Five on a Friday – Music for a Quiet Hour

It’s been one of those weeks. You know the kind where everything and everybody conspire against you to reduce life to an endless stream of work, headaches and tiredness. Rinse, wash and repeat.

Music has been an annoyance much of the time but here are five songs that that didn’t get skipped or turned off in the past week. First is an obscure Canadian musician from Toronto, Matthew Maaskant, who I’d never discovered had it not been for the Canadian gentleman. Vocals, a piano and a double-bass. So simple and so beautiful.

The second song is by an artist I’ve managed to discover all on my own. At the fitness center of all places. Rather a nice break from pumped up Carmina Burana and such, if I must say so. It’s Sufjan Stevens.

Another friend of mine has introduced me to the next two songs. Usually there’s an iPod connected to a loudspeaker playing at her house and last summer Jan Johansson happened to show up in the shuffle. He was a Swedish jazz pianist who died quite young in a car accident. The chosen song is from the album ‘Jazz på Svenska’ which is one of the best-selling jazz albums in Sweden of all times. All the songs are reinterpretations of Swedish folk music and share that special Scandinavian melancholy tone. You probably already know some of his music even if you didn’t know it.

The other song is from the Tango group Gotan Project. I only really listened to them yesterday by sheer coincidence and don’t yet know much about them. It’s tango but with an electronic element.

The last song is by Jaga Jazzist, a Norwegian experimental jazz group. And when I write experimental, I mean very experimental but not unlistenable. I got see them in concert recently and can’t recommend seeing them live enough.

Matthew Maaskant – Fall to Pieces
Sufjan Stevens – Holland
Jan Johansson – Visa från Utanmyra
Gotan project – Una Música Brutal
Jaga Jazzist – Going Down (Spillejobb Remix by Kim Hiorthøy)

Listen to the first song on Youtube and the rest on Grooveshark.

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