Getaway Dogs “Lost in the Ebb” (Independent, 2016)

getaway-dogsIt’s long been my dream to christen a genre, even a niche sub-genre would do and this record with its mix of Brazilian rhythms, folk and RnB gives me my opportunity – this is Tropicana. If only the juice purveyors hadn’t got their first, Tropicana would have definitely caught on. This music has less of a chance of gaining a foothold; it’s a pale version of everything, a perfectly pleasant anodyne sound, where nothing distinctive comes of the cross-pollination. Someone has watered down the juice. Continue reading “Getaway Dogs “Lost in the Ebb” (Independent, 2016)”

Ceri James and the Three Fifths “St Augustine’s Heart” (Heed Records, 2016)

ceri-james-and-the-three-fifths-2016Sometimes the charm of a record can be in its deficiencies. Some rough edges, occasional serendipitous errors or just plain bum notes can give life to a piece, especially in an age where the four-to-the-floor, autotuned product can seem the norm. Listening to an album warts and all can bring us closer to the artist and the live experience. It’s why some bands like to go for the ‘live in one take’ style in the studio. Too forensic an approach to getting all the parts exactly right, perfect if you like, can suck the lifeblood out of a record.  Continue reading “Ceri James and the Three Fifths “St Augustine’s Heart” (Heed Records, 2016)”

Owls of the Swamp “Meteorite” (Labelship, 2016)

owls-of-the-swampWith the gentle burble of synths and hushed vocals, OoTS sound like they are floating in space. Listening to this leads me to imagine a scenario where they’ve prematurely awoken from suspended animation on a 100 year voyage to a distant galaxy and are contemplating their plight, knowing they will die before their companions awake and feeling nostalgic for a world they’ve left behind. ‘Meteorite’ is a bumpier ride, though it still sounds like a neutered version of The XX. Continue reading “Owls of the Swamp “Meteorite” (Labelship, 2016)”

Corey Isenor “A Painted Portrait (Of The Classic Ruse)” (Independent, 2016)

coery-isenor-cd-cover‘Hi, you’re through to the Corey hotline: just $4.95 a minute. Here are some words that rhyme with Corey: glory, story, allegory, Montesori…’ If Lisa Simpson could hear this new album from Mr. Isenor, she’d fall in love with Corey all over again and be in deep trouble with Marge over a new phone bill she’d dialled up to the wilds of Nova Scotia. The delicate eco-environment, his beloved Nova Scotian countryside and his fine arts background permeate every glorious note of Corey Isenor’s music. Continue reading “Corey Isenor “A Painted Portrait (Of The Classic Ruse)” (Independent, 2016)”

Thisell “II” (Jelly Fant Records, 2016)

If you are into art leaning Thisell-2016mystical, sometimes dark and out there music chances are you will enjoy this. Such are the innovative arrangements and beauty of the work performed by Swedish singer-songwriter Peter Thisell , who is supported in style by a bunch of friends playing piano, violin, acoustic, lap steel, electric bass, lead guitar, upright bass, diatonic accordion, drums and harmony vocals. Continue reading “Thisell “II” (Jelly Fant Records, 2016)”

Select Captain “Strings & Feathers” (Mini Me Records, 2016)

SELECT CAPTAIN-2016Kristian Gaarskjaer’s latest album under his musical alter ego pseudonym, Select Captain has him come through with an intelligent, Americana focussed singer-songwriter record. Recorded at Homeless Studios in Copenhagen he also utilises hints of late 1980s early 1990s indie pop rock. On the back of his debut release The Fear And The Lights he once again impresses with his honest heart and soul style of music. Gaarskjaer’s songs deal with joy, despair, arrogance, loneliness, greed and optimism as he allows his thoughts and fears, plus general everyday emotions spill forth in artistic fashion. Supported by guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, mandolin, lap steel, organ and piano the record is ever busy, instrumentally. Continue reading “Select Captain “Strings & Feathers” (Mini Me Records, 2016)”

The Lucky Strikes “The Motion and The Moving On” (Harbour Song Records 2016)

the-motion-and-the-moving-on_resizedThe Lucky Strikes, from Southend, have been together for ten years now and this is their fifth album. Without doubt they are one of our best Americana bands. Lead singer is Matthew Boulter, long time member of the Simone Felice group and an accomplished solo artist in his own right with four albums.  With him here are Will Bray on drums, Paul Ambrose on bass and Dave Giles on piano and accordion. Continue reading “The Lucky Strikes “The Motion and The Moving On” (Harbour Song Records 2016)”