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 […]

Benjamin Lazar Davis: Benjamin Lazar Davis

This is one of those perfect indie albums that you can listen to over and over and is a taste of summery sun in the depths of winter; indie in the modern sense of accomplished synth-based pop as a side-project, slick and well played, not the old indie of a DIY band bashing out a […]

The Lucky Ones: The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones sound like they come from Kentucky or some other Appalachian area, playing what is musically straight bluegrass / roots string music, but they’re actually from the Yukon, Canada, made famous by the Klondike Gold Rush and more latterly by Ice Road Truckers. (We once went to the Motown Museum in Detroit, where […]

Biffy Clyro: The Myth Of The Happily Ever After

Biffy are one of those bands who have a “sound” and are world class musicians, so we were expecting this to be “Yeah, it’s good, it’s just more Biffy, next” but they’ve managed to pull off the neat trick of producing what fans expect while sounding new and different. A neat trick if you can […]

Various Scenes from the Kalevala

The Kalevala is a compilation of folk poetry, arranged into 50 extensive runos (poems) by the Finnish physician and folklorist Elias Lönnrot. Beginning with the creation of the world, it develops into a series of separate episodes, introducing epic characters whose names have lots of vowels and umlauts, like Väinämöinen. The collection first appeared in […]

Neil Young: Carnegie Hall 1970

New Young albums come along faster than the 38 bus to Crewe and the quality can be patchy (including a set recorded as a warm-up to this) but this is superb. It’s the first release from his Official Bootleg series.It’s just Young and his acoustic guitar and piano and there are 23 songs, many classics […]

Quadro Nuevo: Odyssee, A Journey Into The Light

Quadro Nuevo is a German jazz quartet playing “Arabesques, Balkan swing, ballads, daredevil improvisations, the melodies of old Europe” with the lightness of the Mediterranean, as their website has it. They play jazz that is warm and easy, pleasant to listen to but played to a high standard. This new album is inspired by Greek […]

Alfonso Soldano: Metamorphoses

Soldano is professor of piano performance at the Giordano Conservatory in Foggia, Italy. He was awarded the International Gold Medal for best Italian artist in 2013 and has performed and given masterclasses all around Italy, and in Germany, Switzerland and Romania. So he’s good. This new album sees him transcribe 15 of Rachmaninov’s romantic songs […]

Beautiful People: If 60s Were 90s

This came out ages ago in 1992. We were never too sure of it at the time, being massive Hendrix fans and unable to see the point of adding dance beats to a genius, but it seems much better all these years on. Perhaps we all need cheering up just now. (Though it did cost […]

Motörhead: The Löst Tapes

We don’t know what’s worse: the fact that the members of the classic line-up of Lemmy, Philthy and Fast Eddy are all dead, or that Lemmy’s death killed Motörhead. But Motörhead recordings are far from dead and on Motörhead Day, 8th May, (say the eighth of May and Ace Of Spades quickly to see why) […]

El Michels Affair: Yeti Season

El Michels (and see here) is clearly a man obsessed with music. He previously made an album of imagined music from “adult” films and this new one is imagined music from another kind of film, one set in somewhere like Turkey. Goodness knows what Yeti Season is. There’s a lot of funk with a stylised […]