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John Clarkson - Reviews


Moon Under Water


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


Launchers


Rainbow Children
Upbeat and hopeful new single from West London nine-piece reggae/ska act The Launchers


Visions of Albion


Visions of Albion
Diverse debut EP from promising Merseyside-based Americana/folk act Visions of Albion


Morton Valence


Black Angel Drifter
Unusual and obscure album from London 'urban country' duo Morton Valence, which, originally released under the alias of Black Angel Drifter, is now being reissued on vinyl under their own name


Swansea Sound


Angry Girl/Corporate Indie Band
Fine debut single from new indie supergroup Swansea Sound, which includes Heavenly and Tender Trap'S Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey


That Will Be Lunch


Play That Funky Music
Offbeat but unique and endearing cover of classic 1976 hit by That Will Be Lunch, the project of electronic solo musician Alvin Spetz


Waterboys


Good Luck Seeker
Imaginative and literate latest from the Waterboys which proves to be an album of contrasts


Eight Rounds Rapid


Love Your Work
Southend’s thuggy rhythm and blues kings Eight Rounds Rapid shine on their third album


Fabulous Artisans


Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained
Excellent first single in over five years from harmonic Scottish duo the Fabulous Artisans


Mark Eitzel


The Ugly American
First-rate vinyl reissue of Mark Eitzel's controversial eighth solo album which was recorded with a group of Greek traditional musicians


A Different Thread


Some Distant Shore
Hauntingly beautiful but melancholic new EP from 'British Americana' duo A Different Thread


Godfathers


I'm Not Your Slave/Wild and Free
First-rate double A-sided single in a new line-up from alternative rock band the Godfathers, released to coincide with their 35th anniversary


Strokes


The New Abnormal
Flawed sixth album and first album in seven years from much acclaimed New York band the Strokes


Cathode Ray


Heightened Senses
Fabulous third album from Edinburgh-based alt. rock band the Cathode Ray which merges punk and post-punk with pop, psychedelia, glam rock, disco, folk and reggae


Vinny Peculiar


While You Still Can
Irreverent and frequently hilarious but also thought-provoking new album from singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar about the current political landscape


Fariña


The Undercliff Suite
Low-key but evocative return from trio Fariña with tape-only release, the soundtrack to member Mark Brend's debut novel


Roy Moller and The Chain Pier Group


Semicolon
Fine return after a long absence from Scottish singer-songwriter Roy Moller with his new band, the Chain Pier Group


St Christopher Medal


Hoof
Evocative and versatile Americana on second album from Scottish act St. Christopher Medal


Raf and O


The Space Between Nothing and Desire
Haunting and compelling fourth album from unconventional South London-based electro-acoustic duo Raf and O


STOOR


Fleam
Challenging but compelling and distinctive second album from Dundee-based alternative rock group STOOR


Duncan Lloyd


OutsIde Notion
Enjoyable third solo album from Maximo Park guitarist Duncan Lloyd upon which he experiments with an orchestral pop sound


Lonna Kelley


Will I See You?
Mournful but compelling seven inch vinyl only single from Arizonian singer-songwriter and Giant Sand member Lonna Kelley


Mutant Vinyl


Daffodils in Angell Town
Emotive hybrid of electronica, jazz, dub and reggae on debut album from Mutant Vinyl, the project of London-based musician Edwin Pope


Oldfield Youth Club


A Kind of Loving in a Loveless Town
First-rate download single from Oldfield Youth Club, the new band of the Bitter Springs' Simon Rivers which finds him reunited with his old bandmates


Made in Minsk


Where the Truth Lies
Challenging and unpredictable debut single from London-based alternative rock act Made in Minsk


Morton Valence


Bob and Veronica's Great Escape
Understated folk pop-influenced sixth album from South London band Morton Valence which finds them escaping from reality


Willard Grant Conspiracy


Untethered
Evocative tenth album from Willard Grant Conspiracy which features the last recordings of its front man Robert Fisher who died in early 2017


Eastern Swell


Hand Rolled Halo
Fantastic second album from Edinburgh-based band the Eastern Swell who merge folk with elements of psychedelia, jazz and prog rock


Colin Devlin


High Point
Exquisite second solo album and first in nine years from Northern Irish singer-songwriter Colin Devlin


Neilson Hubbard


Cumberland Island
Evocative album from Neilson Hubbard which takes its inspiration from the remote Cumberland Island off the Atlantic coastline of Georgia where he and his new wife Audrey spent the first day of their married life


