When "Marathon Runner" begins, it's a little familiar and a little chaotic. Fans of Yellow Ostrich's first album, The Mistress, will recognize the voice of singer Alex Schaaf, which sounds most at home when it's threading through his loop pedal. But here, something is broken: The loop is unbalanced, resetting mid-measure, failing to lock into a groove.
British artist Jasmine van den Bogaerde — better known as Birdy — is probably best known for her 2011 cover of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love." The 15-year-old started playing piano at 5, began composing a few years later and won the Open Mic UK competition in 2008 at the age of 12. The win guaranteed the young artist a recording contract, but before releasing her debut, she'd already scored a spot on the U.K. pop chart with her cover of "Skinny Love," making Birdy a household name in the U.K.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:07 pm
Singer-songwriter Grace Weber makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Originally from Wauwatosa, Wisc., Weber began honing her soul-inflected pop voice at a young age by singing in local choirs. At 23, the recent NYU graduate has appeared on Harlem's famed Showtime at the Apollo, as well as at the Kennedy Center, at the Ella Awards and on The Today Show. In 2009, Weber was selected from hundreds of thousands of applicants to sing on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
A lot of artists come into the KEXP studios on their way to stardom, and you count yourself lucky and excited to be a part of an inspired performance. The best sessions, though, happen just as a band is taking off — and on its record-release day, no less — and you know it's going to break through.