Henge: Attention Earth

We lamented over people complaining about the lack of new music in the Sons Of Bill review but Henge is an even better example: they’ve invented, or lest re-invigorated, a whole genre of music. It’s music like you’ve never heard before but it’s also instantly likeable. The basic sound is space rock, though as it […]

Ensemble MidtVest: Niels Gade Chamber Works, Vol 4

In his lifetime he was more popular than Brahms or Dvorák, but is today more neglected. This CD, performed by the Ensemble MidtVest (“completely committed to Gade’s cause” say the Press notes), is a something of a joy. He’s not top rank but he writes with a lightness of touch and joi de vivre. The […]

Alkaline Trio: Is This Thing Cursed?

Alkaline Trio have a sound and stick to it, a kind of organic punk that’s melodic and riffy, lacking the sharpness of bands like Blink 182 but rolling along pleasantly. They’re one of those bands that developed a devoted fanbase and saw no reason to change their sound. The band has been doing other stuff […]

Hannah Trigwell: Red

Trigwell is from Leeds and started off as a busker; then she found YouTube and racked up 100m views online for cover versions of popular tunes, as well as two number one singles in Laos and Vietnam for a song of her own. We read an interview with her in which she cites Phil Collins […]

Handsome Jack: Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

There’s a bad moon risin’ down in bayou with Handsome Jack, who resurrect 60/70s bluesy rock ‘n’ roll to perfection on this album. Opener Keep On kicks things off: swampy blues guitar, tight drums and a voice so marinated in smokes and whisky it makes peak Rod Stewart sound like Walking In The Air era […]

Catherine McGrath: Talk Of This Town

We’ve got nothing bad to say about this but we feel we should make some effort to be critical: “Catherine McGrath pulls the wings off flies” or “Catherine McGrath would eat your last Rolo” perhaps. McGrath is from Northern Ireland, learned guitar from her grannie and performing from watching her parents play on stage. She’ll […]

Mark Daly: When the Stars Align

With song titles such as Thinking About You, Rise Again, Without You and My Shadow, we were convinced Daly was a Christian and, clichéd as we are, planned to write a “so the devil doesn’t have all the good tunes” type review. As it is, we can find no evidence of a faith-based recording policy […]

The Beta Band: The Three EPs (Reissue)

Some years ago we went to the Green Man festival; we saw the best live band in the world, Flaming Lips, we saw Mumford and Sons and we even saw Gruff Rhys in wellies, but if you asked for one memory of the event it would be the solo set from Steve Mason, ex Beta […]

Caiti Baker: Zinc

The PR for Australian singer Caiti Baker claims it’s a “really cool and classy mix of pop, hip-hop, blues, 90s R&B and neo soul”. It’s true that it’s classy, and it’s mostly cool, too, but the mix of genres is a weakness to our ears. You might disagree and singers such as Caro Emerald do […]

Alexandra Stréliski: Inscape + Chilly Gonzales: Solo Piano III

Classical piano albums aimed at the masses are like buses: you wait ages (after Chilly Gonzales’ last one and James Rhodes’s Bullets and Lullabies) and then two come in the same week. Without being gender-biased, we’d say Stréliski goes for the emotion, Gonzales for the brain: Stréliski’s is for those who wish all piano was […]