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Josh T. Pearson
Last Of The Country Gentlemen

Josh T. Pearson was the frontman of Texan psychedelic rock outfit Lift To Experience. “Last Of The Country Gentlemen” is his debut solo outing. Lyrically, the album explores a bad relationship he had. He has a mournful tone and a harrowing nature to his voice which shows his pain. Occasionally, he breaks into gentle melody, on opener...view item »

Jacob Olausson
Morning And Sunrise

This Jakob Olausson album opens with a cheery number called 'Don't Drown In Sorrows', in which he borrows the chord sequence from Cameo's '80s classic 'Word Up' and slows it down to a suicidal lollop through the mysterious swamps of this Swedish sugar beet farmer's internal misery. This g...view item »


Ace! A new Charalambides CD! Five years in the making this baby has been. Considering a human child takes 9 months to be born from conception you'd expect this to be good and on first listen I can confirm that is the case. The core duo of Tom & Chrstina Carter are aided and abetted by...view item »

Bon Iver
Blood Bank

In my eyes, the bookends of Blood Bank pretty much dominates the EP. The title track is probably the most conventional track Bon Iver has made (and that's saying something!). It has the acoustic vision that made 'For Emma, Forever Ago' such a standout, but it's fleshed out with a band arrangement and as a result, becomes a chorus-centric number ...view item »

Puzzle Muteson
En Garde

"I thought it was a woman but it's a bloody bloke". So said a million dads as Boy George first appeared on Top of the Pops. I had the same revelation with this wonderful new 7" on Bedroom Community. I had it down as a kooky woman from Sweden, instead its a bloke from the Isle of Wight with a particular high pitch tenor somewhere between Nick...view item »

Wooden Wand

Though I've certainly pulled my fair share of Wooden Wand records from the Norman Records stock room I've pretty much never knowingly heard any of his music. I assumed he'd be on the whole Cam Deas/solo guitar hero vibe or perhaps on more of a folky tip so I was fairly surprised when I pr...view item »

Golden Calves
Collection: Money Band + Century band

Bit of history lesson, this. Before he was Wooden Wand, James Toth put out a couple of weird little Jandek-influenced psych-folk records under the name Golden Calves way back in the mid-'90s. They contained elements of noise influence within their music and played predominantly within the ...view item »

King Creosote
Flick The Vs

I feel like i should be more familiar with King Creosote and 'Flick the vs' is only fueling my interest. It would seem that Head honcho of Fence recordings and Domino superstar King Creosote knows how to make interesting and fun pop music. 'No-one had it better' is a belter of track and makes for a more than appropriate opener. Catchy vocal melodie...view item »

The Rip Tide

Have you heard of this guy Beirut? He's some hot new young talent bursting onto the scene apparently. He plays lushly orchestrated pop in the style of the likes of The Divine Comedy or maybe a more accessible take on Sufjan Stevens's early work. There's loads of brass on this, his de...view item »

Dead Gum

On my lengthy Christmas sabbatical, I toiled away in the sorting department of York's Royal Mail office delighting in my daily dose of 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' and 'Last Christmas' pumping through the tinny warehouse speakers. Either my ears have been softened by the constan...view item »

Chuck Bettis
Urgency Renewal

Chuck Bettis is pals with that band Big Blood so they've put a CD out of his stuff on their own Don't Trust The Rain label. Bettis is one of them spontaneous composition types so, as you can imagine, 'Urgency Renewal' is chocker with systematically chaotic compositions. It was recorded over a period of time in different locations with...view item »

C. Spencer Yeh

Loving the photos of a completely fucked piano on the cover of this album for starters, really evocative imagery and the colours are great. Aside from that, the music on this CD is not what we've come to expect from Mr Spencer Yeh, who we know best for his playful screeching free jazz/n...view item »

Benoit Pioulard

There's barely a bad record out this week. How are you going to pay for it all? Credit Card is the answer. Buy now - worry later. You'll want this one too, its chirruping, pointy acoustic guitar meanderings, clangy percussion, homespun but fantastic melodies - this aint half as ambient as I was expecting from its sleeve and the op...view item »

