February 09, 2006

Music: KT Tunstall & Rilo Kiley

Hello again. Since this blog is technically called "Birds & Music" I guess I'll write a music post for a change. So, lets start with KT Tunstall. Maybe it's just me but I find her name to be impossible to remember. Kay Tee Turnstall, Katy Tunsal, KD Turner, very confusing. Anyway, I first heard a little of her stuff from my friend Josh Wright a couple days ago and then this morning I found her album on iTunes. I got to say, I'm very impressed. Her tunes are catchy, original, well-played and just generally cool. I mean, it's definitely pop music, and at her worst moments she starts to sound a little American Idolish, but overall it's really great. Apparently she's been getting quite popular in Europe (she's originally from Scotland) and her album Eye to the Telescope is now available here in the states. It's very acoustic guitar driven, which is a little unusual for her genre, and despite some keyboards and vocal effects, it's got a very organic sound overall. Basically, Tunstall is a radio-worthy pop singer who actually has quite a lot of talent and is definitely worth checking out. Favorite songs: Under the Weather, Suddenly I See, Silent Sea.

Now, most of you probably already know about
Rilo Kiley. I was kind of behind the curve with these guys but their stuff has definitely grown on me. I actually got to see them live last summer when they opened for Coldplay at Darien Lake. Unfortunately the sound guys really messed up with their set; they were so loud the speakers were totally maxed out and crackling. We ended up cramming our ears full of napkins and it still hurt when the trumpet played. Anyway, these guys have a very interesting, almost retro sound. Fronted by red-headed singer and (I believe) primary songwriter Jenny Lewis, their songs are edgy, even a little uncomfortable at times, but defiantly unique. One thing I really liked about them live were their twin guitars, wailing away on extended solos in perfect harmony. Very cool. Their album gets a little soupy with a big string/horn section but when they played on Austin City Limits a couple months ago they reaffirmed my initial impression; these guys are unusually tight, well arranged alt-rockers with a very different take on your typical rock song. Favorite songs: I Never, Portions for Foxes, Does He Love You? FYI: Lewis has a new solo project out with The Watson Twins which I have not heard and know very little about, sorry.