11 January 2009

Artist of the Week - 11 January 2009

Well, well, well... I've finally come back to life. Sorry for the absence; I really have no excuse! Busy, busy times. 

I decided to change the name (as well as the background) of my blog to reflect more of a downtempo feel to this site . Yes, I will talk about all sorts of music here, but since my primary focus is the chillout scene I thought "Why not?" 

Update on the paper...

I've done some research to find magazine and scholarly articles about the history of ska, now I have to find a library where I can actually check them out.

Why did I decide to do ska? One of the major sub-genres of Downtempo/Trip-Hop/Chillout is Dub. Since the "dub force" is always out in full, I felt I should do some research on one of its genealogical roots to see where its modern offspring of Third-Wave, Reggae, Dub and even Dub-Step have journeyed from. I don't want to give anything away yet (because I don't have much), so stick around; suprises are to come! 

Now onto the Artist of the Week for 11 January 2009: Under

I chose Under for a few reasons:

a) Eamonn Flynn asked me to join his facebook group

b) I like their music

c) I want to help get the word out.

Over at lifestylechill.com and CD Baby, a description of their music is as follows:

  • "The music of Under has been described as 'pop noir' - vague, often melancholic lyrics, agreeably catchy melodies, warm sounds with a hint of something darker hidden in Jen Triano's distinctive, almost innocent vocal delivery."

That has got to be one of the best descriptions for their sound I can find. 

Here's my two cents worth:

  • Jen's breathy voice is a perfect match for their sound, and fits so well into the genre, that you are left trying to find more of their stuff. Eamonn Flynn keeps his electronic touch light-handed helping keep a wonderful ratio of background to go right along with the hypnotic vocal realities of the fore.

Properly Chilled calls them "organic opium," and Mike Stier from about.com adds:

  • The San Francisco group and lead singer Jen Triano and her nothing-short-of-intoxicating voice, creates a bloody brilliant primal slow-burner that I loved simply because it could be the perfect way to help alleviate and unwind a crowd after a long day's journey into the night and segueing into the wee hours of the morning. Love it, love it!

To fill your Under fix right now, you'll have to suffice for their self-titled e.p. (2006) which only has four songs on it. They do have an album due out sometime this year and I can't wait to hear it! (I've heard most of their songs on the Myspace page linked earlier on in the post and a snippet of "Cars Below" from CD Baby)

The television world is putting a commercial face to their appeal. The Morgan Page remix of "Under" has been featured on both ABC's "Ugly Betty" and CBS's "Moonlight." 

- One a side note: My wife will start singing along most times the song "Under" comes on. For me, that's a sign that the group is pretty good! (or as she puts it, I may play it enough that she knows the lyrics. She can't hide the fact she likes them!)

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