Tiny Changes: A Celebration

The full name of this album is A Celebration Of Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight and it has become a de facto tribute album to the band’s songwriter Scott Hutchison, who took his own life last year. It was recorded before he died; the covers are not mournful, more life-affirming. This is how it […]

Amy Studt: Happiest Girl In The Universe

This dreamy pop album opens gently, Studt caressing the microphone and pleasing people who experience autonomous sensory meridian response (those of you who like to hear wrapping paper fondled and gently-spoken sibilants). After this she sings more forcefully, at the top of her register, the music remaining gentle. She is somewhere between Dido, Bjork and […]

Chris Gall and Mulo Francel: Mythos

Saxophonist Mulo Francel is well known (though not to us; we won’t pretend) for his work with platinum-selling jazz/world quartet Quadro Nuevo; Gall is a fifth member for live gigs. Kulturnews magazine credits Francel with the “most sensuous saxophone sound in Europe”. The idea of this album apparently began at the end of a hard […]

Bob Bradshaw: Queen Of The West

The music is warm and rich but we find Bradshaw’s vocals a little dry (which we would also find fault with Bread over), but there’s a lot going on. He has lots of ideas and the band is good, his voice just fails to excite us. That aside, it’s a meaty album with a lot […]

No Hot Ashes: Hardship Starship

No Hot Ashes have the potential to be massive. The sound is somewhere between the Libertines and indie bands of that ilk, and slicker pop bands; Kubb maybe. The lyrics are more Busted than Arctic Monkeys. They’ve got something of the classic pop instrumentation of eighties pop bands (even Wham! in places), all presided over […]

Metronomy: Metronomy Forever

Gone is the wonky synth and in its place highly catchy and slick pop tunes and (to our ears) an album-long tribute to the band’s Ferdinand Mount’s influences over the years. He recorded his early albums on his own and this sounds like it’s just him, too. The result is some of his best songs […]

Emily Breeze: Rituals

This is a studied act, presenting the kind of music an intellectual type might believe reflects the cool chic followers of Jack Kerouac would adopt on a pilgrimage to La Rive Gauche in Paris. It’s apparently effortless and cynical, but served up with English wit, so you can always claim satire if anyone laughs. As […]

Reverend And The Makers: Best Of

We assume The Rev and his Makers are still going because the band’s Jon McClure is popular with journalists (so gets good coverage), and writes honest, heart-on-his-sleeve tunes, to which fans can relate. We recall he refused a record deal when his Sheffield homeboys Arctic Monkeys hit it big, preferring to work on his own […]

Alexander Moyzes: Symphonies Nos 11 and 12

Alexander Moyzes, who died in 1984, was one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music. The sleeve notes say he created a style of composition that “was thoroughly Slovak in inspiration”, while taking account of contemporary trends in European music. It’s expressive music and while not unmelodic, it’s also got no memorable sections. […]