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Sinéad Lohan

Sinéad Lohan is a 25 year old from Cork, Southern Ireland who had her first success when her song "Sailing By" was featured as the opening cut on the big selling album "A Woman's Heart 2". She also performed on the subsequent Woman's Heart roadshow.

She has been writing songs since a teenager and says that the themes of her songs are 'very personal'. She says she 'grew up' during the two and a half years recording her debut album with Declan Sinnott, former Horslips/Moving Hearts/Mary Black guitarist who left her band in autumn 1995.

"Who Do You Think I Am" was released in Ireland in January 1995 (UK) and was awarded double platinum for more than 30.000 copies sold in Ireland.

After "Sailing By" her second single was "Bee In The Bottle" followed by "If I Go". Her Latest single, Bod Dylan's song "To Ramona" was released in Ireland last spring and has been in the top twenty in Ireland. "You're In My Life" is featured in the major Australian feature film "Under The Lighthouse Dancing". .

Harmony Ridge Music Review
No Mermaid has become my most listened to CD of the year. I cannot find narry a flaw or imperfection anywhere within this album. To start, Sinead's voice hits the registers right in the sweet part of my audio receptors. Her voice is slightly low, beautiful, sexy, haunting with just the right tinge of Irish accent to send me into ecstasy.

So she has a stellar voice, what about the lyrics?

Let me tell you about the lyrics. I can't remember the last time so many lyrical lines on an album just stopped me dead, asking huh, run that by me again.

Here's some examples, From No Mermaid, "I said I'd rather be the color of pleasure, than watch like you from under the thumb" and "you said we might get into red flag danger and I am alone when I'm not with you". From People and Tables "Waiting for nothing confuses the mind, letting go pieces for no one to find, the smell from the afternoon sits in the air, Oh, for a man with no back to his chair." Also from Diving To Be Deeper, "This century will fall down, was always thought it was a queen but it's just a crown, we though she was caught up in a web but she's the tangle and she went flying through the air he fell off at an angle"...and more "and he only took her money 'cause he thought that he could never really keep her."...huh?... cool!

Every song is full of lyrics that are just not expected, keeps you off balance, you tend to hit the back button on your CD player until you've memorized all these little gems.

So OK, she's got the voice, she's mastered the lyrics, how is it all put together?

I would say, the production is extensive, but not over done. It's masterful and very tastefully integrated to add the final touches to this splendid work. I get the feeling that much attention was put into the arrangements by someone that is a craftsperson at the art, I assume the producer, Malcolm Burn. I generally don't like extraneous or non musical noises put into songs, but here, it's done sparingly, and adds to the richness to the song. . For example in "Diving To Be Deeper", just at the right place, a pause between two phrases, a short ratchet sound is injected. I could not think of a more cleaver way to intertwine two phrases together by accenting the ending phrase and racheting into the following. It's hard to explain, but it works.

Dare I utter the word "goddess" after just two albums, "goddess" in training certainly.
---Jack Sutton

No Mermaid
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  1. No Mermaid
  2. Don't I Know
  3. Whatever It Takes...
  4. Loose Ends
  5. Whether Or Not
  6. What Can Never Be
  7. Believe It If You Like
  8. Out Of The Woods
  9. People And Tables
  10. Disillusioned
  11. Hot On Your Trail
  12. Diving To Be Deeper
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Who Do You Think I Am
  1. Bee In A Bottle
  2. You're in My Love
  3. Sailing By
  4. She's Lazy
  5. This Time The Difference Is
  6. Come Let Me Out
  7. Send Me A River
  8. Down On My Luck
  9. If I Go
  10. Clearly Undefined
  11. Water To The Well
  12. Who Do You Think I Am
  13. Did I Do The Right Thing
Catalog # gracd209CD(import) $29.99
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Piyali

Piyalis' voice was trained in Indian classical music, under the guidance of her mother, Krishna Chakraborty, who is an exponent of Hindustani classical music. Between 1986 and 1988, she won first prizes (western music vocal) at various inter-college festivals, had concerts in various cities in India and there were quite a few good articles and reviews published in Indian newspapers and magazines, regarding her voice and performances. In the years 1989 and 1990, two albums were released: # 1. "Quasme" by Sonex Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta, India # 2. "FastForward" by CBS Gramaphone Records and Tapes (India) Ltd.

Between the years 1991 to 1997, that Piyali spent in Japan, she was interviewed by Fuji Television, Tokyo and Saison TV, Tsukuba, Japan. Many interview based articles and reviews accolading her singing prowess and performance, appeared in various Japanese magazines and newspapers. Piyali performed at Ibaraki Intl. Assn. 'Friendship' concerts in Tsukuba, Hitachi, Yokohama & Mito, Japan, at the charity concert held at the Gakuin University Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Also performed at Kuryian Hall and Ako Studio, Tokyo, Jpn. In 1994 & 1995, Piyali was awarded Judges Prize at the Foreigners Singing Contest (Japanese), hosted by TV Tokyo, Japan, which was televised nationally. Piyali also held a music workshop, for members of the Intl. Children's Bunko Assn., Tokyo, Japan.

