Posts Tagged ‘indie jazz’

People Eating People, Nouela Johnston’s jazzy new solo project, is catching fire

Nouela and Brian at The Sunset (credit: Christen Shaw)

People Eating People is the solo piano pop project of Seattle artist Nouela Johnston, and it is absolutely astounding. Johnston has gone through much turbulence to arrive at her current position. In 2007, Johnston was locked into a contract with Mon Frere, the band who won the SoundOff! Battle of the Bands in 2007, which she immediately regretted. Johnston dropped from the band which caused her “[…] a shit-ton of legal messes,” as she explained to earlier this week. Unable to release her own music until, among other things, the sum of $5,000 be paid to Cake Records, and she played and toured for-hire with three other bands: Say Hi, Fall of Troy, and Creature Feature. All the while, Johnston was recording a demo which eventually reached the hands of Nabil Ayers, current label manager for 4AD, who offered to release her full-length album.

Her self-titled album, People Eating People, released in November 2009, is an emotional outpouring of jazzy vocals and piano. Johnston is classically trained in jazz piano — she began performing recitals by the age of 4. Being that she is classically trained, her music is technically masterful and complex — her vocals are to match. Her lyrics are personal and emotionally driven; we can see such in “I Hate All My Friends.” Pounding and fast jazz keys supplement her apparent anger as she sings a tale of lies and deceit. With “All The Hospitals,” Johnston shows her flexibility as a jazz pianist. Fluctuating, complex rhythms, all the while delivering the similarly fluctuating jazz-style vocals. A highly emotional tale of depression, making references to suicide amongst other things; “don’t cut too deep, take all those pills…don’t swallow… everyone you900彩票下载安卓 love is on you900彩票下载安卓r side.”

People Eating People — “All the Hospitals,” from People Eating People (2009) | download
[audio:http://www./wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/PeopleEatingPeople.mp3]

See below for upcoming shows, live videos, and a video interview.

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Album Review: Elizabeth & the Catapult – Taller Children

Elizabeth & the Catapult - Taller Children

Elizabeth & the Catapult - Taller Children

Despite what could be construed as a strangely typical name for this era of music, Elizabeth & the Catapult are hardly the typifying outfit of the accompanying sound. Inflected with vocals with a style more keen on jazz than post-punk and an outright affinity for Cocteausian dream pop, Taller Children is something “new” from the outset.

Elizabeth & the Catapult — “Taller Children” | download
[audio:http://www./wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/TallerChildren.mp3]

Produced largely by Saddle Creek alumnus Mike Mogis — the one exception is the titular track, which was produced by Jim Eno of Spoon and the dubious-careered Jon Kaplan (who has produced such masterworks as … the Jonas Brothers!) — Taller Children is a solid pop record with a cheerful melodic bent taking the musical front seat in the recording, and the production supports that without becoming intrusive. Never does a song sound overproduced or forced, much to the album’s benefit. (more…)