Jesca Hoop’s sonic top10

We are very excited to announce that Jesca Hoop’s new album, The house that Jack built, will available from Society of Sound as a stunning exclusive studio-quality download from June 6th. While you are waiting, enjoy her handpicked sonic top 10 tracks

Paul Simon - The Obvious Child The Obvious Child – Paul Simon

This was a tune I grew up with. Paul Simon is family favorite. On Saturdays my dad would flood the house with his music and con us into having a good time cleaning the house! It actually worked. I do this still to this day. This is a pristine recording with real clarity. There is a lot going on in the production but the vocal is protected and sits above the drum and horn, which could easily, if not treated well, upstage the story teller.

Paul Simon – The Obvious Child by genser

It’ll All Work Out – Blake Mills

This record sounds much like the room it was recorded in, especially at the beginning. We can hear the room itself responding to the sound that is being generated within it. I like the buzz of the amp in the intro – there is nothing precious there. The song itself is fantastic in its candid nature, telling it all plainly and to the point but with real heart. Blake Mills is an exceptionally gifted guitarist and he can out shred the best of ‘em. In this production he appropriately and humbly accompanies himself knowing that the song is what is most important here and every participating component shall bend to it.

Blake Mills: It’ll All Work Out by recordcollectionmusic

Polegnala E Todora – Les Mystere des Voix Bulgare

This Bulgarian women’s choir has featured some of the most amazing singers I have heard. This song is a gentle and beautifully arranged love song. This recording is incredibly well balanced. It is a live performance. The vocal blend throughout is shockingly good relating to the mic placement and the environment in which they are singing. There is no voice that stands above another, rather we have the effect of hearing the choir’s voice as a singular body sounding as though in a cathedral or the like, completely natural, warm and reverberant.

The Seed – The Roots

I would describe this sound quality as PHAT. Starting off with Questlove’s heavy foot on the bass kick and the cross stick snare laying down a deep groove. The recording is a good balance of clean and dirty with delay and clean tone on Cody Chestnutt’s vocal and clean guitar tone, as opposed to the gravel tone on Black Thought’s rapped verse. I love everything about this song – Cody Chestnutt’s delivery of the sung verse, the combination of style influences that make up the production’s recipe. The arrangement serves the lyric brilliantly as the song is about freedom within music – defiance against being boxed in by a genre and the freedom to explore multiple love affairs within music.

The Roots – The Seed (2.0) – Electric Picnic by ElectricPicnic

Saints  – The Breeders

Low Fi in the BEST WAY !!! Dirty dirty dirty !!! Like it was recorded on an old 4 track tape recorder. Awesome guitar tones. All of the sounds are crunched and smashed together – everything is fuzzy and serrated. This is a song I wish I wrote… I have a little Kim Deal in me. She’s just having as much fun as she can in this song… and she looks like a total under achiever in the video… which is awesome!

Joga – Bjork

Well come on!! Can you find a more magnificent recording? This song is a great combination of tones from the velvet string tones to the insect-like drum tones… insects communicated through satellites and radio towers. What a way to speak of the one’s homeland – her home of Iceland. Bjork can really reach heights with her poetry sometimes and this is a shining moment for her.
Bjork – joga by Bjork-0

The Guests – Leonard Cohen

The female vocal and its lush treatment is real a compliment to Leonard’s stark vocal. This arrangement offers the feel of the party that the song describes. I am brought into the very circumstance that he is speaking of. I am drinking the wine and vanishing through the garden wall.

50ft Queenie – PJ Harvey

The 4 track demos version of this tune is the one for me. It’s just layered guitars and vocals and the track is noisy noisy noisy. Everything is distorted and squashed together. It has a two dimensional feel. This song is best left crude and basic. There is another version of this song on Rid of Me. There is a drum in the arrangement and there is more separation between the instruments…more clarity. PJ’s vocal is dry and unaffected. For me, this version loses its edge and feel. I don’t want the clarity in this case. I want the cluster fuck of sounds. Less is more on this one and the raw crude recording style (or so it seems) on 4 track demos best serves the tune in my opinion.

The Good The Bad and The Ugly – Ennio Morricone

I love the atmosphere in this recording . It’s visceral and three- dimensional. This song is best listened to with the eyes shut. The sounds envelope you, stir the senses and strike images. You can smell the sage and the leather – you feel saddle sore as you tip the pebble out of your boot. It’s also got humour and wit. Tonally one of the greatest recordings I’ve heard.

Ennio Morricone – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly by ennsbq

Hello Earth – Kate Bush

You know, what’s wrong with reverb? I like it… reverb on the vocal gets such a bad wrap these and, well, Kate is rocking the reverb (and plenty of it) in this tune and it sounds great on her. This production shifts through a couple environments. When Kate takes the fore everything is lush, dramatic, watery and galactic; when the male vocal enters the environment shifts, as though we travel way back in time and to a remote location on earth. All of a sudden we are in the desert under the night sky. It is dry, arid and sober and there is the warm glow of a fire burning. The recording of Hello Earth is a masterful production. This was the first ever song I heard by Kate Bush; I could relate to her at an instant. She broke the rules down and the voice wide open for me. She defied everything my mother taught me about the voice (well it seemed that way at the time anyway), which is exactly what a teenager wants from her musical heroes.

Kate Bush _ Hello Earth by elodienelson

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