Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Magnet, aka Even Johansen, lives his simple life on a little farm on an island outside Bergen. There he has his studio and there he makes his records, doing almost everything himself.
Tracey Thorn is an English singer and songwriter best known for being one half of the duo Everything But The Girl, which she formed in 1981 with musical partner and husband Ben Watt. Out of the Woods is Thorn’s first strictly solo album since 1982′s indie classic A Distant Shore and first new original release since Everything But The Girl’s 1999 album Temperamental.
The whole idea of making a new album hatched about two years ago after a collaboration with German duo Tiefschwarz on the dancefloor hit “Damage”. Thorn originally thought the album would be mostly covers but she somehow “found [herself] writing more songs and collaborating with people” and she “made a pop record without really meaning to”.
With producer Ewan Pearson she has developed an electrofolk sound Ranging from subdued electronica to downright glittering disco, the songs on Out Of The Woods really enhance Thorn’s lyrics and magical voice.
The first single “It’s All True” is already receiving a lot of well deserved blog love and we are starting to hear the first remixes. Kris Menace, Martin Buttrich and Escort are amongst the first artists to give the song the remix treatment. They probably won’t be the last..
Anja Garbarek is a Norwegian singer-songwriter, daughter of the well known tenor/soprano jazz saxophonist, Jan Garbarek. Her new album is called Briefly Shaking and it’s out worldwide now!
Chosen by Luc Besson to build the musical landscape for his 2005 feature “Angel-A”, Anja gave free reign to her creativity and created some of the tracks that now appear on Briefly Shaking (“Can I Keep Him”). This album is full of delicate yet powerful tunes, built around Anja Garbarek’s fragile voice. Throughout the record’s bitter sweet tracks, the singer-composer gives the impression that she is constantly singing for you only, as if she were whispering the words in your ear.
The production and arrangments are flawless. The mix of light melodies with thoroughly elaborate strings and horns back up, and the presence of strong crushing drums on other tracks, give Garbarek’s songs a very unique character.
Regina Spektor was born in Moscow, Russia, and started studying classical piano from the age of six, practising on a Petrof piano given to her mother by her grandfather. She was also exposed to the music of rock and roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, and The Moody Blues by her father, who obtained such recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union. When she was only nine, her family left the Soviet Union, during the period of Perestroika when Jewish citizens were permitted to emigrate. Travelling first to Austria and then Italy and the US, the Spektors settled in the Bronx, where Regina gained a firm grounding in classical music and then gradually became interested in pop, rock, and punk as well.
Regina Spektor self-released her first two albums 11:11 (2001) and Songs (2002) and sold after performances in downtown NYC. In 2004, she signed a contract with Sire Records to publish and distribute her third album Soviet Kitsch, originally self-released in 2003. Met with critical acclaim, this album helped cement Spektor’s transition from underground to mainstream success.
More info and music on MySpace. Buy all of Regina Spektor’s releasese on
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.
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