Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 73
Today’s Sunday Cleaning is brought to you by artists named Ben.
|Benni Hemm Hemm / Kajak (Morr)
It used to be you could trust a label. It used to be you could trust a German. And yet Berlin-based Morr Music, formerly reliable for pop-tinged but synth-heavy electronic music, has gone off and released the third record from Icelandic collective Benni Hemm Hemm and there’s nary a synth or laptop to be found (that I can hear, anyways). Instead, it’s almost overwhelmingly organic and orchestral, all horns and strings woodwinds, but rather than sounding as immense as you’d expect a 17-piece band to sound, Kajak is a very cozy and intimate listen. Thanks to the vocals sung entirely in Icelandic, North American ears will naturally draw parallels with Sigur Ros – at whose studio the record was recorded – but rather than their epic glaciers of sound, Benni Hemm Hemm’s songs prefer to stay in the village gathered around a campfire. They’re currently on tour across America but with no Canadian dates.
|Benjy Ferree / Leaving The Nest (Domino)
Benjy Ferree’s debut full-length, and expansion on his 2005 EP of the same name, seeks to reconcile his inner folkie with his outer glam-rocker and comes up with a melange of strummy acoustics, weepy strings and fuzz guitars delivered in both Bolan-esque stomps and elegant waltzes. It’s a bit of a strange blend but Ferree’s light and breezy songwriting and croony delivery ties it all together quite nicely and naturally. Check him out this Thursday night at Lee’s Palace when he opens for Mirah.