New Music For Old People: HAIM, London Grammar, Heston



Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. “If I Could Change Your Mind” — HAIM

They are simply the Haim sisters, Alana, Danielle and Este, from Southern California. Picked out at 2012’s SXSW Fest in Austin, they got a record deal with Polydor UK. Their first full album was produced by guys who worked with Usher and Florence and The Machine. Over-produced? Of course! All over the charts? Why, yes — obvious family talent here although obviously not identical triplets (see below). Lessee wot happens, mate…

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2. “Nightcall” — London Grammar

Wait! Not so fast — New Brits prevail overseas! This band, formed at the University of Nottingham, is basically two guys and a gal. Dan Rothman plays all the cool guitar licks, Hannah Reid is the singer, and Dot Major plays keys and drums. If the guitar wasn’t so prominent in most of their tracks, they would be classified immediately as electronica. But they hold back enough to be more flexible all around. I am partial to Hannah’s voice on their first album If You Wait. But Dan gets me too with the guitar licks swirling around Hannah. Dot holds it all together. They are huge in the UK and Australia as well. I see no big push here other than unbiased Al…

3. “If” — Heston

Heston is an R&B singer from the West Indies. There’s a little of that still in his music, but much more Motown nowadays. This is from his debut album in 2008 amazingly called Heston. I love the groove on this track and, of course, the rhythm guitar playing. It’s a good song and Heston CAN sing as well as write. His third album, Love Junkie, just came out if you like this.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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