Blitzen Trapper: Wild and Reckless

A friend in the States introduced us to Blitzen Trapper’s debut album. We gave him Mumford and Sons’ debut in return and for some years we’ve thought he got the better end of the deal. Blitzen Trapper were worthy if not dull, and their second album did little to change our mind. But this is […]

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest

Critics generally seem to love this, and it’s selling well on Amazon, top 300 or so in CD and digital. One can only assume it’s people with a fondness for nostalgia as it leaves us a little unmoved, sounding as it does like the soundtrack to a 70s French cop film. The music is mostly […]

Laura Oakes: Nashville Stole Your Girl (Acoustic EP)

The title says it all: Nashville, acoustic. It’s acoustic country pop that sounds like it’ll get played on Nashville easy-listenin’ day-time radio, except that Laura is from Liverpool. If you like pop country, you might have heard of her: this charted at No.2 in the iTunes album country chart on release day. It features four […]

New Kingston: A Kingston Story, Come From Far

This came out a while ago. Ok, August. But it’s reggae: it’ll find a ready audience and it all sounds pretty much the same anyway so there’s no rush for a review. This is the fourth studio album by New Kingston, who are Jamaican by heritage but living in New York: Courtney Panton plays drums, […]

Trudy and the Romance: Junkyard Jazz EP

It’s always good to see a band marching to the beat of its own drum, and Trudy and the Romance are such a band, managing to cross Libertines and Metronomy, and coming up with something new. We say the Libs because TatR have something of that band’s ramshackle charm, combined with a flavouring of the […]

Jim White: Waffles, Triangles and Jesus

White’s story is an interesting one (not that he might agree): influenced in his childhood by gospel music, he has reportedly been a comedian, a fashion model, a boxer, a preacher, a professional surfer and a New York cab driver. He attended film school at New York University but then entered a “deep hole of […]

The Americans: I’ll Be Yours

This is an odd album; classic rootsy American rock played by excellent musicians that doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts. The Americans are from Los Angeles and worked with Jack White and T Bone Burnett on the documentary American Epic, the soundtrack for which we reviewed. They’ve also played backing for […]

The East Pointers: What We Leave Behind

We knew where this Canadian folk group were from without looking it up. We visited Prince Edward Island a few years ago to see the owner of the independent paper on the island (Halifax, Nova Scotia is only a five-hour flight from the UK). The omnipresence of Anne of Green Gables aside, it could be […]

Gill Landry: Love Rides A Dark Horse

This smacks of quality before you even press play. Love Rides A Dark Horse is a great title, and Landry was formerly in country/roots band Old Crow Medicine Show so he’s got the experience behind him, making this a confident collection. It’s nothing new but the music is well paced, and he has a deep […]

Michael Alec: Rose Il Ritorno

This rather wonderful CD is an impressionist description of landscape using only violin and viola; perhaps not the most promising of descriptions but it is engrossing and draws in the listener. The sleeve notes are fun to read and help with the listening. Michael Alec Rose is (apparently) a leading light in the contemporary music […]