1998 heralds the release of Piyalis' first self composed debute album, "Unborn Star", in the USA. Piyali also writes poetry and her work has been chosen and published (audio and printed), by the National Library Of Poetry, MD, USA

Piyali's music falls somewhere between the New Age and Popular categories. Its sound is unique with shades of Indian melodies in structured western compositions with touches of other ethnic sounds. Her singing style is her own very fresh and quite different from the usual popular voices. Both, her music and voice are products of early training in Hindusthani music superposed on a liking for a western musical style.

UNBORN STAR (Metaphysical Reviews)

Unborn Star is not just a new album, it is a recipe for insight, meditation and transformation. Piyali Ganguly has blended the finest ingredients...poetry, energy, enthusiasm and beat with a powerful yet pretty voice, great backup and superb arrangements. The end result is a musical meal fit for a king.

There are seven songs on Unborn Star, each as different from one another as night is from day, and yet all in alignment with their heartfelt messages of peace, passion and betterment. The title song, about disenchantment says, “I never want to go back/to the land of politics/The land where people play games/With hard kicks”

On the other hand, Today of all Days is a beautiful wedding song dedicated to eternal love. “Today of all days/I pledge you my life./As the Gods witnesses,/we shine in the light./Together, together side by side/forever we’re tied”.

In addition to her huge talent as a vocalist, Piyali wrote all the music and produced this fine album. She has won prizes in Calcutta and Tokyo and is proficient in English, Bangla (Mother Tongue), Japanese and Hindi. This kind of international background adds just the right spices to the songs performed.

If you’ve been looking for an album to satisfy your craving for good music and moving lyrics that speak of peace and betterment, look no further. Unborn Star by Piyali will satisfy your appetite...with spirit and a sensual beat that will linger long after this musical meal ends.
---Richard Fuller

Alternative Music Press
Piyali Ganguli is a silky sounding chanteuse, a soulful songbird, a passionate new contemporary singer. She soars onto the international recording scene with a stylish, self assured singing style, high quality original compositions, great backing musicians, and a well produced debut album. Appropiately titled, Unborn Star features a smooth blend of musical touches that include world, pop, funk, and R&B elements.

This talented yound woman presents original songs that reflect the traditional flavor of ethnic music of her ancestors, blended with modern influences. Piyali has won prizes in Calcutta and Tokyo and is proficient in English, Bangla (Mother Tongue), Japanese and Hindi. The compositions are sort of jazzy renditions of hybrid ancient melodies, backed by sensous guitar, sax, synth and percussion. Piyali carries on the tradition of committing life passages to memory through the voice. It is entrancing music, full of longing love, wonder and power. The message I get from Piyali's music is going for what you want in your life, following your true path, doing what makes you whole, which in her case, is her incredible musical journey to this point. Find out more about Piyali and hear excerpts of her music at the website listed below. Highly recommended!
---Review by Ben Kettlewell

Amazing Sounds

Piyali is a brilliant composer and singer. She sings a collection of seven compositions that could be labelled as avant-garde Pop. Her beautiful voice, the atmospheric keyboards, the Hindu drums and the inspired lyrics are elements that shape the personality of the music and enhance its potential to lead the listeners to meditate about the utopic hope to some day attain a better world, full of love, peace and harmony. This is a warm music, exempt from great symphonisms and fireworks that would contribute nothing to the conception of the work. Music near to the heart and the feelings.
---PASCUAL JURADO

Additional Info can be found at http://www.piyali.com

Unborn Star
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  1. Unborn Star
  2. Dream
  3. The Ocean and the Rock
  4. Today of all Days
  5. I Choose
  6. Snow
  7. Shadows of the Mind
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Magdalen Hsu-Li

I've been waiting for a long time for an Asian American singer-songwriter whose music would tackle issues and experiences that I can relate to as an Asian woman in America. Hsu-Li is a natural performer. When she attacks the piano she is all woman and all know- ing...the raw emotion...the personal and confessional lyrics...her impassioned performance...all wrapped up in one ferociously talented package'
Ria Roncales Goodwin
The Asian Reporter, Jan '98

Magdalen Hsu-Li, is a pioneer among Asian-American women in music. One of the first Chinese-American singer- songwriters to emerge in the United States as a star in the acoustic/pop/alternative genre, Magdalen has broken new ground as the forerunner of a new wave of Asian musical artists. As novelist Amy Tan defined the first era of Asian-American literature, so is Magdalen defining what contemporary Asian-American popular music is today. Audiences across America are raving about her powerful live performances. Magdalen is a consummate performer, visual artist, and free spirit who cannot be categorized. Her live shows are high energy, consciousness raising, and entertaining musical events which include acoustic piano, percussion, voice, and drumset dues, impromptu standup and theater, thought provoking poetry readings, and spiritually rousing drum and voice improvisations. Expect the unexpected...from the tenderest of piano ballads, to raging political piano punk, Magdalen is a voice for an new generation of Asian and Americans coming into their own as individuals in the 21'' Century.

