John Grant picture via The Guardian by Ari Magg and Matthew E. White picture via Facebook by Shawn Brackbill
As Where the Music Meets is now one month old, we would like to début our newest series, Indie Sapiens. About every two weeks we will bring you a vision of what the world is like outside by inviting people to recommend us something new to listen. Imagine you are hanging around on the street and everyone you get by has a secret music artist they like to hear. Today, Silvia is going to tell us all about beautiful female voices wrapped in bearded men profound vocals.
Silvia is a 36 years old biotechnology engineer that spends way too much time either at the laboratory or looking at the Atlantic Ocean while listening to her iPod shuffle. Inside you’ll be able to find a mixture of sounds that go from the most African roots world music to indie and hip-hop. Silvia says her iPod “is nothing less than pure magic, being capable of choosing the most appropriate music for the moment. And music is just like a good glass of wine”. She continues saying that she can’t explain or rationalize music, rather she goes by her gut and feels the sounds as if they were one with her in that moment. And for now, what speaks to her is indie beards featuring beautiful female voices. She told us: “Beards are trendy. Good indie musicians are wearing them with great style. And they are also inviting interesting singers to feature in some of their music resulting in well balanced experiences. Two spot-on examples are John Grant feat. Tracey Thorn (Everything But the Girl) in Disappointing and Matthew E. White feat. Natalie Prass in Cool Out.
John Grant is very difficult to describe in words, but if we would really have to, we could say it give us a Tears for Fears meets Muse kind of vibe. In the album that features this track, he is once again able to marry perfectly the grand ballads with electronic beats, which once mixed with a bit of funk made the great disco-tune that Disappointing is. But perhaps the main thing about John Grant is the way he performs live, it’s like being kidnapped by aliens while some indie music is getting transfigured while entering a new world with us. And it is, beautifully and unexpectedly perfect.
Matthew and Natalie are known to be childhood friends and now collaborators on the whispered, groovy tune Cool Out. Despite the chill vocal affair, there’s an R&B sway to the arrangements that gives the track an involving beat. Cool Out also resembles some of the work from Arcade Fire, with that crescendo of vocal combinations between Matthew and Natalie and is above all a soft and cool feel good song. One that first you find it strange and then you can’t get enough of.