Tag Archive: Shiva in Exile


Rank/Artist & tags/2013 plays

Stand to Reason 267
Falling You 120
Shiva in Exile 78
Passion 69
Cell 63
Connect.Ohm 55
The Lost Patrol 52
Hillsong United 51
Hillsong Live 50
10 Biosphere 47

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

I love music!  As has been my habit over the last few years, I like to do a backwards glance into the things I’ve been listening to over the past 12 months or so.

Looking at the chart above and comparing to last year’s, it seems that I did not listen to as many individual tracks this year, and so not as much music.  However, I believe the truth is that I listened to more spoken word, which runs much longer, and so it likely works out that I was listening more this year, and not less, just different things.

So what was I listening to in 2013, anyway?

1. Stand to Reason – Ok, so first disclaimer, this is not actually music.  But since it appears in my last.fm database, and at the top slot, and by a very large margin, I think it is worth taking some time for.  STR is a Christian organization led by Greg Koukl dedicated to “Equipping Christian Ambassadors with Knowledge, Wisdom, and Character.”  Their especial strength lies in making a compelling case for the Christian worldview in a concise and culturally timely and relevant manner.  Early in the year, I purchased their three-part Ambassador Basic Curriculum which covers many diverse topics including the relationship between faith and reason, tactics in conversation (from Koukl’s excellent book), decision-making and the will of God, evolution, homosexuality, and others.  I listened to this curriculum over and over.  I recommend it highly to those interested in presenting a winsome case for Christianity.  Below is a sample of Greg Koukl speaking in a video blog on prayer and wishful thinking.

2. Falling You – Really, I’m running out of things to say about Falling You.  Year after year they remain in my top ten because I keep coming back to them.  Ever since my mid-twenties, my musical tastes have largely mellowed to the point that most of what I listen to is ambient, trance, etc., most often with female vocals, and Falling You is a prime example of my tastes in that area.  During 2013, Falling You released a new album “Blush”, which, while it displayed terrific production values, just did not inspire and move me in the way that the previous releases did.  Because this album is still somewhat new, and Falling You is not very well-known, I could not find a video link for songs the new album.  You can listen to the release on their website, or see below for a video featuring a song from an earlier release.

3. Shiva in Exile – This band is one which I have been listening to off-and-on since I discovered them in 2011.  I fell instantly in love with the electronic-middle eastern fusion in sound.  I listened to them quite a bit this year, and so they appear in position three in my charts for the year.

4. Passion – “Passion” is the name of the worship albums performed by a  collaboration of several Christian musicians, including Chris TomlinDavid Crowder BandMatt RedmanSteve FeeKristian Stanfill Charlie HallChristy Nockels and Nathan Nockels.  During 2013, I discovered their release “White Flag”, and found that almost every track was catchy, worshipful, and memorable.  I listen to it a lot, and recommend it.

5. Cell – Producing music of ambient, electronic, and downtempo genres, Cell is the work of electronic artist Alex Scheffer.  Introduced to me by Spotify’s “Discover” feature, I spent a couple of days listening through all of Spotify’s available albums.  I find it excellent music for reading and studying.

6. Connect.Ohm – Another artist found by Spotify’s “Discover” feature, Connect.Ohm has become a new favorite among the ambient/electronic genre of music.  Featuring Hidetoshi Koizumi of Hybrid Leisureland and Alex Scheffer of Cell, Connect.Ohm produces ambient music that is both interesting to listen actively to, as well as being relaxing focus music for reading or studying.

7. The Lost Patrol – Another artist which, if not always in my top ten, consistently stays in high rotation in my listening patterns.  For genre, I like to classify The Lost Patrol as “reverb surfabilly.”  Most of their songs are short, catchy, and feature female vocalists over reverb-heavy guitars in a rockabilly style.

8. & 9. Hillsong – I have combined my number nine and ten slots this year, as Hillsong Live is simply the live recordings of Hillsong United.  If you are unfamiliar with Hillsong, they are a contemporary rock style praise and worship band which originated in Hillsong Church in Australia.  Along with my number four ranking for last year, Passion, I listened to Hillsong quite a lot as I listened to more worship throughout the year.  They have produced many great worship recordings and I enjoy listening to them in my personal worship.

10. Biosphere – Finally, at number 10 is Biosphere, yet another good call by Spotify’s Discover feature.  With an experimental ambient electronic style, Biosphere is the musical project of Norwegian Geir Jenssen formerly of dream-pop band Bel Canto, and features musical loops and samples from sci-fi sources.  As with Cell and Connect.Ohm, this is great background music for performing focused tasks.

(view last year’s top 10 here: https://jkw00d.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/my-top-10-musical-artists-for-2012/)

What do you think?  Does any of this music grab you, inspire you, or influence you?

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/)