Want to mix Panamericana's Argentina-influenced tunes with something in English? Put it on a playlist with the following three titles, which share some of the album's musical attributes. Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobib
Frank Sinatra and Antonio Jobim
This is Aubele's favorite Sinatra album, and although the lyrics are not entirely in English (Jobim sings in Portuguese), this bossa nova classic is one of Sinatra's prettiest works. The 1967 recording captures him in a contemplative mood, far from the wild, swinging Rat Pack. And if there's a better version of "The Girl from Ipanema," we'd like to hear it.
Secrets of the Beehive
David Sylvian is either a progressive rocker who turned to jazz or a jazz artist who dabbled in rock - or maybe he's both. In any case, the British singer-songwriter now makes top-notch ambient music that is influenced equally by rock and jazz. Aubele cites Sylvian as one of his major influences.
Scientist Dubs Culture into a Parallel Universe
If the album’s name alone isn’t enough to make you want it, maybe track titles like “Spacetime Continuum” and “Beam Me Up Dubby” will help. The songs capture the best of dub, the big-beat reggae sound that pops up throughout Aubele’s Pan- americana.
You heard her music in The Devil Wears Prada and on American Idol. Now, Edinburgh's KT Tunstall is back with a new album. By Mikael Wood
Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall's debut album, Eye to the Telescope, was a surprise success, propelled by a breezy folk-pop tune called "Suddenly I See," which showed up on big and small screens across the United States. including in The Devil Wears Prada, So You Think You Can Dance, Ugly Betty, and Grey's Anatomy. Another of her songs got some key TV time, too: Katharine McPhee sang "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on last season's American Idol.
But Tunstall had to figure out how to follow up on that success - which is what you call a good problem to have. Her solution: The harder-edged Drastic Fantastic, a new album, which is now out in stores and on which Tunstall has turned up the volume on the rootsy sound that charmed Hollywood.
Suddenly she sees Oompa-Loompas traveling around the world. "When other people buy one of your songs, you essentially give it away," Tunstall says. "I don't have kids, but it must be a fairly similar experience, where you create this thing, but once it's out in the world, you really don't own it anymore. I feel like I've created all these little Oompa-Loompas, and now they're touring the world. I keep getting postcards from them, going, 'Guess what? I'm in a Meryl Streep film!'?"
Drastic Fantastic is darker, but it's still no "Smelly Cat." "The thing I was really afraid of on the first record was being Phoebe from Friends - a girl with a guitar, singing about being dumped. I didn't really relate to that [mentality]. Eye to the Telescope was a deliberate attempt to stay away from that. But now I can go back to more contemplative, slightly darker feelings in my songs."
She reflects on the first album's success, and scissors. "Not to say I was curbed creatively on the first album, but there are certainly things I might have done differently had I been left to my own devices. On this album, I absolutely felt free to try anything out. It's basically been like finding a pair of massive metal cutters in a cupboard and cutting the fences down."
Drastic Fantastic is good, but your grandma might not think so. "I remember with the first album, when I did signings and stuff, people would come up and say, 'Can you sign this for my grandmother?' And I'd always be like, 'That's wicked!' I'm really flattered that older people like it. On this album - maybe not so many grandmothers will like it. I'm all right with that."