Monday, May 21, 2012

The British Are Coming

At the suggestion of a foreign friend, I thought it wise to write a post dedicated entirely to a showcasing a few of my favorite English musicians as they are surely soon to become part of yet another British invasion. With such songbird sirens as Duffy, Adele and -- most recently -- Ellie Goulding gaining fame from across the pond, I fear the men have been a bit overlooked. Allow me to enlighten you.


Born in West Yorkshire to Irish and English parents, Ed has been recording his own music since as early as 2005, releasing multiple independent EP's before being signed to Asylum/Atlantic about a year ago. "The A Team," the first single off of Ed's album entitled +, debuted at number 3 on the UK charts, becoming the best selling debut single of 2011. Happened to see Snow Patrol on tour this spring in the US? Then you may recognize Ed Sheeran as the band's opening act. Watch The Vampire Diaries? If so you may recognize his song "Give Me Love," as it was featured on an episode this past February.

If you need a sound reference, think Matisyahu meets Jason Mraz meets The Script. My recommendations are "The A Team," "Small Bump," "Drunk" and "Lego House" (this is where the Matisyahu comparison becomes relevant, by the way). View the official video for his newest single below:


Okay, so James Vincent McMorrow isn't English -- he's Irish. But he spent time recording in London! Eh, close enough.

James spent years exploring his musicality as a rock drummer before taking a chance on singing/songwriting folk music. A move to London proved fruitless, forcing a self-imposed seclusion near his hometown in Ireland for a month, thus birthing his greatest creation, Early in the Morning. His songs exude the heart of Sufjan Stevens and the voice of Ray LaMontagne. Or, as my sister so eloquently stated when listening to his cover of "Higher Love," "he sounds like he's going to cry through the whole thing." That's a real man, baby.

My favorites, in addition to his covers of "Higher Love" and "Wicked Games," are the following:

"We Don't Eat"
"If My Heart Should Somehow Stop"
"If I Had a Boat"
"Breaking Hearts"
"Early in the Morning, I'll Come Calling"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Turtle Time

If you frequent such famous American music festivals as Coachella, Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo, you may be familiar with what may be the only thing East Coasters love about Minnesota (aside from the minute margin of Kris Humphries fans). While Trampled By Turtles has certainly earned its stripes over nearly a decade of touring local arenas and failed folk LP’s, the band's grunt years began to pay off with the release of its 2010 album Palomino, and most recently, with the release of its sixth album, Stars and Satellites, released this past April. And although TBT may be proud of such recent mentionables as being featured on Deadliest Catch and a live television debut on Late Show with David Letterman, the real feat is the new album’s impressive Billboard placement, including #1 on US Grass, #2 on US Folk and top spots on the Alternative, Rock and Indie charts. Need something to compare their sound to? Try Mumford & Sons meets Neil Young meets Bob Dylan. For all of you “I listen to everything but country” people reading this post, don’t be deterred by the comparison.

Like what you hear? If so, you’re in luck, as the band is currently touring cross-country, kicking off in the members’ home town of Duluth, MN tomorrow and concluding in Massachusetts late September. For all of you New Englanders who might want to kill a few birds with one stone, TBT will partake in the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island on July 29th. For more info on the two-day summer festival, visit the official link at, as limited tickets are still available. It seems to be an all-star lineup, with acts like My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, City and Colour, Jackson Browne and The Head & The Heart, among other notables.

Take a look at the band’s video for its first released single from Stars and Satellites, “Alone,” as it is one of the more mainstream singles from its country/folk-influenced compilation. Other favorites of mine include “Midnight on the Interstate,” "High Water," “Sorry,” "Keys to Paradise" and "The Calm and Crying Wind." Check out the band's official site for more tunes and info at