Island: Feels Like Air

Island (they style it ISLAND) are a cool indie band with a young fanbase. You can tell the fans are young because we Googled some reviews and many of them made no sense, students thinking their thesaurus is more important than writing a coherent review. We love it. We discovered Island by mistake: we’d gone […]

Aidan O’Rourke: 365 Volume One

Top marks for O’Rourke for inventiveness; he wrote a tune a day for a year, hence the title. The inspiration was James Robertson’s book 365, itself remarkable: a collection of 365 short stories, each with 365 words. O’Rourke is recording all 365 — 22 down, 343 to go after this — but only releasing the […]

Panayiotis Demopoulos: Nina’s Clock

A Greek pianist playing improv jazz with a classical bent and a local connection? This doesn’t happen too often. This suite has 11 movements and is a reflection of moods, external stimuli and events as felt by the composer one night after recording sessions. He tells the story that links the tracks in the sleeve […]

Neil Young + Promise of the Real: Paradox

For parts of this movie soundtrack you think, “If Heineken did soundtracks…”; other parts are apparently men eating crisps in a field and playing guitar, so less so. Paradox is a film directed by Neil’s other half, Daryl Hannah. Its plot: Sometime in the future past, the “Man in the Black Hat” (Young), the “Particle […]

Prosecco Socialist: Songs from Behind Bars

The appeal of The Beautiful South passed us by somewhat, so it’s hard for us to tell how BS fans will view this rather charming new album from David Rotheray: love it, we expect. The gist of it is that he spent several decades playing/writing pop tunes that people loved, then sacked it off and […]

Basil Athanasiadis: Soft Light

This is mood music: if you’re in the right mood, it’s truly beautiful in places and leaves your mind relaxed and in the present. In the wrong mood, it scratches down your spinal cord like a horde of angry kittens with genetically engineered super-claws. In a word: it won’t calm you in moments of stress, […]

Courtney Marie Andrews: May Your Kindness Remain

Her previous albums have been noteworthy simply because she has a nice voice, and sometimes that’s all you need. This new one is deeper and slower, and while it takes more time to get used to — it’s not pop — it’s ultimately better. In a coincidental echo of the Basil Athanasiadis album (see this […]

Andrew McCormack: Graviton

Nominally jazz, if only for the instruments used, this ambitious album takes in everything from prog to bop. On his website McCormack explains that gravitons are tiny particles that carry the force of gravity. “It is what brings you back down to Earth when you jump,” he says, though how this applies to the album […]

Namosh: Music Muscle

Sometimes we hear an interview with a cool DJ and order some hardcore dance (ie disco, four beats to the bar, nothing too whacky) from Chicago or somewhere; Frankie Knuckles is way too commercial, it’s people like Cajmere or songs from genres with “jack” in the title. The music is often hard, almost industrial, a […]

Black Sedan: Adventure Lit Their Star

This is an odd but interesting album: it’s a “collective” project orchestrated by Yorkshire-based journalist and author Mark Hodkinson and sees him bring together five vocalists and 30 musicians to create what is probably a bit of a Marmite record. His previous bands / albums include Black September, a rather fine indie effort that has […]