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What is a Qobuzissime? It’s an award presented by Qobuz for a first or second album.

Pop or Reggae, Metal or Classical, Jazz or Blues, no genre is excluded. More often than not the award is presented to a newly discovered artist.

Sometimes it might be a particularly quirky or a crossover album from a discography.

The important aspects are uniqueness, sincerity and quality. We look for these things in the recording, the project and the sound identity.





Albums

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 7, 2021 | Third Man Records LLC

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Natalie Bergman has written, performed, recorded and produced this first solo album almost all by herself. It is her way of setting out a vision that belongs to her alone. Mercy is in a world of its own. Its twelve unique, spiritual songs, haunted by death and resurrection, are carried as much by her versatile voice as they are by her vintage sound, hailing from a bygone era. For a decade, Natalie Bergman had been singing with her brother Elliot in Wild Belle, an L.A.-based double-act which drew on pop, reggae, ska and psychedelia. But that part of her life fell apart when her father and stepmother were killed by a drunk driver. Having been brought up with a deep religious faith, Natalie decided to retire to an Abbey in New Mexico's Chama valley. It is there that Mercy was born in a clear act of catharsis. It is steeped in gospel music, which she regards as being the real source of rock'n'roll. This is a unique, timeless work in which the artist finds her own way to praise music's sacred nature and restorative powers. “My faith and my music are crucial to my existence. I sing a lot about home on this record. My Paradiso, my Heaven. Believing in that place has been my greatest consolation. I had an urgency and desperation to know that my father was there. His sudden death was a whirling chaos that assaulted my mind. Gospel music gives me hope. It is the good news. It’s exemplary. It can bring you truth. It can keep you alive. This album provided me with my only hope for coming back to life myself.”This return to the land of the living by way of gospel music is fascinating. It never falls into a churchy or preachy mode, going beyond faith. This album's sound and instrumentation owe as much to 1950s rock as they do to 1960s soul or to West African Highlife. Mercy is able to create the feeling of a musical style, but without ever being tethered to it. It should come as no surprise to learn that Natalie Bergman grew up in a house that resounded with the music of Dylan, Etta James, Pharoah Sanders, Lou Reed, Alton Ellis and Lucinda Williams. Nor is it a shock that she has been signed by a figure as wise as Jack White. His label, Third Man Records, is a tasteful establishment, and the artists on its roster are always well-versed in the music of the past... Death changed her life; her music can change yours: Natalie Bergman is a gift from heaven. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 19, 2021 | Mom+Pop

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Make no mistake about it. Behind its mystical cover worthy of a progressive rock band from the 70s, Terra Firma hides the unclassifiable second album from Tash Sultana. Natasha is one of those who started early and alone. At the age of three, her father gave her her first guitar. As a teenager, she roamed the streets of her native Melbourne. Then she conquered the rest of the world in 2016 with the 70 million views for Jungle, the result of her prolific bedroom sessions which she broadcast on YouTube. After three EPs on her own label Lonely Lands, the young Australian released Flow State in the summer of 2018, a pop-soul patchwork from her youth on which she played all the instruments (she has mastered about twenty of them) using loops and effect pedals, her trademark. Since then, she's been filling stadiums and an appearing on front covers, like Rolling Stone magazine with whom she talked about the Stratocaster TC Signature dedicated to her by Fender. "Terra firma is the ground and the earth, you put your feet on it to remember where you are, where you come from," says the woman who plans to turn her dazzling success into a long-term career. Further raising the bar, Tash Sultana takes care of the musical arrangement, with the production of her records entrusted in part to Matt Corby. This can be heard from the off with the instrumental Musk, whose lustrous guitars, groovy sax, and catchy bass pave the way for the following 14 tracks that oscillate between soul, R'n'B, funk, folk and suave pop. To arrive at this rich, well-balanced, hypnotic but never redundant blend, which she sees as "a meeting between Aretha Franklin, Bon Iver, John Mayer and others", Tash has had to surround herself with other talented musicians. Thus, we find the rapper Jerome Farah (Willow Tree) and Josh Cashman (Dream My Life Away), both from Melbourne. A masterstroke, at only 25 years old. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz.
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 29, 2021 | City Slang

