We've Moved to Blogger


Hope yr wel , we've moved over to Blooger for the foreseeable future, just seems easier and we get more traffic that way, anyway feel free to pop by, plenty of new reviews


Recent Reviews of:
Tullycraft - Every Scene Needs A Center (MagikMarker)
Darren Hayman - Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern (Track & Field)
Bogdan Raczynski - Alright (Rephlex)
Lacrosse - This New Year Will Be For You and Me (Tapete)
Sparky's Magic Piano - Feel The Beat and Do It Anyway (MelodyFactory)
World's End Girlfriend - Hurtbreak Wonderland (Human Highway)
Yasushi Yoshida - Secret Figure (Noble)
Kashiwa Daisuke - Program Music I (noble)
Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss (Dial)

Emma Pollock & Alaska in Winter Reviewed

Watch the Fireworks

Emma Pollock – Watch The Fireworks (4AD)

It was just last night that I and a good friend were discussing how difficult we were finding it to write songs of late, to come up with something new, in the past songs have come easily or at least there would be those days once or twice a week, maybe a month if I think deeply enough, the days and years all seem to float into one these days, when a song would fall together just out of nowhere, or a melody or riff would almost play itself. Just lately it all seems to sound so uninspired and as if it’s all been done before, I personally put my new deficiency down to the wider world of music that the internet has enlightened me with, an endless library of inventive tunes, too clever for me and more time consuming than I can justify, still although there is no shortage of people out there still bashing tunes out left right and centre in the traditional way, few do it so simply and so consistently as it would appear Emma Pollock does. I had previously concluded that she was simply a voice to Alun Woodward’s thoughts in the excellent Delgados but it would appear that she has more talent than I’d ever given her credit for.

You can still hear the Delgados in the general sound, 3 minutes into opening track Paper and Glue its classic Delgados piano breakdowns and sweet vocals, slightly tainted by an icy fear as it slowly moves into a lovely waltz outro and at times echoes Reasons for Silence. Acid Test is upbeat and fresh sounding, slightly more “pop” than the Delgados by and large were, Adrenaline likewise an ascending piano tune that needs no help in introducing itself to you.

If this does nothing more than make you aware of the existence of the Delgados and their excellent back catalogue then it will be a success, hopefully though it’ll help you realise what a rare talent Emma Pollock is.



4AD Records

Emma Pollock - Limbs MP3

Dance Party in the Balkans

Alaska in Winter – Dance Party in the Balkans (Regular Beat Recording Co.)

By simultaneously mixing Piano & Vocoder, Alaska in the Winter have created what may be the most original and ambitious pop albums of the year. It will not surprise you upon listening to them that their line up is as follows Brandon Bethancourt, Zach Condon (of Beirut), Heather Trost (of A Hawk and a Hacksaw), Hari Ziznewski (of Rap), Stefanie Lamm, Rosina Roibal (who played in the Kanye West live string section), Hilary Bethancourt, and Naila Dixon. 

There are obvious references to Beirut and A Hawk and a Hacksaw but here they are mixed with vocodered vocals that almost give some songs a daft punk feel. Other songs such as Harmonijak and Horsey Horse have piano chords as sparse as A Silver Mount Zion, mixing these tender sounds with electronic drums and the aforementioned vocoders, this really is something special.



Alaska in Winter - Harmonijak MP3

Alaska in Winter - Close Your Eyes We Are Blind MP3

Tom Brosseau - Grand Forks Reviewed

Tom Brosseau - Grand Forks (Loveless)

In my childhood and early youth my dad constantly tried to brainwash with me with all sorts of country music, generally it would be quite horrible and sickly sweet, fiddles galore and yodels aplenty. Ever so occasionally though the odd track or artist would stand out, Johnny Cash obviously (although my younger brothers constant repetitive playing of Folsom Prison Blues should yet somehow didn’t turn me off that song for life) Willie Nelson, Lonnie Donegan and perhaps with the most long lasting effect Hank Williams. And so it remains that in my blood I have both a loathing and a small box room in my house of music for out and out country *(I’m not talking bonnie prince billy, Sparklehorse etc)

Tom Brosseau has instantly been promoted to the top of that list with his wonderful album Grand Forks, recalling the Smith Garrett Band, at times Benjy Ferree with his Steptoe and Son pop so delightfully done on opening track I Fly Wherever I Go, Down on Skidrow is like the moody dusty best of Calexico and both At the Close of Everyday and Misplaced Music’s Charlie Parr on the accentuated Plain Lined Jacket.

