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Palace Brothers
Days In The Wake

Will Oldham has used many names in his recording career. His early work was released under either Palace Music or Place Brothers depending on the band's line-up. Here, the band consists of his brothers Ned and Paul Oldham therefore the album was released under the Palace Brothers name. This is Will Oldham's second album and was released in 1994....view item »

Silver Jews
Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

The Silver Jews return with a lovely album entitled 'Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea'. Having seen them live recently and having been frustrated at the general over egging of pudding by their talented but insistent (and far too twiddly) backing band I had grave concerns for this record. Surely another lo-fi lumi...view item »

Scott Kelly
The Wake

There is something about this album that sends chills down my spine. Scott Kelly's voice is deep and soulful, reminding me of later Johnny Cash, and the minimalistic acoustic guitar suits it well. "Saturn's Eye" is by far the best track on the album, unfortunately the rest of the album doesn't match this song, b...view item »

Eric Chenaux
Sloppy Ground

Eric Chenaux I've never really had the pleasure. I should have listened to this promo of 'Sloppy Ground' a little harder. It's got a meandering, off kilter Alt Country demeanour to it like BPB after a load of 'shrooms & rum. Sad, wonky music with that makes you feel slightly ill at ease such is the slight seafaring feel to some of the trac...view item »

Adem
Takes

Adem then. Lordy me. I seemed to remember quite liking the odd song by him when he was a whippersnapper. Now he's got to that point in his career when he either can't string an album of his own songs together or he's throwing together an album of 'live favourites'. As he has released a covers album featuring 12 songs of largely good songs played in...view item »

Sharron Kraus
The Fox's Wedding

Sharron Kraus: The Fox's Wedding (Durto Jnana) Don't think I've ever heard this artists work before now. It's folk of the singer-song writer variety and it touches on the raw shamanic style when she really lets go with some of the more challenging use of vocals. Backed by a host of traditional instruments: piano, upright bass, accordion, e-bow...view item »

The Chapin Sisters
Lake Bottom

From the opening notes of "Let Me Go," sisters Abigail and Lily Chapin (along with half-sister Jessica Craven) set the tone for what is undoubtedly one of their most intriguing albums. Their melodies are perfect; and they should be, as all three are daughters of royalty: the two being the daughters of folk singer Tom Chapin (brother of Harry) an...view item »

Jason Collett
Here's To Being Here

Bunch of a great tracks on this one. "Roll on Oblivion", the first song, sets out the very pleasing tone of the album. Very simple but very good. "Sorry Lori", reminds me a lot of the very very early Wings, when it was basically McCartney and his wife. Again, a very pleasant song with a lovely simple melody. "Out of T...view item »

Tau Emerald
Travellers Two

Onto a couple of CD's on Important. The 1st one is Tau Emerald which is Tara Burke from Fursaxa and Sharron Kraus of Espers fame (and about a million other side projects). From the off 'Travelers Two' is the most fiddly dee folky thing I've heard in ages. I've got an old Warner Chappell LP of medieval folk songs (some of them date back 100's of y...view item »

Rocky Voltolato
The Brag And Cuss

I try to avoid the phrase 'whiskey soaked" when describing a singer's voice. Not because it is not a great description only because it is slightly over used. However it would take someone far more clever than me to come up with a better way to describe Rocky Votolato's particular quality. It's smooth and unnervingly effective. When he sings he s...view item »

Skallander
Skallander

Skallander: "S/T " (Type) Comes packaged in an Autumnal sleeve and is a collaboration between Bevan Smith of Signer and rated guitarist Matthew Mitchell. A largely acoustic folk-rock affair with songs that hint at a kind of pop sensibilty. The blurb recommends this collection to fans of Sufjan Stevens and Jose Gonzalez. Ten tracks deep th...view item »