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
It is a mathematical law: every ten years, a singer from England named Anna releases a first album as a document of her times. In 2011, it was Anna Calvi. In 2021, it will be Anna B Savage. A real underground singer who first appeared in 2015 with a rather confidential début EP, which she followed up with a few concerts and then nothing. There are not many who have seen her in concert, back in the time when there were concerts. But everyone who has, remembers her. With her oddly tuned guitar, as if set to play a medieval blues number, and her elusive voice, as if several people were singing through her, Anna B Savage has bewitched a small audience who are drawn to music that's different. A spiritual daughter of Cat Power, exuding a sense of strange unease, hidden behind her guitar, can become sensual, intense and desirable. A Common Turn is her first album, and it's an incomparable potion, a musical unicorn. On a base of twisted folk, Anna builds far-fetched songs that travel through musical space-time. Depending on their own points of reference, the listener will hear in the vocals and melodies echoes of Beth Gibbons (Portishead), Antony & the Johnsons, Nico, Connie Converse, Dionne Warwick or operatic jazz singers of old. Not to mention the silence. But A Common Turn is not a record to be so easily defined, and nor is it simple. The arrangements range from choirs to rhythmic dance, to this time-worn guitar. Even when her music takes a turn for the grandiloquent, Anna B Savage remains fragile, uncertain, a balancing act, erratic, as if feeling her way through her own songs. One thinks of Snow White running through the forest amid grimacing trees or waiting for the Prince's kiss in a poisoned sleep. And next to her, everyone else is a dwarf. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 20, 2020 | Licence Kuroneko - Sodasound

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
First spotted in May 2019 with a two-track debut EP, WOMXN/Time Machine, Gystere was immediately approved by the Trans Musicales de Rennes, where he played with his band in December of the same year. DJ, director and composer, the Frenchman Adrien Peskine, who has in the past, played piano for Cerrone and appeared on ‘Le Grand Journal de Canal’, presents a first album bringing together all his artistic influences in an Afrofunk patchwork record that will leave no one seated. The concept is quite ambitious: "I've always tried to create the type of artist and music I couldn't find in my local clubs," explains Gystere. As a result, he composes a sort of mosaic of music from the 70s and 80s, with Prince-style intros, Supertramp-style melodies, Jimmy Page-style solos, Queen-style backing vocals, but also Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic and Sun Ra influences, for the afrofuturism that haunts the record. Without ever falling into stylistic exercise, Gystere (who composes alone, but records alongside his musicians) manages to transcend all these elements with a funky groove that we can't wait to see live. On paper, it could have gone wrong, but in the end, Gystere is well on his way to becoming one of the French revelations of the year. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 2, 2020 | Heavenly Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
Sharp, dry and unyielding, the neo-post punk scene, making waves in the UK, is hitting the dance floors thanks to Working Men’s Club. With their first album, Eponym, the young quartet from Todmorden, near Manchester, reignite the flames that once burned with New Order (Power, Corruption & Lies), The Fall, Human League, Gang of Four, D.A.F and Suicide. The young frontman Sydney Minsky-Sargeant sets the scene: ‘There isn’t much to do in Todmorden when you’re a kid. The Town is quite isolated and it can be very depressing to live in a place where, in winter, sunlight only lasts a few hours.' Locked in his room, Minsky-Sargeant spent his time tinkering with and mixing synthesisers, guitars and drums. The record blends chanting vocals, Stakhanovite rhythms, sickly guitar riffs and massive bass sounds. It's easy to lose control of one's body as it grooves and contorts to the rhythm of this unusual acid electro-rock, often reminiscent of early LCD Soundsystem. Minsky-Sargeant sports a t shirt marked with the word ‘SOCIALISM’ as the group christen their song John Cooper Clarke (the ever-popular punk poet), lighting up the grey skies of their native Yorkshire. Occasionally, Minsky-Sargeant relaxes into hedonistic new wave with tracks like Outside. But when he loses his temper, the electro-funk-tinged disco punk oozes from his soul (Teeth). This is a truly stunning record with impressively tight production, courtesy of Ross Orton (The Fall, M.I.A, Arctic Monkeys). No time to lose, have a listen! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released July 3, 2020 | Duchess Box Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
A few seconds of Freier Geist is all it takes for Sofia Portanet to transport us from 2020 to 1980. Despite being born at the end of 1989 and never having lived through the era, the German singer’s Qobuzissime debut album breathes new life into Neue Deutsche Welle. The ‘80s was a time when Nina Hagen reigned over Europe’s new wave and post-punk with high energy and madness and Kraftwerk was greatly expanding its audience. It was a time characterised by D.A.F.’s marching beats, the romantic ravings of Kate Bush, Toyah and Lene Lovich and the quirky pop of Falco and Rita Mitsouko. All of these artists are dear to Sofia Portanet, who was born in Kiev, grew up in Paris and now lives in Berlin. Singing as brilliantly in German as she does in English and French, she also finds inspiration in great voices who mixed film, theatre and cabaret, such as Ingrid Caven and Hildegard Knef. To summarise, without all of these references, the enchanting Freier Geist finds the perfect balance between longing for the ‘80s (even if you didn’t live through them) and glints of modernity. But above all, it’s the power of Sofia Portanet’s music that makes it so intoxicating. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Released May 29, 2020 | Animal 63

