Looking for sultry sounding music
July 22, 2008 6:13 AM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for music that you might imagine you could hear in a 30s style (I think) club ... one with gangsters in tuxes sitting around the tables, some broad up on stage singing into those old style mics and with a 4-piece band backing her up.

As an example, 'Les Yeux Ouverts (Dream A Little Dream)' sung by The Beautiful South is a perfect example of the type of music I am after. Smooth, dreamy and sultry sounding. A more modern sounding example would be Dido's 'Who Makes You Feel'.

That's about the best I can describe what I'm after - hopefully someone can make sense of it :) Thanks!
posted by tobtoh to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I forgot to add, you can hear 'Les Yeux Ouverts' (Youtube).
posted by tobtoh at 6:16 AM on July 22, 2008

"I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl"
posted by sharkfu at 6:27 AM on July 22, 2008

It's unclear if you want modern renditions of older songs (or older sounding songs), or if you would be happy with songs actually from the 30s. Dream a little dream of me was first recorded in the early 30s, by at least a couple of different male singers. It was also recorded by Louis Armstrong with Ella Fitzgerald on vocals.
posted by OmieWise at 6:29 AM on July 22, 2008

I recommended them yesterday for a slightly similar question, but if you haven't heard the Puppini Sisters they may be something along the lines of what you're looking for. Arielle Dombasle's C'est Si Bon album is pretty spectacular too.
posted by bookwo3107 at 6:30 AM on July 22, 2008

Do you only want music composed recently? Because if not, Ute Lemper's Berlin Cabaret Songs would fit the bill nicely (as would other items in her catalogue). The album is available with both english and german lyrics.
posted by saucysault at 6:34 AM on July 22, 2008

I'm more after modern renditions of older songs .. or at least modern-ish sounding.
posted by tobtoh at 6:40 AM on July 22, 2008

Emm Gryner - Girl Versions.

I think the phrase you're looking for is Torch Songs.
posted by softlord at 6:42 AM on July 22, 2008

Kurt Weil's songs are constantly being re-recorded (not always well!) "Mack the Knife" "Pirate Jenny" etc.

Personally original recordings by Django Reinhardt always give me this vibe.
posted by munchbunch at 6:45 AM on July 22, 2008

Some of the stuff by The Hot Club of Cowtown might fit the bill in terms of being recent and having this feel (the LastFM page says that they have broken up but that they are also touring I see). If you are looking for the type of Bluegrass made popular by O Brother Where Art Thou? then you might like Chatham County Line. If you want the Django Rhienhart feel then the soundtrack from The Sweet and Lowdown might be a good starting point.
posted by rongorongo at 6:59 AM on July 22, 2008

Have just noticed the word "sultry" in your title. OK - well maybe stuff by Julie London, Eartha Kitt, Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, Nina Simone, Michael Bublé or Pink Martini.
posted by rongorongo at 7:07 AM on July 22, 2008

If you're looking for modern cabaret singers, check out Maude Maggart. I saw her a couple of years ago, she's fantastic - her repertoire is all of the smoky-club stuff you're looking for.
posted by swngnmonk at 7:14 AM on July 22, 2008

Earlier, in the 1920' the music might well have been Vaudeville Blues or Hot Jazz but never of these really fit. The 1930's saw the birth of Gypsy Jazz exemplified by Django Rheinhardt ,Boogie Woogie and of course Swing which is probably closest in style to what you are thinking of.

But specifically? A female singer and a four piece backup? Sultry you say? Ladies and Gentlemen we present the incomparable Billie Holiday and Lester Young. There are other who would fit the bill Ella Fitzgerald and Pearly Bailey to name but two, but the pairing of Billie Holiday and Lester Young in the late 1930's produced some of the finest music ever recorded.
posted by tallus at 7:28 AM on July 22, 2008

Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
posted by ludwig_van at 8:00 AM on July 22, 2008

The Real Tuesday Weld?
posted by faunafrailty at 8:59 AM on July 22, 2008

Speaking of Maude Maggart (Fiona Apple's sister), this.
posted by howiamdifferent at 9:01 AM on July 22, 2008

Not really sultry, but Looks, Looks, Looks by Sparks conjures up images of smoky nightclubs with tuxedo-clad gents lighting cigarettes in holders for elegantly dressed women.

Also give a listen to My Melancholy Blues by Queen.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:17 AM on July 22, 2008

It's not sultry (and maybe more 40s than 30s) but Mocean Worker has always made me think of the days of big band and swing. You've probably heard some of his stuff before, as he's being featured in a lot of car commercials these days.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:38 AM on July 22, 2008

Asylum Street Spankers do a great torch-song-y bit, breathin, though technically there's a lot more than 4 guys behind her.
posted by nomisxid at 10:43 AM on July 22, 2008

By the way, you can hear more Mocean Worker on his MySpace page. For that big band sound, Shake Ya Boogie and Right Now are probably your best bets.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:47 AM on July 22, 2008

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