On this page you will find a list of what music really moves me along with some information about each song/album. The whole point is that hopefully you will go and explore anything that you haven’t heard. Similarly, please feel free to recommend me some music. I’m always on the lookout.

Two Suns – Bat For Lashes

I started listening to Bat For Lashes (real name Natasha Khan) in September 2011 when I was writing my undergraduate dissertation (“The Melodic Identity of Kate Bush and Her Influence on Contemporary British Female Singers”). The album reminds me of Hounds of Love by Kate Bush in some ways (an artist she is often compared too and cites as an influence).

Hounds is well known for its interesting mix of real instruments and electronic instruments; the marriage between human emotion and technology so to speak. I think some of the electronic instruments sound quite cold, but in the best possible way. It makes for a…well…colder atmosphere.

I love her voice and think that she has something special going on. If you like Kate Bush, Björk, Tori Amos and anyone else that would typically be described as being “different” I’m confident you’ll like Bat For Lashes.

Favourite track: “Travelling Woman”

Head First – Goldfrapp

This album came to my attention at the same time as the album mentioned above and if you read that then hopefully you’ll understand why. I didn’t think I’d like it. I thought it would be just a listening exercise. I discovered that it had some very cool ideas. See if you like it.

Favourite track: “Hunt”

Black Radio – Robert Glasper

I don’t know anybody who has heard this album and didn’t like it. It’s as if he scoured the universe for the best of everything. Monster. 10/10.

Favourite track: “The Consequences of Jealousy” (feat. Meshell Ndegeocello)

Debut – Björk

I’m relatively new to Björk but already I can see myself sticking with her. She’s certainly one of the most innovative vocalists we know of. She grew up in Iceland and often had to sing at the top of her lungs in order to hear herself over the blizzards. Triumph over adversity.

Favourite track: “Play Dead”

Scarlet’s Walk – Tori Amos

There’s so much I could say about Amos. I’ve seen her live three times since December 2009. Each time she has been stunning. She’s one of those musicians that just doesn’t make mistakes. When she plays you can hear a pin drop in the venue. A whole new level of playing and singing altogether. She has done some things that I’m not very fond of but Scarlet’s Walk is probably my favourite.

Favourite track: “I Can’t See New York”

Hounds of Love – Kate Bush

Kate Bush is one of my biggest influences. I can’t pick a favourite album because her whole catalogue is littered with brilliant music in my opinion. A good starting point would be Hounds of Love if you’re new to her music. It’s generally regarded as her masterpiece. Unfortunately most people hear “Wuthering Heights” (from The Kick Inside), decide that they don’t like it and close the door on her permanently.

Favourite track: “Cloudbusting”

Black Light – Groove Armada

I got the Groove Armada bug a few years ago when they released the “I Won’t Kneel” single. Becky Jones did an amazing job with that song and indeed all of the vocals on the Black Light album. They’re an amazing live act too…and that’s what I think just from watching them on a laptop. I’d  imagine that the real thing is slightly better.

Favourite track: “Shameless” (feat. Bryan Ferry)

Epicloud – Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend is a fantastic guitarist and vocalist. His big break came when he sang on Steve Vai’s Sex and Religion (1993) album. The story is that he wrapped his demo up in a pair of old underwear to grab the record label’s attention. Amazing. As time has passed he has proven several times over that he can pretty much do whatever he wants. Everything from extreme metal to ambient and atmospheric instrumentals. Nobody knows what he is going to do next, including himself, but we know it will be great.

Check out his latest album, appropriately titled Epicloud.

Favourite track: “Save Our Now”

Up! (Score) Original Soundtrack – Michael Giacchino

Wonderful film, wonderful soundtrack.

Favourite track: “Stuff We Did”

(Performing this week) Live at Ronnie Scott’s – Jeff Beck

I can only imagine what it must have been like to see one of the handful of gigs Jeff Beck and friends but on at Ronnie Scott’s back in February 2008. The band are stellar, comprised of Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Tal Wilkenfeld on bass and Jason Rebello on keys. During the tune “You Never Know” Beck demonstrates just how glorious feedback can be. Jump to 1:33 and hear for yourself. To be fair, this gig is littered with glorious moments. I’m not going to name them all or spoil them if you haven’t seen/heard this gig.

Baduizm – Erykah Badu

Like a lot of people, the first song I heard by Badu was “Otherside of the Game”. From there, I listened to the album and I instantly became a fan. I don’t like using the word “groove” anymore because it gets thrown so much, but this album real does do just that. She always surrounds herself with stellar musicians. Lyrically, she sweeps a lot of things out from underneath the rug and really hits a nerve. Brilliant.

Favourite track: “Next Lifetime”

Beautifully Human – Jill Scott

If you like Erykah Badu chances are you’ll like Jill Scott. Bass maestro Pino Palladino is contained within.

Favourite track: “Golden”

Brown Sugar –  D’Angelo

What kind of recommended listening list would this be without D’Angelo? One that needs D’Angelo 😀 Here’s a debut album I don’t think anybody was ready for back in ’95. We’re still wondering how he did it. Genius.

Favourite track: “Jonz In My Bonz”

Metal Fatigue – Allan Holdsworth

Whether you like Allan Holdsworth or not is of course down to you. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that he is *possibly* the most distinctive electric guitarist we have ever heard. He just doesn’t play things that we recognise, both in terms of his chords and lines. He has an entirely unique approach to the instrument that is so personal. There’s such a fine line between being inspired by something advanced and being turned off because it’s years away from your ability. With Holdsworth, he tends to push me to both sides depending on what mood I’m in.

Favourite track: “Panic Station”

Simple Things – Zero 7

This album always reminds me of being in my brother’s apartment in Toronto. This is my go-to band for chillout songs. Lovely voices, never self-indulgent and always musical.

Favourite track: “Distractions”

American Beauty (Original Motion Picture Score) – Thomas Newman

If somebody were to point a gun at my head and ask me what my favourite film was, I’d almost certainly say that it’s American Beauty. Admittedly, a big part of why I love is down to the score composed by Thomas Newman. However, this is not to suggest that all of the other elements of the film are anything less than brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to watch it late at night, close the curtains, turn the lights off and turn your phone off. This is deep stuff. Facebook will still be there in 2 hours time…

Favourite track: “Arose”