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
After the album closes, we can only wonder at Meryem Aboulouafa’s voice on her eponymous debut. We are held in a 38-minute hypnosis during which the Casablanca singer’s dreamlike organ takes control of our souls and senses, we embark on a hybrid voyage mixing soul, pop, electro, oriental music and faux film music. But like her contemporaries Kadhja Bonet (who often comes to mind), Weyes Blood, Jenny Hval and Lana Del Rey, Meryem Aboulouafa’s universe is also made up of sounds, ambiances and, above all, words… Her father raised her on all the classics (Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Dylan, Piaf, Brel, Brassens), before she went on to study music theory and violin at the Conservatoire, write her first poems in Arabic and French, and study interior design at Casablanca’s École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Guitar in hand, a young Meryem would write her first songs drawing the attention of Manu Barron from the label Animal (The Blaze, Myth Syzer, Johan Papaconstantino, Gabriel Auguste). With the help of Keren Ann she perfects her already solid first drafts which are intelligently assembled by production experts Para One and Okard. “Para One brought a cinematographic element to the recording which suits me well as I visualise a lot of my music and lyrics”, explains the singer. “Ojard is more about melodies, orchestration and the elaboration of complex harmonies and sounds.” A stripped-down piano here and lyrical neo-classical strings there. Continue on for warlike rhythms and a blend of electronic trip-hop. Throughout, instrumentals take care to follow the voice and introspective lyrics. “The Friend” evokes a muslim prayer and its poetic gestures, “Deeply” discusses the complexity of the human soul, “Breath of Roma” is a love letter to Italian culture, and so on and so forth. Eleven pieces make up this fascinating puzzle from beginning to end with great emotional finesse. We should narrowly avoid branding Meryem Aboulouafa the hidden love child of James Blake and Oum Kalsoum as this debut album (a Qobuzissime winner!) is the work of an artist of great personality. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2020 | Beyond The Groove - Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
It’s a well-known cliché: two heads are better than one. Two years after his debut album, the 24-year-old London multi-instrumentalist Tom Misch (who has a distinctly Jamiroquai-esque sound) has partnered up with 27-year-old drummer/producer Yussef Dayes (the brain behind United Vibrations and one half of the electro-jazz duo Yussef Kamaal) for this irresistible album What Kinda Music. Up until now, Misch has cooked up a gourmet mix of smooth jazz syrup, funky foam, droplets of soul, hip-hop spices and a pinch of velvety pop, inviting along a star-studded line-up including De La Soul, GoldLink, Loyle Carner and Poppy Ajudha while sampling from the likes of Roy Hargrove, The Crusaders, Stevie Wonder and Patrick Watson. All these flavours and sounds form the foundation of this 2020 vintage, making the rhythmic side even more solid. Yussef Dayes jazzes up his interventions and makes his improvisations even more sophisticated. Each artist brings their own contribution to this truly collaborative work and the record strikes a perfect balance of voice and instrumentals. Both artists grew up in Peckham in South London and Tom Misch even saw Dayes play drums in the school talent show when he was 9! “Yussef comes from a more experimental background, and he has a lot of loose, crazy ideas. I know how to write a catchy melody, but with interesting chords and I have a good understanding of popular song forms, so I think I streamlined those ideas and made them accessible.” It’s this perfect symbiosis between accessibility and refined genre fluidity that makes What Kinda Music sound like a laidback trip - perfect record for electro-jazz geeks. Plus, there’s another reason for Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes to bulge their chests with pride: their album has been released on the prestigious label Blue Note, confirming that they embody a certain contemporary jazz sound. “Everything feels so divided these days, it would be nice for people to hear the record and hear two very different musicians coming together and realize it doesn’t have to be that way.” As for the featuring artists, the duo invited along Freddie Gibbs (who raps on Nightrider), Rocca Palladino (son of the illustrious bassist Pino Palladino who often practices with Alfa Mist) and the saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi. An immediate Qobuzissime, this record is the umpteenth proof that the London jazz scene is alive and kicking… and now showing its funky side! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 3, 2020 | Bella Union

