit the stores this week.

Echosmith
It’s a little weird to write about Echosmith in the beginning of 2015 since the four “siblings-gone-band” youngbloods have already been part of our guilty pleasures in 2013. But it seems they were for a good reason. Their hit single “Cool Kids” actually made them cool kids last year and now it’s time to give the guilty pleasure with the silky melodies a second spin. And a third. And a fourth.

D’angelo & The Vanguard
Fourteen years he made us wait, but holy cheese wasn’t it worth waiting for?!

K. Michelle
Is K. Michelle an exception of a reality TV star? She makes good music. Seriously, she does.

Viet Cong
These Canadian guys unveil a strong debut record of black pearls by mixing post-punk with bittersweet, poppy melodies.

Slaves
How loud can two people get? Loud enough to end up on the BBC’s Sound of 2015 list. Slaves, from the UK, have filthy riffs and enough power to beat every other band this year.

Konono No. 1 
Congolese junk and scrap metal groove merchants Konono No. 1 will be making a rare trip to the UK later this month in order to play a 3-day residency at London’s Cafe Oto. Distorted thumb pianos and beats played on old car parts, their music is as hypnotic as it is groovy, a sound that is curiously futuristic and primeval at the same time.

Bill Frisell
Grammy award winner Bill Frisell’s discography is certainly a diverse collection, and he returns in 2015 with a curious idea for an album, but like all of his output so far it just seems to work. On “Guitar in the Space Age!” Frisell has decided to pay homage to the pioneering guitar-led music of the 50s and 60s that inspired him to take up the instrument in the first place. Unsurprisingly with Mr. Frisell, there’s a bit of everything on here, from surf-rock to country and western, all with his own musical vision and mastery underpinning the whole project.

Lucinda Williams
A constant fountain of great Country songs, Lucinda Williams simply does not quit. The 2014 album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone boasts 20 tracks spread over 2 CDs. Blues and Rock & Roll nuances continue to colour her artistic progression and it’s fair to say that Lucinda Williams is gradually defining her own genre.

The Secret Sisters
The Secret Sisters make harmonizing seem effortless. Their writing is catchy, especially on the newest release Put Your Needle Down. On paper, these are traditional standard songs of Country.  However, the sound smartly carries both a reverent southern tropology and a kick-your-shoes-off hoedown vibe.

I love Makonnen
From being remixed by Drake to the top of the charts. 2015 has begun well for ILoveMakonnen.