Emiliana Torrini
Love In the Time of Science

Emiliana Torrini had been around for a while in Iceland, but with Love in the Time of Science, the rest of the world was given an opportunity to hear her amazing voice. And what an introduction. Her soft vocals and light background music is folksy and beautiful, and with such a start as 'To be Free', this is the kind of album you're going to tur...view item »

This Is Tunng... Live From The BBC

This newie from Tunng is already a firm favourite with me. It's an LP that spans their career, and features their numerous BBC radio sessions. They have recorded sessions for Lauren Laverne, Huw “Welsh” Stephens, Marc Reilly and others. It's what you would expect from Tunng. It...view item »

Kate Bush
50 Words for Snow

We're reviewing this off a stream of the album (thanks to our sponsors at NPR) as we don't want to open and ruin one of the CD copies. As I mentioned in an earlier review there are lots of winter/christmas themed records out at the moment but this is one that is surely welcomed. Kate as ...view item »

Thos Henley
A Collection Of Early Recordings

Thos Henley is a bloke. He's a bloke who split up with the love of his life and went to France to live (as you do) and there he remains trying to be a bit French and that. Here's a collection of his songs which were largely recorded before he left with a few new songs chucked in for good...view item »

The Summer Is Over Before It's Begun

Unrelentingly bleak, goth-tinged folk from Maine (the birth place of Stephen King, this is the one thing I know for sure about Maine!) resident Clare Hubbard, who makes music under the name Caethua. With a handful of releases under her belt (or beneath her corset!) shared over ...view item »

Carlos Paredes
Movimento Perpétuo

We got a couple of records in this week by this dude on Drag City who I've not heard of before. I can tell you he's from Portugal and he's the man when it comes to playing the Portuguese guitar. Which is different from a normal guitar - it's a short-necked, wide-bodied instrument with twe...view item »

Kissing Gate

Strange one this. It sounds like The Pogues hanging out and making music with some pop punk act. Which either way you look at it is a damn fine idea or the worst idea since my uncle decided to cut his fingernails with a scythe. It's pretty upbeat and direct and you can imagine somebody so...view item »

Liz Green
O, Devotion!

...From the producers of 'Driving Over Miss Daisy' and the director of 'Don't Look At Me (I'm A Shrew)' comes 'O, Devotion' which critics are saying is “a classic..shame its not a film.” (New York Times) and “I didn't like's too violent” (Tim Robbins)...sorr...view item »

David A Jaycock

...I broke my leg in two places, My doctor says I should stop going to those places..there's nothing like a shitty joke to liven up proceedings. This David A. Jaycock sounds like he needs some crap gags to turn his frown upside down. I don't know the feller, he could be the happiest man alive, with a basket of puppies and clothes made of sweets ...view item »

Goodnight Lenin
The Wenceslas Square EP

I also missed the 7" this Brum-based gang of folk-botherers threw into the underground musical network recently. It certainly sounds like they peddle an authentic brand of rousing traditional folk rock and flower-power-flecked whimsy. With a neat six tracks to run through it ain't go...view item »

Harvey Lord

Harvey Lord returns with a new 17 track album on Autumn Ferment, jam packed with slightly fried variations on traditional folky themes. They're a cheeky bunch are Harvey Lord and His Existence. Not only are they precision tight and bold in their reinterpretation of the North Of England's ...view item »

Cass McCombs
Humor Risk

Cass McCombs has been knocking about for a while being rather good at what he does but not exciting me enough to invest myself in his work. This is his fifth record for Domino and his second in a year so he certainly ain't no slacker... well, not musically anyway. 'Humor Risk' starts with ...view item »

My Sad Captains
Fight Less Win More

I think it was the word 'sad' that made me think this was going to be post-rock.  Or maybe the word 'captains'. Anyway its nothing of the sort. The nearest comparison would be ace forgotten London popsters By the Fireside with their mix of krautey grooves and upbeat college rock but t...view item »

