Allmänna Sangen: Femina Moderna

This is an interesting album that combines modern choral work with the more traditional, as well as something in between, though the programme of recent works by Swedish and international female composers, and has a preponderance of modern works. The newest piece is Anna-Karin Klockar’s Speeches, winner of the Allmänna Sangen and Anders Wall Composition […]

Grandaddy Last Place

Grandaddy formed in 1992, the band led by main writing talent Jason Lytle, and split in 2006. We were a little surprised to see this appear, as we thought they’d gone forever. Their popularity can be seen by the fact that — presumably before hearing a note — at least one UK festival has booked […]

Ten Fé: Hit the Light

This enjoyable album delivers cool indie pop that’s also commercial; it’s likable and stands repeat plays but is a little derivative. Indeed, we noticed various reviews compared Ten Fé to various bands; we guess they sound like everyone and anyone, so if you like them they sound like your favourite band. Follow sounds a bit […]

Vant: Dumb Blood

We like this because they sound like a band at all times; some of the songs may not be the best but they always work because the band works as a unit. Opener The Answer is a great first track, with feedback, swirling guitar and throbbing bass held together by a tight drum pattern; if […]

Vladimir and Anton: Live

Slovakian brothers Vladimir and Anton Jablokov are ace violin players who’ve graduated from busking in Ireland, where they now live, to recording contracts. They take familiar pieces and re-do them with lots of energy and fancy playing. We wondered for a moment who’d buy this, before remembering André Rieu and the world-wide following he has. […]

Ying Wang: Tun-Tu, Chamber Music Renewed

Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the words “chamber” and “music” in the title; this is as far removed from Mozart as deathgrind outfit Cattle Decapitation are from the Spice Girls. The interesting sleeve notes explain that Wang was born in Shanghai and grew up listening to western classical music, but when she moved […]

Nadine Khouri: The Salted Air

Khouri is a British-Lebanese musician and songwriter based in London, whose work is described by the Press release as “music born of perennial outsider status”. The PR cites a four-star Mojo review (“dark, possessed beauty”) and a five-star Radio Two review (“fascinating musical tapestry”). We’d give it three stars (“all a bit the same, really, […]

Patrick Hawes: Revelation, Beatitudes and Quantia Qualia

This is a tranquil and calming album, despite the title (Revelations featuring blood, mountains of fire, bottomless pits and destruction). It’s a weighty topic delivered with a light touch; the nine pieces that make up the album are inspired by the Book of Revelation and its imagery. A second work, Beatitudes, is a collection setting […]

Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No 2 Gustav Mahler: Piano Quartet

Brahms (born 1833) spent part of 1860 in the country suburb of Hamm, outside his native Hamburg, where he enjoyed the peace and quiet. The Piano Quartet No 2 was written about this time, and Brahms reported that it received a sympathetic reception. The work is 48 minutes long and makes wide use of sonata […]