Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The soul man

I'm a fan of soul music in all it's varying genres - Motown, Northern ... through to some modern tunes like Warwick Avenue.

So, this week in "Unsung", in looking at those popular music sites I've hit "Soul" as a genre, and seen what's turned up.

A Band about reason

Simple acoustic stuff, with a wide selection of talents. Simple Life for instance is comparitively heavy, with Lost found a melancholy melody.
It's clear that many of the tracks are not professional recordings - and things do suffer as a result. But, ignore the production values - there's some good quality musicianship behind it.

A beautiful army of trees

I think the "acoustic" part of the Jason Reeve's description is the predominant part of his music, the songs are quite simply meaningful and emotional songs. There is a bit of variation in their styles and how much instrumentation they've got - Honestly with a bit more of a beat and electronic organ background, Treefall having the simple drum kit and guitar (and sounding very familiar for it), but the nervous mind of love has hardly anything.

Overall, it does exactly what this sort of music does - it passes by almost unnoticed. It could be part of a movie soundtrack in one of the "scene setting" moments or "reflection", and builds the atmosphere without you needing to immerse yourself in the song. It's just there, and it really emotive stuff. It is "soulful" in that it stirs the soul, and a brilliant discovery.

Esta B Daley

It took my efforts to find a British act to find a proper soul act. Which I'm sure isn't the right way round. But, it took only a few notes of What Girls want to recognise the music as what I was expecting - and hoping - to find. A full band, complete with backing singers; funk, chorus with variation, reprise - it's classic soul music, and there's no other way of describing it in quite as much detail.

By that same token though, I've got to say I'm not a fan of Last one to leave. It's a bit too cabaret for my taste, there's not much in terms of background instrumentalisation, and I think it's a bit too high for Esta's alto voice.

Miss Daley's voice is different to 'classic' soul, I don't think it's as powerful, perhaps it's a bit smoother than what I'm used to. But, it's a very good voice regardless, and still suits the music. Proof of a good singer is a capella singing, so just listen to Soon I Will be done (on myspace) to hear the voice 'in the raw'.

Perhaps in this "Amy Winehouse Era" soul music is growing a new limb. But, similarly, it hopefully means that more traditional soul gets some good appreciation - such as this.

1 comment:

A Band about reason said...

Don't mind at all Asp....actually stoked I could spark up some interest in A Band About Reason.....

Hopefully I'll be raising the quality of my recordings very soon :)