Because I’m still on a British kick (honestly I’ve been on a British kick since I saw Pride & Prejudice about 10 years ago but anyway) I thought I’d ask for your recommendations of awesome British music and share my favorites. I am not a music reviewer, but I'll give you a fan’s unsophisticated opinion. And I would love your opinions as well - sophisticated or otherwise :)
Adele is AWESOME. I’ve loved her since my sister burned her CD for me a couple of years ago. Adele just gets it. Any emotion you have – loss, love, anger, exuberance – she sings it. With soul. My sis and I are going to see her live at the Ryman in Nashville in June and I’m STOKED.
Her single “Rolling in the Deep” is getting lots of play on the local radio here in North Alabama, which means if you live anywhere else, you have already heard it. The rest of her new album 21 is also awesome. Her earlier 19 album is amazing, too. I recommend “Hometown Glory” on the 19 album and "Turning Tables" on the 21 album.
Ellie Goulding like two days ago. Apparently she’s a fairly famous pop singer in Britain but not so much here – although she’s performing at SXSW this year, so I bet that will change. She writes her own songs and they’re so much smarter and more sophisticated than American pop singers (I’m looking at you, Katy Perry).
I’m normally not a huge fan of techno beats and synthesizers, which are fairly heavy in Ellie Goulding’s music. But her voice is ethereal and amazing, and the songs are so catchy. I just read a Rolling Stone review that called her music "folktronica" and said her voice "evokes a wintry day on a fog-swaddled moor." Um, yeah, actually.
Ellie’s album is called Lights (at least it is here in the US). Some of my favorites on it are “Lights,” “Starry Eyed” and “The Writer.” She also does a pretty cool cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.”
Keane since their first album came out when we were in college. I was drawn to them because they used a piano instead of guitars. (I’m a sucker for piano – I’ve played since I was little). Keane has gotten progressively more techno-influenced over the years (must be a British thing?) which means LOTS of synthesizers on the newer albums…but there’s just something about lead singer Tom Chaplin's voice. It soars over everything else, it’s just gorgeous. “Again and Again” and “The Lovers are Losing” from Perfect Symmetry are some of my favorites, but everything on Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea is good. I’m still deciding what I think about the newest album, Night Train.
Kate Nash is not for everyone, and I haven’t gotten her new album yet, so I’m only going on the Made of Bricks album. But lyrics are a big deal to me and hers are so funny and smart. Her music is quirky and clever, and you can't help listening to it over and over. Some of her songs have bad language (there’s one called “S**t Song”) but if you can overlook it, the rest of them are awesome. My favorites are “Foundations,” “Mariella” and the super funny “We Get On.” I want to get her new album as soon as I can pry my ears away from Adele and Ellie Goulding's new stuff.
So do you have any favorite British musicians or bands? Other other favorites from anywhere? Please share!
P.S. I apologize for the lack of Adele in the Grooveshark widget. It was hating on Adele for some reason and wouldn't let me add her.