Indubitably, this will not be the first place you have read about Birdie Busch and her latest (second) album Penny Arcade, released on Bar/None Records on September 25th this year. Forgive me the 'just in case' intro. Don't be put off by the rather silly moniker, as this album is a a corker.
Emily "Birdie" Busch sounds old-timey and young and modern at the same time. As per many of my ramblings, this is folky female singer-songwriter territory, but Busch is a cut above most of the mob. Her songs are not over-produced and sound like she has just picked up a guitar and is strumming for a circle of friends. This sounds like a laid back afternoon sitting laughing in a sunny field, a piece of grass in the side of your mouth, a picnic (complete with home made lemonade) on the blanket beside you, kids in the periphery frolicking by a lake...no, really it does, as flowery and girlish as that description may be.
Busch grew up in Collingswood, New Jersey, and is now based in Philadelphia but, to my mind, location is not important to this sound. All the songs here are good and eminently listenable, including a great cover of The Steve Miller Band's Wild Mountain Honey. The intro to the song Heel To Toe sounds like Loves Me Like A Rock (which is a very good thing indeed) and children of the 80s will be pleased with Go Go Gadget Heart.
Listen if you like: Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins, Laura Cantrell, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan.
Buy this album (and her previous CD The Ways We Try) here...or have a scout about elsewhere, as I'm sure it must come cheaper than that!
Check her out on MySpace (she does have her own website, but it doesn't appear to be very up-to-date).
Or...and this is the most exciting bit (and essentially the reason I decided to post this)...head over to Apollo Audio to listen to a full, free streaming of the album!
I only discovered Apollo Audio recently, but my what a website! It can be temperamental (certainly on my PC), e.g. you are supposed to be able to embed the album streamings elsewhere, as I was planning to do here, but it didn't work consistently enough to include it in the post. Still, when it works, you have access to loads of great album streamings, and all for free, which is a brilliant way to try out new music.
There are some big names over there:
Richard Hawley, Jack Penate, Devendra Banhart, Nicole Atkins, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Ronson, Electrelane, Jarvis Cocker, Yo La Tengo, M. Ward, Midlake, Peaches, Thom Yorke, Mojave 3, Regina Spektor, Espers, Gnarls Barkley.
There are also plenty that you are unlikely to have heard of, so it's ripe for some exploration!
Download: Go Go Gadget Heart
Download: Go Go Gadget Heart
(Oops, apologies kids, this one doesn't work...but it is a great song worth checking out...all the more reason to listen to the streaming and then buy the album!)
P.s. Have you entered my competition to win a CD yet?