“Remember” is a touching and hopeful song in the face of adversity by British singer/songwriter @JulesRendell

JULES RENDELL, “Remember” (live performance)

This past Spring, I introduced you to British singer/songwriter Jules Rendell and her song “The Return” from her album I M A G I N E.  A great way to showcase songs is through live performance, and Jules does this, with just her piano and voice, in a concert rendition of “Remember” from the same album.  And with a powerful and passionate voice, that is all that a song like “Remember” needs – simple isn’t always easy to do but it is sometimes what works best.  It’s a hopeful song about remembering the loving and caring words that friends and family say when facing some sort of adversity, and in particular when mental health is the source, when people may not knowingly take the words to heart.  That’s all there is to say – just check out the video above and find out why.

Published in: on December 1, 2018 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Matt & Kim: The Hardest Working Duo in Pop Music??

I wasn’t on board until three years ago, but Brooklyn’s Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino, aka Matt & Kim, are one of the most entertaining and energetic acts I’ve seen in recent years.

It all started with a neat tune called “Daylight”, which grabbed my ears and has yet to let go of them three years later.  I got familiar with the other songs from the Grand album, just in time to see their show in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in October 2010 at the time of the release of their last album Sidewalks.  The show was a solid, no frills and invigorating performance that kept the audience pumped.  Sidewalks brought on a richer production than Grand, evident in some of the best songs like “Block After Block” and “Ice Melts”.

After touring the hell out of it in 2011, the duo took a bit of a break, but got back into their apartment studio in January to record their latest album Lightning.  That album goes back to a more DIY bare bones sound as on Grand.  And while it all sounds somewhat stripped away, making something simple, to-the-point, and memorable is difficult!  So Matt & Kim rely on simple riffs, big drum beats, anthemic choruses, and more minimal lyrics to keep it all stuck in your head.  Standout songs include “Let’s Go”, “Now” (recently a free download), “It’s Alright”, “I Wonder”, and “Overexposed”.

The emphasis this time around though is on their concert performance, which received rave reviews from their last tour, and they have upped the ante.  So back at the Phoenix in Toronto again in October, the set starts off with “Block After Block”, one of their most well-known songs, which is a huge plus.  Then down come balloons for the crowd to blow up and toss around, and out comes paper confetti (twice) to make the set a celebration.  The energy level just doesn’t stop, with plenty of audience interaction from both of the duo, including one song they say has 201 BPM.  Even when they do have to slow it down a bit just to compose themselves, there is always something happening, whether it’s a brief cover of “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay, incorporating some incidental Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg music, or injecting “We No Speak Americano” into the mix.  Then on we go to expect the unexpected through songs like “Daylight” (cue power failure – even better, cue audience to finish it off, much to the amazement of Matt & Kim), “Lessons Learned”, “Yea Yeah”, and “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare”.  A clip of “It’s Alright” from their Burlington VT show last week is below.

So the more I read articles that isolate Lightning as an album from the duo’s concert performance, the more I want to fuse them together.  The album is really a souvenir of the concert, they need to be experienced together for the ride.  And remember that despite four albums now, Matt & Kim do not have major label or talent agency backing.  So does that make Matt & Kim the hardest working duo in pop music?  Find me one or two similar comparisons and we’ll talk.

Published in: on October 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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