Shakespears Sister: Singles Party (1988-2019)

Everyone knows Shakespears Sister, though you might struggle to remember a song. “Two girls, dancy pop, something to do with Bananarama and Dave Stewart, fell out ..?” Well that’s all we remembered. Marcella Detroit and Siobhan Fahey formed the band in 1988 after Fahey left Bananarama. They split in 1993 after Detroit was sacked in […]

Marina: Love + Fear

The Diamonds are gone — perhaps she had them recut — and now it’s just Marina. She and her now-resized Diamonds passed us by a little; a bit too poppy. People apparently liked her lyrics although, like the Diamonds, these appear to have been somewhat cut. This album is also poppy, but appealing. She has […]

Lizzo: Cuz I Love You

We came across Lizzo some time ago with Batches and Cookies, a stripped down semi-joking but addictive rap song (sample lyrics: “I got my batches and cookies / I got my batches and cookies / I got my batches and cookies / I got my batches and cookies”). The album Lizzobangers was less interesting and […]

Chas Rigby: Pearls

This is doubtless unfair on Chas, who’s probably 6’ 4” with pecks like a gladiator, but we imagine him as one of those underweight singers with less hair than they once had, who turn out to have led interesting but ultimately tragic lives, maybe some drugs and an arrest or two, but all giving them […]

Blood Red Shoes: Get Tragic

Blood Red Shoes are — and we’d forgotten they existed — one of those indie / alt rock bands who never quite hit the premier league; never quite as good as Foals or Bombay Bicycles, but still pretty decent. Their fans probably wonder why they’re not bigger; their last tour played Manchester Gorilla. From what […]

Jenny Lewis: On the Line

This new album from Lewis encapsulates why she should be more famous — and why she isn’t. Musically, it’s damn near perfect with clever lyrics, flawless tunes and moments when you think pop music can get no better. Her backing band includes — get this — Beck, Benmont Tench (ex Tom Petty, delivers some lovely […]

Jaws: The Ceiling

Jaws call themselves dream-pop and hail from Birmingham. This is their third album; we quite like their last, Simplicity, as it’s melodic and clever while being inoffensive. You can listen to it and it’s fine, or not listen and your brain is fine filtering it out. This new one is a bit stronger and more […]

Jesse Mac Cormack: Now

It’s always interesting what one album makes you listen to: after this it was Duke Special, aka Peter Wilson, a songwriter from Belfast, we turned to.  Duke Special is not a household name; Jesse Mac Cormack, similarly a solo bloke who sounds like a band, with synth supplying percussion and instrumentation, is probably heading for […]

Pottery: No. 1

Pottery — who should play Stoke Sugarmill, in The Potteries, as soon as possible — have drums/bass driving the songs along, and all very interesting. They’re the kind of band who’d go down well at the Blue Dot festival — a strong dance groove coupled with psychedelia. Although it’s not particularly innovative, we’ve been enjoying […]

Stevie Nicks: Stand Back, 1981-2017 (Box set)

A bit like Michael Jackson, we can overlook our favourites’ flaws if they turn out good tunes. Nicks not only turned a blues band into Fleetwood Mac but bashed out some good tunes of her own, for which we forgive her the cocaine abuse, the brandy, the champagne and the chain-smoking that ruined her voice. […]