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06-08-2013: Must-Have of the Month Andy - Release - The Oslo Recordings

Summer 2012. A pretty girl walks onto the main stage and plays a beautiful set of songs. The crowd is not paying enough attention, but those that do fall a little bit in love that day. Being a little silly drunk myself I didn't catch her name and being a music lover no matter how drunk I am, it annoyes me. An hour later, a pretty girl walks by. casually holding a beer, I'm fairly sure she was smoking a cigarette while talking to her girlfriend. My friend and I look at her for a few seconds and debate about the similarities with the mesmerizing singer-songwriter we've just witnessed on stage. Not being able to figure it out I walk up to her to ask if it was her on stage. It was her. We talk a little, she signs a copy of her album & says goodbye. Besides the autograph she writes "yes, it was me". I'm a little bit in love..

A few months later. Through a little spark of luck I get a few tickets to a local festival. She's playing a small set, looking pretty as always. Being her funny self on stage, singing painfully beautiful in a restaurant slowly being cooked by a hot Autumn sun. I'm warm, I'm hot, I'm mesmerized again. Even more this time, the songs and her voice sound so much better in an intimate session. Although I'm not easily annoyed by people talking at concerts, every word from the crowd is too much. We bump into each other a little later. I compliment her on a fine set, but I'm striking out verbally. The words I wanted to use were lost in emotions and alcohol. We talk a little, I feel a little more lost with every minute that passes.

January 2013. As a loyal fan I read something about a new album. It's on iTunes and physical copies will be available soon. Without hearing a single note of it I shoot her an email about ordering myself a copy. She replies, gives me the details, we've got a deal. I think back of the 2 shows I've seen. Great voice, beautiful little songs. Cute on-stage personality. I wonder if the new songs, recorded in Oslo, can match the expectations I hold. Months go by. Relationships end, houses are left behind. I forget about Andy, the girl with the sneakers and the beautiful voice.

Summer 2013. Relationships have ended, houses are left behind. Putting myself together I go through my exploded inbox and find the emails we’ve sent each other. Feeling bad that I’ve never got back to her I explain a little bit and tell her how much I’d like to buy her album, as a little present to myself. She replies swiftly, and a few days later I receive a little package. On a Friday night I open a good bottle of wine and the package I’ve been looking at for 2 days. A little joke on the inside, her pretty face on the cover & her sneakers on the back. So far, so good. If she did turn into J. Bieber I can always look at the pretty pictures. I play it on my stereo, I play it loud. And from the 1st minute it’s back. The magic. The same comfort I felt when I saw her play live. Just like 12 months ago, I’m a little bit in love.

A few months later. Andy is still the same talented singer-songwriter from Amsterdam. The same girl that has released a 6-track album in January. Still playing her songs in Haarlem, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hoorn and probably a lot of other places (go see her when she’s close to you). I am still the same person. Doing my routines, listening to music wherever I go. There’s just one difference. I’ve been listening to Release - The Oslo Recordings every day, falling in love a little more each day. Her voice sooths me, the lyrics comfort me, the songs keep me company. If you buy only one album this month, this season, this Summer. Let me recommend you Andy’s Release - The Oslo Recordings. It’s everything you could ever ask for in an album.

01-08-2013: War Jacket & Josh Sizemore - Going to Hell

Don't know War Jacket. Don't know Josh Sizemore. Don't know Kathleen Edwards (the original artist of the song). Don't know 'Going to Hell'. But I know a good song. And this is it. mesmerizing, best-played-loud, acoustic, going-to-hell, amazing version of a cool song. Don't know War Jacket. Don't know Josh Sizemore. But they did hell on this. Really Hell.. And well. (damn, that's lame..)

31-07-2013: Track James Bay - Move Together

James Bay recently released his debut EP The Dark Of The Morning and one of the 5 tracks on it is this insanely beautiful song "Move Together". It reminds me of a lot of great artists (you can think of some for yourself), but more than that it is just an amazing song. I've spend the last 2 hours listening to this. Just this. Over and over again. Four-and-a-halve minute perfection, enjoy it while it lasts.

29-07-2013: Track Dan Croll - In/Out

It's a little late for Monday Morning Kick-Off tracks, so we'll call this 'just' another great song. Dan Croll has recently released his latest song "In/Out" and it has Summer written all over it. Great up-tempo song that'll make you get up and dance. There are no other options. But that's okay, because this is a great song. Just another great song. Dan Croll, we thank you.

27-07-2013: Album Dave Walsh - Storyboard

This was a great Must-Have of the Month-candidate for last month and again for August, but it eventually got over-ruled by two other great albums. July's Must-Have is Weekend Riot Club's debut album, next months album will be announced when August has actually started. But onto the great album at hand: Storyboard by Dave Walsh, an English drummer from the Leeds College of Music.

