Daughter, dear daughter, what troubles you?

I’m not really a country-type – I enjoy walks in the countryside as much as the next man – but to be honest I quite like living in a (smallish) city. I like shops and pubs, streets and people, and the fairly modest hustle and bustle that a city such as mine generates. But still, every now and again I do get a yen for, you know, nature and stuff. Greenery, rain drops, apple blossom and the like…

It’s a rather damp, mild Sunday morning, and these are probably the sort of thoughts middle aged gentlemen with nothing better do are more and more prone to. If I was the car-washing sort, I’d probably be out there right now, whistling to myself and greeting passers-by as long lost friends…

It’s Bank Holiday weekend, and I’ve found some rather gentle, pastoral, music to accompany you through your extended break.

Half Asleep

Half Asleep seems to be mainly the work of Belgian singer Valerie Leclerq, from just outside Brussels, if my school boy French is still reliable. She has a beautiful voice and a knack of arranging her simple songs to great effect, with the help of vocals from her sister, Oriane. There are some really stunning pieces available from the pair available as downloads from their label, Another Record, plus a few more from their own site.

I guess, when you hear the words “French” followed quickly by “sisters”, you might be tempted to think CocoRosie, which will certainly put off a few, but I wouldn’t, if I were you. I’m quite partial to small doses of Cocorosie’s resolute quirkiness but Half Asleep are really nothing like this – they are much purer, much less irritating, concentrating mainly on uncomplicated, guitar and piano arrangements with minimal percussion.

Half Asleep have three albums available, one of which, We Are Now Seated in Profile, is available from Emusic, and as I say a good few downloads to hunt down. I’ve posted my two favourite ones I’ve found so far.

Happy Mayday.

The Butcher’s Boy

Sea Shells

Really worth a listen.