Sam Lewis: Solo

Lewis is a grizzled looking American dude and sings the songs you might expect; modern life and its many facets, just him and guitar. He’s good because he has a soft voice, lyrics that can be thoughtful, amusing or silly, and makes honest, simple music. This is just him and an audience in what sounds […]

David Gray: White Ladder (20th Anniversary Reissue)

Long ago there must have been genetic mutation that made it impossible for humans to dislike David Gray’s White Ladder. A final joke from the Neanderthals, maybe. Statistics show that every house in Ireland owns at least one copy, and many have dormer extensions made solely of White Ladder CDs. We vaguely remember the era […]

Lil Pump: Harverd Dropout

Ah the States: first they give us Donald Trump, now it’s Lil Pump. All our scatological dreams are coming true. Sadly no musical ones with this debut from Pump. His schtick is that he’s really smart but dropped out of “Harverd” to rescue rap. He’d probably have been better going to college and doing some […]

Erik Simmons: Portals, Carson Cooman Organ Music Vol 11

This came out a while back but we overlooked it — Simmons/Cooman are prolific to say the least — so we saved it for Easter, as it’s got a contemplative feel to it, while not being too heavyweight. (Though as Simmons is sat at the pedals of the Sun Organ of St Peter and Paul, […]

Folk Music of China, Vol 3: Folk Songs of Yunnan

We Are Family is the opening piece but there’s no Sister Sledge in sight on this collection of traditional songs. The CD is the latest in a series exploring China’s diverse musical heritage. The songs featured in this recording are folk songs of three of the minority ethnic groups of Yunnan province — Wa, Blang, […]

Nils Landgren and Jan Lundgren: Kristallen

You wait, as they say, ages for an album of modern chamber music and then two come together, this and the Salt House album (folk, if you can’t be bothered clicking). Landgren (trombone and vocals) and Lundgren (piano) play similarly organic music to Salt House, and while it is jazz, it’s got an intimacy that […]

Skylark and The Scorpion: Weather The Storm & Melanie Martinez: K-12

You wait ages for a multimedia concept involving film and music to come along, and then two arrive at the same time. Weather The Storm is accompanied by a 10-part short film set against the Jurassic coastline of the Shetland Isles. Musically, it’s heartfelt and gentle folk; it’s on Guy Garvey’s record label so think […]

Green Day: Father of All…

At last: after unicorning around with rock operas and pulp-rock three-cd novelty releases, Green Day return with a strong album. It’s punk rock ‘n’ roll, albeit sanitised by producer Butch Walker, whose CV includes Taylor Swift. Opener Father Of All … kicks off with drums and riffs that echo Hendrix’s Fire but then becomes more […]

Squirrel Flower: I Was Born Swimming

One might expect some kind of fey folk frippery from a person (Ella O’Connor Williams) who calls herself Squirrel Flower, but this is pretty decent. Squirrel’s got a deeper voice than might be predicted and a fair few of the songs are decently beefy, the guitar playing sturdy in the vein of Dinosaur Jr, albeit […]

Salt House: Huam

This is folk music — Ewan MacPherson on guitars, Jenny Sturgeon on harmonium and guitar and Lauren MacColl, fiddle, viola, vocals — but in spirit it reminded us of chamber music: intimate tunes played by a small group of people in a small venue. Like classical works, the music is meticulously written and arranged, and […]