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Fiona Hutchings - Reviews


Sonia


Everybody Knows - The SIngles Box Set
Pure pop perfection on six CD box set from Hit Factory starlet Sonia


Django Django


Glowing in the Dark
Uplifting and memorable fourth album from critically acclaimed London-based art rock band Django Django


My Darling Clementine


Country Darkness
Excellent and unpredictable set of Elvis Costello covers from country duo My Darling Clementine


Baked A La Ska


Skalloween
Superb fifth albm from eleven-piece ska band Baked A La Ska who take an electic bunch of source material and give it a satisfyingly spooky sound


Her Crooked Heart


To Love To Live To Leave
Musically complex second album from Her Crooked Heart, the moniker for New York-based singer-songwriter Rachel Reis, proves highly personal but accessible


Alvarez Theory


The Alvarez Theory
Engaging eponymous debut album from London-based Americana/folk five-piece the Alvarez Theory, which includes well-crafted tales of about small town heroes and bar flies


Embrooks


We Who Are
Essential limited only vinyl only first album in fourteen years from 60’s-influenced Medway-based trio the Embrooks


David Bromberg


The Player: A Retrospective
First-rate compilation of early 70's material from Californian singer-songwriter David Bromberg whose name might not be instantly recognisable but whose trademark guitar fingerpicking has been very influential.


Ben Bedford


The Hermit’s Spyglass
Lyrical and intirguing if brief trip to the Prairie State with one man band Ben Bedord and his cat


Simon Stanley Ward and The Shadows of Doubt


Songs from Various Places
Amusing but accomplished second album from eclectic London-based folk musician and stand-up comedian Simon Stanley Ward


Telescopes


Exploding Head Syndrome
Discordant but often riveting and surprising eleventh album from experimental noise rock act the Telecopes


Last Day Sect


The Gothic Novel
Mesmerising and terrifying concept debut album on Gothic novels from supergroup trio Last Day Sect


Kaz Murphy


Ride Out the Storm
Fine fourth solo album from Americana storyteller Kat Murphy who sets out to explore life's predicaments in detail but also with a relaxed and engaging style


J. Allen


Oh Oblivion
Ethereal and orchestral vinyl only first single in two years from New York-based singer-songwriter J. Allen


Neville Staple


Return of Judge Roughneck
Excellent new solo album from Original Rude Boy Neville Staple, who has recreateds his famous Judge Roughneck persona


Aaron Keylock


Cut Against the Grain
First-rate debut album from teenage blues sensation Aaron Keylock in which trying to separate the music from the myth-making proves a challenge yet it also has its own kind of magic


Fairport Convention


Live 1974
Fabulous folk gem from the legendary Fairport Convention featuring the late Sandy Denny on lead vocals recorded live in New York in 1974


Embrooks


Nightmare/Helen
Dirty and distorted but compelling first single in ten years from self-proclaimed hottest freakbeat trio in the UK, the Embrooks


B Movie


Climate of Fear
Well-crafted latest album from cinematic 80's-formed electronic outfit, B-Movie


Ruth Theodore


You Can’t Help Who You Love
Off-kilter but compelling pop with her new single from London-based singer-songwriter, Ruth Theodore


SMASH Fashion


Junkie Luck
Impressive vinyl only single from sardonic Los Angeles-based outfit, SMASH Fashion


Van Susans


Seagulls
Melancholically beautiful new single from London-based alternative folk-rock outfit, Van Susans


Ordinary Boys


The Ordinary Boys
Enjoyable first album in a decade from the Ordinary Boys, which finds them still not having entirely shaken off the Madness associations of the past yet also having moved on


Various


Go Cat Go! The Essential Rockabilly Collection
Appealing collection of rockabilly classic and rare cuts, which while rough aaroudn the edges, still is worthy of time and attention


James


La Petite Mort
Memorable latest album from 90's chart-toppers James, which was inspired in part by the deaths of singer Tim Booth's mother and best friend


Hallock Hill


Kosloff Mansion
Compelling minimalism on fourth album from Hallock Hill, the project of New York ambient musician Tom Lecky, which as well as appearing on CD also appears in a limited vinyl edition of two hundred copies


Charlie Tipper Experiment


Ride Out
Potentially promising one-track single from Bristol indie pop group the Charlie Tipper Experiment, ruined by its indistinctive vocals


Graham Day and the Forefathers


Love Me Lies/30-60-90
Excellent debut single from Medway garage-rock supergroup Graham Day and the Forefathers, who cover themselves with a rough and ready old Prisoners song


Pixies


Indie Cindy
Charismatic and unpredictable first album in twenty-two years from seminal alt.rock giants, Pixies


