Littlemen: It’s a Beautiful Thing

If ever an album hid its delights in its opening bars, it’s this. The start of opener The Girl With The Red Blouse sounds something like a country take on Wet Wet Wet’s Something In The Air, a gentle, slow pop tune with soft vocals, no indication of what’s coming. Then it builds in power […]

Harp and a Monkey: The Victorians

This is a joy of an album, something a little different and with plenty of interest for the listener. The title seems to be from the fact that they’re from Manchester and sing of tales from the city’s industrial history; they’re a band that tells stories set to music. The cover sleeve is a peppered […]

Cilia Petridou: Visions of the Greek Soul

This double CD of vocal music has an other-worldly feel, the second half of the programme being more traditional in sound. Aside from some piano, it’s all vocals (mainly soprano, plus tenor and bass). It’s a double album, in two parts: the first half is 15 songs inspired by the Muses and looking at our […]

John McCabe: Scarlatti / Clementi Sonatas

An album it’s hard to say much about: John McCabe plays some great piano pieces very well. The music was recorded in 1981. McCabe was approached by Ted Perry, of Hyperion, who suggested some Scarlatti sonatas. McCabe wanted to record sonatas by Clementi, in his view an unjustifiably neglected composer, whereas many fine pianists were […]

Matt Patershuk: If Wishes Were Horses

This is a warm and likable album that combines the blues, country and rock. Patershuk says of the album: “It’s a mixed bag, which is how I like my bags. You’ll hear country and western, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, singer songwriter and blues songs.” And you do. Opener The Blues Don’t Bother Me is a […]

David Keenan: A Beginners Guide To Braver

This is an album that’s going to be a classic; the only question is whether cult or mainstream. Keenan sings with an intensity and directness it’s impossible not to like, with lyrics that make sense, and often a full band; this isn’t just some earnest folk singer strumming a guitar. The intensity is perhaps explained […]

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, […]