NAJWA – WALKABOUT (Electro/Indie/Pop – Spain)

Actress-singer-composer Najwa Nimri started making electronic music towards the end of the 90s with her friend Carlos Jean, a rising star in the Spanish electronica scene. Their collaboration gave birth to a first album, No blood, released under the moniker NajwaJean in 1998, and two soundtracks.

Najwa - That Cyclone     

In  2001, Najwa took her first steps as a solo artist with the critically acclaimed album Carefully. It was followed  in 2003 by Mayday, which spawned the hit singles “Hey Boys, Girls” and “Go Cain”.

After three years, she is finally back with a new album! Walkabout is available since February on physical CD or as a download. Stream the whole album right here.

For more info, check out Najwa’s official site. Buy her music on Najwa

MS JOHN SODA – NO P. OR D. (Electronica/Indie – Germany)

Ms John Soda

Based in Germany, the band Ms John Soda has already released three albums. Their last full length, Notes And The Like, was released a few months ago on hip Berlin hip label Morr Music (also home to Lali Puna). Their brand of electronic music with a twist doesn’t really lend itself to clear-cut definitions but that makes it all the more interesting.

“A nod on hold” is a good example of the kind of sound structure you can expect, with loops and different kinds of bleeps and bloops. At the same time, you’ll find lots of guitars and strings, especially on the new album. For example, “Scan the ways” is very guitar-oriented, while a track like “A million times” follows the melancholic, yet hopeful, sound of a small string ensemble. In general, the band manages to totally blend instruments and programming and the result is always incredibly smooth.

Ms John Soda - Go Check     

Ms. John Soda - Oulined View     

If you enjoy Notes And The Like, you should definitely give Ms John Soda’s previous releases a listen and you’ll get a couple more hours of listening pleasure. No P. or D. (2002) and While talking (2003) are definitely worth checking out.

To listen to Ms John Soda, go to their official site or to Morr Music. Buy their albums on Ms. John Soda

saturday nite with… VILLENEUVE

The artist of the day is Villeneuve. His first album is called First Date and it’s now out worlwide.

On his debut album, Villeneuve succeeds in blending together a lot of different influences to create a very special formula that could be described as pop music for the ears of the 21st century.

Mélanie Pain, already known for her participation in Nouvelle Vague, lends her beautiful and delicate voice to Villeneuve’s songs.

Villeneuve - Oh No!     

Listen to more music on MySpace or on the official site here.

Buy the album on First

ZERO 7 – THE GARDEN (Electronica/LoFi – UK)

Many will still remember this band’s first album, Simple Things, which marked the year 2001 with its airy melodies and stunning vocals. Back then, Zero 7 was often compared to Air due to their laid back retro sound, which reminded the listener of Air’s Premiers symptômes.

Zero 7 - Futures     

Originating from the UK, the group’s core is Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. Over the years, a wide array of talented artists have contributed vocals to Binns and Hardaker’s compositions: Mozez, Sia Furler, Tina Dico, Sophie Barker, and José González to name a few.

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JORGE DREXLER – ECO (Acoustic/Pop – Uruguay)

If you haven’t heard of Jorge Drexler yet, he is a very talented singer songwriter and he got a shot at international fame last year after becoming the first Uruguayan ever to win an Academy Award. He won the Oscar for Best Original Song for the track “Al Otro Lado del Río” from The Motorcycle Diaries. The song also happened to be the first Spanish language song to ever be nominated and win an Oscar.

You can now find this song on the new edition of his stunning album Eco, rereleased recently to include new tracks and a live DVD. On this album, his seventh full length release, Jorge Drexler uses electronic arrangements and loops to enhance his beautifully played guitars. His songs are often based on very simple structures and very well crafted lyrics. Listen first to the songs “Fusión”, “Eco” and “Deseo”.

Jorge Drexler - Fusión     

On 18 September, Jorge will release his highly anticipated new album 12 Segundos De Oscuridad. You can hear a preview of the album on his official site. Buy Jorge Drexler’s music on Jorge

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