Category: Reviews

Album: The Dodos – Time to Die

There are some astounding duo acts out there, and The Dodos’ 2008 album Visiter easily set them apart from the rest. This year’s Time To Die does not disappoint and sees the duo become a trio, introducing vibraphonist Keaton Snyder into the mix with exciting consequences.

Album: Dust Poets – World At Large

Murray Evans really needs a redneck drawl, a proper Bible-belt country style voice, because it would really fit a lot of the songs on World At Large. Having the voice would definitely do something for the album, which otherwise is a little lacking. Evans puts on a fairly good redneck impression on the track ‘Codeine Dreams’ and it improves (perhaps that’s not the word I want – affirms?) it greatly.

Album: The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy

There is something rather comforting to this album, an almost homely feel to the slightly country influenced brand of folk that The Cave Singers create. Perhaps it’s the acoustic simplicity that gives this air of unassuming naïvety to the album, or perhaps it’s the hint of a croak in lead singer Pete Quirk’s voice; either way the music is trustworthy.

Album: Theoretical Girl – Divided

When I looked up Theoretical Girl, (AKA Amy Turnridge), on wikipedia they described her music as Chamber pop- an odd explanation, but probably the most accurate! My description would go more like this: ‘50’s style romantic pop mixed with folk, electro and angst’. On the whole the album is sweet and full of catchy chorus’ that come off as innocent pop. However, after a closer listen you realise Amy isn’t all sweetness and light. When you really listen to the lyrics you hear lines such as “You’re the biggest mistake I ever made”…. “I should have loved you more”….. and “My love is unrequited” – suddenly she isn’t this little girl with cute ditties and romantic tales- she’s you and me.

Album: Julian Plenti is… Skyscraper

So Interpol’s frontman Paul Banks has joined the growing ranks of blokes in bands releasing solo records, but does the world need another outlet for his creative juices?

On first listen, and particularly on first track Only If You Run, you’d have to say a big fat ‘no’. It plods, it whines, and it lacks any of the tense energy of Interpol at their best.

Album: Sam Baker – Cotton

In 1986 Sam Baker was blown up Peruvian terrorists. He spent days in hospital unable to move, he underwent weeks of surgery including on his brain and treatment for shrapnel and gangrene. After the explosion Sam had to learn to walk and talk again. He’s deaf in one ear and the loudest sound in the other is ringing.

Live Review: Stars of Sunday League EP Launch @ The Luminaire, London

The folkstars were out in force on Monday night for the Stars of Sunday League’s launch of EP ‘The Boy’s Got Prospects’.

First up were I Said Yes, who came from all over the UK to play just two tracks. FFS has been looking forward to hearing them for some time. And – despite having to switch around parts thanks to a singer with no voice – they didn’t disappoint. I Said Yes play lovely and rousing folk pop with accordion and violin.

Album: She & Him – Volume One

She & Him are not a band willing to live by clichés. By all means, the first collaboration between a guitar-wielding bluesman and a Hollywood starlet should be equal parts dull and self-indulgent. Volume One breaks the formula effortlessly from the heartbreaking opening vocals by actress Zooey Deschanel, one half of a team completed by M. Ward. The key is the wide range of influences audible in every track – there is as much room on Volume One for the softer side of Motown as there is for the livelier side of Les Paul and Mary Ford. ‘Why Do You Let Me Stay Here’ takes its leaf out of the latter’s book, a charming and energetic track in which one can hear every ounce of joy that the band have squeezed out of putting together their album.