Tag: Chamber Folk

1967, Music

Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)

I was not alive when Leonard Cohen was a minor Canadian poet and not a singer-songwriter so I don’t know what kind of shock it would have been for us Canadians to hear this record. But I can speculate; I suspect it was greeted in some quarters with sneers though it might be hard to …

1967, Music

Pleasures of the Harbor (1967) by Phil Ochs

I have a heard a lot about Phil Ochs as a songwriter and he has been recommended to me both by the critics I used to read and by friends of mine. Yet I have still managed to barely hear any of his songs, and usually only covers. Like so many other artists, his music …

1967, Music

Chelsea Girl (1967) by Nico

The first time I heard the Velvets’ early singles, with Nico on them, I didn’t like her voice. And for quite some time after, I don’t think I did. I’m pretty sure that, for a long time, I regarded her presence on that first album as some kind of weird aberration, forced upon them by …

1972, Music

Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972) by Van Morrison

When Morrison is on he is like few other performers and songwriters – he creates this seemingly effortless blend of so many things that we never would have expected would go together and he makes it all sound organic, as if his genre-blending was the most normal (and obvious) thing in the world.

1967, Music

Mellow Yellow (1967) by Donovan

This feels like a transitional effort for Donovan. On the one hand there’s still some songs that feel like they could have been on Sunshine Superman (though they feel like outtakes to me) on the other and there are some more subdued singer-songwriter things that feel nearly completely at odds with his sort of “Swinging …

1966, Music

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966) by Simon and Garfunkel

I don’t know if I can put into words the difference in quality between Sounds of Silence and this record. Sounds of Silence was so tossed together. Though this record features some re-used songs as well, it’s clear that the duo had a lot more time to work out what they were doing, and the …

2016, Movies, Music

Missy Higgins: Oh Canada (2016, Nicholas Kallincos, Natasha Pincus)

I saw this music video posing as a short film at Hot Docs last night. It’s an animated film about Alan Kurdi. It includes pictures drawn but refugees but most of it was professionally animated (even though it is given the look of a child’s picture). This is a manipulative video and a manipulative song …

1971, Music

Songs of Love and Hate (1971)

My first encounter with “classic” Cohen yields the following: Extremely depressing and dark lyrics – and a delivery that is almost anti-musical at times – and elaborate, sometimes almost “wall of sound” arrangements. It’s a bizarre combination one that reminds me slightly of a less musically ambitious, less boisterous, more obviously dark Forever Changes. I …

2015, Music

Through Darkness Into Light (2015) by The Visit

This is some pretty spectacular stuff: a huge range of sounds created by just a cello and voice. The range of musical influences is rather broad, with various “eastern” musical ideas complementing more traditional (and not so traditional – I heard the influence of minimalism and even metal…seriously) western ideas, all presented as what we …

2011, Music

Let England Shake (2011) by PJ Harvey

Harvey continues her new chamber direction, this time with help from Mick Harvey, which is exciting. Harvey helps to add a new dimension on this record that was missing from the last – this is, I guess, a little more closer to rock than that last record, though that could be a decision PJ and …

2007, Music

White Chalk (2007) by PJ Harvey

The (lady) balls that it takes to make such a drastic about face in one’s sound is absolutely incredible. I am blown away.I have no idea when she made this change, to be honest, as I haven’t heard anything she made (beyond one song) between the mid nineties and this release, but this is crazy.Not …