ukulele

Hafdís Huld

Hafdís Huld

It likely does not come as a surprise that I kind of like (adore) Hafdís Huld a little (a lot). I was quite enamoured with Dirty Paper Cup and though I didn’t write up Synchronized Swimmers, I also enjoyed it immensely. Here’s the thing though, reader: this album is particularly wonderful. I’ve listened to it repeatedly, excessively, even for me, even for me and a Hafdís Huld album.

I think I’m in love.

Home is the name of this outing and I can’t imagine a more perfect title for the album. It’s a simple but elegant combination of literalism (most of the songs seeming to be in some part inspired by her actual home in Iceland), figurativeness (the abstract concept of the people and places and sights and sounds that lend their familiarity to the broad definition of home) and emotion (the relaxing comfort and intangible safety that are indelibly bonded to being wherever or whatever home is). The lyrics are still singularly Hafdís Huld, a seeming combination of excerpts from her diary and conversations you might have with her over a coffee, but the sound, while familiar, is especially smooth, soothing even. The power this album has to silence the lesser demons that erode calm and extort unrest is nigh on medicinal for me and that is a rare gift indeed.

Here are two. There are more than two and you should really listen to all of them.

Sunrise
Treasures

PS: You should really roll back in her Twitter feed/site news and check out all the amazing photos from her recent tour of Iceland. A combination of Hafdís’ travelogue and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has instilled in me a deep and pressing desire to travel to Iceland. I’m not even really a “wonders of nature” traveler, I’m much more likely to aim at urban and historical interests, but the things I have seen of Iceland from just these two sources demand attention.

PPS: She’s done some covers recently on the YouTubes and I’m all for that: Creep

Where to find Hafdís Huld:
Twitter: @HafdisHuld
Website: hafdishuld.com

The Waifs

The Waifs

The Waifs are from Australia. I think we all know the sort of temptation I’m dealing with here. I will endeavor to keep ironic Aussie slang usage out of this. No promises. My best is not always good enough, you see.

Sun Dirt Water, the newest release from The Waifs, is stellar. Blues and country, rough-hewn and gravelly, peppered liberally with great harmonies and brilliant guitar work (and the occasional harmonica!), clearly sixteen years making music has done The Waifs well. Shadows of Bonnie Raitt and the better times with Sheryl Crow are in the air, but the Waifs bring that and more to the table when they serve up this four course, and believe me, you will not go home hungry.

Here’s the lead single from the album, and I threw in their closing cute-as-a-button uke-n-me number. They’re right bonzer, I reckon. Unless you’ve got a few roos loose in the top paddock, these are a bit ‘o all right.

I bet no one expected that!

Sun Dirt Water
Feeling Sentimental

Kate Micucci

Kate Micucci

Ridiculously cute. No, seriously, I’ll let you take a minute.

You may recognize her from Scrubs as Stephanie Gooch, Ted’s dreamgirl. Turns out that the cute ukulele player thing she did for the show? She does that for real. And she made an EP. One EP. One, lone, solitary, EP. Is it a comedy EP? “Dear Deer” would seem to indicate so. But then you’ve got “Just Say When” and “Out the Door”. I don’t even know what to make of it. I know that I like it, and I hope there’s more on the way.

Observe.

Just Say When
Dear Deer

Winter Song, Hotel Café

Winter Song, Hotel Café

The Perfect Storm.  Sara is on my short-list of go-to artists, Ingrid is on my medium-length list and I fell head-over-heels for Raining Jane’s live show when they came to town (that’s Mai on the cello back there).  Didn’t anyone at Hotel Café ever see Ghost Busters?  You can’t cross the streams like this, guys.

Winter Song