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Dusty Springfield, Adele, Lulu, Sandie Shaw, Duffy… The tradition of British soul pop singers has always been rich, and Ren Harvieu’s second and Qobuzissime album continues this retro movement which saw great success in the 1960s. However, it hasn’t always been easy for this Mancunian singer: in 2011, fresh from signing for the Island label for whom she was recording her first album, she broke her back in a serious accident and spent months on a hospital bed. Her album Through the Night was nevertheless released but the slim success resulted in a long and tumultuous period of self-doubt for the singer. It’s a time she has now put behind her and which she touches on with Spirit Me Away and You Don’t Know Me, two highlights of this album Revel in the Drama. This sophomore record certainly feels like the result of her meeting with Magic Numbers frontman Romeo Stodart, who helped her rediscover her passion for music and her inspiration to record again. More refined than its predecessor, Revel in the Drama broaches the influences of this enchanting torch singer; while the spirit of Dusty Springfield (or closer to today, Rumer) is never far, it’s certainly KD Lang and her vocal inflections that you think of when listening. Ren Harvieu’s writing is however unique to herself. The sombre and bleak sequences are always punctuated with her signature humour, some light sarcasm that is 100% British. The freedom she expresses in her tone and her writing is similar to that of Fiona Apple, one of her idols. Revel in the Drama is a magnificent collection of timeless and moving songs, jewels of vintage pop enrobed in superb easy listening tones and high-quality arrangements that you can hum along to long into the night. ©️ Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 27, 2020 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Saying that a band doesn’t sound like any others is almost like saying that it sounds like all the others. Nowadays, we live in the era of open stylistic borders and only listening to things on shuffle, making Sorry (a band that is 100% 2020) even less categorizable. With an authentic rock spirit and ideas that are about as tidy as a teenager’s bedroom, Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen’s first album is one of the most astonishing albums at the moment. Time will have no doubt helped these two Londoners perfect 925 as they have known each other since secondary school. No competition here, just a great collaborative effort that sees them exchange the microphone over the course of the album’s thirteen tracks, and also sharing it, much like Sonic Youth did years ago. In fact, you often think of a softer version of their New York elders when listening to this record. Like them, Sorry doesn’t smile, instead pouting with lazy nonchalance that could push you away instead of pulling you in… and yet they are fascinating. The Guardian summed it up perfectly: Sorry is “the band making ennui sexy”. The band borrows from various genres and legends: a slacker attitude from grunge, guitars from Pixies (Perfect), sultry cheek from Garbage (Snakes), a certain junky imagery from The Kills (More), intoxicating saxophone from the no wave movement and a shadowy vision from post-punk. You have to listen to this Qobuzissime on repeat to appreciate its originality and end up being enchanted by it. An album you simply can’t miss: Sorry, no excuses. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 28, 2020 | Heavenly Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
From being “three weirdos in Halifax”, sisters Esmé and Sidonie Hand-Halford (bass and drums respectively) and their childhood friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar) have become the indie band to watch. “If I went to space, I might never come back”, confesses Esmé who provides solid bass and delicate vocals for The Orielles. After the drowsy, Stone Roses-influenced Silver Dollar Moment was released in 2018, this second off-the-wall record bounces from Turkish psych music à la Altin Gün to experimental Italian cinema, in order to further distance themselves from 90s guitar rock. Two years is a long time when you’re on the cusp of your twenties, leaving the relative quiet of Halifax, West Yorkshire to go on tour in Europe. In the elapsed time, The Orielles have seen the arrival of Alex Stephens to play keyboard, a “highly educational” cover of Peggy Gou’s It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) which opened them up to dance music and a remix by the late Andrew Weatherall of their track Sugar Tastes Like Salt. Recorded at Stockport’s Eve Studios with their producer Marta Salogni (Liars, Temples, Björk and The Moonlandingz), Disco Volador puts melody front and centre, turning old into new. “All the influences we had when writing this record were present when we recorded it, so we completely understood what we wanted this album to feel like and could bring that to fruition”, says the drummer. Aerial 60s pop (Come Down on Jupiter), experimental disco (Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme)), 70s-style funk (Bobbie’s Second World, Euro Borealis), uptempo psychedelic (Rapid i, 7th Dynamic Goo) and Khruangbin-esque soaring tunes, it’s all top class. Bright, catchy and Qobuzissime. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Ambient - Released February 7, 2020 | Gondwana Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Sunda Arc, the project started in 2018 by brothers Nick and Jordan Smart (from folk/jazz band Mammal Hands) with the EP Flicker on Manchester label Gondwana Records (GoGo Penguin, Portico Quartet) takes its next big step by releasing its first full length album, which would not have appeared out of place in the Erased Tapes catalogue. Like Nils Frahm, the two brothers harmoniously blend electronics with acoustics and are obsessed with “finding the ghost in the machine”, a concept dear to Terry Riley. The ghost must be floating around Vespers, a beautifully ambient track to be listened to curled up in front of a fire, the closing piece of an album which is perfectly on trend, somewhere between Jon Hopkins, Max Cooper and Rival Consoles. But although the ambient contemplations have got a special appeal, the Smart brothers don’t recoil from a dancing atmosphere – without crossing the line into club music however – on the hypnotic Cluster, the obsessive Dawn (which reminds you of certain Caribou productions) and Daemon, a nod to Moderat. They also know how to go lighter, almost into pop, like on the single Hymn which demonstrates their ability to make this project evolve into something very promising indeed. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Pop - Released September 20, 2019 | Verve Forecast

