We Are Scientists: Huffy

We’re ashamed to admit we’ve underestimated We Are Scientists. We liked some tracks but never really got them; possibly because 2006’s debut With Love and Squalor came out at a time when there were lots of good guitar bands, notably Arctic Monkeys (and My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade) and Razorlight, as well as decent […]

Robin Stevens: Music for Cello and Piano

This modern album is not so instantly accessible but despite its modern and sometimes austere sound it’s a long way from being difficult. The PR says that Stevens writes “stimulating and expressive” work influenced by everything from the music of the Romantic era to mathematics and the eclectic nature of the composer means that something […]

Benjamin Lazar Davis: Benjamin Lazar Davis

This is one of those perfect indie albums that you can listen to over and over and is a taste of summery sun in the depths of winter; indie in the modern sense of accomplished synth-based pop as a side-project, slick and well played, not the old indie of a DIY band bashing out a […]

The Lucky Ones: The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones sound like they come from Kentucky or some other Appalachian area, playing what is musically straight bluegrass / roots string music, but they’re actually from the Yukon, Canada, made famous by the Klondike Gold Rush and more latterly by Ice Road Truckers. (We once went to the Motown Museum in Detroit, where […]

Biffy Clyro: The Myth Of The Happily Ever After

Biffy are one of those bands who have a “sound” and are world class musicians, so we were expecting this to be “Yeah, it’s good, it’s just more Biffy, next” but they’ve managed to pull off the neat trick of producing what fans expect while sounding new and different. A neat trick if you can […]

Various Scenes from the Kalevala

The Kalevala is a compilation of folk poetry, arranged into 50 extensive runos (poems) by the Finnish physician and folklorist Elias Lönnrot. Beginning with the creation of the world, it develops into a series of separate episodes, introducing epic characters whose names have lots of vowels and umlauts, like Väinämöinen. The collection first appeared in […]

Neil Young: Carnegie Hall 1970

New Young albums come along faster than the 38 bus to Crewe and the quality can be patchy (including a set recorded as a warm-up to this) but this is superb. It’s the first release from his Official Bootleg series.It’s just Young and his acoustic guitar and piano and there are 23 songs, many classics […]

Quadro Nuevo: Odyssee, A Journey Into The Light

Quadro Nuevo is a German jazz quartet playing “Arabesques, Balkan swing, ballads, daredevil improvisations, the melodies of old Europe” with the lightness of the Mediterranean, as their website has it. They play jazz that is warm and easy, pleasant to listen to but played to a high standard. This new album is inspired by Greek […]

Alfonso Soldano: Metamorphoses

Soldano is professor of piano performance at the Giordano Conservatory in Foggia, Italy. He was awarded the International Gold Medal for best Italian artist in 2013 and has performed and given masterclasses all around Italy, and in Germany, Switzerland and Romania. So he’s good. This new album sees him transcribe 15 of Rachmaninov’s romantic songs […]