James Blake not overgrown, but has grown!

James Blakes selftitled debut is without doubt a strong debut album, and a modern classic.

His experimental neo-dubstep on that album, was full of James Blakes creative production, mostly snippets of his soulful voice. At times it was to experimental for me. And too little focused and lacking structure. A collection of songs rather than a complete album.


Now that his second album is here, I have to admit I was a bit excited and sceptic if he managed to outdo his first album.

The first single “Retrograde” showed a “new” James Blake. He sounded less experimenal and more laid back. The production was softer, James Blake focused more on his vocals – he dared to be a vocalist, an singer songwriter. James Blake is not only a producer, a songwriter, arranger – but he´s also a extraordinary vocalist. With a voice that sounds like a cross between Talk Talks Mark Hollis, Antony & The Johnsons Antony Hegarty and the norwegian singer songwriter Thomas Dybdahl. Warm, soulful – smooth!

With his second album, James Blake have grown up, but not outgrown himself.

The production is better, he has written songs this time – almost all songs have full lyrics and a structure instead of snippets of looped vocals like on the debutalbum. If Blake had tried to outdo the debut album – make an even more experimental – make a James Blake pt II, I am afraid he would have tried to hard.

Instead he has mellowed the production, and he looks back. I can hear traces of trip hop here. Artists like Massive Attack, Tricky and even Björk seems to be inspiration, he even flirts with the dancefloor here and there.

Second track and third track “I Am Sold” and “Life Round Here” both tracks makes me think how Massive Attack around “Protection” would sound with James Blake as guest vocalist. The only guest artists is vocalist from Wu-Tang/Gravediggaz member and actor/screenwriter/director RZA who raps in english (instead of american) on “Take A Fall For Me” a song that sounds more like Tricky – than Tricky himself has done for years.

Skip forward to the Brian Eno produced “Digital Lion” where James Blake does a track that sounds like a update on Björks “Hyper Ballad” mixed with Plastikmans “Spastik”.

If you want to dance, the club-friendly beats of french sounding song titled “Voyeur” is the track to seek. And when he let the beats pump out of the stereo for the last minute it´s almost like James Blake asks for the track to be included on a DJ-mix album. I would love to hear someone do a fat clubmix of this track!


Have you noticed war siren sound on several of the tracks? It seems to be part of a concept on this album. The sound is incorporeted at the end of a majority of the tracks: The one finger push on one button on the synth, and held down/looped and/or timestreched for the next minute or so. Until the end of the song (see i.e. “Retrograde” for a perfect example). If there is a soundconcept on the album, this sound is!

James Blakes Top 5 most popular songs according to Spotify is

  1. “Retrograde” off “Overgrown” album,
  2. “Limit To Your Love” the beautiful Feist cover from “James Blake”
  3. “CMYK”
  4. “A Case Of You” his wonderful version of the Joni Mitchell classic
  5. “The Willhelm Scream” off James Blake

You can listen to “James Blake” and “Overgrown” here, if you use Spotify If you want to buy the albums, click here to download through iTunes

If his two cover versions of “Limit To Your Love” and “A Case Of You” is what you love about James Blake and is the sounds you love from him. I promise you you would love the whole “Overgrown” album. Some reviewers has called the album to slow, and if i should agree with that I would say the album is a slowburner. But let it sink in. It comes to you slowly – and when it hits you – you´re stuck!

Where James Blakes debut lacked a red thread is his second album lighter and more accessable, not only for the hipsters, but for all lovers of great music!

James Blake Overgrown Yes! And he’s still growing, just like this album is doing!

New discovery: Lion Babe

What´s in a name? When it comes to Lion Babe the answer is everything!


The voice reminiscence of Eryka Badu´ism and a bit Beyonce´ish 
The body of Beyonce and the hair of Tina Turner in the mid 80s multiplied with 10
The sound of  Massive Attack meets D´angelo kinda like trip hop meets nu-soul


Fun fact;

According to the webpage BCK; Black Celebrety Kids Lion Babes singer, Jillian Hervey is the daughter of actress and singer Vanessa Williams of Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewife fame!


