Famy: We Fam Econo

This is the debut album from Famy, out on 8th September and it’s the sound of a band trying hard to elevate their average music to the heights of cultdom. In sound it’s somewhere between the tribal indie of Wu Lyf and the more cerebral indie pop of Cave Painting; the former released an excellent […]

York Bowen: String Quartets

  Bowen is another British composer who’s been lost to present music fans. Like Arnold Cooke from last week, this was originally released by the British Music Society and is now out on Naxos. Bowen (1884-1961) was active before WWI and seems to have disappeared without trace afterwards, which is a shame. This album from […]

The Courteeners: Concrete Love

We saw The Courteeners on an early tour, and singer Liam Fray looked as if he’d outgrown the sub-Oasis lad rock featured on the band’s debut album. In hindsight perhaps he just thought he’d outgrown venues the size of the Sugarmill, because The Courteeners never left the lad rock behind. Fray has the ambition of […]

Eric Craven : Piano Sonatas 7+8+9

We’ve not heard of Craven, but apparently he was a teacher who taught music and mathematics in secondary schools in Manchester. He has composed music since his teens, but rarely performed or published until recently. Encouraged by Mary Dullea and Divine Art/Metier Records, the first album of his music   SET for piano, performed by Dullea, […]

Ward Thomas: From Where We Stand

Play this pop / country album through and you’ll be wondering where they’re from: Nashville? The Canadian Maritimes? Er, nope, they’re 20-year-old twin sisters and from Hampshire. They did have a Canadian cousin, though. On one hand that explains its slightly pedestrian feel: we have a theory that country is so suited to America because […]

Sunjay: Sunjay

Sunjay (last name Brayne, you can see why he’s dropped that) has the same effect on us as the first time we heard Gomez, with that unbelievable voice coming out of a boy who looked about 12. Ditto Sunjay, an Anglo-Indian from the West Midlands who looks like about 16 and is built like a […]

Charlie Simpson: Long Road Home

You’ll only snigger when we say this is really good; that’s right, ha ha, a good album by the bloke who was in Busted, and left to form a metal band you never heard of again. But it is really good, and, moreover a pleasure to listen to. We’ll say right off that while it’s […]

Plastikman: Ex

Plastikman — aka Richie Hawtin — is an exponent of minimal techno. He was born in England but later lived just over the Canadian border from Detroit, the home of techno, and had a dad who liked Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. He later lived in Berlin. He’s also into multimedia art installations. He’d retired Plastikman […]

Michael Finnissy: Mississipi Hornpipes

If the title suggests to you some folkie American Appalachian adaptations, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Finnissy — Prof Finnissy to give him his proper title — is professor of composition at the University of Southampton. We found this quote attributed to him: “If it’s a commercial success you have in your sights, lay […]

Arnold Cooke: Three String Sonatas

This appears to be a CD that was originally released (in 2009) by the British Music Society, formed in 1979 by a group of amateur and professional music lovers to promote British music in the face of indifference. Cooke was a good one to support: despite having a prolific working life over nearly a century, […]