Music in its most basic form, just a musician with an acoustic instrument, is a powerful and versatile outlet for artists to not only display their undiluted musicianship but to also give credence to how untainted and real acoustic music can be.
SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com) , the music sharing website, is often thought of as the realm of electronic and dance music, a place where anyone with Fruity Loops and keen sensibility for the genre, can upload and share music creations almost instantaneously.
But the site is a great outlet for thousands of burgeoning organic musicians, simple singer-songwriters armed with an acoustic guitar and strong lyrics. From country buskers to seasoned folkies, there is a wealth of new original acoustic music available on SoundCloud. Here is a sample of what is available.
Vin Gallo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Vin is a popular local guitarist, singer /songwriter and conservation activist, who has been performing live for over twenty years with a subtle blend of acoustic folk music and powerful lyrics. He is currently one of the prime movers in drawing attention to the rhino poaching problems in South Africa, most notably with his recent highly acclaimed performances at the KKNK. Proceeds from these live performances are being used to keep the country’s anti-poaching units active. The songs “Africa’s red sun is crying” and “Gone” have become anthems for this important cause, both available to download on SoundCloud. (http://soundcloud.com/vin-gallo/africas-red-sun-is-crying). Stylistically, Vin is reminiscent of Govt Mule’s Warren Haynes, offering raw vocalisation, with a strong storytelling element and some great guitar work.
Channelling a strange, but enjoyable mix of Lou Reed, Neil Young and Johnny Marr, Bing is a true independent artist with a great pop sensibility. Home recorded in the wilderness ofCanada, his collection “Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow”, has vast cinematic storytelling lyrics with some lush acoustic arrangements. His greatest asset is a dark, brooding vocal style, much like Reed, that is both atmospheric and playful. Looking like the lost son of Andy Warhol, he cuts the typical lanky figure of a romantic poet, with music and words to match.
infinite faces, Reno, United States
A near-fatal motorbike accident forced visual artist Gerad Davis to reassess his creative ambitions, and rediscovering music and learning to play guitar with his left hand was the first step in breaking down the creative wall. As infinite faces, he sounds similar to the solo albums of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. The sound is not for everyone, filled with angsty, choppy guitar playing and very traumatic lyrical content. He sings, gutwretchedly, from the heart and does some interesting, new things with the acoustic music format. Dark, but uplifting, strange as it might seem.
Tape Hiss and Sparkle,Cape Town,South Africa
Hailed by Rolling Stone South Africa as one of the more real and authentic musical collectives inSouth Africatoday, THS are proudly lo-fi in their rustic production, but equally sophisticated in atmosphere. Like Swedish troubadour Jose Gonzalez, the THS sound is sometimes larger and more orchestral than it actually is, a great endorsement for the power of acoustic music and how it can be used effectively. Simon Tamblyn’s vocal style is sublime and powerful. One to watch for future local success, and beyond.