Tag Archives: world music

10 great sources to discover new music

Discovering a great new band is one of the best feelings in the world, isn’t it? OK, maybe you guys don’t share my enthusiasm but I thought I would write an article with some of my favourite sources to find good tunes, since I get asked this question on a semi-regular basis.

Sometimes, trying to make musical discoveries on the Internet is not an easy task. There are so many websites that cover the subject, from niche sites to music magazines. Here are some great places to start:

1) NPR: First listen

For those not from the USA, NPR stands for National Public Radio. NPR has some great programs that are worth listening to including, but not limited to, great musical content. There are many podcasts available on the website but one of my favourite things to check out is the First Listen page, which features exclusive full-length previews of new albums by a wide variety of artists. As I publish this article, we can listen to new music by Ty Segall, Japandroids and Tift Merritt, among others.

Also stay posted to the NPR website or Facebook page for the yearly playlist that is released for SXSW. You get to download 100 songs by artists playing at the festival and the choices are consistently good (I keep at least 2/3 of the songs and have discovered great artists through this list). This is the 2016 Austin 100 list if you’d like to check it out.

* By the way, the new US administration is threatening to cut government funding for public radios, which is a terrible shame because the programming is extremely rich, promoting all forms of culture and political discourse. I know that this isn’t my country but I will still be sending money to chip in.

2) NPR: Tiny desk concerts

Bob Boilen’s tiny desk in the NPR offices has been turned into a stage for some of the best artists currently in the music scene, from Adele to Ana Tijoux, John Legend to Edwarde Sharpe and the magnetic zeros. These intimate concerts are fun, compelling and make for a great environment where the musicians’ talents truly shine. Plus, the sound quality is excellent, which is great considering that these are live performances. New videos are released most weeks.

Here are 6 of my favourite performances ever on Tiny Desk:

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My travel bucketlist through music: Argentina

This is the third part of a series of 10 articles where I feature artists from one of the countries that is on my current list of ten countries that I want to visit before I die. We started out in Sweden, made our way to Brazil and are now stopping in Argentina.

Ushuaia, photo taken by Alvaro Leiva for National Geographic

Ushuaia, photo taken by Alvaro Leiva for National Geographic

I’m learning to speak Spanish right now. It’s another item on my bucket list that I’m trying to cross off, and it’s coming along a whole lot better than that other dream of becoming an opera singer 😉

I want to visit a Spanish-speaking country soon, so I set my sights on Argentina. This country has always fascinated me (maybe because growing up, Mafalda was my idol and I sometimes thought I was her real life incarnation).

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My travel bucket list through music: Brazil

Last week I started sharing my current top 10 travel bucket list. In the upcoming weeks I will be sharing musical playlists for each of the ten countries in my Top 10. I started out with Sweden and today I am sharing the list I have made for Brazil:

andré fagundes your shot

Brazil has a rich musical culture that is known around the world. Some of the most famous songs of all time have been written by Brazilian composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Bossa nova and samba are the most recognized genres, but there are so many more to be discovered in the country with the biggest population in all of South America. Today, bands often incorporate rock and electronic sounds into their songs, creating new styles such as funk carioca.
Here is the list of artists featured on the Soundcloud playlist I have created so you can get a taste of the country’s sound:
Alventino Calvacanti, Os Mutantes, Ceu, Bonde do Role, Cibelle, Seu Jorge, Maria Rita, Bebel Gilberto, Wanda Sa and Marcio Faraco

Here are some beautiful photos of Brazil by National Geographic photographers:

zoran milich national geographic sugarloaf mountain salvatoregebbia paul meyer
In the coming weeks I will be making playlists for the following countries which are also in my top 10 travel bucket list:

Argentina, South Africa, Turkey, Cuba, New Zealand, Portugal, United Kingdom and Senegal

Traveling the world by song: my travel bucket list through music

Flight athens photo from the sky
I’m slowly working through my travel bucket list. Every few years I do a list of 10 countries I must visit before I die. When I get to cross one off the list, I add a new one in its’ place. I’m such a travel freak that whenever I’m not traveling, I feel the need to do it virtually. One of the ways I do this is to listen to music from all over the world. Over the next few months, I’ll be posting playlists I have created for each country that is on my current top 10.
Here is my list, in no particular order:
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Cuba, New Zealand, Portugal, United Kingdom, Senegal

First featured country: Sweden

I created a list of 10 songs by Swedish acts that are interesting to discover. You’ll notice that all of the songs are in English, I didn’t do that on purpose. Many of Sweden’s artists choose to sing mostly in English, perhaps so they can reach a wider audience. The music produced in Sweden is undoubtedly varied, but many artists hailing from the Northern European country are known for their experimental sounds and daring aesthetics.

Artists included in this playlist (in the order that they play): Ane Brun, Lykke Li, Fever Ray, Robyn, Shout out louds, First Aid Kit, Loney Dear, Anna Von Hausswolff, Jose Gonzalez, El Perro del Mar and Peter Von Poehl.

Enjoy!

For inspiration, here are some gorgeous photos that were submitted by users on Your Shot by National Geographic:
reindeer-sweden_28794_600x450 frida gruffman-002

stockholm-sweden_28760_600x450 irwan ab razak-002

train-sweden_28802_600x450 vytautas serys-003

ystad-sweden_28812_600x450 fredrik ekblad-002

A personal top 8 of the best albums of summer 2013/ Top 8 de mes albums préférés de l’été

This summer I’ve been on an album-buying binge like no other. While this hasn’t been so good for my wallet, I’ve had a blast listening to all these sounds and I thought I’d share my ten favorite albums of the summer. I’ve identified general style and category just so you can find something more to your liking. Yes, I know that most of the albums aren’t from 2013 per se, but they have been a huge part of the soundtrack of my summer this year and I believe they are worth discovering if you don’t know them already!

Happy listening!

Cet été j’ai été prise d’une envie incessante de découvrir de la nouvelle musique. À chaque semaine j’ai rajouté au moins trois nouveaux albums à ma collection. Mon porte-feuille n’a pas apprécié cette lubie, mais mes oreilles sont ravies. Voici une liste du top 10 de mes albums préférés de l’été. Pour vous aider à trouver quelque chose qui saurait vous plaire, j’ai catégorisé les artistes par style. Oui, je suis bien au courant que certains des disques cités sont parus avant 2013 mais comme ils font partie de ma bande sonore pour cet été, j’ai trouvé pertinent de les inclure. De plus, ils valent vraiment d’être découverts si vous ne les connaissez pas.

Bonne écoute!

8. Spunky political rap en espagnol/ Audace et politique rappés en espagnol

Ana Tijoux (Chile/France), La Bala, 2011

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