Nils Landgren: 4 Wheel Drive

Landgren is part of the Funk Unit, and this CD sees three equally famous players join him: Landgren on trombone and vocals, plus Michael Wollny on piano, Lars Danielsson on bass and cello, and Wolfgang Haffner drums. It’s mostly covers, the fi rst being Another Day In Paradise from Phil Collins. Landgren’s vocals are gentle […]

Ten Tonnes: Ten Tonnes

Just when you thought landfill indie — disposable tunes from bands with guitars — had gone away, up pops Ten Tonnes. He’s at the posher end of the genre, more The Kooks than Pigeon Detectives, but it’s formulaic. He lifts it above the routine by being bright and breezy, and he (Ten Tonnes is Ethan […]

Nouvelle Vague: Curiosities

Nouvelle Vague the band passed us by, we must confess. Nouvelle Vague to us was an album curated by David Byrne of a new wave of French folk bands, which was excellent. This was still French — from a man who speaks it so well he could write “Qu’est-ce que c’est” in the Psychokiller lyrics […]

Ben Bedford: The Hermit’s Spyglass

This album tells a day in the life of Ben and Darwin the Cat in a farmhouse (“The Hermitage”), a proper little house on the prairie (Illinois). Some of the tracks are short — opener Morning Rise is only 1:20), and he gulps Morning Coffee in the same time. Some are instrumental, such as The […]

Danny Schmidt: Standard Deviation

We thought Standard Deviation was a song about two girls falling in love over a shared fondness for physics but the release notes say it is a “romance set in the multi-dimensional realm of theoretical physics”. Schmidt goes on to say that it “touches on the pushback” that smart women face in traditionally male-dominated arenas, […]

John McCabe: Mountains

This new album from the late John McCabe dates back to 1985. He visited the EMI studios in Sydney to make an album of works by American and Australian composers. The project never materialised, the studios closed, and the masters were presumed lost. Then a cassette copy found among the composer’s papers, and remastered. This […]

Erik Simmons: Jubilee, Carson Cooman organ music vol. 10

Carson Cooman makes Neil Young look a slacker, and many of Young’s albums are from the vaults, not new. Cooman is composer in residence at the Memorial Church, Harvard University, and a prolific composer, the recordings often played by Erik Simmons — this is his 10th Cooman organ album for Divine Art. This latest collection […]

SWMRS: Berkeley’s On Fire

SWMRS are from the US but they really should be English; equally this CD is ostensibly punk but in reality it’s a gang of lads having fun and playing songs that are the modern equivalent of Knees Up Mother Brown. Opener Berkeley’s On Fire has a guitar riff and some wonky singing — as well […]

Johnny Lloyd: Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds

Lloyd is the former Tribes frontman: Tribes were an indie band, formed in 2010 and splitting in 2013. They might not have bothered your pop radar much, but it’s all part of a learning curve for a musician. Lloyd next appeared (to us anyway) with the Eden EP in 2017, which was a flawless pop EP, showing […]

Holy Moly and The Crackers: Take A Bite

This lot are one of those bands that are fundamentally a live band, playing raucous (but tight) gypsy / dance rock. Imagine Mumfords with a brass section and disco high-hats. And personality. Regulars at Rode Hall’s Just So festival will have seen many such a band — indeed, Holy Moly and The Crackers were on […]