She has shared the stage with such notables as, Mary Lou Lord, Betty, George Takkei (Star Trek's, "Mr Sulu"), former Windham Hill artist, Barbara Higbie, Theresa Trull, Ferron, Suede, Ulali, Red Letter Day, comedian, Michelle Balan, and Men Out Loud, and is a familiar face on the college, acoustic folk, women's and GLBT Pride circuits. She is currently studying with internationally renowned Brazilian jazz pianist, Jovino Santos Neto, and pianist, Barbara Higbie.

Born in 1970 in America's rural South, she grew up in one of the only Asian families in Martinsville, Va. She moved up North in 1988, and began her artistic career as a painter at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. She graduated in 1992 with a BFA in Painting and was awarded the 1990 Chicago Institute of the Arts Oxbow Fellowship, the 1990 Talbout Rantoul Scholarship and the 1992 Florence Leif Award for excellence in painting. In 1992 she moved to Seattle, Wa. where she began her study ofjazz and classical music at Cornish College of the Arts. There she worked with internationally renowned instructors such as, Janice Giteck, Julian Priester, Thomasa Eckert, and Peter Mack, and was the recipient of the 1995 Cornish Music Scholarship. In 1996 she directed and performed in the Billie Holiday Tribute Quintet, a Seattle based jazz ensemble, and co-produced the Bitches Brew Cabarets, a popular, cutting edge, event held in many of Seattle premiere venues.

Her debut CD, Muscle and Bone was released in 1997 on her own label CHICKPOP Records. During that year she founded Femme Vitale, The Seattle Women's Music and Arts Coalition. This women's arts advocacy organization went on to win a Special Projects Grant from the King County Arts Commission. Femme Vitale has hosted live music, performance stages, and juried visual arts exhibitions at ArtsEDGE Festival, International Women's Day Festival, University of Washington, and The Seattle Center. As part of the Femme Vitale Summer Tour 97, Magdalen was a featured artist, and received rave reviews while playing to capacity crowds throughout the West Coast. Most recently, Magdalen was selected out of thousands of applicants as one of 17 finalists in the Lillith Fair Talent Search.

Currently she is a member of the Seattle based "Wu-Hsing Archetypal Ritual Theater Group", which performs original theater works based on teachings of the traditional Chinese 5-Element System. She has just released "Evolution" her first full length CD. Featured on Evolution, are guitarist Tim Young of the Seattle jazz projects Zony Mash and Very Special Forces, violinist Alicia Alien who has toured with SubPop artist, Jeremy Enick of Sunny Day Real Estate, cellist, Christine Gunn of Trillian Green, Shakuhachi player, Peter Hill, and drummer/percussionisI Dale Fanning of The Living Daylights whom she co-produced the album with. Her recordings are played on college and commercial radio stations throughout the US, and she is currently promoting "Evolution" on an extensive national tour throughout 1998.

Harmony Ridge Music Review
Evolution

Magdalen Hsu-Li writes very personal songs and she doesn't use kid gloves or obtuse phrases to get across her point. She's from the new breed of female artists that gets right in your face, not to be arrogant or mean-spirited, but to rise to the level necessary to awaken awareness of unenlightened behavior sometimes evident in our society. "Chick Pop" is a good example of the male dominated music industries attitude toward female artists, and sadly, too often the American Status Quo, as evident by:

"Chick Pop Chick Pop
Singing in America....land of the free
Home of the brave home of the slaves
Home of the slaves to GOD and Christianity.

"Submissive" is another look at the male attitudes with respect to Asian women. It's written from the experience of being there, facing the fear, and doing something definitely not 'submissive' about it.

Magdalen's music to me ranges from cutting edge Avant-garde somewhat reminiscent of Laurie Anderson, to modern jazz, folk, pop ala Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos. She plays a very powerful hard driving piano, and has assembled a fine array of musicians to compliment her vision and musical essence.

Fire
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  1. Redefinition
  2. Laramie
  3. So Far Gone
  4. Compassion
  5. Aiko And I
  6. Fire
  7. As I Am
  8. Mother
  9. City Of Angels
  10. Winter Is Cruel
  11. Carry You
  12. Chink
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Evolution
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  1. Monkey Girl
  2. Chick Pop
  3. Evolution
  4. Lillian
  5. Submissive
  6. Gabriel
  7. Blood Money
  8. Ulysses
Catalog # cpr003 CD $14.99
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Check out Magdalen's Site

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