Littlemen: It’s a Beautiful Thing

If ever an album hid its delights in its opening bars, it’s this. The start of opener The Girl With The Red Blouse sounds something like a country take on Wet Wet Wet’s Something In The Air, a gentle, slow pop tune with soft vocals, no indication of what’s coming. Then it builds in power […]

HMLTD: West of Eden

The Guardian reports that HMLTD were active some years ago, winning a good reputation for gigs, getting signed by Sony and then dropped. You can see why; this album is not replete with hit singles, good as it is. So this is their debut and the Press notes call it “labyrinthine”, not an unreasonable description. […]

Joe Gideon: Armagideon

Joe must have thought this was a clever play on words … until we got locked down and it became a bit portentous. Gideon has been around a while and had a hit with his sister, known as The Shark (in musical circles anyway). Gideon’s style is a sing-songy way of speaking over dark, layered […]

Jiggy: Hypernova

Whatever you’re expecting, Jiggy is not it. Who would expect trad Irish tunes to mix so well with world and a Stereo MCs-type dance sound? For a start you can’t work out where they’re from; they sound Irish but they sing in French and some kind of Middle-European language at various points. The line-up is […]

Jeffrey Foucault: Blood Brothers

When we started this reviewing lark we’d sometimes have a record of the week, although we usually forgot: this week it would be this. Foucault’s from Wisconsin so this is Americana with some of the twang of country. He has an evocative voice and the songs are all good. We’ve not felt this much settled […]

Parachute For Gordo: Best Understood by Children and Animals

This is a great album, a clever ramshackle affair of what sounds like jams but is probably carefully arranged. The feel, if not sound, is somewhere between bands such as Ozric Tentacles and bands on the more stoner side (musically, anyway) such as Holy F–K or even Goat. You could also compare them to Explosions […]

Basia Bulat: Are You In Love?

This is a decent pop album that, without being great, manages to wriggle its way into your affections. The chief appeal is her voice, which manages to be throaty and powerful without being too dominant, and while sounding calming. She’s got deep-ish vocals and the sound is slightly wistful, while also being bold. Wistful is […]

Andrew Hawkey: Long Story Short

We liked Hawkey before we heard a note: he was born in 1942 (yes, really) in Wadebridge, Cornwall, a favourite Review Corner haunt (and home to Andrew Ridgeley) and also lived in Cheshire. He left school at 15 to work on poultry farms, but became an estate agent. He was in London for the swinging […]

Smoke Fairies: Darkness Brings The Wonders Home

We’ve never really warmed to Smoke Fairies (Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies), who’ve been going for years, releasing music every now and then, but this is solid, comforting indie, with injections of goth and blues. The vocals may be your decider, as they’re bold, powerful and to the fore. The album opens with On The […]

Howard Skempton: The Man, Hurdy-gurdy and Me

We sometimes rave about albums but this is 100% wonderful. If we ever send a space rocket into space (in case you wondered where space rockets go), you could send this recording to sum up Britishness: witty, joyful, a bit mad, wildly eccentric and lots of fun. Whatever you want it’s got it, from early […]

Stumbleine: Sink Into The Ether

Producer Stumbleine’s seventh album, offers, say the Press notes, “a deep submergence within a celestial upper region somewhere beyond the clouds”, which in a nutshell is Moby in his more thoughtful moments. It’s a decent album, albeit low key: one for late nights and reflection. If you weren’t locked in your house, it would be […]