Tag Archive: Magnatune


Rank/Artist & tags/2011 plays

1

Falling You – ethereal ambient, female vocals 341

2

Within Temptation – symphonic metal, female vocals 325

3

Shiva in Exile – ethnic electronic, female vocals 304

4

Burial – ambient dubstep electronic 172

5

Irfan – ethereal ethnic, female vocals 161

6

Conjure One – chillout electronic, female vocals 97

7

Solace – ethnic/world rhythms 93

8

Amethystium – ambient ethereal electronic 89

9

Ladytron – synthpop electronic 68

10

Lycia – ethereal darkwave, female vocals 62

11

Shiny Toy Guns – alternative electronic 54

(source: http://www.last.fm/user/jkwood/charts)

  1. Falling You– always a favorite, been in my overall top 10 for years.  This music is great for relaxing, and I use it often for that purpose.  Most of 2011’s plays came from the new album, Adore. (Falling You’s Magnatune page)  
  2. Within Temptation– While I’ve been a mostly casual fan of Within Temptation for a few years, the release of their album The Unforgiving in March 2011 excited me about this band, as I think this is their best album yet.  The symphonic metal style is a little out of place within this top 10, but this album is really more rock and symphony than metal, in my opinion.
  3. Shiva in Exile– Another Magnatune artist (as is Falling You), this is a new band for me this year.  I have been growing in recent years in my appreciation for ethnic music, particularly middle eastern influences.  SIE has heavy influences of middle east fused with modern electronic music, creating a very catchy and unusual sound.
  4. Burial – another new artist for me.  I discovered the music of Burial through the social music site www.turntable.fm (as I did #9 Ladytron, #11 Shiny Toy Guns, and many others), after which I purchased their two albums, Burial and Untrue.  With a dark ambient sound, heavy electronic processing and vocal sampling, I found myself attracted to this music, listening to the albums on repeat several days in a row.
  5. Irfan – This is one of the original sources of interest to me of middle-eastern/Arabic-influenced music.  I finally bought their albums Irfan (http://www.last.fm/music/Irfan/IRFAN) and Seraphim (http://www.last.fm/music/Irfan/Seraphim).  I have not been disappointed!
  6. Conjure One – Continuing an apparent trend in this year’s top music, I have also discovered this mellow electronic side project of Rhys Fulber (of Delirium and Front Line Assembly fame).  Also of no surprise to those that know my music taste (or who glanced at the tags in the list above), most of my favorite music features female vocalists, and while there is no permanent vocalist, Conjure One has many featured female singers (Falling You has a similar rotation of guest vocals.).  These singers have a variety of styles and sounds that compliment the accompaniment well.
  7. Solace – Still on my new music search this year, Solace popped up on my radar during my subscription to Magnatune (www.magnatune.com, home also of Falling You and Shiva in Exile from this list) as an artist similar to Shiva in Exile that I might like.  As I would consider this a less “westernized” Arab/Middle-eastern style, it may appeal less to some than does Shiva or Irfan.  Indeed, even though it is in my top artists, I must admit that there are no real standout tracks for me to recommend.
  8. Amethystium – Another longtime favorite, Amethystium is one of those artists I default to when I need something light in the background for reading, studying, or working.  Not that this is elevator music, by any means.  A variety of world music sounds combine with electronica and New Age styles to make many interesting and different-sounding tracks.
  9. Ladytron – Having been exposed to Ladytron through www.turntable.fm, my appreciation grew over time as I recognized that my foot tapped to this female-fronted electronic (another trend for me this year) music each time it came up.  Spotify and Turntable account for the many plays on this list in 2011.
  10. Lycia – A steady favorite throughout the years, Lycia has throughout their albums kept my eager interest as the sound morphed from droning guitars and low-key vocals to female-fronted ethereal and experimental when Tara Vanflower came on board.  This group steadily stays in top rotation.
  11. Shiny Toy Guns – Yet another www.turntable.fm discovery for me, I’ve grown to appreciate the style of this group which I was initially inclined to dismiss as another pretentious indie garage band.  I’m glad to be wrong; I find that this band has a catchy pop appeal with strong electronica/dance values underneath.  A quick favorite (once I gave them a chance!)  My expectation of further growth in my esteem earns them an honorary place in the top 10.

(view last year’s here: https://jkw00d.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/my-top-10-musical-artists-2010/)


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“Adore” by Falling You

Released last week by musical project Falling You, the new album “Adore” can be listened to and purchased (currently, only) through Magnatune. In their four previous albums, Falling You has cultivated an ethereal, dark ambient, sometimes trip-hop sound characterized by haunting female vocals and echoing electronic music and percussion.  From their bio page on Last.fm:
“Falling You is instrumentalist and producer, John Michael Zorko, with a revolving cast of guest vocalists including Suzanne Perry (of Melodyguild and Love Spirals Downwards), Dru Allen (of Mirabilis and This Ascension), Victoria Lloyd (of Claire Voyant and Mono Chrome), Aimee Page (of Vishnu’s Secret), Anji Bee (of Lovespirals), Kirsty Hawkshaw, Sara Ayers, Erica Mulkey (AKA Unwoman), Amanda Kramer (of The Golden Palominos), Shikhee (of Android Lust), Krista Tortora (of Full Blown Kirk), and Jennifer McPeak (the original band vocalist from Mercy). They are known for haunting, ethereal, emotive ambient-pop, best heard when the moon is high and the atmosphere serene. ”

In this, their fifth full length album release, Falling You expands their sound towards a slightly harder edge.  Their sound is still recognizable, yet adds a more structured feel that may be more casually accessible to new listeners.  From this album’s page on Magnatune:

“Adore finds ‘Falling You’ exploring a more optimistic, rock-oriented motif. Though the ethereal / ambient base is still there, the music ranges from ambient, to jangly shoegaze, to melodic space-rock, to dream-pop and finally back to ambient. The concept is a simple one – life is a varied and wonderful thing, and though it’s trials can weigh heavily on us, it’s tribulations can lift our hearts. ‘Adore’ is about exploring the more optimistic side of emotional music and this gift called life.”

Before listening to the album, upon reading this description, I confess to feeling a bit disappointed, as the floating, dreamy soundscapes created by the haunting vocals and minimal accompaniment of their previous releases were what I treasured about their music.  I was concerned that expanded instrumental support would change the feel and appeal of the music.  However, based on prior experience, I was more than willing to give it a listen; indeed, if Magnatune had not had the album streaming for preview, I would probably still have bought it unheard. Tentative as I was, “Adore” hooked me from the first sampling, and it has grown on me steadily these ten or twelve times which I have since listened through.  It seems more that the heavier instrumental accompaniment make the music more rich and lush and enhance rather than obscure or detract from the vocals.  Some of my favorite tracks so far are “Firestorm,” “Adore,” “Song of Summer,” and “Moving One.”

If the descriptions of the music style or of this album have interested you, I recommend you sample their music and support this artist!  You can also listen to this album (and their others) on Spotify: <iframe src=”https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:6nPR6Dq0xKySbWH5gkSpkf&#8221; width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true”>