Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday is for all the things

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  • peter mclennan,

    Brand new music from Bobby Womack, last seen in NZ with Damon Albarn's outfit The Gorillaz. Produced by Albarn and Richard Russell, off his new album, out June. Free DL, gorgeous tune.


    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report

  • Paul Williams,

    Loving First Aid Kit, but agree, would never have thought them Swedish. They're touring Sydney and am seeing them later this month... try the track Emmylou

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report

  • Richard Stewart,

    "Would you have guessed that they are Swedish?"

    Are they actually trying to sound American?

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 73 posts Report

  • Paul Williams,

    In my very limited experience, Scandanavian people tend to have an oddily American accent. I assumed it was a function of whatever language resources they use in their schools.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Love First Aid Kit. No, I wouldn’t have guessed that they are Swedish, but since I knew I didn’t have to. What I can’t get over is that they are only 19 and 21. And sisters. They are currently at No 1 in the Swedish charts.

    ETA: I would assume that the accent is deliberate for the genre.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report

  • 3410,

    The style they're doing is close harmony singing, which is essentially an American style.

    That said, the area where that sort of American country music developed largely corresponds with the areas of greatest Swedish settlement in USA in late the 19th / early 20th centuries (Minnesota, Nebraska, the Dakotas...), so maybe that singing style was partly Swedish in the first place. (?)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Paul Williams,

    I've missed PA for all the reasons evident in 3410's post above.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report

  • Mark Thomas,

    The latest White Rabbits album came out this week. "Temporary" is probably the catchiest song, but the whole album is full of subtle and interesting tunes. Similar to Spoon/Radiohead/Beatles


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report

  • Chris Bowden,

    My understanding is that most Scandanavians sound American because movies and TV programmes over there are not dubbed, but subtitled. Therefore, kids grow up on a diet of American English.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 27 posts Report

  • Marcus Turner,

    This might not be your sort of music, but it’s a pretty impressive audience/performer interaction.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report

  • Marcus Turner,

    And I just discovered the sabretoothed vampire. Where have I been?


    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report

  • Danielle,

    I like the way the mix of Yoko's vocals makes her sound even more delightfully unhinged.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report

  • Lilith __, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Love First Aid Kit

    We all need one of those in the cupboard ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3895 posts Report

  • Lilith __,

    Would you have guessed that they are Swedish?

    Well….they’ve clearly been using Norsica shampoo!

    [Edit: which the internet hasn't heard of! But we all remember the blonde on the white horse, right?!]

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3895 posts Report

  • Richard Stewart, in reply to Chris Bowden,

    My experience of Swedes through dealing with them regularly at work is that they speak exceptionally good English, but i have never noticed an American accent as such.
    I believe though that this First Aid Kit album was recorded in the US - and this is more likely to have been an influence. Sort of like the way early Kiwi hip-hop artists used to mimic US artists before they found their mojo.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 73 posts Report

  • Hebe,

    Ok, so I haven't got a link to a video or picture or anything, but I will ask you to use your imagining to conjure up an ordinary, but somehow special thing today...In the Cashel Street container mall, in a courtyard area off to one side, sunny and warm because it was out of the biting north-easterly. Billy Vallance and Jon Hooker brewing up a quietly good set while me and beloved had a quick flat white under the tree from the caravan and others chomped through lunch souvlaki and sushi. So good just to be; in that place at that time. A snapshot hour I will carry with me.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report

  • BenWilson, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    It's kind of odd to me how virtually every good vocalist sings with an American accent. Is it an especially musical accent? Perhaps it's because singers are expected to be capable of high volume, and the American accent is especially appropriate for that? It's quite high pitched and clear. Words like "I" and "my" become "Ah", and "mah".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • George Darroch,

    Thanks Russel. What a spread of wonderful music… on such a delightful early autumn Auckland day.

    Loving the new Bobby Womack tracks. His voice is still golden, and the Albarn production is a lively counterpart. I’m so glad Womack’s still around.

    Dropping this here, because this album is blowing up my speakers. Rich deep Barcelona house:

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to BenWilson,

    I think it's how we learn to sing. We hear American accents (which have long been prominent in popular music) and, consciously or otherwise, copy them. It's no longer "American", necessarily; simply part of the genre. I remember a series about popular music on TV years ago, in which one interviewee traced a lot of it back to the Appalachian influence in Country music which, itself, had a strong influence on early Rock and Roll.

    I can remember singing teachers (and others) of the 60s and 70s being really disparaging about American accents. (Actually, I remember some people being pretty negative about the Kiwi accent(s) in singing. The word "the", for example, pronounced in a NZ accent, was anathema to one choir conductor. I think that was partly because of what it tended to do to the length of the sung note.)

    A similar thing used to happen in theatre with English accents.

    One of the best ways to learn is by imitation. In the early stages, we don't know which parts of what we're imitating are going to be most important to us. As we become more confident and experienced, we find our own "voice" (see "mojo" above).

    If market forces are important to us, then we might tend to stay with an "American" pronunciation. It does seem to be easy to sell to the "world market" by comparison to other accents.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report

  • BenWilson, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    It does seem to be easy to sell to the "world market" by comparison to other accents.

    Mind you, Hip hop, whilst predominantly American in origin, has accents all of its own and seems to have little trouble selling. Similarly with one really obvious non-American one, the Jamaican. But when they go melodic, then it blends back. So again, I can't help but think there is something strangely apt to that kind of singing in that accent.

    It could just be what we've modeled, as you say.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hebe,

    A snapshot hour I will carry with me.

    When music meets the moment. I get you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Richard Stewart,

    More Swedish gold - but with a more natural accent

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 73 posts Report

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Since we’re on Swedish music, I thought I’d share this from a few years ago. It won the best music video award and is kinda cool. This one’s in Swedish (or more accurately, in Skånska).

    ETA: Forgot to say, it's Familjen - Det snurrar i min skalle

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report

  • Peter Darlington,

    What you need right now is Four Tet to hook up with Burial and create, well, this: Nova (Hat-tip Charles @DocRaccoon).


    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report

  • Hebe, in reply to 3410,

    That's good. Sounds like some of the Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris songs.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report

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