Linus
Been wanting to write about this album ever since I bought it but never got around to do it. Well, now seems like a better time than any old time so here it is.

I first got to know her by watching the amazing video she did for Dreamland, the first taste of her brand new album, THE BIG MACHINE. It's one of the most amazing videos I've ever seen and the song kept playing in my head weeks after first hearing it. Knowing me, I knew I had to investigate further and went ahed and bought the album without even listening to any more songs. Turns out my suspicions were right and I ended up loving it and listening to it almost non-stop. I love to listen to music while driving and this is one album that really works in that particular situation.

I've since done my homework on Emilie Simon and read quite a lot about her online. It seems that she is being somewhat chastized with THE BIG MACHINE sounding a bit like Kate Bush's work. Not to mention, voice too. And while I can understand that criticism (especially on some tracks where she doesn't sound like she's trying to mimmick the english chanteuse - she's downright channelling her to the point of scary), I applaud the bravura Simon displays on almost every track to keep things always interesting to the point of view of the listener.

So, here she is with Rainbow, the new single and a accompanying charming video and I hope I made you go out and listen to her music if you happen to be curious about her. I know I want more now. Would love to see her live, though. Maybe the next year will grant me my wish.

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Linus
I don’t know if you have noticed but I don’t usually feature a lot of male singers on Aural Journal. The reason being because there aren’t that many that I genuinely like or admire. Rufus Wainwright is an exception. A big one. This guy is amazing.

POSES was the album that introduced me to his particular brand of music, one that is strong on melody and with a highly developed chord structure. I must admit I had a bit of a problem with his voice at the beginning but I’ve grown to admire it too, what with its strong delivery and charming monochordic twang. Plus, the songs are all great. And by great, I mean phenomenally great and catchy as hell. Naturally, I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

He went on to make even better albums (WANT ONE and TWO are both masterpieces in the full sense of the word) but this is the one that started it all for me. From the charming opener CIGARETTES AND CHOCOLATE MILK to the enchanting GREY GARDENS, there’s one for every mood of the day in here but I will leave you with one of its highlights, a song that ironically wasn’t written by him, rather by his father, Loudon Wainwright – it’s called ONE MAN GUY. Enjoy it and while you’re at it, have yourself a merry little Christmas.

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Linus
Today, as I was rewatching for the umpteenth time the wonderful animated movie by Nina Paley, I knew I had to write something about one of its main characters - Annette Hanshaw.

Hanshaw was one of the most famous singers of the 1920's and 30's in America and practically idolized by all the flappers of the time. She had a distinctive voice register that managed to both convey sensual laziness and naughty demeanour. She made quite a name for her but is now largely forgotten. Special thanks then to Ms. Paley for using her lovely songs as a musical counterpart to the break-up story she tells in SITA SINGS THE BLUES, an animated movie written, produced, edited, animated and directed by Paley using only the Flash tool. A remarkable achievement from any which angle you see it. And that's how I came to know Annette's Hanshaw music.

I leave you then with Wouldn't You Like To Take a Walk. Enjoy and I see you soon.

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Linus
Bridget St. John's voice is an acquired taste. But one that you get accustomed to quite easily, such is the alluring quality of the smoky way she delivers her deep-felt lyrics.

Again, a singer-songwriter that started her career at the tail end of the 60's and only managed to produce a very limited number of records, before she disappeared from the eye of the public, that are now treasured as something quite inspiring and magical. The one I'm recomending to you on this very rainy day is her second one, Songs For The Gentle Man, which I find to be melodically better than her debut and musically more accomplished.

I leave you then with Early Morning Song, one of the songs from that sophomore release. Listen and slowly let her get to you.

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