Some 5 years after their debut album had the indie kids swooning in jangle-pop ecstasy, Airport Girl return with a radically altered sound, a glistening downbeat country-pop hybrid that is sure to win them at least as many new admirers as it will alienate existing fans. From the world-weary plea of the piano-led “Hold Me Through The Night” to the heartbreaking country sigh of “I’ve Seen Mexico” a sense of regret pervades the album, none more so than on the desperate, hurt-racked “How Long Can This Go On?”. More upbeat are the jazz-tinged “Don’t Let Me Down Again” and “The Weather Song”, it’s “Sketches Of Spain” intro belying its true nostalgic nature, while “Show Me The Way”, as pure a declaration of love as one could wish for, could have come straight from the Go-Betweens’ masterpiece “16 Lovers Lane”. Throughout there is judicious use of violin, cello, trumpet, harmonica and melodica to subtly create moods and textures within the songs, along with a willingness to experiment. The kids at the club may be momentarily fazed by Airport Girl’s new direction, but ultimately any listener will be rewarded by an album with great musical and emotional depth. Airport Girl are a six-piece from Nottingham, formed in 1997 by singer-songwriter Rob Price. Their influences range from the Scottish pop sounds of The Pastels and Belle and Sebastian to the American flavours of The Modern Lovers and Pavement. They’ve been played on BBC Radio One by Steve Lamacq and the late great John Peel and by John Kennedy on XFM, had a song used to soundtrack the goals on MOTD2!! Press to run in Mojo, Uncut, Plan B, Rocksond, Time out, Loose lips, Vice and more TBC.
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