Farao


EP
Hypnotic and sinister-sounding debut EP from mysterious Norwegian singer, Farao


Marc Almond


Tasmanian Tiger EP
Sparklingly eclectic and energetic new five-song EP from Marc Almond


Nina Persson


Animal Heart
Confident and impressive debut solo album from Cardigans lead singer, Nina Persson


Lisa Stansfield


Seven
Elegant but predictable seventh album and first in ten years from British Soul giant, Lisa Stansfield


Kim Churchill


Some Days the Rain May Fall/Fear the Fire
Melancholic but compelling double A-side single from nomadic Australian musician, Kim Churchill


Emma Stevens


Enchanted
Uplifting debut album from much acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Emma Stevens


Math and Physics Club


Our Hearts Beat Out Loud
Superb indie pop on third album from Sacramento-based group, the Math and Physics Club


Gabriella Cilmi


The Sting
Accomplished and confident third album from Australian-Italian singer-songwriter Gabrielle Cilmi, which finds her moving in a striking new direction


Forest


Caramel Arms
Fantastic second EP from distorted Cambridge-based alternative rockers, Forest


Deaf Havana


Old Souls
Timeless and polished anthemic rock on third album from Norfolk-formed sextet Deaf Havana, who have recently supported Bruce Springsteen


Japanese Fighting Fish


Day Bomb
Urgent and compelling second album from improvisational lo-fi act Japanese Fighting Fish, which was recorded and mixed in garages and warehouses in their native London and New York


Wolfmoon


Wolfmoon
Uneven but ultimately appealing first ever reissue of 1969 Swamp Dogg-produced and written Southern soul/funk from Richmond, Virginia-based singer, Wolfmoon


Grand Opening


Don't Look Back into the Darkness
Melancholically beautiful and subtle fourth album from the Grand Opening, the project of Stockholm multi-instrumentalist John Roger Olsson


French Boutik


Ici Paris
Achingly hip but disappointing double seven inch second single from Paris-based indie pop act, French Boutik


Bad Shepherds


Mud, Blood and Beer
First-rate combination of covers including tracks by Madness and the Stranglers and for the first time also original material on third album from Adrian Edmondson's folk punks, the Bad Shepherds


Caviare Days


Who Deprived You of Your Smile?
Off-kilter psychedelia on excellent latest single from Swedish band, Caviare Days


Sleepmakeswaves


...And So We Destroyed Everything
Epic and cinematic post rock on imaginative debut album from Sydney-based instrumental group, Sleepmakeswaves


Gentleman's Dub Club


Give It Away
Hypnotic latest single from politically conscious nine-piece reggae act, Gentleman's Dub Club.


Belle Ghoul


Saturday Knife Fight
Instantly catchy yet unpredictable limited edition vinyl only single from Belle Ghoul, whose members include Electric Six member Christopher Tait and Patti Smith's daughter Jesse Smith


Guilty Ones


Conquer the World
Tantalisingly brief new single from oddball London-based group, the Guilty Ones


Mexico Indigo


The Trumpet
Competent but also uninspiring debut single from London-based trio, Mexico Indigo


Common Tongues


Tether and Twine
Satisfying debut EP from choral-sounding Brighton-based indie guitar act, Common Tongues


Sarah Blasko


God-Fearing
Strings-oriented and dark download only latest single from fourth album ofAustralian singer-songwriter, Sarah Blasko


Dear Reader


Rivonia
Heartfelt third album from Dear Reader, the project of South African singer-songwriter Cheri MacNeil, in which she reflects upon her home country


Man Without Machines


The Kreuzberg Press
Versatile electronica on debut album from Dundee-based five-piece Man Without Machines, who take their main influences from 80's synth pop and European politics


They Might Be Giants


Nanobots
Brilliantly offbeat latest album from American alternative duo, They Might Be Giants


Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds


Push the Sky Away
Enthralling fifteenth album from Nick Cave and the bad seeds, which reflects on the invasive influence of the interent on 21st century culture


Market Square


Afternoon Tide/Inside My Head
Potentially promising vinyl only debut single from new psychedelic band the Market Square Heroes, ireversably ruined, however, by its weak production


Higher State


I Just Pretend/Ain't It Hard
Derivative 7 inch vinyl only single from UK 60's folk pop act, the Higher State


Cheek of Her


Megaphonic EP
Witty and clever pop on new EP from the Cheek of Her, the project of London-based singer-songwriter, Helen Dooley


Plastique


A Paper Cut from a Paper Kiss
Ambiguous, but engaging latest single from London-based industrial electro pop trio, Plastique







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