Blancmange


Wanderlust
Thought-provoking and challenging ninth album from seminal synth pop act Blancmange, which shows an increasingly uneasy relationship with technology


Mike Farris


Silver and Stone
Hugely enjoyable gospel soul on latest record from Nashville-based Grammy Award winning artist Mike Farris


Drew Morrison and the Darkwood


Electric-Notes Wild
Superb debut album from acclaimed London-based country outfit Drew Morrison and the Darkwood


Blair Jollands


7 Blood
Versatile and impressive third album from New Zealand-born but London-based composer and singer-songrwriter Blair Jollands


Curse of Lono


As I Fell
Evocative and highly rewarding second album from Curse of Lono, which is one of the Americana albums of the year


Little Sparrow


Just 3 EP
Thought-provoking and haunting EP and first release in four years from Little Sparrow, the project of Manchester-based singer-songwriter Katie Ware


Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices featuring Lisa Gerrard


Boocheemish
Unusual album from former 4AD signing the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, who have collaborated on it with Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard


Sophie Bernice


Learn to Love Again
Quietly effective debut single from young Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Sophie Bernice


Vinny Peculiar


Return of the Native
Evocative fourteenth solo album from English cult singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar which was inspired by him returning to live in his childhood home of Worcestershire


Desert Mountain Tribe


Om Parvat Mystery
Promising second album from London-based alternative rock trio Desert Mountain Tribe which offers much for the future


Esme Bridie


Today It Rains
Outstanding debut album, which is being released on vinyl and download only, from young Liverpool singer-songwriter Esme Bridie


Cathode Ray


Another World
Excellent return after a three year hiatus from the Cathode Ray with a new single, the first from their forthcoming third album.


Great Emu War Casualties


It is Not Fun, It's Not a Hat
Melancholic and unusual debut EP from internationally-focused group the Great Emu War Casualties


Stephen McLaren


We Used to Go Raving
Bleak but self-deprecating debut solo album by Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter and pianist/keyboardist Stephen McLaren


Dream Syndicate


How Did I Find Myself Here?
Extraordinary first album in 29 years from seminal Los Angeles alternative rock act the Dream Syndicate


Crash City Saints


Are You Free?
Second album and first in seven years from late 80’s/early 90’s-influenced alternative rock/pop act Crash City Saints which proves very much worth the long wait


Palace of Light


Beginning Here and Travelling Outward
Impressive double CD reissue of underrated psychedelic/folk band The Palace of Light’s 1987 sole album


musicforvoyeurs


Encounter
Melancholic but thought-provoking fourth album from musicforvoyeurs, one of the many projects of London-based musician Rick Senley


Fader


First Light
Minimalist but haunting debut album from electronic duo Fader, the new side project of Neil Arthur from Blancmange


My Darling Clementine


Still Testifying
First-rate fourth album from acclaimed British husband-and-wife Americana duo My Darling Clementine which showcases their narrative abilities


August List


Ramshackle Tabernacle
Unconventional but thrilling Americana on second album from Oxfordshire-based husband-and-wife duo the August List


Racket


Faded Days/Don't Know What to Say
Fiery yet intelligent double A-sided debut single from impressive Liverpool-based indie four-piece the Racket


Benjamin Schoos


Profession Chanteur
Impressive compilation album from former wrestler, singer-songwriter and producer Benjamin Schoos


Curse of Lono


Severed
Fine combination of country and alternative rock on debut album from Curse of Lono, the new band of Hey Negrita's Felix Bechtolsheimer


Pete RG


Tender Souls
Gorgeous yet monotonous second solo album from former Last December front man Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Pete RG


Godfathers


A Big Bad Beautiful Noise
Exhilarating full return-to form on eighth album from legendary alt. rock band, the Godfathers


Band Of Holy Joy


A Plain Cookerybook for the Working Classes
Excellent limited edition double CD of old and current material from the Band of Holy Joy, which is about the past and present of front man Johny Brown's home town in North Shields


STOOR


STOOR
Unusual but distinctive debut album from elusive Dundee-based alternative rock outfit, STOOR


Black Angel Drifter


Black Angel Drifter
Unsettling but riveting eponymous album from Black Angel Drifter, the side project of Morton Valence’s Robert ‘Hacker’ Jessett and Anne Gilpin


Thomas Lang


The German Alphabet
Versatile first studio in twenty years from Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Thomas Lang, who takes the influences of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and then updates them for present times







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