Old geezers like Dave Edmunds, Bruce Springsteen and Glen Campbell (without Glen Campbell) are added for your listening pleasure this week. But the music is new, at least newly recorded.
Dave Edmunds is a bit like Zelig, portrayed by Woody Allen, a man that was there in the background with all the major stars throughout the sixties and seventies. His one really massive hit was I Hear You Knocking, but he has made great rock’n’roll since the sixties, and he just doesn’t accept that rock music has moved on. He was naturally a part of Ringo Starr’s All Star Band for a while. Again, his surprise album from last year, featured both new and old songs, but it is hard to tell which is which. Well, some are obvious, like Your Song, but you get my drift. Needless to say, I love this album, its irreverence and its passion for rock’n’roll.
Perhaps when an artist gets older he or she can let go of pretences. That goes for Bruce Springsteen as well. His new album is more likeable than many of his previous ones. I have always enjoyed The Boss’ music, but never been an really avid fan. I was thoroughly entertained when the crew of Lilyhammer was invited by Little Steven last year to see the E Street Band in concert., but I felt like an outsider next to true fans. The new single High Hopes is one of his best ever, in my opinion, full of energy, great and surprising orchestration and with an ability to stick in your ear. I have added three other songs from the album with the same name.
Boy & Bear is described as an Australian sensation. The indie band with the soft sound has issued two albums, and I have added four songs from their latest, Harlequin Dreams. There is something old fashioned about their new songs, reminding me of both bands like Oasis at their softest, but also true Americana. Their sense of melodies is brilliant; this is hummable and still sophisticated.
The remaining new songs are all Norwegian. Torun Eriksen is a jazz singer, who has been compared to Joni Mitchell and other great singers. I don’t think they are doing her any favours by making comparisons like that, because Torun Eriksen can stand on her own two feet. Her new album, Visits, is just that: visits to other people’s material. Some of her covers bother me more than they please me, others bring new and interesting life to established material. Three examples of the latter are added: a Glen Campbell tune, A Pink Floyd tune and Randy Newman’s Feels Like Home. I hope you like them. I do.
Another great Norwegian singer-songwriter is Susanne Sundfør. She has produced an album with the Norwegian-Canadian duo Bow to Each Other. The album, The Urge Drums, has a much more modern, electronica sound than any of the other tracks added this week, but the girls still write and perform classic songs. There’s a sadness and an elegance in these songs that grow on you. Try it. And if you haven’t listened to the producer, Susanne Sundfør, you’re in for a pleasant surprise if you do.
I have reluctantly added the last artist, Sigurd Julius, this year’s winner of the Norwegian Urørt (Untouched) Awards, celebrating new talent, reluctantly because I don’t normally fancy this Norwegian folk rock expression and particularly when it is performed by a light tenor male voice. Still I have to admit that Sigurd’s songs are small gems, even for those who cannot understand what he is singing about. The main reason for adding three tracks from the album called Sigurd Julius, is to celebrate that music with distinct roots in previous generations can actually win a new music contest in 2014, proving again that contemporary music, if you look hard enough (and that’s exactly what I am doing on your and my behalf), permeates all trends and decades and times.
To make room, Elton John, Hekla Stålstrenga, Laura Veirs, Smith Westerns, Sting, Surfer Blood and Tedechi Trucks Band will have to go.
Here is the renewed list, with 25 new tracks: