So I have less than a month, officially, until I’m due to leave on my mission and depart for the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Crazy, I know. But that means I have 29 days (according to the handy little countdown widget on your right) to keep the Harmony Avenue party going, and I have tons of artists & songs I still want to share. My solution (for now, at least)? I’m going to experiment with some ways to expand my posting repertoire, while still sticking to the (hopefully) simple ways I’ve done things on this blog since the beginning. (P.S.: Helpful feedback on what’s working and what’s not is always appreciated. A blogger can’t do it all on his own. :)) And thus, I introduce to you…the Song Sampler of the Day! It’s the Song of the Day we all know and love, but thrice as nice at the same price! The first song in this trio of musical delight? A tune in French called…
“Comme des enfants” by Coeur de Pirate!
Coeur de Pirate is the stage name for young French-Canadian singer/songwriter Béatrice Martin. (“Coeur de Pirate is French for “pirate heart.”) I first heard another song of hers on our Pandora station at work, and I had been meaning to check her music out further, but before I did, I saw her name pop up again, this time while perusing Musicnotes, one of my favorite sheet music sites. This song was on the front page, so I took a listen to the audio sample of the sheet music, was intrigued, listened to the 90-second clip on iTunes…and boy, was I hooked. Such a beautiful song, and the kind that’s appealing and lovely regardless what language you speak. (I’m personally not the best at French, and I’m much less familiar with it than I am with, say, Spanish, though I do kind of admire it from afar. And we’re singing a song in French, from the opera “Carmen,” for the East Valley Mormon Choral Organization’s upcoming concert. It’ll be very fun.) Light and airy, yet haunting and riveting, this song is, as English-speaking people say in a clichéd fashion, thinking they’re all French…très magnifique.
Next, take a gander (with your…ears?) at…
“Death by Perfection” by Maia Sharp!
In this link by NPR, you can find a little story about the song (funnily enough, it was actually their Song of the Day…connections!), which is really insightful. Anyways, before I talk about that a tiny bit, Maia is an unbelievably talented songwriter and performer who has helped write songs for the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, and according to the little NPR article, even Cher. The Dixie Chicks song, “A Home,” was co-written with her dad Randy Sharp, and was one of the standouts (for me, at least) from the Chicks’ stunning album “Home.” One of the songs she contributed to Bonnie Raitt’s last album, “Souls Alike,” is one of my all-time favorites…a stark, heartbreaking tune called “The Bed I Made.” She’s a gifted composer, but also a vibrant and dynamic performer. David Browne of NPR (who penned the article I linked to) states the essence of this song’s appeal best, I think: “A subtly ingratiating song, it makes its point with grace and nuance — in other words, a protest song for adults.” I just love the lyrics…Maia is skilled at putting things in unique ways, yet making them intensely relatable, and she’s also terrific at creating just the right musical setting for her lyrics. Plus, this song features a fine guest appearance by none other than Bonnie Raitt herself.
The last song in today’s trio? A breathtaking song that I have a favorite artist of mine to thank for introducing me to (more on that in a moment)…
“Reset” by Lucie Silvas!
(Play the full song using the Bandcamp widget in the tweet below. Just click the play button on the picture.)
Lucie Silvas is, from what I understand, a British singer-songwriter. This is the only song of hers I’ve heard. (I’ll soon have to remedy that.) I found about it via Jamie Cullum, one of my musical idols, and one who’s been previously featured on this blog. His brother, Ben Cullum, is a songwriter who’s co-written for Jamie and for other artists, and he made the following tweet about a song his brother had worked on:
I saw it by chance while checking out his website for possible news about his upcoming new album (JAMIE JUST GIVE IT TO US PLEASE), and I went to listen to the song…sweet mama, is it good. It’s sweeping, and emotional, yet beautifully confessional and honest. (It also increases my desire/dream to someday co-write with Ben Cullum. He is terrific.) You’ll be hitting the play button quite often on this one.
There you have it! Harmony Avenue’s first Song Sampler of the Day. I have no idea how often I’ll be utilizing this combo format for Song of the Day posts, but it was worth an initial try at any rate. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be sure to make this final month of posting an exciting one!