Galina Grigorjeva: Nature Morte

Even the most average of indie rock bands can litter the internet with glowing reviews and references (usually written by friends and family we guess, and as for all those five-star reviews on Amazon, pfah!) but we always find it surprising that talented people can exist and produce world-class music without causing so much as […]

Josef Salvat: Night Swim

Salvat has had a hit with the album-opener Open Season and it’s easy to see why: it’s a catchy and likable pop tune. Soulful, tightly played and underpinned by his warming vocals, it’s almost a masterclass in pop writing. The same is true for the remix-ready Paradise, which is possibly even better. A sophisticated, dance-friendly […]

Fay Hield: Old Adam

Hield (it’s her real name, her parents were clearly wags) is as traditional folk as they come: she is a teaching associate in ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield, wrote a PhD on “English folk singing and the construction of community”, guest lectures at places like Leeds College of Music and runs two folk clubs, […]

Basia Bulat: Good Advice

This is the Canadian singer’s fourth album and it’s a fairly run of the mill, even pedestrian, pop album. Two things lift it above the average: her voice (she’s a bit Sade and has the same glamorous sound) and the production, from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, which adds a pleasing retro echo to […]

Kimmo Pohjonen: Sensitive Skin

They’re pleasantly mad in Finland: any country that would enter a hard rock/heavy metal band into the Eurovision Song Contest has got to be eccentric. The fact that Mr Lordi won shows that we find such behaviour endearing. Thus with this, a prog album from an accordionist, featuring the Kronos Quartet and distributed by the […]

Johann Ernst Prinz von Sachsen-Weimar: Violin Concertos

At the first play-through of this collection of lush and charming baroque string concertos, you’re thinking it’s nice but no Premiership as far as composing goes: top of the Championship but not world class. Then you read his biography and learn that Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar — born on Christmas Day in 1696 — didn’t […]

Panic! At The Disco: Death Of A Bachelor

This OTT album sees Brendon Urie simultaneously impress with his talents and leave the listener slightly baffled. It’s a mix between MCR emo at its most burlesque and the operatic classic rock of Queen — “Let me be a killer queen” he sings within seconds of the opening so it’s clear what the influences are. […]

Baroness: Purple

This band’s John Baizley was in the Guardian recently, in the Saturday magazine’s Experience section. This is where people recount generally unpleasant things that befell them (“My head was bitten off by a leopard”, “I lived on soil for three years”). His was “Our tour bus drove off a viaduct”; they were driving near Bath […]