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
The American dream is an inexhaustible subject. It is approached head-on, sideways, from behind, above and below. It is the ultimate fuel for hordes of songwriters; even when they weren’t even born in America. As is the case for J.S. Ondara. This young Kenyan, who his label calls "the link between Tracy Chapman and Michael Kiwanuka" (an easy claim but not wrong), went there to try his luck. In 2013, Ondara dropped anchor at his aunt's house in Minneapolis. Having only previously known his native Nairobi, the musician took his songs into bars, clubs and even out onto the street, equipped with only his voice and a simple acoustic guitar, perhaps in the hope of becoming a third millennium Bob Dylan. The Dylan of The Freewheelin', his favourite record; Springsteen's Nebraska also being one of his top picks... But to limit himself to cloning those giants wouldn’t be very interesting. And Tales of America avoids that. First of all, J.S. Ondara has his own voice. His plaintive tone is a little androgynous and makes him truly unique. On the instrumental side, he adds some more daring flavours with the help of the great Andrew Bird, Griffin Goldsmith from Dawes and Joey Ryan from the Milk Carton Kids duo. In a divided America and a crisis-riddled world, J. S. Ondara's songs are more than just bandages, they’re powerful balms that penetrate the skin and warm the heart. This is a Qobuzissime that we needed... © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 16, 2019 | Human Season Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
Could Dublin be at the center of another post-punk earthquake? Following in the footsteps of Fontaines D.C and Girl Band, with whom they shared a rehearsal space, here come The Murder Capital’s 5 Irishmen and their urban claustrophobia. They’re post-apocalyptic, tender, furious and emotional. Taking from the likes of Joy Division, The Cure and Fugazi, their first album is titled When I Have Fears after the famous John Keats poem. As always, frontman James McGovern has a calculated approach when it comes to his band: “It would be too easy for us to write an album of ten punk songs at 170 bpm; we could deliver that. It’s a reflection of what’s inside our heads and there is no way we can be angry for that amount of time”. At the heart of that nuanced manifesto, equal amounts brooding romanticism and angry outbursts are the channels for McGovern’s socio-political concerns. He traces When I Have Fear’s inception to a traumatic event: “I had a very close friend of mine take his own life in February and we wanted to reflect the neglect held towards mental healthcare in Ireland. Unnecessary deaths happen due to neglect from the State, or from general emotional intelligence from our society. My friend simply couldn’t afford the help he needed.” The baritone drew from the Emerald Isle’s vast literary tradition in order to paint a scathing portrayal of youth communities plagued by binge culture. His message is underlined by razor-sharp arrangements that verge on the minimal. Their simplicity contributes to the sinister sense of urgency in many of the songs. Nonetheless, Diarmuid Brennan’s hyperactive drumming – listen to those hi-hats! – on Don’t Cling To Life, as well as the piano and the somber growls on How The Streets Adore Me Now demonstrate that the band is more than capable of going beyond the formal frameworks set in place during the early-2000s post-punk revival. When I Have Fears is 100% a Dublin record, transcending the cold and the misery without ever giving up on sincerity and power – A thunderous and sensitive Qobuzissime. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 19, 2019 | Mr Bongo

