Matisyahu, The Travelling Band, Dan Mangan, The Deer Tracks

March 23, 2009


Right click and choose ‘Open In New Tab’  to listen to: The Deer Tracks – Yes This Is My Broken Shield




I thought I would write a quick post with a few mini-synopses of some of the bands people have been suggesting. They’re brief because they’re not necessarily bands who I can get to see easily or find copies of albums, but hopefully something might catch your eye and who knows you might find your next favourite band.


The Deer Tracks – Haunting, ethereal electronic dream-pop comprised of processed beats, driving bass-lines, delicate ornate piano, and eerie boy-girl vocals. These Scandinavian soundscapes are epic in both time and grandeur, with songs such as Yes This Is My Broken Shield building deliberately and gradually before exploding into a beautiful cacophany. Think Sia, Imogen Heap, Sigur Ros and Massive Attack, maybe throw in some Coldplay and Jeniferever.

Check out this electronic Scandinavian soundscape enormity:


Dan Mangan – Dan Mangan‘s brand of Indie Folk is sung with a gruff melancholy reminiscent of late Cash, while his blunt lyrics and musical arrangements are not dissimilar to those of Damien Rice. To list a few other influences, Mangan also draws from Nick Drake and Woody Guthrie. That said, Mangan dares to be different, and I love the way he uses the musical tool of silence in a way that other singer-songwriters dare not. Dan‘s songs are both beautifully vulnerable in their simplicity, and endearingly fragile.

Dan‘s EP, Roboteering is being released in March as a teaser to his full length album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice which is due to be released in August. I highly recommend that you check these releases out! My favourite track Robots in particular is highly addictive and will have you warming up your karaoke voice.

Give it a listen:


Matisyahu – Brooklyn based Matisyahu is the brainchild of Hasidic Jewish Reggae singer Matthew Paul Miller. Matisyahu‘s first album Shake Off The Dust… Arise is predominantly a traditional Reggae album, characterised by syncopated guitar stabs heavy on delay and prominent basslines, fused with lyrics dealing with traditional Jewish themes.

Second album Youth builds on Reggae routes, retaining bass enormity and Jamaican Patois vocals, but throwing into the mix electronic beats, pop-hook-laden synths/samples, and even some beat-boxing. My favourite track of the album, Time Of Your Song, for example, could easily have been influenced by Timbaland, such is the polished perfection of the accesible-pop production.

The eagerly anticipated third studio album to be released by Matisyahu, Light, which is due this Spring, (if early samples are anything to go on) will again blend traditional Jamaican culture and Judaism with contemporary electronic/pop production.

Genre: Reggae / Electronic / Pop

Who For: fans of Bob Marley, Sublime, Lee Scratch Perry

Check it out:


The Travelling Band – Sunny, summertime, chilled out tunes blending traditional folk and country with contemporary pop-sensibility. Intelligent guitar licks, layered acoustic guitars, beautiful close harmonies, simple and accessible rhythm and bass, and ornate keys characterise the uniquely organic experience you get listening to this Manchester 6-piece.

Think Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Stealers Wheel meets Noah and the Whale meets The Miserable Rich.

Check it out:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: