My Indigo: My Indigo

Dutch singer Sharon den Adel is better known for leading Within Temptation, a symphonic metal band; it’s a genre that is less than huge over here, but is massive in Europe, where the band has shifted millions of albums. She wrote this to deal with personal problems. The album is probably okay for Europeans who […]

Port Cities: Port Cities

Unlike Hinds (see here), who are all quirk, Port Cities are not quite quirky enough; as those ghastly people on The Apprentice say, they have no USP. That’s not to say this is a bad album: Port Cities can turn in a good tune; the type Fleetwood Mac or Tom Petty fans would hear on […]

Sheridan Smith: Sheridan

We don’t watch much telly and live for us is gigs, not theatre, so the talented Ms Smith has passed us largely by: we’ve only heard people rave about Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Gavin and Stacey and Benidorm (but then, who needs more than Detectorists?). She starred in The Harry […]

Rae Morris: Someone Out There

We were expecting some kind of bland pop; if she’d been called Hólmfríður Grímsdóttir and from Reykjavik we’d have been more prepared. Morris is from Blackpool and we thought her debut was a little staid, but this is great. For most of the album she has that Scandinavian vibe going on, with vocals that are […]

Marmozets: Knowing What You Know Now

The title perhaps reflects that singer Becca Macintyre had to have a knee operation that left her housebound, giving them time to reflect on their rapid rise to fame. This new album seems to use up all the energy she accumulated while bed-ridden — it’s feisty and aggressive while still having some great singalong choruses. […]

Will Varley: Spirit of Minnie

Previous releases — this is his fifth studio album — have been just Varley and guitar; powerful songs maybe (try Something Is Breaking from Kingsdown Sundown) but still acoustic. This new album has a full band and sees him up his game considerably: comparisons with the likes of Marc Cohn or even The Boss in […]

Sunflower Bean: Twentytwo in Blue

This patchy album is more a promise of what could be to come than what is. At peak Bean they drop sharp indie pop, with lead singer Julia Cumming’s crystal voice contrasting with the scuzzy guitar. In other places it’s less convincing (a polite euphemism for forgettable). Opener Burn It is good, a plea to […]

Don McLean: Botanical Gardens

Lyrically this is for those who think political correctness has gone mad, and the loss of the days when a man could walk round openly staring at pretty girls in dresses is to be lamented. The opener Botanical Gardens is, reduced to its essentials, about a man who ain’t getting any eying up girls in […]

The Magic Gang: The Magic Gang

There’s a long line of bands producing catchy guitar-based pop, to varying degrees of success, on what one could call the Weezer-Echosmith spectrum, Weezer clearly being the daddies, Echosmith truly excellent but less successful. Or there’s Black Kids, who shone brightly but briefly, or Fountains of Wayne. The list goes on. We suspect The Magic […]