The album is all instrumental. Jazz in a lot of different forms, but always with a solid groove & amazing solos. Dave Walsh plays a lot of instruments himself, but he has an impressive group of talented musicians around him. None of the names ring any bells in my Jazz-memories, but that just makes me happier. To know that there are so much talented musicians out there. A statement I've always lived by since I started bloggin' and decided to ignore the hypes and magazines.

Dave Walsh has written all the compositions himself. He has released some music in the past (his website seems a bit outdated) and I would love to hear some of it. Based on this album, he has a talent for composing. Last year I was completely hooked on the instrumental album by Rebecca Brandt (and I still am), but for 2013 the most played instrumental album has to be this. I listen to it almost 10 times a week and I never get tired of it. I hope a lot of people take notes, because this is what music should sound like. You can get a digital copy for only 4 Pounds, which is cheap as hell for such great music. There's really no excuse not get it.

Great. Fucking. Album.

19-07-2013: Track ARMS - Comfort

The first track from his forthcoming new album EP2, set for release in September, this is ARMS.

18-07-2013: Album :novemthree: - Renewing

Some albums are just made for the darkest hours of the day, Renewing by :novemthree: is such an album. Dark, slow and mesmerizing songs. Haunting melodies with perfectly suitable vocals. You can easily picture yourself in a dark forest, with nothing but the leaves blowing, the campfire softly whispering and the shadows scaring the shit out of you every few minutes. While the music softly plays, completing the beautiful and terrifying scenery.

Not all the songs are of the same dark and mellow type, that would be too depressing for most people. The album nicely switches from the dark, haunting songs to something more light and sweet, such as 'Sunlight' or 'Sing of Beauty'.

Yet the darker songs are more intense. They go deeper, drag you into the woods, knock you out and fill your mind with nightmares through your ears. But perhaps, rather than nightmares, this is the perfect music for beautiful dreams. Just relaxing in bed, ready for sleep. A few candles lit, stereo softly playing. Maybe some scented oil. And if you're not alone in there, may I suggest a tender massage?

Anyway, before I drift off and spend the next hour writing sick little porn stories, let me just end with the few ideas I've given you and let the beautiful music of this great record take you where it is you wanna go. Dreamland or dark hell, that's up to you.

Sweet dreams!

16-07-2013: Track Eeek! - B.E.S.

About 12 years ago I met a girl. She was extreme in a lot of ways; She was loud, she was straight to the point, she was in your face. Always. She was also beautiful and she had a great voice. On the first day we've met we went shopping together and I bought myself a bright red pair of pants that were loose enough to fit 4 of me. On the second day we played 'Stairway to Heaven', I was just learning the chords on acoustic guitar and she knew the lyrics. It was a little match made in heaven and that voice won me over even more than she'd done without singing the day before.

We lost track of each other a long time ago, but she once gave me a cd with some songs from her band on it. It was all pretty bad teenage rocksongs, except for this one song. I fell in love straight away and over the years that have passed I have listened to it 1000s of times. And everytime I hear it, I remember that one hour we had playing and singing Led Zep's classic together. And right after that I remember how she tried to stab someone that 1st day we met.

All the personal memories aside, this is a beautiful song. I've uploaded it on my own soundcloud, but please note that I have nothing to do with the song, neither do I own any rights to it. On request, the song will be removed. Now turn off your phone and listen to this for at least 12 times in a row. I have tonight. I've done so several nights before. And I'll do it again for many nights to come.

15-07-2013: Monday Morning Kick-Off The Coppertone - Young Blood

The morning is long gone, but the day is still young and the week has just started. After a busy weekend enjoying the many beautiful things North Sea Jazz 2013 had to offer, it's nice to kick off the new week with something completely different. The Coppertone is a cool female rocker with a powerful voice & dito sound. This is a new project for her after a failed contract with a record company and it's a great new start for her. Have a good week!

14-07-2013: sch Plug in, Baby! 3rd Anniversary

It's been 3 years since Plug in, Baby! first started. Loads of great music has been discovered and shared & and the battle continues for another 12 months. Let's celebrate in style!

13-07-2013: Introducing Saint Helena Dove

Dutch singer-songwriter Saint Helena Dove has a beautiful voice, writes beautiful songs and for that a perfect addition to this weekend. I'm spending my weekend at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, I've heard great music last night (BADBADNOTGOOD was live even better than that highly addictive album I've shared with you a few weeks ago) and will probably hear loads of great tunes the next 2 days, but on a slow Saturday morning it's nice to read the paper, drink some coffee and relax with something simply beautiful. Like these 3 tunes by Saint Helena Dove.

These 2 tracks are from a 4-track EP released in February of 2012, a fine little introduction to this talented singer. The live-video here is from just a few weeks ago and brings other talented singer-songwriters in mind, like Angel Olsen. A video I've been addicted to for weeks and months. Just like I've been listening to Saint Helena Dove everyday since I've 1st was introduced to her fine tunes.

Saint Helena Dove is hopefully working on more new songs & I'm looking forward a lot to a full album with more intense songs. Keep up with her via, I know I will.

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