A Much Missed Voice – Khadja Nin

I was updating my World Music playlist recently and came across a name I haven’t listened to in any depth for a while, the Burundian beauty, Khadja Nin. I only got to know her music around 2004 after she had, unfortunately, dropped out of the mainstream music world following her 2006 marriage to racing driver Jackie Ickx, but we do have her four acclaimed albums that chart the career of this talented songbird.

Mini-Feature – Local Hitmakers

South Africa has such a diversity of musical styles and I sometimes tend to concentrate on bringing you music you may never have heard before at the expense of the new hit-makers. I tend to leave the hit-parade material alone but there are three artists in Johannesburg’s Mix FM local chart at the moment that I really feel deserve their place on the Loving the Music pages. I also have my non-SA friends and followers in mind while writing this who may seldom get to hear what’s trending on our local pop charts.

Cocteau Twins – Beauty Amid the Chaos

I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about doing a proper feature about the Cocteau Twins. I’ve featured a few tracks in the past, but the story behind the band deserves to be examined. Many regard the band as the founders of Dream Pop, with indecipherable vocals against the heavily processed guitars and synths, and embodied the dreamier side of this sub-genre of Alternative Rock. Along with New Order and The Smiths, they were one of the three main pillars of British alternative music of the day.

JJ Cale – A Posthumous Collection of Brand New Songs

Unlike many posthumous albums, Stay Around isn’t a compilation of favourites. The playlist comprises 15 previously unreleased tracks. You might think a collection from the archive might sound a little unfinished, but I was surprised how well produced the songs are. Admittedly, there are a few excellent obvious singles, but many of the remaining songs are stripped back, simpler, and no less magical

Urban Village – A great place to visit!

I am so excited to share a new find with you today. Thanks to a social heads-up from our friends at Rootspring Music I have finally discovered Urban Village. Although they only released their first album last month, this quartet of outstanding musicians has been around for a while. Sometimes there is a dire lack of information available about some of our new local artists; not so Urban Village. I happily found enough articles and interviews to keep the researcher in me smiling, and their full catalogue of past EP releases on Spotify and YouTube to keep my ears happy. The only problem I have had is choosing only three songs to share for today’s feature. They are all so good.

Mini-Feature: Bread & Roses, the Mimi Fariña Legacy

I was transported back to a very different era of my life recently when South Africa’s Music Guru, Sean Brokensha, played Judy Collins singing Bread and Roses during his excellent weekend show on Johannesburg’s Mix 93 FM. Some may not remember who Judy Collins is, and fewer will know what the Bread and Roses movement was about, but it is an interesting bit of musical history that did so much for the social consciousness of the era’s music lovers. We’ll start with a little background about the movement’s driving force, Mimi Fariña.

Mini-Feature – Bubblegum Music – An Acquired Taste:

I nearly didn’t write this article. When I saw a snippet informing me that it was the anniversary of the first Bubblegum Music chart-topper, I almost didn’t follow through. The song was Green Tambourine from The Lemon Pipers, and although not my favourite song of the era, it definitely beat some of the bubblegum crud we were expected to chew on the weekly hit parade. However, when I had a deeper look at this sugary-sweet genre I found it was quite an interesting topic and well worth some blog space.

Mini-Feature – Yazmin Lacey

Last week I fell in love and I think Yazmin and I are going to live happily ever after. This was all thanks to fellow music blogger (and member of our LTM group), Frank Darnell, who writes A Franke View posted two tracks from her debut EP that she released in 2017. My immediate comment was I can’t wait to hear more from this lady, and lo and behold, a few days later I stumbled across some more from this remarkable singer/songwriter.