Justin Townes Earle: Absent Fathers

Justin is the son of the legendary Steve. The first time we heard Earle’s debut, Guitar Town we realised he was a major talent, but the son bares his talent more subtly. This is not his first album, but it is the first we’ve heard and the title suggests he’s wringing material from his troubled […]

Django Django: Born Under Saturn

This lot were critically adored for their debut album, although we’re not sure that translated into sales (we think we read they sold about 50,000 copies). If you missed them then, they play a distinctive style of indie pop, distinctive because it’s very percussive, the band being led by a drummer. The new album opens […]

Various: Synth Pop

This triple CD made us realise how much times have changed. It’s not that the tunes are bad — far from it, it’s an excellent compilation — but we remembered the first time we heard Oh Yeah by Yello. It’s a catchy little tune and one you’d want to hear over and over, but back […]

Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi

We have to declare an interest: we love Death Cab For Cutie and would give any album a glowing review, but even we have to admit that the band have left the glory days of 2003’s Transatlanticism far behind. The early songs were about new-found love and hope, now they’re all getting older and more […]

Lord Huron: Strange Trails

We were a little surprised at how country this album was, though we shouldn’t have been, as the first album, Lonesome Dreams, was equally so. Dreams did lean more to a spaced-out sound and we’d mentally bundled it up with Bon Iver’s For Emma Forever Ago, for some reason. Americans living in huts or something. […]

Mew: + –

It’s a week of bands we don’t know much about, Death Cab aside. Mew have apparently released a number of albums, though we’ve never come across them before. Plus Minus is an odd mix of sounds: it’s prog but on the subtle side, with none of the thundering complexity so beloved of some bands in […]

Isasi Quartet Isasi: String Quartets 1&5

As can be seen by the CD sleeve, complete with Spanish flag, Isasi was Spanish (born in Bilbao) but despite being active in the early 20th century he was a fan of Germanic classical music from the previous century, and wrote accordingly. This wasn’t fashionable at the time and Isasi, who the sleeve notes say […]

Andrew Montgomery: Ruled By Dreams

Montgomery was in a brit pop band called the Geneva, who we’ve not heard of. Sometime reviewer CNM, who has the memory of an elephant after intensive memory training on Memory Island, doesn’t remember them either, so it’s safe to assume they weren’t big. What he’s been doing since then is a mystery — he’s […]

Meadowlark: Dual EP

Anyone who listens to new music on a regular basis will know that feeling when you play a track and know it’s going to be your must-play record for the next week. It doesn’t happen very often but was the case with the first track on this lovely EP from Meadowlark, which we’ve been playing […]

Ghostpoet: Shedding Skin

He hit fame and fortune (well moderate fame and probably not much fortune) after being Mercury nominated a couple of years back. His signature sound is gloomily spoken lyrics over equally gloomy electronic music, though it’s quite pleasant to listen to. We’re missing out a whole layer of intellectual input with that thumbnail. On this […]