Sandro Perri
Tiny Mirrors

Sandro Perri's 'Tiny mirrors' is essentially a singer songwriter album that's melodic and has a slightly jazzy undertone. It's melodic and soulful and is not unlike Tim Buckley in places. This guy simultaneously plays guitar and kick drum. I cant imagine doing that. Like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. My co-ordination is...view item »

Georgie James
Places

The 12 tracks that make up Places are pure pop bliss that look towards the future but are undeniably rooted in music from generations past. Openers "Look Me Up" and the yummy "Cake Parade" are so good that they hook from the first listen. "More Lights" shows the interplay between the two vocalists that makes the band so great; the squeaky screec...view item »

Turin Brakes
Ether Song

New Turin Brakes album called Ether Song. Actually our tasteful CD player refused to play this at first. Unfortunately it relented. This is music for storming out of Pret a Manger to. Halfway through the first song the singer announces 'Time to go fishing'.OK. The music is completely and utterly ...view item »

Tunng
Good Arrows

alright. A new Tunng album. Always a special thing I'm sure you'll agree. From the off they've been one of those bands that have that 'certain something'. So how do they cope with the difficult third album? Tears For fears blew it with The Seeds Of Love. Will Tunng fair better?? I'm happy to announce they do. 'Good Arrows' is a total feast of lovel...view item »

Fionn Regan
Be Good or Be Gone

Now a 7" from singer song writer FIONN REGAN on Bella Union. My mate Gibbo loves this guy. He tells me about him all the time (as well as and running fun gigs in London under the banner lets go baboon. check them out.) These are very sparse and simple tunes using the control of his voice and nicely ...view item »

Tall Tree 6ft Man
Tall Tree 6ft Man

I came across this album when my music service on "radio" setting played a song from it. The music is so emotional and unique, with great tones and interweaving of vocal and instruments. The album immediately became a favourite. It is both upbeat and calming; stimulating while generating a longing feeling. I am listening to this album right now and...view item »

Rilo Kiley
Under The Blacklight

dear oh dear - don't never use autotune on vocals - its the worst idea in the world - especially if the vocalist is jenny lewis who can actually sing (and also wears fewer and fewer clothes as each year goes by/the more desperate for success she becomes). terrible record by the way ...view item »

Patron Saints
Fohhoh Bohob

And onto The Patron Saints reissue called Fohhoh Bohob. This one comes on CD and LP with bonus 7". Nice! This is some super rare classic 1969 psych pop album which has been rescued from obscurity and brought to your attention by those nice folks at Time Lag. It's really off kilter sounding psych pop. It straddles genres as well from samba to f...view item »

James Yorkston
Roaring The Gospel

James Yorkston: "Roaring The Gospel" (Domino) is a compilation of B-sides and odds and sods that includes his version of "Song To The Siren", once covered by Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). For those that don't know he's part of Fife's Fence collective and are part of Dominos early folk adoption. He writes and sings some capti...view item »

Fireworks Night
As Fools We Are

Fireworks Night: "As Fools We Are" (Kartel). Their singer sounds like David Bowie in a very croonsome way if you get my meaning. They've been likened to the 'Folknoir' of Bonnie Prince Billy, Joanna Newsom and the emotional theatrics of Grizzly Bear (reviewed above). Their sparse acoustic instrumentation draws you in from the off gatherin...view item »

Blood Music
Sing A Song Fighter

We like Static Caravan here..... lovely folks... lovely music... We have this new CD in by Blood Music who I think had one of those limited cork sleeve jobbies out some time back. This is some Swedish dude making pleasant enough folk music which reminds me of a more folky less twee Darren Hayman. A couple of the tracks are ...view item »

Dave House
See That No One Else Escapes

A split, clear pressing 10" on Gravity Dip features Dave House and Jenny Owen Youngs. Two songs each one, Houses' s very Beatlesque, chiming jangly guitars and harmonies. Owens Youngs comes over all singer songwriter, stripped down approach much like Morrisette, Regina Spektor. Second track is a cover of the Nelly hip-hop track ...view item »

Dan Sartain
Thought It Over

"Thought It Over", another artist on One Little Indian's roster gaining kudos from Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2. Personally I didn't have to mull over the decision to come and work at Norman Towers, they offered more money than I was already earning so there was no contest, didn't even have to hand in a c...view item »

The Low Lows
Elizabeth Pier

The Low Lows single on Monotreme is a fuzzed out trip through Spacemen 3/ Mary Chain (again) territory. Elizabeth Pier CD single only and rather good we thought. Well early 90's! ...view item »

Regina Spektor
Fidelity

Regina Spektor is a really great artist and this song is one of her better ones. She seems to have two types of songs. The ones that are a little weird and and ones that are like this that are a little more serious. The former are great, but I usually prefer the latter. "Fidelity" has a deceptive simplicity with thoughtful lyrics underlying the lig...view item »

Essie Jain
We Made This Ourselves

Essie Jain: 'We Made This Ourselves' (Leaf) A very mellow, melancholic, down tempo singer-songwriter offering from the new signing on the UK's Leaf label. Not exactly new, this collection was formerly released in America by the Ba Da Bing label. At times fragile and moving, the voice is clear and pure with a sparse backing of guitars and ...view item »

The Secret Show
Impressionist Roadmap Of The West

Tracks LOVERS TWO DROWNED RATS IN THE DESERT THE GIRL FROM CHAPEL HILL WE BLAZE A TRAIL IMPRESSIONIST ROAD MAP OF THE WEST THE DUKE MAÑANA THE WIDO OLD BLACKTOP EVERYONE'S A CRITIC THE ONE THAT I LOVE ...view item »

David Vandervelde
The Moonstation House Band

David Vandervelde's debut album "The Moonstation House Band" was recorded in ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett's basement studio and released in 2007. The most striking thing about the record is that his voice sounds a lot like Marc Bolan check out "Feet Of A Liar". The music is of a kind of retro '70s singer/songwriter sty...view item »

Sancho
Mystery Year

Seed Records have finally released the SANCHO 'Mystery Year' album after we got a promo of it about 7 months ago. Again this is a slight change in direction for the label with this not being an entirely electronic record. Traditional instruments such as piano, viola, trumpet etc are all augmented and fiddled with and glitched ...view item »

David Karsten Daniels
Sharp Teeth

Not content with one release this week Fat Cat deliver a full length from DAVID KARSTEN DANIELS. The bare bones of 'Sharp Teeth' is one man and his guitar augmented by a more than competent selection of strings, horns, slide guitar, piano, viola, cello, organ, glockenspiel etc. His vocal is tender lyrics sharp and soul search...view item »

The Curtains
Calamity

Do you trust me people? Well here I have the fecking album of the month in my painted nails by THE CURTAINS on Asthmatic Kitty. A beautiful, vulnerable, kooky intelligent melody central of an album, with a hook highway driving right through it.  I've been whistling it in the office all week driving everyone mad resulting i...view item »

Benoit Pioulard
Precis

've reviewed a few things on Kranky and not one of them has been less than totally interesting. The label seem to consistently release high quality music. BENOIT PIOULARD's new CD 'Precis' is no exception. There's a real 60's hazyness feel, really magical and dreamy sounding. His vocals and acoustic guitar playing really stand o...view item »

Dan Sartain
Replacement Man / Indian Ink (Toerag versions)

Now on red vinyl 7" I have the new single from DAN SARTAIN. One man and his guitar singing rocking out in a rock-a-billy way with the a skiffle beat and Shadows style lead guitar. He's kept his format simple using his scratchy vocals as the pivot for this 1950's throwback style kickabout. ...view item »

Ladyhawk
Ladyhawk

Sonically and lyrically this album is one of the more raw and honest albums I've heard. Each song is solid, and I can't quite put my finger on it but they're definitely doing something right. Although they carry a distinctly independent sound, what they lack in overall catchiness they make up for in emotional depth. Ladyhawk isn't an earthy hipp...view item »

Tunng
The Pioneers

Tunng... Everyone's favourite new folk pop act have their final release on Static Caravan ever apparently as they have moved to new pastures. It's a 1 sided 7" or CD with' Tale from Black' plus video (ie enhanced). Both formats are limited and once they've gone that's it. Oh it's a cover of Bloc Party's 'Pioneers' as w...view item »

Ralfe Band
Women of Japan

Next we have the new CD single on Skint records by The Ralfe Band called Women of Japan who aren't as pukey as their name suggests. However I do get sea sick and this is indeed a chugging sea shanty of a release. An atmospheric delight of haunting soft vocals/wierd lyrics. I'd put this on again if I owned it ...view item »

Adam Green
Jacket Full Of Danger

This album is widely recognised as the album where Adam Green "went Hollywood". Most of the tracks give-off a lounge music sort of vibe and the arrangements are warm and glittery for the most part, but rarely wreak of the cheapness that genre typically has associated with it. Like all of his CDs, it's lighthearted and shouldn't be overanalysed. ...view item »

Black Ox Orkestar
Nisht Azoy

If you didn't fancy the Jew Tang Clan record in this week yet you need some Hasidic misery in your life then look no further than the new Black Ox Orkestar CD on Constellation bringing together Jewish folk, the whole Constellation type orchestral post rock big pompous thing and 2000 years of misery and...view item »

Richard Hawley
Born Under A Bad Sign

The king of crooners Richard Hawley is back with a new single called Born Under A bad Sign (not the Cream cover mind you...).... it's both very Richard and Hawley.... CD features a video and the 7" is numbered of 1000........view item »

Vincent Gallo
Recordings Of Music For Film

Vincent Gallo was once quoted as saying "All Europeans are monkeys". I say "Vincent Gallo, what a nice man". Well we being monkeys of the European variety we find your LP quite boring. A couple of the songs are quite nice in a Slint sort of way but mainly it's oddball whining singer songwriter...view item »

Vashti Bunyan
Lookaftering

Vashti Bunyan has released her second album 35 years after the first one. She makes Kate Bush seem prolific. The thing is, over the years, for some reason the first one has gained all these cult fans (like Four Tet and Animal Collective -with whom she recently collaborated). Its sometimes quite hard to see why the fu...view item »

S.E.V.A. (Mumbles)
S.E.V.A. (Mumbles)

This third eye opening gem was discovered completely by accident and quickly became one of my favourite albums in 2005. I still pull it out of collection and listen to it on occasion. The vocal tracks are unfortunately kind of awful, but are short and can easily be deleted from a digital set of the tracks. Regardless of these minor speed-bumps on t...view item »

Elizabeth Anka Vajagic
Nostalgia/ Pain

Elizabeth Anka Vajagic has a new mini album out on Constellation. It's on vinyl and CD and it's pretty much full price despite it being sold as an EP (3 tracks totalling 33 mins ish) which I reckon is a bit of a rip so whoever has to sort the pricing out of these things at the label sort it! Musically it's very dark and it's for e...view item »

Kathryn Williams
Shop Window

I can cope with Kathryn Williams much better. It sits nicely on my ageing ears  Though I didn't really know what to say about it so I had a quick peek on Google to see what other folks were saying and lo and behold every single review of it was the same. How appalling is that. Obviously cut and pasted from some press sheet. They all...view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Darkness At Noon

Now onto A Horse And A Hacksaw. New LP/CD 'Darkness At Noon' brilliantly blends Eastern European folk , klezmer, mariachi, American folk and modern composition to construct a fantastic wall of sonic wonderment & blissed out psychedelic meditation. a right old breathtaking cavalcade of sound! I wrote that, I did. Didn't nick half of i...view item »

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