Anna Fogel – In The Midst

Melodic, dreamy,  soft, calm, mature, emotional, fragile… there are so many attributes for this track, you have to decide for yourself which of those fit best.

Anna Fogel has the ability to make you evaluate what music is all about. While listening to “In The Midst”, I just froze for a couple of minutes, being charmed by her voice. After only four seconds, she somehow found my emotions trigger, making me feel melancholic yet comforted. And she did all that with a minimalistic piano/voice setting which is backed by very, very defensive backing tracks and reverb effects.
Her matured soft vocals are bringing that special calmness to the table which is in my opinion the secret ingredient to all of her songs. With the year coming to an end, you find yourself reflecting on all what was happening and looking forward to all that will happen. Maybe I did exactly that when I listened to Fogel’s new track…or maybe her tracks triggered me to do so. I know I’m repeating myself here, but the ability to make the listener feel something is the essence of being a musician. With her voice, the singer/songwriter from Sweden manages to caress your soul for a couple of minutes. For me, music that makes you stop whatever you were doing at the time you are listening to it can only be classified as awesome. And Fogel doesn’t need anything but her voice and a piano for this. This track just was developed and mixed in the perfect settled, calm way.

Working with other projects like Meadows with Christoffer Wadensten, and with a tour through Germany coming up in 2017, I guess the beautiful Fogel already made up her mind as a musician. She decided to share her work with us, to go out there and let us know about her. I’m glad I heard what she is able to bring to the table, and I strongly recommend to give her EP “Vretstorp sessions” on Spotify or Soundcloud a listen.

Victor Perry – Nostalgia

Chances are that you haven’t heard from Victor Perry until now. Chances are you will hear a lot more from him from now on. Damn, this guy can sing.

Usually I’m not the kind of girl that likes downtempo emotional r&b/pop tracks. Those who know me will probably say I’m sort of a party girl who likes her music loud, fast and danceable. But tonight I stopped by on the soundcloud account of Victor Perry, giving one of his latest tracks “Nostalgia” a listen. Do you know that feeling when time seems to slow down? This track created that feeling. Imagine that lights-out stage, with only a spotlight on a piano and its player. There you have him, the guy from a small town named Thomasville, Georgia, who manages to set free waves of emotion with just his voice, a piano and minimal strings backing tracks. Boy, he’s got an awesome voice! They say the world’s a stage and each must play a part – I guess Perry already found out what his part is. With his vocal range and the ability to transmit feelings with his singing (which isn’t the easiest thing to do for men in my opinion), he’s capable of letting your mind focus on just what he’s doing. And although the lyrics of “Nostalgia” are deep and meaningful, he’s got the gift of reaching you without even the lyrics. Heck, he could even sing a whole scientific research about the mating habits of unicellular organisms – as long as he’s singing, everything feels warm and bright. Giving the other tracks of his EP “4 A.M. Nostalgia” (already released in June by Phillias Records) a listen, this statement is final. Filled with warm atmospheres, doubled vocal tracks, fresh ideas and just the emotion that everything somehow will be okay, his music is working like a remedy for a stressed mind.

Being only 22 years old, Perry’s musical journey just started, but this is a rocket start with releases over all the major online distributors like Spotify, iTunes, GooglePlay and Soundcloud. This comes as no surprise with a talent like him. Check out what he’s about on his accounts, and let him convince you in about 5 seconds that he’s gonna make it big out there.

Jackie Paladino – Daddy’s Money

Delivering a message with lightweight sung melodies, hitting you hard with soft sung words – that’s the track “Daddy’s Money” of young New York based singer/songwriter Jacqueline Noel, better known as Jackie Paladino.

