Sparkling: Felonious

We thought this lot to be a US hip hop group — that’s what the title puts us in mind of — but it’s not: it’s vintage 80s synth pop delivered to a high standard. We’ve been playing the new Foals album a lot, and it’s a bit Foals, 80s style. Sparkling are Danish — […]

Aylish Kerrigan: The Dream Bridge – Songs by Ives and Cowell

Charles Ives is called the father of contemporary American music, say the release notes. He was an innovator and a loner with a brilliant mind, and the songs chosen for this album range from the simplistic to the most complex, and represent the eclectic range of styles Ives used, from jazz to gospel. Henry Cowell […]

Sleeper: The Modern Age

Sleeper were (to us, you might disagree) a middle-ranking Britpop band, formed in 1993, notching up eight top 40 hit singles and featuring in the soundtrack of Trainspotting. They split in 1998 but reunited in 2017, and this new album is the first in 21 years. We’d forgotten they existed and can’t hum any of […]

The Mornington Singers: To the Northeast, The Choral Music of John Buckley

The title suggested something like the Kings Singers, a jolly choir singing jolly tunes, but within a second it’s clear this is not the case: opener Music, When Soft Voices Die is a beautiful and timeless sacred-sounding song, suggestive of sitting in a church listening to music and pondering life and eternity. The only actual […]

Molly Tuttle: When You’re Ready

This is Tuttle’s debut, as long as you don’t count an earlier EP, and if you want slick, commercial rock/country, it’s pretty well perfect. Tuttle is a guitar virtuoso — lots of people can say that, but she was crowned instrumentalist of the year at the 2018 Americana Music Awards, and was not only the […]

Ten Fé: Perfect, Present Tense

It’s a glorious moment when you get new music that you instantly need to play over and over. So we can’t really review Ten Fé’s new one in any objective sense: it’s marvellous from start to finish. Within two beats of opener Won’t Happen starting it’s obvious this is a good new album, the strummed […]

David Guetta: 7

Older readers will remember a Foster’s lager advert, in which a silver fox rolls up at a bar in a Ferrari. “Don’t you want a man like that to a real potato-head” says the bartender, followed by, “I’ll settle for stupid”. (“Ah, professor!” calls out a drinker). “Most unpopular man in town!” (“Bob! Bob!” cry […]

Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

Foals are one of the best bands in Britain. They’ve improved and matured on every album and each release has a different sound. For this they’ve lost a bass player but replaced him with a synth, the backbone that supplies giving the music more of a groove; a lot, in fact. In some ways it’s […]

Maria Lettberg: Zara Levina, Piano Concertos

Zara Aleksandrovna Levina died in 1976 and, as you might guess, was a Soviet pianist and composer, now sadly languishing in relative obscurity. This new CD from (mainly) pianist Maria Lettberg aims to put that right, and it’s a pleasingly varied programme of music; you wouldn’t necessarily guess it was all the same composer. The […]