Lion Babe is a really nice package in disguised as a band; Fronted by singer Jillian Hervey and producer/musician Lucas Goodman

You can read and hear more and follow Lion Babe here:

Twitter.com/astro_raw (Lucas Goodman)
Twitter.com/jillonce (Jillian Hervey)

Lion Babe is hot stuff! Grab pen and paper and take note of the name(s) at once!

How To Dress Well?!

To make it clear, this is NOT a blog post about neither clothes nor fashion or the hottest trends even if the title indicate something like it!

So, what is How To Dress Well?

Behind the sentence “how to dress well” is just another weird band name. I call it weird because the name could be the heading of a fashion magazine article, or maybe a blog post. The first thing that popped into my mind when I read the band name in a review of their latest album was something like; Was the name chosen to be found in search engines like Google? So I had to do a test and entered “how to dress well” in Google search field and pushed the search button…and too my big surprise the first thing I got up is the homepage of the band/artist – and other pages with articles about the group.

In other words; What a good choice of band name!

I found that How To Dress Well is not a band name, but the stage name of just one man, Tom Krell. He is also a graduate philosophy student and releases his music through small independent labels like Wierd World Records / Domino Records and Asephale Records.

Where can you listen to How To Dress Well?

Tom Krell has so far released two albums under his alter ego How To Dress Well.

The debut album “Love Remains” (left) was released back in 2010, his second and best album so far is out these days (released September 2012) and is named “Total Loss” (right).  Note: I focus on the latest album in this blogpost.

Buy or hear the album here:
On Itunes US here or Itunes (Nor) here, or listen to it on Spotify or LastFM

You´ll also find a great amount of mixtapes online that gives you a fine introduction to the music that inspires the sound of How To Dress Well. I’ll link to them at the bottom of this page.

How does How To Dress Well sound?

First of all – make sure you hear the album “Total Loss” on a stereo with a good pair of loudspeakers. Or sit down – even better lay down with a pair of headphones. Pump up the volume and let yourself be drawn into the soft and warm sound of “Total Loss”

Lurking in the shadows of soft dubstep and R&B names like James Blake and the soulful landscape of Jamie Woon – a line can also be drawn to The Weeknd. This is the easiest way to describe how How To Dress Well sounds.
The voice mostly falsetto – very soulful, multi-tracked voice, a bit like Bon Iver but with way better falsetto and airy piano not to far from the ambient, classical sounds of Craig Armstrong (the conductor of Massive Attacks “Protection” record and the original score to movies like Romeo & Juliet. Craig Armstrong has also released numerous records under his own name. All slow, orchestral, choral, ambient – soulful and soothing like trip hop at its best) But you also find danceable and funkier sounds on the “Total Loss” album. Even soul singers like the soft voice of Maxwell to more contemporary soul like Maria Carey can seem like a musical influence. Sometimes it sounds like a whole choir has entered the studio – other times it´s just one single voice singing in an empty church. The whole production is smoother, more open, maybe airy is the right description?! I can even hear inspiration from the orchestral part of Prince AOR ballad “Purple Rain” and some inspiration from “Nothing Compares To You” – but not the Sinead O´Connor version or Prince´ own version but the strings and almost a cappella original version by Prince protegé band The Family. If you happen love James Blakes cover of Feist “Limit To Your Love” and Jamie Woons stripped soulful productions; You´ll love to hear How To Dress Wells floating sounds, and their use of echoes, claps, soundscapes and beat boxing and throat voices layer upon layer to create this dream-like soul music.

Tom Krell and How To Dress Well should and could be this years Jamie Woon or Bon Iver. The record everyone should have!

His music might as well can be described as the best soundtrack to a film that has never been made! You wish never ends…until its over in just 46 minutes

Where can you hear more How To Dress Well?

As promised; The mixtapes! Instead of me writing page up and page down of references to the sound of Tom Krell and How To Dress Well listen to and/or download his mixes. Read more about the tracks and mixtapes here:

There is so many mixtapes out there online, and gives you, the reader and listener, a great insight into the world of How To Dress Well – search and you shall find!

You can follow and read more about How To Dress Well on his own pages!
Homepage http://howtodresswell.com
Twitter http://twitter.com/howtodresswell
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/howtodresswellmusic

I am so glad that How To Dress Well and Tom Krell don’t deal with style,
and instead he choose do steal and borrow with style!