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Reviews



Gabriel Moreno


The Year of the Rat
Intimate and evocative new album from poetic Gibralter-born but London-based singer-songwriter Gabriel Moreno


Elvis Costello and the Imposters


The Boy Named IF
Upbeat but sometimes abstract latest album from Elvis Costello om which he reflects on his own and other men's growing pains


Neil Young And Crazy Horse


Barn
Urgent and reflective fourteenth album from Neil Young with with his original backing group Crazy Horse


Various


Revolt Into Style 1979
Enjoyable and eclectic three CD post punk and alternative music from 1979 from Cherry Red


Martha And The Muffins


Marthology: In and Outtakes
This selection from their archives is a reminder of just how great Martha and the Muffins are. Lots of good memories but there’s also a freshness to their music that is sure to win them new fans.


Courtney Barnett


Things Take Time, Take Time
Understated but uplifting third album from Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett


Spidergawd


VI
Outstanding sixth album from Norwegian heavy metal band Spidergawd


Solyst


Spring
Magical fourth album from Sølyst. the solo project of Kriedlier drummer Thomas Klein


Honeyrunners


Everything is On Fire
Canadian band The Honeyrunners’ new album showcases a taste of Southern rock with a soulful, funky vibe


Various


C91
Next instalment in Cherry Red’s successful C-series is ‘C91’, which shows that 1991 was a bad year for indie music, but the compilation itself is a joy to behold


Marina


Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land (Deluxe Edition)
Appealing combination of the political with the personal on surprising and enjoyable fifth album from Welsh singer-songwriter Marina which originally released last year has now come out in a deluxe edition


Katie Melua


Acoustic Album No. 8
Effective acoustic reworking by Katie Melua of her 2020 eighth album


Silk Sonic


An Evening with Silk Sonic
Harmonic soul pop on debut album from Silk Sonic, the new project of Bruno Mars with Californian singer and drummer Anderson .Paak


Henry Parker


Lammas Fair
Extraordinary second album from alternative/psych folk artist Henry Parker which while at one level influenced by the past also looks to the future


Peter Hall


Light the Stars
Finely polished baroque pop fighting to remain positive in the face of life’s difficulties on Peter Hall’s debut album


Aeon Station


Observatory
Harmonic and thought-provoking debut album from Aeon Station, the solo project of ex-Wrens' member Kevin Whelan which was fourteen years in the making


Josephine Foster


Godmother
Understated but melancholic and wintry nineteenth album from singer-songwriter Josephine Foster


Paul Weller


An Orchestrated Songbook
Experimental and inventive new album from Paul Weller which reworks some of his Jam, Style Council and solo back catalogue with orchestral arrangements


Freya Beer


Beast
First-rate debut album from alternative and Gothic rock-influenced West London singer-songwriter Freya Beer


Various


V4Velindre
Worthwhile and impeccably chosen 50-track mixtape to raise money for Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.


Alicia Keys


Keys
Versatile double album from Alicia Keys which is split into two parts, one consisting of new songs, and the other of reworkings of songs from her back catalogue


Mike Ryan


Mike Ryan
Exquisite and astonishing eponymous second album from Wirral-based singer-songwriter Mike Ryan


Vapors of Morphine


Fear and Fantasy
Haunting and original post-rock on latest album from Morphine offshoot, Vapors of Morphine


Modern Stars


Psychindustrial
Second album from Italian band Modern Stars which at its best is intriguing mixture of Western drone rock with Indian sitar, dull at its worst.


Pistol Annies


Hell of a Holiday
Irreverent Christmas album from country supergroup the Pistol Annies


Moon Under Water


First Quarter
Excellent debut EP from brooding indie guitar band Moon Under Water


Charlie Dore


The Man Who Built Christmas (And Other Stories)
Fine new EP from Charlie Dore who has taken inspiration from the Christmas season, creating songs that will inspire us to consider what it is all about


Kelly Clarkson


When Christmas Comes Around
Appealing mix or covers and original material on second Christmas album from American singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson


Pess


You Can Make Hamburger Yourself
Pleasingly quirky debut from Japanese pop-rock duo Pess.