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Anatolian lo-fi samba, sung in English, French and Turkish! With such a colourful program, Mantra Moderne is poised to be summer 2019’s most iconic album. This indie-world soundtrack is the lovechild of duo Kit Sebastian. Kit Martin, the one-man-bedroom-band, lives between London and Paris, writing and performing the songs on this first album over which his accomplice Merve Erdem lays her voice. The singer from Istanbul cast her anchor in the British capital. These days it seems unexpected stylistic fusions are all the rage, and Mantra Moderne is the flag bearer for that trend. From Brazilian tropicalism to 60s British pop, and turkish psychedelics to analog electronica, Kit Sebastian like to sift through 20th century music just as Stereolab, Broadcast and Khruangbin did before them. Their cabinet of curiosities includes acoustic and analog instruments, tablas, darbukas, a balalaïka, an oud, a Korg MS-20 and a Farfisa organ. The pair crafts a deliciously minimalistic symphony. It’s mischievous, and oh-so-sixties: The most exotic Qobuzissime of the year! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Sub Pop Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
The album cover is intriguing; Stetson on his head, mask over his eyes and tasseled veil on the mouth. Orville Peck comes across as yet another ‘masked avenger’, camouflaged, helmeted, hidden, ready to join Daft Punk, Cascadeur, The Residents, MF Doom and other SBTRKT. Basically, the man has the appearance of a cowboy escaped from one of David Lynch’s dreams. He’s a kind of improbable version of the Lone Ranger, the fictional character who appeared in a radio soap opera in 1933, then in a television series fifteen years later: A true icon of American pop culture ... When Peck finally opens his mouth, his voice is that of a timeless crooner. There is a touch of Elvis, Roy Orbison, Chris Isaak, Lloyd Cole and Marlon Williams in this typical lover-voice that Orville Peck never overdoes. With Pony, his debut album and Qobuzissime under the excellent label Sub Pop, this mysterious man of unknown origin and unknown age, connects staggered romantic ballads and dreamy laments. Great songs are draped in production where reverb, twang guitars, cotton drums and impressionist steel-guitar reigns. It’s like country and shoegaze after a torrid night of love. Broken hearts, deserted motels, infinite highways and faded western landscapes, this is a beautiful record that reveals Orville Peck to be the talented painter of a fascinating picture. All that’s left to do is close your eyes and dream with him. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 8, 2019 | Alice Phoebe Lou

