Tag Archives: Vagabon

This Week’s Essential Releases: Cosmic Death Metal, Techno, Jazz and More

Welcome to Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend crucial new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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On Her New Album, Vagabon Embraces Pop and Bares Her Soul

Vagabon

Photos by Tonje Thilesen

Laetitia Tamko is fired up. Sitting across from me at a cozy Middle Eastern restaurant in Brooklyn, the 26-year-old Cameroon-born artist had started speaking with a sudden urgency—her unwaveringly soft voice raising a few decibels. She’s explaining that she’s done being timid and meek so that other people feel comfortable—something she’s been doing her whole life in response to being called “intimidating,” a microaggression commonly directed at black women and other women of color in order to disempower them. She then opens up her hands, tense with frustration, and pauses for a moment.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #80 – 61

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We’ll be revealing the full list, 20 albums at a time, this whole week.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding.

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The Best Albums of Winter 2017

Best Albums Winter 2017

Welcome to the first of our seasonal round-ups of the best albums on Bandcamp! Every three months, the Bandcamp Daily editorial staff will be combing through the stacks to present our favorite records of the year to date. This inaugural installment of our Quarterly Report also kicks off a new feature on Bandcamp Daily: 7 Essential Releases. Every Friday, we’ll highlight six albums we loved from the previous week, plus one older record you might have missed. And so, without further ado, here are our picks for the Best Albums of the Winter.

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The Inimitable Intimacy of Vagabon

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Vagabon. Photos by Ebru Yildiz

“I feel so small/My feet can barely touch the floor,” songwriter, producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Lӕtitia Tamko sings on “The Embers,” the opening trach on Infinite Worlds, her debut LP as Vagabon. This intimate imagery is common in Tamko’s work: feet dangling from a seat on the bus, smoke seeping out of a bedroom window, the hollow space sprouting between two people falling out of love—each, in Tamko’s world, is a sign of life. Her songs explore the intersection of loneliness and companionship, drafting new ways to question how our own words might sound different when met with validation, uncertainty, or silence.

These ideas have been percolating in Tamko’s songwriting for some time now. Infinite Worlds is partially built on song-sketches developed for the 2014 Vagabon EP Persian Garden; “Vermont II” lives on as “Fear & Force,” in which Tamko and Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline build an echo chamber in which anxieties ring out as incantations; there are revamped versions of “Sharks” and “Cold Apartment Floors,” as well. Comparing the recordings is a fascinating insight into Tamko’s thoughtful creative process.

We spoke with Tamko about seeking inspiration from the mainstream, the importance of respect, and how to find home.

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