A Man Alive, the fourth studio album from Thao And The Get Down Stay Down sees the band take their sound in a much more experimental route, what could easily have sounded crass is instead perfectly pitched at a pop scene dying for new lifeblood.
Following the success of 2013's We The Common, which showed the world just how commanding a talent Thao Nguyen was she's gone away and made a record which is fiercely captivating. It's rich in everyway, at it's best it's a melting pot of carnivalesque beats and at its simplest it's a showcase of Nguyen's folky origins ('Give Me Peace').
Produced by Tune Yards Merryl Garbus, her stamp is all over this, it's well polished with every beat of every loop coming through with biting clarity. That's not to take anything from Nguyen who wrote all these tracks herself. Garbus helped to tease the experimental nature out of Nguyen and her band, who relish the opportunity to be so free.
Continue reading: Thao and The Get Down Stay Down - A Man Alive Album Review
What can we expect from another double weekend at Austin City Limits Festival?
Austin City Limits Music Festival is set to hit Texas for its twelfth year, bringing with it two weekends of fabulous live music and family fun.
The festival organisers first decided to spread the fun out over two weekends last year, in a bid to welcome yet more people into this unique world, and it appears that they haven't gone back on their word as they are set to return to Zilker Park on October 4th - 6th and 11th - 13th. This year sees some impressive headline acts including Depeche Mode, The Cure, Muse and Kings Of Leon - and if that wasn't exciting enough, Atoms For Peace, Lionel Richie, Phoenix and Wilco are also high up on this year's bill! Some of the other acts scattered around are just as jaw-droppingly impressive, not to mention extremely diverse. We have Californian rockers Queens Of The Stone Age, country star Hank Williams Jr.'s daughter Holly Williams, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, LA sisters Haim, alt-folk group Thao & The Get Down Stay Down Nottingham singer Jake Bugg and legendary 'Gay Bar' hitmakers Electric Six.
Thao has a bad future ahead - catch her at the festivals this year.
The summer is beginining to edge away, and with Bonnaroo, Pitchfork and SXSW long-gone, music fans would be forgiven for packing up their tents and looking ahead for 2014.
But fear not, there's still plenty of festivals left for 2013, featuring some of the biggest and most diverse line-ups of the year. Austin City Limits probably represents the biggest of the lot, and although the line-up is one of the most high profile of the year - with Kendrick Lamar, Depeche Mode and Kings of Leon - there's also some up-and-coming acts and undiscovered gems ready to impress. They include Fidlar, Savages and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down is the stage moniker of Thao Nguyen, the singer-songwriter from Falls Church, VA, who first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and is now considered to be one of the most exciting up-and-coming acts in the United States.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.