Terence Charlston: Mersenne’s Clavichord

This pleasant album is more important for scholars of music and keyboard buffs than your casual listener, though it’s a nice enough collection. Early-music specialist Terence Charlston is playing Mersenne’s Clavichord, a clavichord built according to specifications left by Marin Mersenne – no examples of an original French clavichord survive. Wikipedia reports that Mersenne, a […]

Ordinary Boys: Ordinary Boys

If ever there was a band that don’t sound like they’re reforming out of desperation, it’s Ordinary Boys on this rather decent new album. We confess we couldn’t name any of their tunes from their previous incarnation, though Wikipedia informs us that their big hit Boys Will Be Boys featured in the fifth Harry Potter […]

Chilly Gonalez: Chambers

After being mean about three new bands, we’re slightly down on Chilly as well, and we’ve got all his albums. Never mind: he’s Canadian, so he’ll just be polite about it. You’ve all heard Chilly’s music: he won a Grammy for his collaboration with Daft Punk and composed the inaugural Apple iPad campaign music, Never […]

Erik Simmons: Carson Cooman: Masque (music for organ)

We reviewed a church organ album the other week, and just couldn’t be doing with it. Very discordant and unsettling. This, on the other hand, is very different and we’ve been playing it over and over all week. If you told us a while ago that we’d be moaning about pop bands and praising church […]

Evans The Death: Expect Delays

The NME gave this 8/10 but we’re not sure we would agree. More like seven. Evans The Death — which is a good name for a band — play retro indie pop that we ought to like more than we do. It’s characterised by strong female vocals and an early 80s sound, with a soul […]

Champs: Vamala

This isn’t The Champs who had that hit with the famous Tequila, but just Champs — it’s brother Michael and David Champion. The music is mournful folk/pop, as if Simon and Garfunkel were very sad about something like getting old or having silly hair. Or about being remembered for writing a song about rabbits. There’s […]

Duke Special: Look Out Machines!

Duke Special (he’s Irish and really called Peter) has been producing impressive pop albums for some time. Rather like Rufus Wainwright, he can both hit and miss his target, though he’s never less than totally ambitious and it’s always lovingly produced. This new album is a definite bull’s-eye. Opener Wingman sets the tone, his slightly […]

Echosmith: Talking Dreams

This is an excellent pop album, with all the benefits and disadvantages that entails. On the upside: think Ladyhawke. Catchy/lively pop/dance tunes that rapidly wend their way into your brain. They’re all catchy and instantly likeable; not least Come Together, the opening track, and Cool Kids, which is all about wishing you were as cool […]

GoGo Penguin: v2.0

We actually bought this ourselves — paid our own money for it — mainly because it was on Gondwana records, and we had a press release from them quite recently and they sounded cool. Gogo Penguin are a jazz trio and to our ears it sounds like Bob James, the famous inventor of easy listening […]

Jack Savoretti: Written In Scars

Mr Savoretti is, we guess, going to be the cool sound of 2015 (if he’s not already). This is a really classy album, packed with style and beautifully arranged. If you want to be critical — which is supposed to be our job after all — he reminded us of Paolo Nutini, who similarly sells […]