With lyrics that really pull you down, Paladino manages to lift you up the same time with a singing style that delivers like telling you “hey, so what?” although it’s a heavy topic. She did a great job in performing as the straight, strong woman she represents in that song. Backed mostly by a piano, a flute synth and several percussive elements like short guitar lick excerpts, the vocals get the right stage for your ear to focus on. Clearly Paladino has a vocal range allowing her to “play every role” on stage. Checking out several internet sesources like her webpage, youtube and facebook page (unfortunately no other tracks on soundcloud than this one), I found other tracks which allow you to get a better picture of what this outstanding singer is capable of. With the right setting she can be placed in any setting possible.
The most negative aspects with this track are the backup track and the final mix. Though the singer does an outstanding job in performing with her vocal abilities, making it sound like singing is the easiest thing in the world, her available “sound stage” build through the backup music and eq work isn’t set properly in my opinion. Although I get the point that the song is intended to be minimalistic, it would have been a great upgrade to just push the whole mix towards the lower eq bands, doubling the piano, putting background singers more in the background where they belong, maybe place a roundup reverbed string section on the right spots, and so on. These missing elements are only partly compensated by the break where some drums set in, giving the song a little short afterburn, if you will. I really like the song how it is done right now (otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it), but in my opinion with a bit more effort it could’ve been so much bigger and better in the end.

But then again, that’s just my opinion, right. It doesn’t change the fact that the beautiful woman from Brooklyn has a bright future ahead of her. She knows what she does behind the microphone, and hearing her sing makes you fall in love with her voice instantly. She’s recording, performing on stage and doing music videos, and I hope this talented artist will be releasing new tracks soon for those of us who cannot attend her next live event.

Poolz – Just Keep On Walking

If you need something for your brain to escape, let’s say to a place in the forest, to lean back and just enjoy the sound setting for a few minutes, to see where you are going although you have your eyes closed – then Yorick Sedee aka Poolz can definetly help you with it.

Today’s pick is taken from an self-released EP of Poolz called “All I want is to see you smile” which contains 5 single tracks, the actual track being the final one of the series.
Listening closely to this one, there’s a lot of things happening within the track. Not necessarily big things, but it makes you want to listen closely (or even relisten to it), paying attention to what is happening there. Sedee states that this track was made with only self recorded sounds, and there are quite a lot of different ones used there. Birds chirping, ambient sounds, wooden snaps, keys unlocking doors, human walking sounds, all blended together and hooked up with effects such as reverb in an outstanding manner. The track really creates an image of walking through a forest because it’s been handcrafted with such sense for detail that left me stunned, keeping in mind that the artist is only 20 years old. Understanding that it’s important to actually WORK on a track, Poolz took his ready build forest soundscape and combined it with a calm piano melody and some synths, making it a perfect ambient/chillout piece in total. Only thing I noticed is that sometimes the human sounds and clicks are a bit too “aggressive” mixed in there, they could have been set up with more reverb or been placed more silent as a single track.

Clicking through the 5 track EP, I gotta say that Yorick Sedee really got the point in setting up true ambient/chillout tracks, he even manages to stay true to this genre with several styles, like going more electronic – or even Chillstep. I recommend going through the rest of this ep as well, since they all do one important thing to your mind: they relax.

Vincent Boot – Es Vedra

This one takes you right down to the water. You’ll be able to feel the nature surrounding you. You’ll be able to opt out of the world for three minutes.

Tonight isn’t about the usual beat and dance tune, guys. I stumbled upon a great piano track by Vincent Boot, a skilled composer and piano player from the Netherlands. He managed to accomplish with his track what happens to me not very often: he stopped the world for a couple of minutes, allowing me to just close my eyes and FEEL the music.
Okay, he helped a bit with nature sounds, in this case a mixture of waves reaching the shore on a sunny day, combined with chirping birds, winds, and everything else you’d expect from a scenery like that. But in my opinion this piano masterpiece would have worked it’s way into my brain without those effects as well. Supported by a very defensive synth soundscape, the piano is played smoothly and with exactly the right amount of presence throughout the whole song. I really like how skilled the track is mixed in a less-is-more-fashion.
Quite frankly, I cannot tell you anything about technique, or writing of a piano piece. But I do know this: when listenting to that kind of chillout music, I’m actually able to relax, and this has become rare lately. You should give it a try as well.
Boot created this track being inspired by the isle of Es Vedrà, located only a few hundred meters off the northern shore of Ibiza. Stunning what effect places like these have on the human mind. In this case, it was the starting point of beautiful music.

Vincent Boot has been around for quite some time in the music business, be it as a solo pianist or with singers, be it with creating chillout/soundtrack tracks or within other genres. His soundcloud account is stacked with examples of his work, and I strongly recommend to check out his works there as well, you won’t regret it.