Head With Wings


Comfort in Illusion
Magisterial prog/rock EP from Connecticut-based band Head with Wings


Mike Hurst


In My Time – Recordings, Productions and Songs 1962-1985
Excellent four CD box set from 60s, 70s and 80s musician, songwriter and producer Mike Hurst


Norah Jones


I Dream of Christmas
Upbeat Christmas album from Texas-raised jazz artisy Norah Jones


Elbow


Flying Dream 1
Reflective and soulful ninth album from much acclaimed Manchester quartet Elbow which was written and recorded during lockdown


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band


The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts
Breathtaking new live album from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band recorded at two 1979 anti-nuclear concerts at New York City's Madison Square Garden


Sting


The Bridge
Impressive latest album from former Police frontman Sting on which he displays his versatility


Damon Albarn


The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Evocative and intriguing second album for innovative ex-Blur musician/songwriter Damon Albarn upon which he moves into new territory


Spring '68


Sightseeing Thru Music
Highly recommended. album from Spring ‘68, which is inspired by its creator Edward Rogers' fascination with the music and culture of late ‘60s France.


Ty Segall


Harmonizer
Impressive and exciting mash-up of garage rock and electronica from prolific cult musician Ty Segall.


Self Esteem


Prioritise Pleasure
Unflinchingly honest and bittersweet second akbum from Self Esteem, the nom de plume for Yorkshire-based experimental musician Rebecca Taylor


Rod Stewart


The Tears of Hercules
Strong return to form on impressive latest album from Rod Stewart


Radiohead


Kid A Mnesia
Fine box set reissue of Radiohead's experimental and challenging 2000 and 2001 albums. 'Kid A' and 'Amnesia'


Various


Straight to the Head: Jogibs Records Presents Knockout Sounds
Mixed bag of styles and quality in this compilation of early reggae from Joe Gibbs, who became one of the music’s pre-eminent producers.


Grouse


Interpolate
Atmospheric and cinematic fourth album of electronic ambience for Grouse, the project of Dublin-based musician Ronan Carroll


August List


Wax Cat
Third album from Oxford’s The August List takes their brand of Americana down even weirder, fascinating paths than they have visited before


Karen Jonas


Summer Songs EP
Four track EP from Karen Jonas featuring a cover of ‘The Boys Of Summer’ but it’s her originals that steal the show.


Asha McCarthy


Epitaph
Fantastic debut album from Asha McCarthy whose cello-playing fusion of Indian, Western and folk music coupled with outstanding vocals is breathtaking


Groovy Uncle


Searching for the Grown-Ups
Excellent latest gem from Medway’s Groovy Uncle, this time recorded at home by main man Glenn Prangnell


Tony Tears


The Atlantean Afterlife (... Living Beyond)
Compelling new album from Italy’s Tony Tears who deserve more than to be only associated with the dark doom genres and here cover so much more ground


In Earnest


Reasons to Stay Alive
Second EP from Southend On Sea trio In Earnest, a perfect soundscape coupled with lyrics conveying how so many are suffering right now and which proves to be an essential listen.


Diemen Sniep


Life Without Adrenaline
Enjoyable mini-album from US/Belgian foursome Diemen Sniep, who while having strong Sonic Youth and Swans' influences, also show some originality


Colver


Walk Swim Fly
Appealing 70's pop disco on new EP from Brussels-based outfit Colver


Stay


Old Sounds of Modern Music
Astonishing and timeless fifth album from Barcelona-based group Stay which inhabits its own universe


Ian M Bailey


Songs To Dream Along To
EXceptional new album from singer-songwriter Ian M Bailey, which co-written with Sosmic Rough Riders' Daniel Wylie, points to better times


Dan Haywood


Country Dustbin
Remarkable 'Ulysses'-influenced stream of consciousness poem set to music from Merseyside-based singer-songwriter Dan Haywood.


Linda Moylan


The Merchant
Appealing mixture of folk, blues and country on second album from Irish-born but London-based singer-songwriter Linda Moylan


Eric Devries


Song and Dance Man
Intimate but melancholic fourth album from Utrecht-based singer-songwriter and musician Eric Devries which proves to be ne of the best Americana albums to come out of the Netherlands in recent years.


Finneas


Optimist
Versatile debut album from Californian producer and multi-instrumentalist Finneas, who is the brother of Billie Eilish


Duran Duran


Future Past
Impressive latest album from 80's veterans Duran Duran which includes guest appearances from Graham Coxon from Blur and Giorgio Moroder


Lana Del Ray


Blue Banisters
Reflective and stripped back new album, her second this year, from bestselling American singer-songwriter Lana del Ray


Lucky Ones


The Lucky Ones
Sublimely atmospheric debut album from Yukon country-roots band The Lucky Ones







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