March is Mosaic Music Festival month, and this year, the ten-day music festival as always, does not disappoint with its lineup of acts. Here are our top 5 picks!
Who: A Grammy-nominated jazz chanteuse who offers classy renditions of jazz standards with a delightful freshness, a limpid phrasing and velvety voice.
Why you should catch her: Brought up in New York and now living in London,Kent is part of the new generation of jazz singers. Critics and fans alike have liken her to a young Astrud Gilberto. Her covers of standard songs “Great American Songbook”, Brazilian repertoire and songs of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Antonio Carlos Jobim all have the characteristic modern contribution made by Stacey Kent. Audio-philes and literature fans love her for her use of texts by contemporary writers such as novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s works in her album “Breakfast on the Morning Tram”.
The damage: $40, $60,$80, $100
Who: Despite the name, Architecture in Helsinki actually hails from Melbourne, Australia.
Why you should catch them: Known for their unique brand of experimental indie-pop, the quintet of multi-instrumentalists makes genre-defying music with a diverse range of sounds. If architecture in Helsinki actually sounds and looks like the band’s sounds, then there’s no shortage of asymmetrical buildings lit up by neon and phosphorescent lights, and powered by DIY gadgetry and electronics. Their most notable releases will be 2007’s “Places Like This” and last year’s “Moments Bend” where the band employs a more ‘grown-up’ sound with the use of heavily filtered and processed vocal effects over their distinctive synthetic instrumentation.
The damage: $40, $48
Who: It was only like a decade ago when Australian troubadour John Butler was busking on the streets and now he’s one of the best-selling folk-rock artistes around, not to mention with an award-winning band to boot. Any guitar and blues fan worth their weight in guitar picks will certainly not want to miss John Butler and his mind-blowing guitar playing.
Why you should catch them: Known for their political activism, The John Butler Trio blends funk, blues, orchestral, folk and reggae along with their own characteristic sound. The band won an ARIA award (Australian version of the Grammys) for ‘Best Independent Release ‘for “Three” in 2001 and again for Grand National in 2007 and has been nominated for three others.” Three” was released in the U.S. in 2002 and the John Butler Trio toured the U.S. in that year supporting the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer. The band’s latest album “April Uprising”, named after Butler's voyage to find his ancestors on SBS Television’s genealogy series, “Who Do You Think You Are?” has received positive reviews all around the world. The first single “One Way Road” received a massive amount of airplay in Australia and took the number one spot on the national airplay chart.
The damage: $40, $60, $80
Who: A British alternative rock band known for incorporating a wide range of emotional melodies and orchestral elements into their music. They cite groups as Genesis, Talk Talk, and Radiohead as their influences.
Why you should catch them: “Build a Rocket Boys!” is elbow’s fifth studio album, which debuted at number two on the UK album chart within the first week of its release. The band’s previous album, “The Seldom Seen Kid”, reached multi-platinum status selling over one million copies. elbow has been the recipient of several awards, including the 2008 Mercury Prize, the 2009 Brit Award for “British Group,” and two Ivor Novello Awards all in 2009 for “Best Contemporary Song” (“Grounds for Divorce”) and “Best Song Musically and Lyrically” (“One Day Like This”). In November 2011, it was announced that they will be composing the BBC's 2012 Olympic coverage theme tune.
The damage: $40, $60, $80, $100, $120
Who: What started out in 2008 as a pair of singing-and-song-writing duo has evolved into a six-piece folk-rock band recognizable by its melodic and wistful sounds.
Why you should catch them: If you love your rock from offbeat instruments—vibraphone, violin, banjos and the Rhodes piano—then Blind Pilot is it. Blending folk with West Coast indie pop, their sophomore effort “We Are The Tide” (2011) debuted at #56 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #22 on the Overall Digital Albums chart. In the years since its inception, the band has toured with various world-renowned musicians and has appeared at the Sasquatch! Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival.
The damage: $30