Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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Raquel Rodriguez – “Don’t Be Afraid” live video

(@rqlrod)
Los Angeles singer Raquel Rodriguez dropped a brand new live video the other day that I wanted to share. Recorded at the Blue Dream Studios, she performed previously unreleased (I think) song, called “Don’t Be Afraid”. It’s an intimate song that finds her telling someone to let go of their fears of falling in love (with her). Complimenting both her live band and her sweet pop-soul voice, it’s a beautiful song. I’ve missed hearing Raquel Rodriguez’s music, so I’m glad that this popped up in my inbox. Video filmed and edited by Giovanni Solis. Check it out, and don’t be afraid to want her… music in your life!

Bely Basarte – “Acoustic Christmas” EP

(@belybasarte)
In celebration of her mid-December birthday, and with Christmas on the way, Spanish singer-songwriter Bely Basarte released a compilation album, called Acoustic Christmas. It’s a 5-track project that finds her with an acoustic guitar, covering 5 classic Christmas carols: “White Christmas”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “Let It Snow”. I found her by doing a random Christmas-based search on Youtube, and I was captivated by her sweet and tender pop vocals over an acoustic guitar (that she plays), and she charming was to watch. So, get in the Christmas spirit (if that’s your thing), and watch her perform each carol below, and then buy the EP if you’re digging it.

Savages – “Fuckers” video

(@savagesband)
Savages are a London-based, 4-piece rock band made up of Jehnny Beth (singer), Gemma Thompson (guitar), Ayse Hassan (bass) and Fay Milton (drums), and their genre classification on Facebook is “loud, quite loud.” These ladies released their debut album, titled Silence Yourself, in 2013, via Beth’s label Pop Noire and Matador Records; and they are scheduled to release their sophomore album, Adore Life, on January 22nd, 2016, via the same labels.

Astrid S – “Hyde” live acoustic video

(@astridsofficial)
Shortly after posting up Astrid’s music video for “Hyde“, I came across this exquisite acoustic rendition and fell in love. Good laaaawd! Her goosebumps-inducing voice soars through the high, tender notes and mid-range notes so effortlessly, and her melodies are beautiful, over the three live cellos playing behind her. No words can explain the melancholic beauty of this version and her voice. Watch it now.

Childish Gambino – “So Into You” (Tamia cover)

Childish Gambino recently did a live performance cover of Tamia‘s classic R&B song “So Into You“, for Triple J‘s Like A Version segment. I got goosebumps the moment he began singing, and knew that I had to share it here. I remember when that song and video originally came out, so hearing it again, after not hearing it for several years, brought a real big, happy smile to my face; especially hearing it performed so beautifully by Childish Gambino.

SOAK – “Sea Creatures” (Live on 89.3 The Current)

I was new to SOAK (@soakofficial) up until last night, when I watched her live performance of “Sea Creatures” over at The Current Youtube channel. Then, like anyone who gets put onto someone new and fantastic, I went to Youtube to listen to more! SOAK is an 18-year-old Irish singer-songwriter that released her debut album, titled Before We Forgot How To Dream, on June 1st (2nd in the USA), over at Rough Trade Records.

Aquilo – “Waiting” (live video)

The last song on Aquilo‘s (@aquilo) Calling Me EP is “Waiting”. It’s a tender and gorgeous song that will make you feel something. I was quickly enchanted by the minimal, melancholy piano playing and Tom’s breath-taking, intimate voice. He sings a sweet, personal song about his undying love and waiting for the one (“There’s something you should know // I won’t stop ’til you know that I mean it // I’m waiting for you, darling // I’m waiting for the one“). The love-fueled emotion behind the lyrics and vocal delivery–especially the little falsettos that he hits–gives me chills. Ben also punctuates some of Tom’s words with his own light, falsetto voice. Whew, fantastic.

Anyway, I love this song, and even more so after watching this live video of it. Directed by Harvey Pearson. I said the word “love” a few times, but when you watch this video (or hear this song), you’ll understand why.

SOUNDCHECK: Thomas Oliver

Thomas Oliver is a singer-songwriter, Weissenborn lap-steel guitarist, and multi-talented guitar player from Wellington, New Zealand, that combines the blues, soul, and rock for one strong and compelling sound. I came across his music after watching Estère‘s performances during the Aston Road Sessions (see it in my Soundcheck post), because he was one of the three artists who performed during this 2014 live event. I clicked play on his “Lead Me On / What Can I Say” performance, and was wholly captivated by his one-man-band star performance, his silky-smooth vocals that blended folk and soul, and his strong and poignant songwriting, while he masterfully played his guitar. Wheeeeew, yes!

SOUNDCHECK: Estère

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away–okay, not where I was going. But a long time ago, late 2014, I clicked the little “watch later” button on a video by a singer named Estère, and I finally watched it this morning. The song was a cover of PJ Harvey’s “The Words That Maketh Murder“, and it was a fantastic one! Before I get into that, and other songs by this talented artist, let me introduce you to her a little bit.

From Wellington, New Zealand, Estère is a quirky-voiced, funky jazz-soul singer-songwriter and a multi-talented producer, with an MPC named Lola. She likes to label her music as being “electric blue witch-hop”, and she is known to produce all of her music at home, while comfortably wearing her pajamas. Now, after hearing all the songs that I’ve shared at the bottom, you’ll be a fan of this electric blue witch-hop woman named Estère, like I’ve become, too!

#SongChallenge Day 25: An Acoustic Song

I love today’s challenge. Acoustic songs are my favorites and I’m sure Tiffology will agree. There’s just something about hearing a song in all it’s parts without the polish and pizazz of studio slicking. Hearing the true timbre of a singer’s voice or an instrument really resonates with my soul, so I don’t think I’ll be able to stop at just one song today.

#SongChallenge Day 14: A Song You Like Hearing Live

FIRST, let us apologize for missing a few days in the #SongChallenge. Instead of piling the days we’ve missed into one or two posts, we’ll just pick up where we left off and today is A Song You Like Hearing Live. What’s great about live performances is sometimes an artist presents a song differently than what you might hear on the studio album; sometimes the imperfections and mess-ups make it better; sometimes the emotion that gets left up on stage is something that can’t be replicated in a booth, in the final song; sometimes the big sound of the beat and instruments pound harder in your chest, and that organic feeling is beautiful; and sometimes the live version is ten-times better than the original. Is there a song that you love hearing live? Let’s talk about it. Read about one of our favorites below.

Ruthie Collins – “Ruthie Collins” EP (live sampler)

Ruthie Collins (@ruthie_collins) is a singer from Nashville, Tennessee, and her music’s tagline is: “where vintage meets country.” With a love for everything vintage, Ruthie blends hearty folk into her music to give it a classic sound, while also adding in subtle pop undertones for a modern flare. What I am captivated by the most, is her sweet and ethereal voice over powerful string harmonies of bluegrass instrumentation (banjos, resonator guitar, acoustic guitar, upright bass). I don’t know how anyone could not enjoy what she’s bringing to the table here.