David Stükenberg recommends Fyfe Dangerfield of The Guillemots

David-Stükenberg and Fyfe Dangerfield

David-Stükenberg and Fyfe Dangerfield

David Stükenberg’s artist recommendation: “My recommendation is Fyfe Dangerfield and his band The Guillemots because they create beautifully crafted melodies that catches you off guard and skillfully switches direction. Lyrically, Dangerfield always rides a fine line between heartbreak, nostalgia, and a pure uninhibited vibrancy that I have only heard in a very select few artists. Last but not least, from a production/arrangement standpoint, the music is the perfect blend of dark experimental, classical, and pop-dance-ability. I will buy everything Guillemots releases. I actually travelled to Berlin, Germany just to finally catch a show!”

New to Fyfe Dangerfield and The Guillemots? David recommends you start here: I’d recommend checking Through the Window Pane to a new listener. It’s definitely their most complete thought as a full album. It’s all over the map musically but manages to have a perfect flow to it, almost like a 68-minute opera. It incorporates an impressive spectrum of emotion from beginning to end. This would definitely be my “desert island record.”

* Be sure to check Fyfe Dangerfield’s recommendation essay about Anywhen right here on Rocktorch.com

David Stükenberg About our guest author, David Stükenberg: Hailing from Austin, TX, David Stükenberg fronts, you guessed it, a band called Stükenberg, which is releasing its third album, Novella (pre-order here) on Nov. 12. Take a listen to the single Home below (the single is currently being played on over 140 radio stations, by the way) and you’ll be taken in by the earwormish banjo (Deliverance, anyone?) that gives way to the radio-friendly chorus. David classifieds his sound as Appalachian rock. Any way you label it, Stükenberg’s timing couldn’t be better as it synchs perfectly with the resurgence of soaring folk that was started by Frightened Rabbit and has been kidnapped by the Mumfords. David’s tunes and lyrics, however, skew a bit darker than what is saturating your radio dial and the new album is a well planned out, cohesive collection. It’s been three years since Stükenberg’s last record and the band culled through 35 songs or so to bring you this expertly refined album. “Each track represents a new character in the greater story of Novella,” said David. “As individuals, they express themselves differently. So, too, do their songs.” Be sure check out the official Stükenberg web site for Facebook links, videos and more. And, be sure to check David’s Kickstarter page and contribute to help him promote the new album. Come on, help an indie out!

Fyfe Dangerfield recommends Thomas Feiner & Anywhen

Fyfe Dangerfield and Thomas Feiner

Fyfe Dangerfield and Thomas Feiner

Fyfe Dangerfield’s recommendation: “There are times when music just appears out of the blue and floors you, and I remember the first time I heard the song Dinah & The Beautiful Blue by Thomas Feiner – on a late-night radio show in the UK called Late Junction. These gorgeous, surging strings swelled in over the radio, and then in came this remarkable voice, a deep, dark beautiful voice, singing lyrics that read like a strange little nursery rhyme. It just has this other-wordly sort of melancholy, it’s almost like it’s a song coming from a ghost, or from someone leaving their body for a minute and singing down to themselves. My attempts to describe it here are pitiful, but listen to it and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.

So this in turn led me to his album, which is just a wonderful, wonderful thing. I think there are slightly different versions floating around, the one I have is actually called Opiates: Revised and is a slightly different tracklisting to the original, but it seems to hang together beautifully. I suppose you could loosely call it an album of torch songs – I’ve never quite known what that expression means but it seems to fit. Listen to it at night-time and it’s a magical experience. Everything about the record just takes you into its world – the production is perfect, never over-stated, but you can tell each sound has been really been put down with love, there’s such a warmth and depth to the sound of it. The orchestral arrangements are sweeping but never stifling, and at the same time there’s a starkness to much of the record, eerie sounds creeping through in the background, a knackered old upright piano here, an awkward bassoon there. And lyrics that cut straight to the heart, but yet still have a dreamlike blurriness to them.

I find myself recommending this album to pretty much everyone I meet that loves music. It’s so important to keep making the time to just stop what we’re doing, sit down, turn off our phones, shut down our computers, and just listen to music and lose ourselves in it – and I think The Opiates is a perfect record to do that to.”

MP3: The Siren Songs (Abridged Version) by Thomas Feiner & Anywhen

Fyfe DangerfieldAbout our guest author, Fyfe Dangerfield: Fyfe is all the rage because he is the owns the rich voice that covers Billy Joel’s She’s Always a Woman for John Lewis’ fantastic advertisement (see clip below), but he is also the founding member of The Guillemots, the band whose debut album was nominated for the 2006 Mercury Music Prize. Dangerfield has been busy with high profile side projects since then and in 2010 he released the ultra-melodic Fly Yellow Moon, a record that raked in the praise, including this quote from the Guardian UK: “…the songwriting quality is so high, the tunes have an immediate, instant feel.” 2011 finds Fyfe once again fronting The Guillemots and their latest release, Walk the River is currently tearing up the UK charts.

MP3: When You Walk In the Room by Fyfe Dangerfiled

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