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Bands To Watch #83: Jolie Holland

By on Friday, 13th February 2009 at 2:56 pm

669055194_mJolie Holland is basically the American KT Tunstall and like her counterpart, Jolie is a whizz on the acoustic guitar and here gentle melodic ballads are easy on the ear. Her alternative pop/folk sound is not over complicated and in some ways, its simplicity makes it special. Each track has a steady tempo and instead of focusing on trying to do something different, Jolie uses some tight guitar playing and some pretty astonishing vocals to blow away the audience.

The New York girl sounds like she’s been dumped in an American desert left with only a guitar and, erm, a recording studio. Her talent has got her a lot of attention in the folk world and her lyrical balance is what many say separates her from other song writers.

Jolie’s more recent material is an improvement from her earlier records, which are not bad themselves, but there is one track that stands out. Crowd favourite “Mexico City” is everything you want from a bluesy folk song. Jolie sings with great conviction whilst keeping a chirpy guitar rhythm at the same time. “Palmyra” is another obvious track to chose to give a listen. The track progresses nicely and gradually gets bigger and bigger in tone and sound as the instruments and vocals come to life.

Jolie, like all artists, has her critics and some say that she doesn’t come up with enough hits. Well the consistent quality you get from a Jolie Holland album is good enough to satisfy me and she is certainty going to have a bright career ahead of her.


Bands To Watch #69: Melody Gardot

By on Thursday, 15th January 2009 at 10:44 am

Melody GardotWhat can just one woman do? Well if your Boadicea you could take on the Romans –  but maybe just being one hell of a good blues musician is good enough for you.  That’s the case for Melody Gardot who has been stunning the blues, jazz and acoustic scene for a while now.

When I first listened to Melody’s tracks I was forced sit back and watch the evening go by. The relaxing guitar chords and soothing vocals are instantly relaxing so if you need to get work done then stick something else on, but in every other situation a good Melody song will go down well.

To be honest, its not the most inspiring music but, as good jazzy music is, it is perfect for the background ambiance that we all crave once in a while. Having said this, Melody has an inspiring story to her success. A few years back she was the victim of an accident that left her “disabled” but as a means of therapy, she started making music. People heard it. Of course they said “wow!” and Melody has herself a record deal.

There’s not any particular track that stands out from Melody who is more of an “album artist” but listen to any one of her tunes and you’ll find it hard not to be impressed. The track “Goodnite” is the favourite with the fans and it has a deep blues, jazzy feel but other tracks like “Love Me Like A River Does” are easily as good and worth a listen.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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