209: The Real Group: ‘Monica Vals’ (‘Waltz for Debby’)

When they say ‘The voice is the only instrument made by God’, they’re thinking of Margareta Bengston of The Real Group singing Bill Evans’ ‘Waltz for Debby’. Four minutes in heaven.

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173: The Real Group, ‘Nature Boy’

An immaculate union of the pristine and the passionate – The Real Group in a breathtaking take on ‘Nature Boy’. It’s just a little perfect.

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033: Radka Toneff, ‘The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress’ (Jimmy Webb)

You’ve never heard of the Norwegian singer Radka Toneff. Trust me, it’s your loss.
Listen to her sing Jim Webb’s ‘The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress’. Tell me you weren’t moved.

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279: Ásgeir, ‘Torrent’

Can you imagine a budding rock star who prefers to spend his summers in his home village of 40 old people, in a bleak and remote grey landscape, planting trees during the day and collaborating on writing songs with his father during the long Icelandic evenings?

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278: The Danish String Quartet, ‘Sønderho Bridal Trilogy – Part II’/Dreamers’ Circus, ‘Kitchen Stories’

A classical string quartet and a roots trio. Six (sic) shaggy, hunky young Danish musicians exploring their roots with such panache and skill and joy that you can’t not love it. I guarantee you.

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273: The Necks, ‘Sex’

Jeff’s Top Ten from the last fortnight–surprises, non-surprises, and Rachael Price going ‘Ooh-ooh–ooh’.

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264: Folk’Avant, ‘9th of August’

For 12 days now I’ve listened to nothing other than this Swedish-Finnish folkmusik trio –a voice, a fiddle and concert kantele. Enchanted cembalo rock. Without rocks.

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063: Pust, ‘En Reell Halling’

Who wouldn’t scoff at a Norwegian a cappella sextet singing a musical battle between their own halling dance and an Irish jig?
You wouldn’t, if you give it a listen.

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