Jess Klein: Back To My Green

Klein is more country than Americana, though there’s also something of the Laurel Canyon about her, thanks to her voice (mezzosoprano say the sleeve notes). Somewhere between county and lively Carole King. With a touch of Motown thrown in. The album — her 11th — is a mixture of styles, which may or may not […]

Sarah Rodgers: The Roaring Whirl

The story of this delightful and quirky CDis as interesting as the music. It was originally a piece of musical theatre based on Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, a musical journey across the North Indian Punjab. The work was commissioned by clarinettist Geraldine Allen and after touring it, a final version was played — and recorded — […]

Hayley Ross: The Weight Of Hope

Ross might have a name that suggest large-lunged covers of musical theatre (“Hayley Ross sings Evita!) but she’s actually somewhere between folk, indie and Americana. It’s all very gentle. She has one song that’s really good, track three Barracuda, which we remember from an EP. It’s wonderful and haunting, the music from a scandi-noir, just […]

Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith

This is an album that falls between pop and blues. It’s like one of those visual illusions, where upside down plates suddenly flip to the right way round. In this case you’ve got to see it as a pop album rather than blues; it sits a little uneasily until you do. There’s a mix of […]

Wilder Woods: Wilder Woods

Wilder Woods is Bear Rinehart, the lead singer of Needtobreathe (us neither) and the album is named after his two sons — Wilder, (3), and Woods, (1). Sweet. Rinehart can write a song and knows how to arrange his instruments, and this is a rich, luscious set of songs. We were expecting something indie but […]

Slowthai: Nothing Great About Britain

Rapper Slowthai attracted alarm from a certain sector of the UK recently, holding up a (fake) severed head of Boris Johnson. When it’s satirical tv show Spitting Image it’s satire and Shakespeare is art, but, alas poor Slowthai, a kid from Northampton is outrage. We’ve had this album for a while and not reviewed it; he’s […]

The Night Cafe: 0151

When a band calls its album after its home city’s dialling code, you know they’re proud Liverpudlians, (and no review copy will be finding its way to The Sun) but you can’t tell, the odd accent aside, that they’re from Liverpool or even England — they’ve got a West Coast feel that’s more California than […]

Spike Fuck: The Smackwave EP

She can’t expect much radio play, not only because of the name she has adopted but the subject matter of her songs — she’s a transgender former heroin addict and addresses sex, love and drugs in her lyrics. Still, she’s signed to Partisan Records, home to Idles and Fontaines DC, so one could perhaps expect […]

Death by Piano: Countdown EP

On one hand this could be called a little samey, on the other we’re always sad when it ends; it’s too short. We assumed the title meant a lot of piano but it’s chilled-out synth. (We did find out that death by piano is very rare: a report we found said that virtually every case […]