Slow Parade “Hi-Fi LowLife” (Independent, 2020)

From the moment ‘Hi-Fi Lowlife’s opening track  ‘Waiting on the Smoke to Clear’ kicks off with a swirling blast of electronic fuzziness, only for a set of gently resonating piano chords to carve through the aural smog (or smoke?), the sensation that we’re in for some kind of psychedelic-laden rock’n’roll ‘experience’ is all but inescapable.

Young Waters “Young Waters” (MonoKrome Music, 2018)

Young Waters are a five-piece folk band from Bristol led by Theo Passingham (vocals and guitar) with Kerry Ann Jangle (vocals and percussion), Liam O’Connell (double bass and vocals), Calum Smith (violin) and Rowen Elliot (viola). The preponderance of strings in the band help to create complex and emotional arrangements, over which Theo and Kerry … Continue reading “Young Waters “Young Waters” (MonoKrome Music, 2018)”

David Myhr “Lucky Day” (Monogram Recordings/Lojinx, 2018)

Not many albums cross our paths that are the product of research for a doctoral thesis – in fact ‘Lucky Day‘ may be the first such. David Myhr has been working for four years on researching the songwriting process – aiming to answer fundamental questions such a what makes a good song ? Why is … Continue reading “David Myhr “Lucky Day” (Monogram Recordings/Lojinx, 2018)”

Sunfields “Mono, Mono” (Exit Sign Music 2017)

Hailing from Montreal Sunfields is a group of four although their undoubted leader is Jason Kent who wrote all eleven songs on this album which is credited as being produced by the whole band. An antidote to the winter blues and dare it be suggested those who may not wholly take on board the Christmas … Continue reading “Sunfields “Mono, Mono” (Exit Sign Music 2017)”

Pavey Ark “Close Your Eyes and Think of Nothing” (Independent, 2020)

Paved Ark are a Hull-based band revolving around singer-songwriter Neil Thomas. They have supported This is the Kit, played Glastonbury and are now creating a buzz around this, their debut album. The band describe themselves as “alternative folk”, whatever that means. Certainly there is little here that could discernibly be called folk music. What there is, … Continue reading “Pavey Ark “Close Your Eyes and Think of Nothing” (Independent, 2020)”

The ten worst Johnny Cash tracks

Johnny Cash was a force of nature. There are not enough superlatives in the dictionary to do the man any kind of justice. J.R. was a magnificent songwriter. Just as magnificent, perhaps even more so, was he an interpreter of other people’s songs. However, in an (almost) fifty-year recording career, during a time when labels … Continue reading “The ten worst Johnny Cash tracks”

Lizanne Knott “Bones and Gravity” (Independent, 2019)

Lizanne Knott is one of those wonderfully expressive singer-songwriters that sound as though, if they had gone down a different route, might have been swallowed up by mainstream Nashville’s blandness. Instead she, along with so many of her peers who are reviewed on this website, has developed a style of alt country-based Americana that is … Continue reading “Lizanne Knott “Bones and Gravity” (Independent, 2019)”

Chris & Adam Carroll “Good Farmer” (Independent, 2019)

Country music has been brimming with husband and wife couples that are renowned for making fantastic music together. Chris Stapleton and Morgane Stapleton, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill… maybe not? Okay, I’m scraping the barrel now. Joking aside, Chris and Adam Carroll are no exception … Continue reading “Chris & Adam Carroll “Good Farmer” (Independent, 2019)”

Izzy Heltai “Only Yesterday” (Sleeper Cave Records, 2019)

Izzy Heltai is an indie-folk, singer-songwriter from Northampton, Massachusetts. His new four-track EP ‘Only Yesterday’ tells tales of love and loss that perhaps belie his 22 years. Arrangements on this record are deliberately simple with layering of guitar, piano, trumpet and fiddle kept to a minimum: Heltai wanted to explore how uncomplicated instrumentation can support … Continue reading “Izzy Heltai “Only Yesterday” (Sleeper Cave Records, 2019)”

Book Review: Clinton Heylin “No One Else Could Play That Tune” (Route, 2018)

If, like many of us, you’re hoping a copy of Dylan’s “More Blood, More Tracks” might be among the presents awaiting your attention under the Christmas Tree, I suggest you drop the fat man in the red suit a little note, requesting this stocking filler as a late addition to the Christmas list. ‘No One Else … Continue reading “Book Review: Clinton Heylin “No One Else Could Play That Tune” (Route, 2018)”