Basia Bulat: Are You In Love?

This is a decent pop album that, without being great, manages to wriggle its way into your affections. The chief appeal is her voice, which manages to be throaty and powerful without being too dominant, and while sounding calming. She’s got deep-ish vocals and the sound is slightly wistful, while also being bold. Wistful is […]

Natacha Atlas: Strange Days

Atlas is from Egypt and this album sees her meld her roots with jazz. It’s a beautifully recorded selection of tracks that drifts into easy listening — the gentlest it goes is a bit late night, with an interesting fusion of sounds and instrumentation. Atlas began her career as part of the world fusion group […]

Georgie: Live!

Georgie is new to us; we guess she has a devoted fanbase who love her bluesy vocals. This is an acoustic set, recorded live at Trinity Church, Nottingham — she’s from Mansfield so it’s practically a home-coming gig. It’s all about the music. Georgie delivers minimal and deadpan chat between the songs. “This is a […]

Neil Young and Crazy Horse: Colorado

Colorado is not one of Young’s great albums but it’s a grower and could go down as one of his later-career highlights. There’s a film with it; Young’s films are best avoided but someone who did watch said he comments in it to his band: “It doesn’t have to be good, just feel good.” That’s […]

Echoes Of Swing: Winter Days at Schloss Elmau

Echoes of Swing are in top form for this festive album, the quartet of Bernd Lhotzky (piano), Colin T Dawson (trumpet), Chris Hopkins (alto saxophone) and Oliver Mewes (drums) joined for this by US jazz singer Rebecca Kilgore (“one of the best interpreters of the Great American Songbook” says Wikipedia). The premise of the album […]

Cipriano de Rore: Missa Vivat Felix Hercules / Motets

If your idea of heaven is male vocalists singing religious Renaissance music as you ponder the meaning of life, this beautiful CD is for you. Cipriano of Rore (1516-1565) composed the Mass in honour of his patron, Ercole II d’Este, the sound meant to convey the latter’s Godliness. The sleeve notes are interesting; the tenor […]

Francisco de Peñalosa: Lamentations

This is a beautiful collection of religious music from the Renaissance. If you like religious vocal music that errs towards the sombre — the album title gives it away— this is a must. The singing is fantastic and the acoustics of wherever it was recorded only add to the experience. Peñalosa’s music is redolent 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 […]

Sunjay: Devil Came Calling

Sunjay has been seen at award ceremonies: he was a young folk award finalist in 2012 at Radio Two and the same year won the young performers award at the Wath Festival, as well as being a winner at the New Roots competition in St Albans. In 2014 he was nominated three times at the […]