Category: Reviews

Album: Múm – Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know

There must be a name for the act of singing along to songs you don’t know. It’s the sort of silly thing that academics deem worthy of giving a name to. The sort of thing they report on in the ‘And Finally…’ section on Sky News. Maybe if there isn’t a name for it we should give it one now. And maybe, if we’re to do that, we should call it ‘múmming’ in honour of the new album by Múm.

Album: Roy Rieck and the Medley Band – Never Trust the Holy Gracious Medley Band

Roy Rieck became a blues/folk singer in the most perfect way. Whilst serving in the military he picked up a harmonica and gave it a little play. Through this he discovered a love for this kind of music and set off for Mississippi in search of his formal folk education. After this Roy headed back to his homeland of Israel and met up with some childhood friends in similar musical boats. These friends became the Medley band and together they made beautiful music for the world to fall for.

Single: Lofty Heights – Eye Contact

Lofty Heights, Greg Griffin to his parents, is about to carve a nice little path out for himself and his debut single, ‘Eye Contact’ is about to set him on his cheery way. The California-born Londoner brings ukeleles, steel guitars, double bass and rickety drums together in a way that instantly tickles a smile.

Album: Noah and the Whale – The First Days of Spring

If Noah and the Whale’s debut album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down was a summer fling, then their second offering The First Days of Spring is all the heartache and introspection that comes with the demise of your first true love.

Album: Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

Wait no more – possibly the album you have all been anticipating more
than any other this year is finally here – hurray! Sigh No More is
the much-hyped debut album from the folk force charging its way in to
ears and hearts all over the country – Mumford and Sons. 12 tracks of
classic Mumford tunes – think your dad’s old folk records meets Welsh
men’s choir for hilly billy hoe down in a pub in Ireland on a rainy
evening. [Breath!]

Album: Dawn Landes – Sweetheart Rodeo

Reviews for Dawn Landes’ previous album Fireproof tended towards the “nearly there, give her a year or two” end of the spectrum. The pressure was on: would Landes deliver? Well, probably not, but maybe we’ll give her another year or two. This is a really decent set of songs packed full of interesting sounds, but it doesn’t quite gel as an album.

Album: Drive-By Truckers – The Fine Print

The Drive-By Truckers have carved a career out of creating, what is on first listen, very generic country rock. But once given time by a listener this generic country rock can seep into your heart and become the music that a person will carry with them for their whole life. They are a band that fans will sing about from the highest mountains, but to the rest of the music buying public sound as dull as dishwater. There is no doubt that the Truckers have an amazing ear for a tune that can wrench at the heart, because nobody flukes upon rock ‘n’ roll gold as much as they have, but it’s a delicate tightrope that they walk, and they rarely stray from what they are good at.

Album: Homelife — Exotic Interlude

Homelife’s sound is one I found pretty hard to pin down and analyse. The first track sounds like a band that would play Woodstock with flowers in their hair and peace signs on their guitars. Moving through you hear an intense Hawaiian theme- suddenly you’re transported to a deserted beach on Maui craving a hog roast. Next thing you know the music takes a turn for the modern and you’re at a bohemian house party with people smoking shisha and discussing politics. In other words, this album is fantastic.

Album: Piney Gir – The Yearling

So here comes Miss Piney Gir, a Kansas country lady based in London, with her third album and vintage dresses and toys as part of the project troupe as far as visuals and tunes go.

Album: Richmond Fontaine – We used to think the freeway sounded like a river

If there is something that characterizes Richmond Fontaine, this alternative country band from Portland Oregon, is their ability to recreate imagery into music. Willy Vlautin – vocals and guitar – is well known for this art. Yet this album combines his skill with an additional display of pure American songwriting spells and traditional rock and roll bravado.