Mari Joyce: Dear Moon

We listen to a lot of challenging music and for some weeks we’ve been missing something calming; we had some lovely Elgar songs and plenty of folk, but it wasn’t quite what we needed. Then came this. Ten seconds in, and we knew this was it. It helped that it reminded us of Fisherman’s Woman […]

Ben Bedford: Portraits

This is Bedford’s sixth album; his last, Hermit’s Spyglass, was excellent and this is even better. Perhaps not surprising, as he has picked songs from his first three albums to create a collection of songs, the intention’s clear from the album title. Hermit’s Spyglass told some good tales – it mapped daily life on a […]

Beans On Toast: Knee Deep In Nostalgia / The Unforeseeable Future

Beans (aka Jay McAllister) normally drops one album a year but clearly lockdown has left him with little else on his plate and we get two. They’re both self-explanatory in their titles. Knee Deep In Nostalgia sees man-of-the-people poet and guitarist Beans looking back fondly at his past and his likes, from memories of favourite […]

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald: Love Valley

This is Fitzgerald’s fifth album but we’ve not heard of him before; he’s a Canadian singer-songwriter so he’s been honing his craft over there. It’s a nice little album, in the best senses of “nice” and “little”: it’s a cosy musical companion that will bring comfort to fans of Americana and folky roots in these […]

Jack Henderson: Where’s The Revolution

If the injustices of the world leave you feeling helpless because there’s so much wrong and so little you can do, we can offer a small action you can take – buy Jack Henderson’s new album.Henderson sounds as if he’s a jobbing musician who does well – his biography says he’s played with the likes […]

Monkey See Monkey Do: The Night Out

They’ve self-released this, so if you like folk and are missing your favourite folk club, you should buy it on principle. Happily, it’s also good; they play folk that sounds modern and traditional at the same time, and tells a good tale. It opens with Pound A Week Rise; we Googled the lyrics and it […]

Tim Fredericks: Singer Songwriter 2

This is a follow-up to an album that came out last year; they gave away the last one and we guess the same is true of this. It came out before lockdown, so now they can’t even give it away. The songs are by Tim Fredericks and his band, who are from Crewe, Macclesfield, Stoke […]

Damien Jurado: What’s New, Tomboy?

This is the 15th studio album from singer songwriter Jurado, and it’s a more solid musical offering than we were expecting. It’s still a fairly stripped-back sound, but it just seems a little more forceful, although we guess Jurado fans buy his albums for the lyrics. All the songs are about relationships and many of […]

Ben Avison: Lovers’ Leap

Avison has a gentle voice and writes gentle tunes, which means there’s a danger his songs could be merely bland. We receive albums that are so unutterably dull that we can think of nothing to say about them (good or bad) but this is not one. Although on a couple of occasions he does veer […]

Non Canon: Non Canon II

I don’t known much for sure but can say with utter certainty that Non Canon (aka Barry Dolan) has the most rabid fans in the country; either that or a large family. I reviewed his first album under this name, the imaginatively entitled Non Canon (sans I), and said that while I could see that […]