Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A little Bit Left of Centre - my favourite 'new' music

It's time to link up again with Jen for Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday, where the theme this week is:

                 << the best new songs you've heard this past year >>

These didn't necessary have to be songs that came out in 2013; just songs that you heard for the first time sometime during the last 12 months.

1. I've heard quite a bit of new music over the past year, ranging from my baby girl's renditions on a recorder (or part thereof!) to some really incredible individuals and groups. For me, one of my most exciting musical discoveries over the past year is a young man who calls himself The Mad Violinist. I watched this clip he made of himself covering Avicii's Wake Me Up with my jaw on the floor. The combination of strength, emotion and grace that he brings to this piece completely changed the way I feel about the violin as an instrument. Previously, I'd considered it to belong solely in classical ensembles. This guy got me excited about the possibilities of the instrument. He made me want to learn it myself.

2. I've also enjoyed listening to a lot of Kina Grannis over the last few months. Not only do I like her voice, but I also find some of her video clips quite original and clever, like this one:

I also really like her cover of Anna Kendrick's Cups, for its simplicity:

(I'm sneaking in two for the price of one here - I'm only supposed to list 5 songs, but I'm going to do 6 today and hope no-one minds!)

3. I definitely have to mention The Piano Guys here, who I only actually discovered last year even though they've been big for a while. I love the story of how these guys met and I love the music they create together on the piano and the cello. They add a classic twist to their covers of popular songs, which are often filmed in beautiful outdoor locations. It's hard to choose a favourite, but I think the first piece of theirs I heard was their version of Christina Perri's A Thousand Years and even though I've now heard them play it dozens of times, I still find it breathtaking.

4. My partner introduced me to Playing for Change last year - a team of musicians from around the world who aim "to bring peace to the world through music". Just before Christmas, I posted the group's version of Feliz Navidad. The clip below is their epic rendition of Stand By Me, the first of their 'songs from around the world' to be released independently. This video is one of the best testaments to the ability of music to bring people together that I have ever seen.

5. And last, but by no means least, comes this ditty by the little known Australian band, Axis of Awesome. One of my nephews actually told me about this song and I've posted this clip in a previous post, where I mentioned it inspired me to keep trying to learn the guitar, even if I'd only mastered half a dozen or so chords. Titled Four Chord Song, it highlights, hilariously, how so many popular songs are based on the same four identical chords. As I mentioned the first time I wrote about it, if you're offended by the F word, please block your ears at the 00:49 and the 4:59 mark!

So there it is; some of the music and musicians who were new to me in 2013.

My Skewed View

What are some of your favourite recent music discoveries?

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