Mozart Parties
Black Cloud

Do you know when you hear a song for the first time, and it instantly reminds you of summat else? This newie from Lake District-dwelling James Bennett is a quite fragile shuffle. A shuffle that for some bizarre reason made me think of T.T.-Darby's rather memorable “Sign Your Name&rdquo...view item »

Tom Fazzini
Stats / The Programme

Tom Fazzini was a member of Gush, Purr and also A Small Good Thing who released some ambient stuff in the '90s on Soleilmoon and Leaf in the early 2000s. His first solo record 'Neck To Neck' was released back in 1984 and more recently an album came out on Locust in 2007. I'm ashamed t...view item »

E.L. Heath
Shropshire Hill Country

Epic45 man Eric Heath returns with another slice of pastoral beauty in the form of 'Shropshire Hill Country', a collection of songs that reflect on Eric Heath's adventures meeting country folks and playing gigs in Shropshire and the surrounding counties of Powys, Herefordshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire. Now you'll have some idea of what to exp...view item »

Sandro Perri
Impossible Spaces

You may be more familiar with Sandro Perri's work under the Polmo Polpo moniker. I missed the boat on his previous material under his own name so this is actually the first I've heard of it. He's certainly moved on since putting out his drone classic 'Like Hearts Swelling' a decade or so ...view item »

Forest Fire
Staring At The X

New on Fat Cat, this is grand widescreen sounding arty rock but with a lo-fidelity clattering production that ensures it stops short of sounding like The Killers or some other sheeny guff. Instead the main comparison would be to The Walkmen or The National. The album is a slow burner but ...view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw

I'm utterly obsessed by this new A Hawk And A Hacksaw album. I've quite liked bits by 'em before but nothing has really grabbed by them as much as Delivrance, their brand new album on Leaf. I think it probably helped seeing them live the other week.... it was like being at a jewish wedding on crack. The music was so fast and furious I've no idea ho...view item »

Julianna Barwick
The Magic Place

Met her at am Emeralds gig month or so back. Lovely gal, and the album's pretty special too ...view item »

Bonnie Prince Billy
Wolfroy Goes To Town

B.P.B returns with what is a radical departure of a record. Eschewing his gentle softly softly catchy monkey take on downbeat melancholia for a harsh rocking sound that will please fans of Slayer and Fields Of The Nephilim...only joking, it's good for morale. This is B.P.B's two millionth...view item »

Lanterns On The Lake
Gracious Tide, Take Me Home

Christ, if you'd told me a few years ago that Lanterns on the Lake would not only get signed to Indie behemoths Bella Union and be touring the world and elsewhere I'd have literally eaten a horse. It's not that they are not a good band, they are expert at producing a sound, somewhere between Mazzy Star and ...view item »

The Whole Love

I was under the impression that Wilco had called it a day after their 2011 offering “The Whole Love” but it turns out I was wrong and they saw fit to release “Star Wars” for free a couple of weeks ago. Opener “Art Of Almost” is an okay song, but then... five minutes in it all goes quiet and an almost k...view item »

Meg Baird
Seasons On Earth

Meg 'her out of Espers' Baird has a lovely line in solo acoustic stuff on the side, and this is her latest. It's very much in the vein of a female-vocalled Smog, maybe Will Oldham or Lambchop at their quieter moments. Lots of e...view item »

My Autumn Empire
The Village Compass

My Autumn Empire is Benjamin Thomas Holton from pastoral superkings Epic 45. My Autumn Empire is Mr Ben's side project which he does when Epic 45 are on fag breaks or something. Hey we all need a vice. Mine? I like watching people put shoes on and then taking them off.... it's brilliant. Anyway here sees Ben on a more singer songwritery/ folky t...view item »

Jens Lekman
An Argument With Myself

I am a huge fan of Jens' and I didn't even know this had come out until I went to his show the other day. He sings songs about arguing with himself while walking around in Australia, stalking Kirsten Dunst and other unusual topics. His bouncy, pop melodies are extremely catchy and his guitar playing is awesome. He also writes thoughtful, smart l...view item »

