Natalie Merchant is releasing two albums. Both of these were previously released in 2017 but only as part of a box set of all her solo albums.
She’s now releasing them separately.
The first is Butterfly. The album is made up of 10 songs, both new and previously released, all arranged for string quintet. She says 4 of the songs on here she believes to be her best writing work yet.
The other is Rarities. In her words:
“After weeks of combing my archive, I put together a collection including: collaborations with David Byrne, Billy Bragg, Amy Helm, The Chieftains and Cowboy Junkies, live performances, studio outtakes, and unreleased covers by songwriters, Katell Keineg, Randy Newman, Ray Davies, Buddy Holly, and Joel Zoss.”
Now these are both available to stream and purchase!
See the trailer for the records here.
Back in 2006 and 2008 I reviewed some albums by Azam Ali’s band Niyaz and her solo work too. I always loved her sound. It’s very peaceful. And who couldn’t use a little of that right now?
I got an email announcing the new song by Azam Ali. The text was so wonderful that I didn’t think I could paraphrase it right for the blog, so here it is. In it’s entirety.
“My lifelong journey into the metaphysics of music began with hearing this 12th century piece “O Euchari” composed by visionary Christian mystic Abbess Hildegard Von Bingen. It awakened me to the ancient philosophy of “The Music of the Spheres.” That if the human body is made entirely of elements forged by stars, then indeed we are celestial bodies & the cosmos is within us. If the rotation of heavenly spheres produce tones & harmony, then they must resonate within us. Thus, music in its most sublime form, is our participation in the harmony of the universe. That we may bring some harmony to our souls in our longing to return to our celestial home.
With great pleasure I share with you all my live studio recording/performance of one of the most important pieces of music in my life. Those of you who are fans of my 2002 album “Portals of Grace” will be happy. Most of you don’t know this but I never set out to be a singer. I always wanted to be an instrumentalist. One day when I was in my apartment listening to the radio at 18 years old, this song came on & I simply froze. I will never be able to describe what I felt in that moment except that reality as I knew it was shattered & something indescribable awoke inside me. This was the first song I ever taught myself to sing & I suppose the rest is history.
Abbess Hildergard Von Bingen is one of my greatest inspirations & a true female icon. I am honored to have known & performed her sublime music in my lifetime. Let the music of the spiritual spheres ring.
You know what? just let it play auto. I listened the whole time I was putting this together and heard some beautiful work.
Niyaz by Niyaz / 2006
[Buy at Amazon]
Elysium for the Brave by Azam Ali / 2006
[Buy at Amazon]
Portals of Grace by Azam Ali/ 2002
[Buy at Amazon]
Nine Heavens by Niyaz / 2008
[Buy at Amazon]
Charlotte Martin has been a Collected Sounds favorite and friend from almost the beginning of the site. She’s been busy raising kids and teaching voice lessons (you can catch some on Instagram) but she’s found time to release an EP, Revival.
She says, “I originally wrote these songs as part of Eve Ensler’s “Stop the Violence Campaign” and feel compelled to formerly release them to a wider audience right now.”
The EP consists of 3 songs, “Revival”, “Grave Clothes”, and “Overcome”.
Listen and order the music from Bandcamp
She is also performing a live stream on Saturday, June 27th at 1pm Central.
Buy tickets through Stageit
Wyvern Lingo is an Irish band from Bray, Ireland in County Wicklow. It consists of Caoimhe Barry on vocals and drums, Karen Cowley on vocals, synth, and bass, and Saoirse Duane on vocals and guitar.
From their website:
Wyvern Lingo have been writing music together since they met at age 11. They originally bonded over hand-me-down albums of Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel along with the R’n’B of the 90s/00s that then dominated the radio. Their music stitches together this tapestry of influences, all united by their chilling vocal harmonies.
The first I’d heard of them is from Collected Sounds friend/reader Robert Cullen. He sent me a link to their video, Used. It took me a while to listen, partially because I was busy and then I forgot. Oops! But once I listened I was in awe.
The video shows three women standing in a circle facing each other, on what appears to be the middle of a street, and they’re singing a capella. The harmonies are amazing and they all have lovely voices.
I did the YouTube Rabbit Hole thing and listened to some of their other songs. The others have a sort of funky beat, sometimes a bluesy guitar, a little R and B. They’re really lovely.
Check them out at these links:
Bandcamp: Order the new album
They also have a podcast!
I’ve known Melissa personally for a few years now. But recently she started sharing her musical abilities with the world and I wanted to make sure you all know about her and her fun, quirky style!
Melissa Oliveri came to Minneapolis from Montreal, Canada in 2006, bringing with her an eclectic mix of both French- and English- Canadian cultures.
Her diverse influences range from Alternative music like Pixies and PJ Harvey, to French artists like France Gall, Serge Gainsbourg, and Jean Leloup, and women songwriters like Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap, Tori Amos, and Amanda Palmer.
Having experienced an important loss as a child and lived through the grief that ensued, her songs often tug on the heartstrings, but she can also write about everyday life situations from a humorous angle. Whether playing a silly song about her favourite snacks, dreaming about living among palm trees, or softly singing an ode to a departed loved one, her songs will make you feel exactly what she wants you to feel.
Find Melissa online:
VIRTUAL TIP JAR
Melissa has put together a fundraiser THIS FRIDAY!!
“I’ve put together a livestream fundraiser with some AMAZING artists I got connected to on Instagram!
Join me on IG Live starting at 9am CST on Friday June 19th –
12 musicians from 9 countries will rotate as guests on my stream, all to help raise funds for organizations helping to support and rebuild areas of Minneapolis affected by the killing of George Floyd.”
Links to donate
Calling all Artists!!
I’m making a calendar listing all of your live streaming shows that I will share with my followers.
Please send me details either via FB messenger or at collectedsounds at gmail dot com
1. Name of the Stream
2. Link to where people can watch, or buy tickets
3. Date, time and if it’s repeated (weekly, every two weeks, etc).