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FROOTFroot is the upcoming third studio album by Welsh recording artist Marina Diamandis, professionally known as Marina and the Diamonds.
Welsh by birth, kaleidoscopic by nature, Marina Diamandis is a serial college drop-out who once dressed up as a boy to audition for a reggae boy-band, hoping to amuse the record label into signing her. After further failed auditions (girl bands, musicals), in a fit of ambitious pique, she taught herself piano and created Marina and The Diamonds in 2005 (it's just her, the Diamonds are the audience). She was a MySpace generation D.I.Y powerhouse who hand-made and sold her own CDs to Rough Trade until being signed to Warner Music Group's '679 Recordings' in 2008.
Acclaimed overnight as an intriguing, confrontational and theatrical amalgam of Kate Bush and PJ Harvey, she was nominated in 2010 for both the Brits Critic's Choice Award and the BBC Sound of 2010. She looks back on her early years, now, with some ambivalence. I experimented with my voice a lot, I was young, amateurish and ambitious she decides. I feel different now. My voice is far more controlled and my writing style has matured. For me, it's a real, coherent step-up. I would love to one day be a great artist.1. Happy
3. I'm a Ruin
7. Can't Pin Me Down
9. Better Than That
12. Immortal$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
London-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney follows her 2015 Nonesuch debut, The Longest River, with Shelter, also set for release via Nonesuch Records. The album was produced by Thomas Bartlett (David Byrne, Nico Muhly, The Magnetic Fields, Sufjan Stevens, The National, St. Vincent, Father John Misty, et al.) and features eight original songs, along with Chaney's interpretations of Purcell's O Solitude and Frank Harford and Tex Ritter's Long Time Gone, first recorded by the Everly Brothers.
Chaney describes her time writing songs for Shelter: I had been on the road a lot and was struggling with the grit and loneliness of urban life. I think I'd been questioning what home, belonging, a sense of purpose, and my own culture even meant. I'd been craving wilderness and a return to essentials for a long time. Then, while touring in the US, I realized the place I needed was already in my life. It was ancient, barely habitable, and remote.
Thus a crumbling eighteenth-century cottage in the austere but magical hills of the North Yorkshire Moors-a family retreat since my teens, with no electricity or plumbing, where the only water comes from a spring-became the home for my work on Shelter, she continues. We brought out an Arts and Crafts Bechstein piano and an old wood burner to the house; and as summer's end turned to autumn's shorter, colder days, the room with the upright and stove fueled my stay.
Chaney says of working with Thomas Bartlett, His close affiliation with such a varied and acclaimed group of artists was of enormous importance. His taste and sphere of understanding were as diverse as mine. He prioritized my compositions' meaning and lyricism, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of noisy popularity. I wanted a recording as intimate as the songs and their form. The only other musicians are Thomas and Jordan Hunt, my longtime collaborator who adds strings on select songs. It's just the three of us playing every sound you hear, using our instrumental and compositional craft, and Thomas' musician-producer's ear extraordinaire.
Born in Florence, Italy, Chaney grew up in Oxford, England, in a household whose intellectual and artistic engagement was complemented by an expansive musical soundscape. This included Billie Holiday, Mozart operas, Sandy Denny, Prince, Tracy Chapman, Bert Jansch, Michael Jackson, and Joni Mitchell. She studied at London's Royal Academy of Music, where she took in everything the conservatory had to offer. Her curiosity led her further afield, from Ligeti to West African pop, Edith Piaf to Laurie Anderson, Mary Margaret O'Hara to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Sonic Youth to Sappho, Kate Bush to old-time country music-all while finding her own voice.
The range of artists she's shared a stage with includes Robert Plant, Zero 7, the Labeque Sisters, Martin and Eliza Carthy, and Kronos Quartet, with whom she also recorded two songs for the 2017 Nonesuch album Folk Songs. Most recently she fronted a Grammy-nominated album, The Queen of Hearts, forming a new outfit, Offa Rex, with The Decemberists. The Guardian's review of that album said that Chaney has a magical voice, full of heft, soul and sunlight, and fRoots said, Chaney has never sounded better, while the Arts Desk said it was her voice, with its clarity, power and emotional weight, that carries Offa Rex to the heights. The Financial Times added that Chaney's singing makes 'Willie O' Winsbury' one of the best versions ever.1. Shelter
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
6. Colin and Clem
7. O Solitude
8. Long Time Gone
9. Roman Holiday
10. House on a Hill$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Africa: 50 Years Of Music (Box Set) (Out Of Stock)Includes 30-Page Book
When the 18-CD boxed set entitled Africa: 50 Years of Music was released last year, the acclaim was loud, hearty and near-unanimous. Monumental, declared the New York Times. Incredible, exclaimed The Nation. National Public Radio described it as a delightful and dizzying panorama and Pitchfork recommended it as an invaluable addition to anyones music library. The Chicago Reader found it the most important compilation of African pop ever assembled. Rolling Stone gave it 4½ stars and the 25th annual fRoots Critics Poll named it Best Compilation of the Year.
Now comes the vinyl edition: 5 LPs enclosed in a deluxe box with a lavishly illustrated 32-page book, featuring historic recordings by E.T. Mensah, Salif Keita, Orchestre Baobab, Mulatu Astatke, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, Ali Farka TourÉ, Africando, Konono No. 1 and 22 other great African artists.LP 1
1. ET Mensah - Ghana Freedom (1956) - Ghana
2. Geraldo Pino heavy heavy heavy (1970) Sierra Leone
3. Prince Nico Mbarga Sweet Mother (1976) - Nigeria
4. Orchestra Baobab Jin Ma Jin Ma (1978) Senegal
5. Africando, Yay Boy (1994) - Senegal
6. Mamadou Barry, NNiyo (2009) Guinea
1. Salif Keita, Mandjou (1978) - Mali
2. Ismael Lô, Tadieu Bone (1984) - Senegal
3. Ali Farka TourÉ, Dofana (1992) - Mali
4. Amadou & Mariam, Baara, (1998) - Mali
5. Rokia TraorÉ, Mbifo (2003) - Mali
1. Letta Mbulu, Welele (1968) South Africa
2. Stella Chiwese, Paite Rima (2002) - Zimbabwe
3. The Four Brothers, Makorokoto (1988) - Zimbabwe
4. Super Mama Djombo - Dissan Na M'Bera Guinea Bissau
5. Thomas Mapfumo, Shumba (2006) - Zimbabwe
6. Hip Hop Pantsula, O Mang (2004) - Bostwana
1. Bonga, Mulemba Xangola (2000) Angola
2. Luis Morais, Boas Festas (1967) Cape Verde
3. Tony Von, NHoca (69-75) Angola
4. Artur Nunes, Kisua Ki Ngui Fua (69-75) Angola
5. Alemayehu Eshete, Feqer Feqer New (1969) - Ethiopia
6. Mulatu Astatqe, Yegelle Tezeta (1972) Ethiopia
7. Slim Ali & The Hodi Boys, Sweet Mother (1977) Kenya
8. Poly Rythmo, SÉmassa ZÉro + ZÉro (1983) - Benin
1. Andre Mari Tala, Hot Koki (1975) - Cameroun
2. Francis Bebey, la Condition Masculine (1976) - Cameroun
3. Bebe Manga, Ami O (1981) - Cameroun
4. Maitre Gazonga, Jaloux Saboteurs (1984) - Tchad
5. Konono n°1, Paradiso (2004) Republic of Congo$159.99Vinyl LP Box Set - 5 LPs Temporarily out of stock