The Listening Project week ending 3 April

Empire of the Sun Walking on a Dream 2008 The Sleepy Jackson Pty and Nick Littlemore

Australian EDM duo Empire of the Sun have been around for quite a while now, but they don’t have a huge discography. From what I gather they are more of a live performance band (they wear elaborate costumes and makeup, extra musicians and so on. All that being said- Walking on a Dream is a thoughtful and elaborate album- it’s EDM, but it’s also for listening and daydreaming to.

 

Brandon Flowers The Desired Effect 2015 Island Records

I heard Brandon Flowers do a couple of songs on the Royal Variety Performance at Christmas and I’ve been meaning to look up his work ever since, and I finally got around to it! This album is a lot of fun- it’s catchy, dance-y pop music, which has you up and bopping very quickly.

 

Kenny Barron Flight Path 2015 Candid Productions

It was Piano Day- the 88th day of the year (get it? 88 keys…ok, bad joke, but it’s a thing), so I decided to listen to some Kenny Barron, which I haven’t done in about a decade- don’t know why I haven’t listened to him more, this album reminded my of why I enjoy his playing.

 

Hilltop Hoods Drinking From the Sun, Walking Under Stars- Restrung 2016 Hilltop Hoods/Universal Music

I love the melding of hip-hop and orchestra here- the orchestrations are absolutely fantastic, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra players do a fantastic job on non-classical lines (especially the jazz inspired lines of ‘Cosby Sweater’- the flute and trumpet are so well done). Too often this sort of collaboration is let down by a group of classically trained musicians who are unable (for a variety of technical and aesthetic reasons) to really get into the feel of music from other genres. Not so here though- it’s a fantastic album and I wish I could go and see them live during their Restrung tour this month.  One word of caution however, there’s a fair amount of cursing, so if that’s something you don’t like in music, proceed carefully.

 

(NZ) Nick Granville Group Wishful Thinking 2008, Nick Granville

One of NZ’s finest jazz guitarists, with one of his older albums- his debut as a leader in fact. It’s a diverse album that draws the listener in and challenges their ears. A dreamy, harmonically complex soundscape informs the structure of the album, and it’s a delight to listen to.  Granville’s music can be found on his bandcamp page:

https://nickgranville.bandcamp.com/music

But he is also found on many Wellington based jazz groups recordings- and also in other genres.

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