Eat Yr Hate

Minotaurs is the other band of Frankie and the Heartstrings guitarist Mick Ross, and this is my first exposure to them. With a name like Minotaurs I thought they'd be all about the riffs, but actually they're a lushly arranged indie pop band with boy/girl harmonies and sweeping strings. Not exactly my cuppa but I know people who'd go nuts ov...view item »

Silver Jews
The Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge is arguably the best, certainly my favourite, Silver Jews album. David Berman is on top form as a lyricist, with his words perfectly matched to his lo-fi drawl and laid back strumming. The first line from the perfect opening track, “How To Rent A Room”, “No, I don’t really wanna die, I only want to die ...view item »

Darren Hayman
The Ship’s Piano

Darren Hayman makes a lot of music. Known primarily for his stint as singer-songwriter of indie-pop favourites Hefner, nowadays he can be found writing and performing with various characters including members of The Wave Pictures and 'Allo Darlin whilst making an effort to perform live ...view item »

Sun & Shade

I get to review the new Woods record by virtue of being the first to pounce on it in the box. It's my lucky day. This one's actually been spinning a few times in the office already, and it's totally great. The thing I love most about Woods is that nostalgic warmth and feeling of wellbeing that you get from their records and this one doesn't ...view item »

Joanna Newsom
What We Have Known

Haha, here I was thinking Joanna N. had completed a new album and silly-chops here had a chance to completely de-intellectualise the legend of this incredibly popular kooky harp-molesting lady. Well that's what she is, innit? The arrangements in her music are often totally spellbindi...view item »

Peter Wolf Crier
Garden Of Arms

When I first listened to Peter Wolf Crier's debut album (Inter-Be), I was astounded at this duo's ability to combine a singer/songwriter vocal style with lengthy instrumental rifts. I was reserving my expectations with Garden of Arms because I foolishly believed that Peter Wolf Crier couldn't match the quality and diversity of its debut album. I...view item »

Girls Love Rallie
Les Chansons Terribles

Also on Sopa is a CD by Girls Love Rallie. It's called 'Les Chansons Terribles' and it's limited to 100 copies. Though my French is shite (blame that on dreadful French teachers at school who thought it was more important to put the fear of god into me rather than doing their job and teaching French) I think it means the bad songs. Feel free to cor...view item »

The Red Well
Amid Storms We Arrive

The Red Well have a CD out on Fence Records. Think it's been out for a wee while but it's only just landed here. 'Amid Storms We Arrive' is the boldly named title of their debut. The press release for this is a funny one. It admits it's not a new genre defining amazingly new album.... it's just a good album. Well I've heard about half of it and it'...view item »

Land Observations
Roman Roads EP

Land Observations is a new solo project exploring the possibilities of motorik rhythms and layered guitars from Appliance guitarist James Brooks. Opening track 'Viae (In C Major)' is a sterling example of how krautrock rhythms and melodies can be achieved b...view item »

Giant Sand
Goods and Services (25th Anniversary Edition)

Goods and Services is a collection of live recordings from a February '95 tour of Europe with a couple of tracks recorded stateside thrown in. Giant Sand is one of the most original and important bands in America. They took the high road when most everyone else followed the corporate criminals down the low road into regurgitated mediocrity. If y...view item »

Larry Sunshine Rice
Here's Sunshine!

"Sunshine"...a name you will remember, especially if your bag in music is communication. It's always refreshing to listen to an entertainer these days who does really have summat to say...and this guy Larry "Sunshine" Rice has a lot to talk about. After his formal schooling he dabbled in various occupations such as landscaping, house paintin...view item »

Ghosts Will Come & Kiss Our Eyes

Here is Hrsta with 'Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes'. Its the work of Mike Moya from God Speed You Black Emperor joined by Brooke Crouser of Jackie-O Motherfucker fame. Flip says it sounds like Christina Carter. It's a zoned out space hall with eerie underplayed guitars, awashed with reverb slow dancing around the echoy vocals. Organs drone, dru...view item »

