Posts Tagged ‘sierra hull’

Top of the World June 2016: The best new releases

Posted on May 5th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the June (#118) issue.

Imarhan
Imarhan (City Slang)

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The young Touareg band Imarhan release an enthralling collection of songs, drawing influences from a variety of subjects and musical styles to create a dynamic and diverse debut album.

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Sociedade Recreativa
Sociedade Recreativa (Jarring Effects)

Sociedade Recreativa Cover

With help from producer Maga Bo, Brazilians Sociedade Recreativa create a memorable album mixing traditional instruments and sound effects.

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Robert ‘Robi’ Svärd
Pa’ki Pa’ka (Asphalt Tango Records)

Robert 'Robi' Svärd - Pa'ki Pa'ka Cover

Trained as a classical guitarist while growing up in Australia, Swedish guitarist Svärd showcases his unique and individual take on flamenco music on this beautiful debut.

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Afro Celt Sound System
The Source (ECC Records)

Afro Celt Sound System - The Source Cover

A reenergised Afro Celt Sound System return after more than a decade since their last album.

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Jarlath Henderson
Hearts Broken, Heads Turned (Bellows Records)

Jarlath Henderson - Hearts Broken, Heads Turned Cover

Piper-turned-singer Jarlath Henderson releases a confident debut as a solo artist. Displaying impressive arrangements and musicality, the album exudes a youthful yet matured sentiment.

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9Bach
Anian (Real World)

9Bach - Anian Cover

9Bach deliver a cohesive set of original and traditional Welsh folk songs on their third album, a soulful and brooding project that explores themes of human nature and the outside world.

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Sierra Hull
Weighted Mind (Rounder Records)

Sierra Hull - Weighted Mind Cover

This album captures the mind of a maturing Sierra Hull, looking for direction in a changing world, showing off her ability as a talented instrumentalist and a sensitive songwriter.

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Joe Driscol & Sekou Kouyaté
Monistic Theory (Cumbancha)

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate - Monistic Theory Cover

Rapper Driscoll and kora player Kouyaté collaborate once again, seamlessly blending their own unique styles to create their own musical language.

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Gambari Band
Kokuma (Membran)

Gambari Band - Kokuma Cover

This nine-piece are a prime example of the great music currently coming out of Mali. Their debut, full of uplifting harmonies and explosive polyrhythms, is a captivating listen.

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Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
Sing Me Home (Sony Music Masterworks)

Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble - Sing Me Home Cover

Cello icon Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble release their most diverse project yet, covering a range of musical worlds, from Mali to China.

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Sierra Hull – Weighted Mind | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on April 28th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Sierra Hull-©Gina Binkley-Free

Words by Doug DeLoach

Sierra Hull - Weighted Mind Cover

Mandolin prodigy steps out from her mentors’ shadows
★★★★

The last time Sierra Hull released an album, the mandolin prodigy and protégé of Alison Krauss was only a year short of her 20s. Five years on, Weighted Mind represents the carefully wrought expression of a young, maturing woman seeking direction, asking questions and earnestly observing a whirling world. It also imparts an affirmation of the early bright promise of a singer with a beautiful, facile voice and vivid articulation; an instrumentalist of transcendent talent; and a smart, sensitive songwriter. Weighted Mind is a solo effort in nearly every sense of the word.

While Béla Fleck lends banjo licks to two of the album’s standout tracks, ‘Queen of Hearts/Royal Tea’ and ‘Black River’, the remaining ten songs feature either Hull alone (on standard and octave mandolin) or accompanied by bassist Ethan Jodziewicz. On a few selections Abigail Washburn, Rhiannon Giddens and Alison Krauss provide harmony vocals. With the lone exception of Hull’s arrangement of the traditional ‘Queen of Hearts’ all of the songs are originals. Hull’s music is not easily categorised, bearing traces of Western ballads, Appalachian hollers, knee-slapping bluegrass rhythms and quirky indie-rock changes.

Weighted Mind is a sophisticated effort, and a worthy next-step statement about the transition from kid-sensation to prime-time pro.

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