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
With her long blond hair and sullen expressions, Alice Phoebe Lou is stunning. But beyond just her soft-sounding name and striking looks, what truly makes her stand out is her crystalline voice that slides from high to low frequencies with mind-blowing ease. Originally from Cape Town, the singer-songwriter’s wanderlust led her to Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin in her late adolescence. Attracted by the exotic feel of the German capital, the young Alice decided to move there permanently, making a living from busking. Before bringing out her debut album Orbit in 2016 (a beautiful record of stripped-back jazz and folk), the young vagabond would parade her music around the city’s bars, parks and streets."No rules, no rules" she sings on Something Holy - a maxim that also applies to her music. In the same vein as Orbit, this second album takes us to another galaxy, one that’s composed of Alice’s dreamy folk, blues and jazz vocals. Allowing the voice to breathe, Paper Castles comprises ten lightweight tracks, which are infused with soft, shimmering synths. With discreet guitars, soft xylophones (Ocean), soaring vocals (Red), tinkering notes (Fynbos), ethereal productions and slow tempos (Galaxies), everything seems touched by Alice's grace. Wonderful. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 8, 2019 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

Distinctions Qobuzissime
It would not be right to reduce Tamino-Amir Moharam Fouad simply to an heir of Jeff Buckley with hints of Radiohead from their earlier years. The Belgian songwriter, only 21 years old, offers much more than that on his first album, even if Colin Greenwood, the bassist from Radiohead, does not feature on the album ... Tamino, an Antwerp-native and John Lennon-admire, has still kept his Egyptian origins preserved in a corner of his head, under his jet-black mane. Muharram Fouad, his singer-actor grandfather, a star in Cairo in the sixties ... This eclecticism is at the heart of Tamino's music , which owes as much to Buckley folk music as it does to Beatles pop and even to the nonchalant melancholy of Leonard Cohen, another one of his idols. To fuse these disparate influences, the mysterious young man possesses a deadly weapon: his voice. It's an equally versatile organ, capable of stretching slowly and transforming itself into a stunning falsetto, an impressive technique that he never abuses. It is this voice that transformsAmir into a long and poignant novel. A coming-of-age story alternates That entre les dreamer (the pure folk we Verses ) and the lyrical poet as on So It Goes, Each Time and Intervals , Conceived around a section of Arabic strings. A Qobuzissime album that's oozing with original and touching poetry. © Marc Zisman / Qobuz
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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | Verve Forecast

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
The American dream is an inexhaustible subject. It is approached head-on, sideways, from behind, above and below. It is the ultimate fuel for hordes of songwriters; even when they weren’t even born in America. As is the case for J.S. Ondara. This young Kenyan, who his label calls "the link between Tracy Chapman and Michael Kiwanuka" (an easy claim but not wrong), went there to try his luck. In 2013, Ondara dropped anchor at his aunt's house in Minneapolis. Having only previously known his native Nairobi, the musician took his songs into bars, clubs and even out onto the street, equipped with only his voice and a simple acoustic guitar, perhaps in the hope of becoming a third millennium Bob Dylan. The Dylan of The Freewheelin', his favourite record; Springsteen's Nebraska also being one of his top picks... But to limit himself to cloning those giants wouldn’t be very interesting. And Tales of America avoids that. First of all, J.S. Ondara has his own voice. His plaintive tone is a little androgynous and makes him truly unique. On the instrumental side, he adds some more daring flavours with the help of the great Andrew Bird, Griffin Goldsmith from Dawes and Joey Ryan from the Milk Carton Kids duo. In a divided America and a crisis-riddled world, J. S. Ondara's songs are more than just bandages, they’re powerful balms that penetrate the skin and warm the heart. This is a Qobuzissime that we needed... © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 26, 2018 | CRYBABY

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
Francis Mallari, Elliot Berthault, Maxime Gendre, Simon Dubourg, Guillaume Rottier: five lads making beautiful, violent French post-punk. Rendez-Vous have something of a fresh Eighties chill flavour. And they don’t sound French. From Fad Gadget to Soft Moon, the quintet blends together a huge range of influences, without ever falling into imitation. After two EPs, Rendez-Vous in 2014 and Distance in 2016, the Parisians have dug deep into the blackness of a punk style that's dark but fine, elegant and worn, and never too gritty. This is a classy and romantic rendez-vous in black and white. The group are held together by a strong spine made up of Francis' rough and husky voice, the choppy guitar and busted synths and above all the intense, unwavering bassline (Sentimental Animal, Paralyzed) which creates a rhythm that's certainly upbeat but not rushed: Superior State says it all: from the first track, until the final bow. Excellent. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz