- 10" £5.99
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- BELLAV277 / Comp 10" on Bella Union inc. Peter Broderick, Alessi's Ark, Philip Selway
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- The Bella Union Christmas 10 by Various
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 25 March 2011
Bella Union have an extraordinary track record for successfully (oh here I go) 'breaking' bands of a singer songwriter, rural folk ilk so new artists on the label are not to be sniffed at. This is the much delayed (or is it early?) 'Christmas' four track 10" sampler that got lost in the vaults somewhere between then and now. Opening with the ubiquitous Peter Broderick, his effort here is nicely impressive, expressive folk somewhere between a more palatable, conservative Richard Youngs and what James Blake might do if you confiscated his electronics and vocoder (which someone should). Half way through it breaks into a trot with full instrumentation, his voice rising to a crescendo. Newcastle's Lanterns on the Lake are surprise signings to the label and this is their debut appearance. What they do is slow building post rock which sits somewhere between Sigur Ros and Mazzy Star if you can imagine such a thing. Lines are picked like threads from a jumper before the strings sweep in courtesy of this weeks star performer Sarah Kemp (Epic 45, Last Harbour, The Declining Winter etc) and nice skittering drums. On the flip Alessi's Ark has a country twang, sounding not unlike Neko Case with a snifter of helium, whilst finally Philip Selway out of Radiohead does the solo singer songwriter thing to reasonably good effect. Bella Union's brand of bottle bought sincerity is highly regarded in a failing industry and if you want your sadness bleak but unchallenging this is a fine addition to the catalogue.
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