Julian Lennon Picks

julian new1"If I was gonna write again I had to live again I had to look deep inside myself and start again." So says Julian Lennon of his decision to return to the music industry after an absence of seven years.  Music - Photography - Documentary

Below Zero = huge fans.  Read and learn more of what goes on in Julian's world.

 

mergeofequals_intoxSine Music is proud to announce the collaboration with one of Zurich’s most active producers for their debut artist album, none other than the producer Flavio Maspoli with his project ‘Merge of Equals’.

The album title ‘Intoxicating’ describes his music perfectly. Ambient and Chillout sounds are mixed together to form a distinctive, urban audio-cocktail with a wide range of emotions and atmospheres. Flavio incorporates Electronica, Funk and Film music creating a breathtakingly groovy album which transcends the usual styles of the Lounge genre.

Many of his tracks can be found on numerous Chillout and Lounge compilations released worldwide and are among the most frequently played titles in the bars and cafés of Ibiza, for example the Café del Mar.  At last these well known tracks will be combined with new creations on one album.

Let yourself be carried away and intoxicated by the sounds of Merge of Equals!

dorisdaysAs children of small-town Linkoping, Sweden, the members of Doris Days had their first joint musical experiences in 1989. At this time they were making alternative soundtracks (which they themselves labelled ”romantic interpretations”) for American movies from the 1950s. Lisa, already a promising singer, was used on some tracks, while the boys sung or toasted on others. The first result, a demo-cassette called ”Cricket Buddhist”, was praised in the media as ”deeply impressive” and the issue was quickly sold out.

Despite the growing public interest in the trio, this co-operation was put on ice until late1991. During the years to come, the romantic light continued to glow from the music they created. The EP ”Places” (1993) contained four songs which were not easy to place in any standard category. Some journalists tried though, and besides the commonly used epithet ”escapists”, they were also deemed ”pathetical intellectualists”.

In the autumn of 1996, the full-length album ”Live in Poland” was released. After having spent a great deal of time in Poland, the result was a collection of songs that in many ways was the very opposite of the softly-woven American dreamscapes from which they had departed.

Doris Days came to Dorado’s attention when a handful of 10” singles made their way over from Japan and onto the turntables of people like Gilles Peterson, Patrick Forge and Ross Allen. "To Ulrike M." is their debut for the label. The track is a tribute to Ulrike Meinhof who was part of the revolutionary German terrorist group Baader-Meinhof which operated in the 1970s and it is her own spoken word intro that the mood for that piece.

AndersonANDERSON is an indie-pop duo from The Netherlands, consisting of Bas van Nienes and Jeroen van der Werken. Their debut album we radio anderson was released by Dutch label VOLKOREN (16 Horsepower, at the close of every day) in 2005. A mix of singer/songwriter-pop and fizzy electronics, the album drew rave reviews from the music press, not just in Holland, but throughout Europe, and even in Japan, where it was released by Thistime Records. Successful tours followed through western Europe, the USA, and Japan.

All this global travelling has obviously left its mark on ANDERSON. "It Runs In The Family" is not only thematically more ambitious than its predecessor, telling one central story through different characters from across the world, the music is also bolder. Comparisons to artists like The Postal Service and The Notwist still stand, but the warm intimacy of the first record is enhanced with heavier beats and synths, and irresistible eighties-grooves that could make anyone from Prince to The Pet Shop Boys run to the dance floor.

Besides writing and performing, Bas and Jeroen also produced and recorded it runs in the family, with additional recording by René de Vries (This Beautiful Mess) and Martijn Groeneveld (Solo), who also mixed the record. Lydia van Maurik-Wever (Brown Feather Sparrow) provided backing vocals.

shannonstephensCrouching in her backyard garden, Shannon Stephens is poised for greatness. Although she ran from music for almost a decade, she’s not hiding now. Recorded in her living room over the last year,

"The Breadwinner" belies its humble roots; with themes of love, home, family, and a vision of the end of the world, the lush and exquisite sound of this album is anything but domestic.

Shannon Stephens resides in Seattle, Washington with her husband and young daughter. Instead of playing her gorgeous guitar, which currently needs its strings changed, she keeps busy with other pursuits.

She does plenty of dishes, enjoying the sensation of the warm water on her hands.  She pushes her daughter on the rope swing, super-duper-high.    She reads about geology, theology and growing food.  She cooks the same meals over and over, like "Saucepan Spaghetti" and "Chicken in the Crock-pot".  She pulls dandelions in the back yard and is especially thrilled when she gets the whole root.

julie_peel

Self-taught multi-instrumentalist Julie Peel is preparing to unleash her debut full-length album, Near the Sun, September 2009 on American Laundromat Records. Previously featured on ALR compilations including Just Like Heaven (a tribute to the Cure), Gigantic (a tribute to Kim Deal), Dig for Fire (a tribute to the Pixies), and Cinnamon Girls (a tribute to Neil Young), this will be Julie’s first solo full-length release. She counts Aimee Mann, Beth Orton, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell among her influences, and their impact is not hard to discern on Near the Sun. Julie’s lo-fi, guitar-driven pop recalls the likes of Ida, Anna Ternheim, Caithlin de Marrais, and Mirah, but bears her own distinctive indie sensibility and style.

Born in Cannes, Julie was raised between France and Canada, and sings entirely in English on this album. As a child, she tended toward self-determination. “At 5,” she explains, “I would take my bike and go for long rides in the countryside... Sometimes I would go fishing by myself.” Though her mother worried, Julie always came home “like it’s normal a 5-6 year old kid would go out all day so far away.” That independent spirit is evident throughout Near the Sun, which Julie recorded, mixed, and produced on her own. She plays most of the instruments as well, though she is also joined on bass, cello, and upright bass by Cyrille Catois (who she met in 2005 and has worked with consistently ever since) and on drums by Andreas Dahlbäck (drummer and producer for Anna Ternheim).

Spontaneity was key in the creation of this album, as evidenced by tracks such as ‘Innocence.’ “I composed it and wrote the lyrics in under an hour, and recorded it very quickly right after,” she reveals. “... I guess this song is what represents me the most.” The swell of the cello under her honest, melancholy lyrics turn this stand-out track from simple to understandably sophisticated. “Most of the tracks were first takes,” Julie notes, which manifests itself in a sense of both immediacy and intimacy throughout the album. The undeniably catchy track ‘Living in a Movie,’ replete with irresistible hand-claps, seems sent straight from the soundtrack to a film by Michel Gondry or Sofia Coppola. A sweet and somehow cinematic tune that demonstrates Julie’s capability to craft pop songs at once familiar and dream-like, deceptively minimal, ‘Living in a Movie’ is just one of the songs off Near the Sun that compels repeated listens.

Though her contributions to the ALR compilations were noteworthy in their own right, this collection of original material bears testimony to Julie Peel’s own dynamic pop sensibilities. Keep an eye out for Near the Sun, and look for her hitting the road across the US later in 2009.

Get a FREE MP3 of Julie Peel's tracks "Unfold"

Get a FREE Ringtone of Julie Peel's "Living In A Movie"

Photo by Benjamin Wahiche (C) 2009

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