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.

 

gemmaGemma Hayes - At Constant Speed

"I was in trouble back there for a bit but now I think anything is possible.  I achieved waht I've always wanted, an album full of songs that mean something," states Gemma.

She is an Irish singer-songwriter who worked hard to pull herself from the unknown and into the spotlight.  The problem was when the spotlight was shining bright she lost her muse and it didn't seem worth it anymore.  She put herself back into the unknown where she would undergo another self discovery and return with her second album, but this story isn't as easy as said.

After leaving University and quitting her job to focus on her newly signed contract with a cool record label Gemma released a few EPs that were very well received, then came the debut album, "Night On My Side" in 2002.  When it came time to work on the follow up album she couldn't make it happen, it was like all the magic had vanished.  In 2004 Gemma cut herself off from the world and moved to a remote county where she plunged back into her writing.

She then moved to the left coast, Los Angeles where she would hook up with a string of talented musicians, Josh Klinghoffer (guitarist with PJ Harvey), Cedric Lemoyne (Bassist for Remy Zero) and Roger Manning Jr. (keyboardist for Beck).  Into the studio and the magic returned and the new album "The Roads Don't Love You" was born and offered soaring melodies and Gemma's unique voice.

"All of us are trying to figure shit out all the time, this album is saying look, I don't know waht the answer is and I don't care" states Gemma.

Currently Gemma is touring and gigging, check her web page for latest dates and news.

billierainbird

Billie Rainbird - Rainy Cold Foggy Spring Day

New Comer Billie Rainbird is an intuitive and prolific songwriter.  Her material reflects her native abilities; her beautiful voice, her sensual presence and her abundant melodies.  The music has its origins in her relationship with the piano.  She is self taught and plays entirely by ear.  She was born and raised in a small town in Canada and is influenced by the sounds of Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday and the Beatles.  An accomplished writer from an early age, Billie previously authored a novel and a children's book before focusing on songwriting.

Selected from hours of original home demos, her eight song EP combines early influences with a graceful style.  She evokes vivid emotions and evocative appeal in her music and is currently in the studio hard at work on her debut album.

rafterRafter - Sweaty Magic

Hot on the tail of his acclaimed afro-tropicali-folk-funk-noise-pop full-length Sex Death Cassette, Rafter will be releasing the Sweaty Magic EP smack in the swarth of August. This is no standard-fare, holding pattern, marketing strategy EP. No!  Sweaty Magic is the ultimate booty cap to Summer Oh-Eight's globally-warmed love-exhaust festival. Listeners taking a break from the floor to get another organic mojito-flavored energy drink might hear swirls of Tom Ze, Prince, Clipse, Zapp & Roger, Mr. Fingers, and D'Angelo staying up late in some non-exclusive beach rave with glowing extraterrestrial energy spheres.

The EP began as a collaborative project with photographer Lizeth Santos to complete an art project a day. For Rafter, this often meant a self-made song entirely from production, vocals, to instrumentation, accompanied by a corresponding photograph from Lizeth. Asthmatic Kitty published a handful of these on their website, and they made their way onto blogs and forums from there.

It soon became clear that the quickfire songs represented a distinct shift from 10 Songs, Music for Total Chickens, and even the recent Sex Death Cassette. The energy from the self-imposed requirement of a song-a-day infused the music with a sense of urgency and timing, summarized in three simple words: You. Must. Dance.

Sweaty Magic is Rafter center stage in a gold Speedo (American Apparel banned at the door), firing lasers of love from his eyes. If you're not shaking your booty by the second track, you might want to look behind you to make sure it's still there.

 

CityReverbCity Reverb - Star Power

City Reverb are Chris Coco, Micky Bucherri, Nick Cornu, Adam Barry and Lew West. The band just released their debut album, “Lost City Folk” which is a great blend of electronic and organic music.

This album features amazing tracks such as, “Star Power”, “City of Lights” and “Everything Will Be Alright” to name a few.

The quote below is taken directly from the band’s Myspace page. Also be sure to check out a full review and video from Jeff Stalling’s Resident corner on the Below Zero website.

“In 2008 for the first time in the history of mankind there will be more people living in cities than there are left behind in the countryside. By 2050 a staggering 75% of the world’s population will live in cities.

Is the human race keeping up with the relentless pace of change or are we all becoming lost city folk, searching for soul and direction in the maze-like canyons of our new concrete world?”
clarahillClara Hill - Be Like That

Born in Berlin, Germany and founder of the acid-jazz band Superjuice, Clara Hill has gone on to work as a successful solo artist with three studio albums under her belt, "Restless Times", "All That I Can Provide", and "Folkways:Sideways".

Her latest, Sideways was released in 2007 and it made a perfect choice this week to revisit the wonderful "Be Like That" from the album which is another side to this beautiful talent.  It still stays close to her soulful and R&B roots, but it also goes a few steps deeper.  Her long standing relationship with Jazzanova and Sonar Kollectiv really stands out on this release making future folk music blend seamlessly with her voice and lyrics.

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