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Reviews

Jakob Bro - Returnings (ECM)

The Danish guitarist's third ECM outing presents another selection of sprawling sonic textures with Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet, Jon Christensen on drums and Thomas Morgan on bass. Moving ghost-like between minimalism and sumptuous climaxes, the album is a thing of dreamlike beauty that rejuvenates...

Star rating: 
4

Pilgrims' Way - Stand and Deliver (Talking Cat)

Lively highwayman themed concept album. Driving music mixes classic folk with some surprising twists, courtesy of the bewildering array of instruments the band plays and the glorious sound of four voices singing together. Pilgrims' Way also manage to folk up Stand And Deliver that most famous...

Star rating: 
4

Dan Caine - Journey Through An Open Mind EP (Fluttery Records)

Wirral-born ambient/post rock guitarist's eighth release, comprising four lengthy pieces, including the ten minute title opus, an atmospheric and adventurous statement of restraint. Although released as an EP, the whole is long enough for headphones on, feet up and relax for half hour. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Heather Downie - Nae Sweets For The Shy Bairns (Self Release)

It takes a listen to realise how brave and how decisive this album is and how much it demands your attention. The title NAE SWEETS FOR THE SHY BAIRNS, it quickly becomes apparent is very apt and as much a statement of intent or a manifesto. Harpist and Singer Heather was introduced to music at the...

Star rating: 
5

The Often Herd - The Often Herd EP (Self Release)

The Often Herd are a hybrid. Guitar, mandolin, an American fiddle player and a jazzy Double Bass player produce a hybridised Bluegrass topped with West Coast vocal harmonies. Recorded by this British band in Newcastle this is acoustic dance music with some fine trio vocal harmonies spun out over...

Star rating: 
4

Mo Pitney - Behind This Guitar (Curb Records)

Mo Pitney makes a tasteful Country sound as smooth as Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett's Five O'clock Somewhere. Twanging guitars, thoughtful lyrics and an easy on the ears voice, with that plaintive yelp of Melancholy. Pop Country with moments of real beauty and emotion. (MH)

Star rating: 
4

Darwin's Daughter - The Dark EP (Self Release)

DARK FIRES opens with the plaintive notes of a piano and Fiona Ruth's vocal. The music is atmospheric, filmatic, like the theme to a snow kissed thriller. Fiona, solo or layered has the feel of Judie Tzuke or Kathryn Williams. Moonlight is a delicate, hesitant lullaby, Fiona's voice against guitar...

Star rating: 
4

David Green - Unsteady on Our Feet (Self Release)

Debut album by Bristol-based singer, songwriter, novelist and physics teacher, whose easy almost throwaway delivery is just the thing that makes the songs entirely listenable. One of those albums which invites us into an entirely different world. Wish my maths teacher had been more like this. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Will Stewart - County Seat (Cornelius Chapel Records)

Rolling Stone cites Alabama-born Will Stewart in its '10 New Country Artists You Need To Know' list and it's not difficult to see why. Americana's latest face delivers nine mature songs in this remarkable full-length debut. Deserving of several listens, and then some. (AW)

Star rating: 
4

Talk Show - Permanent Honeymoon (Wooden Piano)

Energetic guitar driven new wave pop rock with a touch of Boo Hewerdine intelligent singer songwriter. Dry Steely Dan delivery meets those big Stereophonics type guitar chords. Pedal steel, brass flourishes, sharp arrangements and a myriad of keyboards hold your interest to the end. (MH)

Star rating: 
3

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