Paolo Nutini I Temper Trap I Paradise I Jehro I Max Jury I J.Blomqvist & Band
Zermatt Unplugged, Zermatt:
Just one listen to Paolo Nutini’s magnificent third long-player Caustic Love reveals exactly why it was worth the wait. It’s been five years since the towering success of its 2009 predecessor, Sunny Side Up, which like the 27-year-old Paisley-born singer’s 2006 debut These Days, sold a staggering 1.5 million copies in the UK alone. Described by Q magazine as “a truly excellent modern soul album”, it’s a record that acknowledges the classic music of the past while fixing its eyes firmly on the future. There may be echoes of some of soul music’s greats within the grooves of Caustic Love – Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, among others – but taken as a whole it’s a masterful creation which proves Paolo to be very much his own man. As the latest thrilling chapter in the story of Paolo Nutini, these thirteen tracks spotlight the singer’s stunning musical development. “It’s been very experimental and creative,” he concludes. “It’s not been confined. There’s certain pressures and expectations that go on, and really, you do what you do. You’ve got to have something that you want to say and you’ve got to do it with conviction. With music, you realise just how lucky you are to have this great thing in your life.”
Much, it has to be said, like Caustic Love itself.
More than a million albums sold; more than 150 million streams on Spotify; a number one album in your homeland; arena support tours with Coldplay and the Rolling Stones; gracing the stages of Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Coachella; being nominated and winning a number of prestigious ARIA Awards in Australia, as well as receiving a nomination for best international group at the BRIT Awards. It was a good few years for The Temper Trap.
The Temper Trap in 2016 is a consolidation of what made the band matter to people in the first place. The title Thick As Thieves seemed a natural choice. Anthemic, direct, up, emotive music, typified by the first three songs that came: ‘So Much Sky’, ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’ and ‘Burn’. “Those were ones that were very much built around guitars,” says Dundas. “And that was something that we wanted to do: for it to very much be a guitar record. It doesn’t mean it can’t have other stuff – the first record had lots of other stuff bubbling away underneath – but at the heart of it, if you strip everything away, that’s the vibe.”
J.BLOMQVIST & BAND
350 Gigs in drei Jahren. Da kommt es nicht oft vor, dass Jan Blomqvist sich öffentlich bei den Veranstaltern bedankt. 2015 war er im Rahmen seiner Remote Control-Tour am Zermatt Unplugged und hat sich am Gornergrat filmen lassen: „Maybe today was the nicest tour day we've ever had so far. Thank you Zermatt Unplugged. It's very nice to have off days like this. Wow!“ Abends dann die grösste Tanzparty, die Zermatt je gesehen hat, im Alex. Jan Blomqvist, der Erfinder des Konzerttechnos, er kommt zurück ans Matterhorn.
Born in Oslo of a fortuitous meeting and instant connection, Paradise was formed out of a desire to inject the immediacy of explosive performance back into the social media-saturated, digitally obsessed modern world. Paradise is a darkly enigmatic proposition whose live performance strips back the social mores of the internet age, relying instead on simplicity and presence, and injecting the kind of release that can only be found in physical, explosive yet lyrical live music that has elements of alchemy in its delivery. Paradise can be accepted both to reflect the times or alternatively as an escape from them, engagement and detachment in tandem. The medium is the luxuriant sound of rock music in all its visceral joys, the message is resistance and anger, but also empathy and consolation. Decay is always under the surface of Paradise. The luxuriant canopy of a jungle is born of a rotting undergrowth.
Paradise is Sivert Høyem (Madrugada), Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey) & Rob McVey (Marianne Faithfull band)
En 2015, Jehro est de retour avec Bohemian Soul Songs. Un disque enregistré à Los Angeles, sous la houlette du réalisateur Mitchell Froom. « Je connaissais surtout son travail pour Suzanne Vega, et ses productions avec Tchad Blake pour beaucoup d’artistes de la scène indépendante » explique Jehro. De Crowded House à Los Lobos, en passant par Elvis Cotello, Richard Thompson ou Randy Newman, le Californien a prêté son art du son à de nombreux classiques des années 1980 à 2000. Immense chanteur, homme de scène habité, Jehro va désormais porter cet album sur les scènes du monde, avec la ferveur douce qui le caractérise. Ses Bohemian Soul Songs ont les vertus d’un baume apaisant qu’on s’appliquera sans compter.
Just 21 but undeniably an old soul, Max Jury comes on like the missing link between Gram Parsons and George Harrison, shot through with the grace of James Blake. An impeccable song-crafter, he’s got one foot in the cornfields and the other in the nearest dive bar whilst his fingers skip across the keys of his Fender Rhodes. An Iowa native, he binds together timeless themes of the struggles of being young, drinking the bottle dry and love lost and found with a small town perspective, topped off an airy croon that’s bound to break as many hearts as it heals.
Though he’s a fan of the lovelorn stories of Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell, don’t be too quick to pigeonhole Max as a country musician himself. He calls his sound “a big stew”, which also encompasses his love of rock’n’roll and British invasion bands like the Kinks as well vintage soul, modern pop and contemporary roots music. As a live proposition, Max either plays solo or with a full band made up of friends and ex-lovers, who made their debut at a sold-out, 2000 capacity venue supporting Lana Del Rey, after being flown out to Chicago personally by Tom Windish of The Windish Agency. “It took all the nerves out of performing ever again!” remembers Max. “It was like pulling a band-aid off really fast.” So far, playing that massive show has been the strangest moment in Max’s burgeoning musical career. “I haven’t had any really weird experiences yet,” he thinks, “like where a girl gives me a vial of blood after a show.” However, if he carries on like this, such fevered fandom is inevitable.