Music similar to Zoë Keating?
January 11, 2015 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Zoë Keating is awesome. If you've not heard of her, she performs multilayered cello pieces such as this. I'm looking for recommendations on artists or pieces that are similar to her music/sound. Maybe a term like contemporary classical would apply, but that seems to sell the music short. Instrumentals preferred.

Some other similar artists include Jami Sieber, Break of Reality, and Kronos Quartet (sort of). Groups like Apocalyptica sort of meet the criteria, but cello rock/metal is a different category to me. Vitamin String Quartet and those kind of groups are fine, but also sort of beyond what I'm thinking.

tldr; I'm in the market for really any sort of contemporary classical, with a focus on cello and string quartets.
posted by gchucky to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
You might like Rachel's Music for Egon Schiele...
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:09 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like florent ghys. His new record is a concept record though, and has some sparse chatter if I recall. The record before also has some vocals but I think its all solfege.

Also look at anything the american contemporary music ensemble has done. They sort of recently did a record with William brittelle that is ecstatic and frenetic and wonderful string music.
posted by lownote at 8:35 PM on January 11, 2015

Julia Kent.
posted by subtle-t at 9:01 PM on January 11, 2015

The violinist for Arcade Fire has put out some solo work that reminds me of Zoe. Sarah Neufeld
posted by z11s at 9:07 PM on January 11, 2015

Thomas Beckman from Vancouver. His first album Conception Island is beautiful and you can listen / buy on Bandcamp
posted by seawallrunner at 9:09 PM on January 11, 2015

I love her. Also Lindsey Stirling, who is a violinist. Not quite the same feel but it gets me excited in the same way. Phillip Glass has a cello record that its quite nice.
posted by gilsonal at 9:13 PM on January 11, 2015

Maybe Linnea Olsson. (Also you might like some Agnes Obel.)
posted by various at 11:17 PM on January 11, 2015

When I want cello with electronics, I turn to Laura Cetilia and ooray.

Their music more experimental, though, not pop/easy listening like Keating.
posted by univac at 11:33 PM on January 11, 2015

You should definitely check out Owen Pallet--particularly his latest, In Conflict, but also the work he's done under the name Final Fantasy.

Andrew Bird is a little more modern and lyric-heavy, but he does the same sort of thing, too, and is wonderful.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:08 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Historical Note: Robert Fripp virtually invented this via Frippertronics and Soundscapes, and did some early work with Brian Eno, of ambient music fame.
posted by j_curiouser at 12:27 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Max Richter sounds very close to what you're looking for.

(You might also like Nico Muhly, though he's more experimental and not particularly focused on strings.)
posted by en forme de poire at 12:56 AM on January 12, 2015

I'd say Julia Kent is spot on. Max Richter is a good suggestion too.

Step a little further into the ambient / drone direction and I highly recommend Richard Skelton which is texturally lush in a similar way - some tracks have more apparent melody, some are more abstract but overall I think the vibe is very close.
posted by iivix at 1:48 AM on January 12, 2015

Sorry - meant to also note Markus Reuter's Todmorden 513 - as well as his other works.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:02 AM on January 12, 2015

Jo Quail excels at the ambient cello looping/layering thing. Her CDs "From The Sea" and "Caldera" are both great. I haven't yet heard the one she recorded in collaboration with violin-looper Sieben (Matt Howden), but I am looking forward to it.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:58 AM on January 12, 2015

Maya Beiser.
posted by aught at 6:36 AM on January 12, 2015

I am really glad this thread exists, because I have the same question.

I second Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy, though I think his earlier stuff under Final Fantasy is closer than his more recent stuff as Owen Pallett. More looping sound reminiscent of Keating.
posted by X-Himy at 6:41 AM on January 12, 2015

Portland Cello Project do a variety of different types of music but the focus is on the cello. I think most of it is along the line of Radiohead for string quartet but they have some original pieces too. One of the women in the project does solo original pieces but I unfortunately don't remember which one.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:40 AM on January 12, 2015

You may like Kishi Bashi. He plays violin, and does have lyrics in some of his work (and beat boxing!), but does much the same as Zoe Keating in regards to the sampling, layering, etc.

Assuming you already know about Rasputina as far as cello rock, since Keating was a member for one of their records.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 7:46 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Perhaps an easier introduction to Richard Skelton (seconding iivix) above is his LP 'Landings', it's got a very similar sound to the track you linked.

I thought first of a label-mate of Julia Kent's, Colleen (Cécile Schott). She layers various instruments with delay pedals and other devices.

You may already know A Silver Mt. Zion / Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (and other related names). If not, you could start with 'Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward', and 'He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corners Of Our Rooms'.
posted by Joeruckus at 7:47 AM on January 12, 2015

I love musicians that do interesting things with a loop pedal like Zoe Keating does. I'm not sure how weird you'd like to get with the suggestions here, but here are a few things I like for similar reasons to why I like Zoe.

Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians - A modernist composer that is in some ways doing the opposite of Zoe's one woman orchestra technique. Instead he has many musicians coalescing into a single slowly crescendoing polyrhythm .
Tyondai Braxton - This one is a long shot, he makes music that ends up sounding more like noise rock than classical, but the songs are sculpted with a loop pedal in a similar way to what Zoe does.
Dawn of Midi's Dysnomia - Songs slowly built up from many simple layers.
Tristeza - I just like Tristeza. I think there's a common thread here but I'm not quite sure what it is.

How do you feel about post-rock in general? Some of the bands from the prettier sounding side of that genre might be up your alley, a lot of them might scratch that slow building, instrumental, cello-y vibe. You've got bands like Explosions in the Sky on the pretty crescendos side of that genre and bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or A Silver Mt. Zion on the dark, epic, and moody side of it.

Also, uh, just for fun, there is this guy.
posted by cirrostratus at 12:29 PM on January 12, 2015

Thanks all, there are some really great options in here.

cirrostratus: I'm super into post-rock. All of the ones you mentioned, plus more. Lights & Motion is a bit beyond the scope of this (it's more cinematic than anything), but also a great pick. Caspian, too, is excellent.

en forme de poire: Max Richter is awesome! Actually saw him perform the whole Blue Notebooks, along with his score from The Leftovers, the other month. Definitely in the spirit of Zoe Keating.

I'm still working through everyone's suggestions, but this has been really helpful!
posted by gchucky at 8:33 PM on January 12, 2015

Check out Todd Reynolds. He's a great NYC violinist working in the same vein as Zoe (they have even shared shows). Here's his latest album, Outerborough.

I think you will also like Victoire, a lend of classical instrumentalists with synth/electronics, but I could be biased! If you need more leads it sounds like a stroll through the catalog of New Amsterdam Records might in the right ballpark for you.
posted by blu_stocking at 8:50 PM on January 12, 2015

Also: Hildur Guðnadóttir on the touch label – there's a review and track here which concludes with "A weighty, earnest, and gorgeous album, perfect for dark skies and stormy nights. Highly recommended for fans of Julia Kent, Christina Vantzou, Sophie Hutchings, Richard Skelton, Greg Haines, Svarte Greiner and Sylvain Chauveau." – so, overlap with things above and some other recommendations in there besides.
posted by Joeruckus at 7:41 AM on January 15, 2015

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