Jeremy Warmsley
The Boat Song /Temptation

Trangressive are back with a new single by Jeremy Warmsley. It's called 'The Boat Song' and it's got a lovely picture of a boat on the cover... not one of those fancy new boats.... it's a right old boat with loads of sails (I was gonna say wings...), in fact it's HMS Victoria!! Here Jeremy has a lady with him singing along... in fact their both sin...view item »

The Reigns / Full Turn

Not heard of these guys before. I've almost got a clean sweep of new artists this week. I love it when that happens! Wreathes seem to make some weird medieval dark folk with a hint of gothicness and just a tiny smidgeon of middle earth. It's the kind of old odd sounding folk record that will give you the black death after you've listened to it. ...view item »

Azalia Snail
Celestial Respect

Azalia Snail = blast from the past! I remember picking up the split 7" she did with Sebadoh back in 93. That's almost 20 years ago. Yikes! Ms Snail has been knocking music out since 1989 and since then there have been 12 albums and countless singles. She may well be a name you've not heard of before but for those who know of her she's their litt...view item »

Brent Cash
How Strange It Seems

At first listen, you'd swear you've stumbled across a long forgotten sunshine pop masterpiece from the 60s. This is lushly produced (strings and horns etc.) soft pop from a bygone era. Some of the lyrics are cringe-worthy, but they also add to the ambiance. Mr. Cash adds lots of nice little musical touches and twists. For me the centrepiece is t...view item »

Alain Johannes

Alain Johannes is an endlessly talented man who was married to an endlessly talented woman. Unfortunately, in 2008 Natasha Shneider passed away and left a pulsing void in Mr. Johannes life. This is an album inspired by death... which makes its beauty all that more powerful because there are no dirges, no depressive songs... the pain is there, bu...view item »

The Travelling Band
Screaming Is Something

Do you like the group Fleet Foxes? Well, go listen to some of their stuff and if you like it then you will also like this album. Frankly, if I wasn't paying attention I could believe that this is something from Fleet Foxes for many of the songs. The lead singer's voice is fairly close and the phrasing is darn near identical at times. Folksy is a...view item »

The Bigger Lovers
How I Learned To Stop Worrying

The Bigger Lovers were a short-lived power pop band from Philadelphia. “How I Learned To Stop Worrying” was their debut album from 2001. They released two albums after this before disbanding in 2005. This album does everything that you want a power pop album to do, really. In the vein of Velvet Crush...view item »

The Felice Brothers
Celebration, Florida

With Celebration, Florida, The Felice Brothers expand their songwriting talents to a sonic soundscape that is eerie, compelling, and ultimately beautiful. While you won't find country-tinged, cacophonous hell-raisers like "Whiskey in my Whiskey" or "Love Me Tenderly," the band of brothers and close friends have developed a sound that is entirely...view item »

Count Me Out

1971 UK Incredible String Band influenced acid folk with much more commercial leanings. There is a whimsical feel with off kilter vocals and instrumentation (flute, hand drums, harmonium, etc) ala the String Band but coupled with big production Moody Blues like harmon...view item »

The Owl Service
A Garland Of Song

Am back at work now and you'll notice how much worse the reviews get. Trying to concentrate on writing reviews here while bald headed goons run around like numpties is a nightmare. The Owl Service then....They had a CD out on Static Caravan a while back and here's their 1st full length album 'The Garland of Spring'. I love the word length me....view item »

The Donkeys
Born With Stripes

There's so much music in the indie world that it can become overwhelming trying to keep up. This little outfit deserves some attention. The Donkeys have that Sterling Morrison - low-fi - Luna thing going that is a nice antidote to the hyperactive and very overproduced stuff we're hearing in the indie universe now. Nice to hear a band of guys pla...view item »

Giant Sand
Ramp (25th Anniversary Edition)

This is an all-out fine CD and much loved by most all the 'Sandheads'. The songs are amongst Howe's best and the performances are tight and loose, in the best Sand-manner. So what's the problem? Probably no problem to most listeners, but personally I find the production/sound of it too metallic/cold and simply prefer listening to Chore or Centre...view item »

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