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Music in March: Killed by 9V Batteries and Extraperlo

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Paris-Berlin machine rock, continental breakfast from Barcelona and Austrian pot-washers –spring is blossoming in many ways on the music scene! Café Babel’s music diary for March

Sophie Hunger: Monday’s Ghost

Long since a star already in her native Switzerland, the 25-year-old singer and composer from Berne is now aiming to conquer the rest of the world with her unmistakeable blues-pop. And there’s plenty in her favour: melancholy songs, comparisons with Feist and Cat Power, an unmistakeable voice and a relaxed approach, as seen in her covers of Bob Dylan. Add to that her ‘real-deal’ aura both on-stage and off, a rare trait in young artists, for instance in an open letter to Madonna, in which she criticises the material girl’s fake craze for self-reinvention and declares her irritation with 'the latent shame of being a non-European European.' All of which whets the appetite for more

Label: Jazz Universal

Various Artists: Kristall Lounge Vol. 1

In certain corners of Europe, spring is this slow to blossom. While some long for sun and birdsong, others are already missing the crunch of snow underfoot and hot cocoa in front of an open fire. Now, though, there is hope for both parties: the Kristall Lounge compilation, with its laidback tracks by the biggest chill-out artists around, from Ibiza Sunset to Johannes Huppertz, is equally suited to both cosy winter nights in and lounging by the pool. But be warned: this lounge music isn’t one for the annual spring clean, but instead the soundtrack to an extra hour in bed

Label: Highscore Music

Killed By 9V Batteries: Escape Plans Make It Hard To Wait For Success

This young Austrian trio are obviously wired up differently from the rest of us. Their website informs us that they’re really pot-washers - a fact initially confirmed in their lyrics, which then however go on to tell us they decided to become computer screens. This sounds very experimental and daring, but the music is actually almost conventional: guitar indie pop reminiscent of such heroes of the eighties and nineties as Dinosaur Jr or My Bloody Valentine. Escape Plans Make It Hard To Wait For Success may not be groundbreaking, but it’s a nice record to listen to nonetheless. It’s also good from time to time to hear a band who don’t pay attention to current trends and instead do their own thing – passionately

Label: Siluh

Ania et le programmeur: Die Kirsch(e) auf dem Kopf

Wakey wakey, things are hotting up now! Electronic beats, synthesisers, loud guitars and repeated vocals which, at their worst, bring to mind hysterical football commentators. Despite this, the Berlin-Paris duo’s debut album has something going for it. Their 'machine rock' carries an energy to wipe away the last of that springtime lethargy, and while the Dadaistic undertones in the lyrics may be daring, they somehow fit, like a blow to the face. This is just a fun record, provided you’re into noise, chaos and anarchy

Extraperlo: Desayuno Continental

Continental breakfasts all round! At least, that’s the cry from Barcelona’s Extraperlo quartet. Listening to this record it’s easy to imagine yourself sitting down to a hotel breakfast in the Mediterranean: coffee, bread and jam, orange juice... calm, soothing tones, a bit of lounge, a bit of indie. Sometimes there’s even a hint of Afropop, a trend that’s currently coming back in with so many bands. Occasionally the singer’s voice doesn’t quite fit with the album’s concept and comes across a bit too agitated for this chilled vibe. However, all in all Desayuno Continental is a pleasant soundtrack for a summer spent under palm trees

Label: Mushroom Pillow

Translated from Killed By 9V Batteries & Extraperlo: Café Label im März