A gloriously simple album to coast down still waters on with a picnic basket and a bottle of cider.

Tom Brosseau - Plain Lined Jacket MP3


Mirah and Spectratone International - Reviewed

Mirah and Spectratone International - Share This Place (Stories and Observations By...) (k)

I was a little more than disappointed by the recent Joyride:Remixes album on K with many artists and remixers failing to add much to those Mirah songs we’d grown to love over the years, it seems only a short while ago when I discovered Mirah on a Red Square seven inch compilation, so I was slightly cautious in my approach to this album, fully expecting to be let down. Fortunately that’s far from the truth as from the very start this is as lovely and welcoming as the Mirah we’ve known for all the years.

Opener Community sounds incredibly familiar; whether that be an old tracks of hers or someone else, it’s on the tip of my tongue yet I can’t quite put my finger on it, either way the duel vocals have a haunting effect that sends a shiver down the spine and relay to us once again what a talent Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn really is.

Throughout the album the main difference from previous Mirah albums is the instrumentation, a depth of instruments ranging from cello to accordion that add a nice touch, a worthy compliment to a voice that we know so well, a voice that has nothing to prove but one that has now moved onto higher social circles, gone are the scratchy guitars and cheap drum machines, instead deep warm melodies from every instruments under the sun and what a welcome addition they are.

A truly cherish-able album from one of the last decade’s most underrated artists, well worth a try. 


Mirah and Spectratone International - Community MP3

Mirah and Spectratone International - Credo Cigalia MP3 

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Bosques De Mi Mente & Serafina Steer Reviewed

Bosques De Mi Mente – LoFi

With the first signs of the winter bearing down us, they bring with them a terrible feeling of loneliness and a bleak reminder of the harsh weather set to follow in the steps of what has yet again been a poor summer. Yet the winter also brings with it a tragic beauty, one that can pull you from the deepest of setbacks and sprinkle you with hope.

The music of Bosques De Mi Mente is your perfect partner to such feelings of melancholy and despair, like the scene from Far & Away when Nicole Kidman gets shot and Tom Cruise hands her back to her former lover and takes the slow walk through the snow, brutal and unforgiving it beats against your bare face, its gets in through any means possible and bites at your defenceless skin. Yet against the odds it’s hard to deny the beauty of snow and its icy mischievousness, its ability to hold a moment in time, the way you sometimes feel the need and occasionally elongate a time and period of sadness, finding comfort from your sorrows and wallowing in your misery, its unhealthy yes but sometimes it serves a purpose yet eventually like Tom you just have to let her go, just walk away from the situation. You try not to look back yet when you do all you see is footsteps slowly disappearing in the snow as the fresh snow covers them up and severs all former ties.

Bosques De Mi Mente is the music to soundtrack your latest tragedy, the music that will bring beauty to the most tragic of happening, solo piano has rarely captured such feeling, this was last done so well by Eluvium and if that’s not a recommendation then I don’t know what is.

LoFi - MP3 Album Zip File


Cheap Demo Bad Science

Serafina Steer – Cheap Demo Bad Science (Static Caravan)

You may have guessed that I have a little more than an appreciation for the female vocal and more than a chip on my shoulder about how highly rated Cat Power is and yet again I find myself stumbling over a stupidly talented female that far exceeds anything that I’ve heard from Chan Marshall.

Serafina Steer will appeal to anyone who has been wowed by the likes of Bat for Lashes, Whistler, The Finches, Meg Baird, Cocorosie or Kate Bush and yes I hate lame comparisons but it’s not just because she owns a harp that I find myself thinking of Joanna Newsom, however it’s not that simple, this is Joanna Newsom gone back in time, a medieval Joanna who at the same time mixes her folk styling’s with modern technology and electronics, as if she’s half stuck in the past and half in the future, maybe the common, poor servant girl who creeps into her mistresses room and jumps grubby handed onto the harp at every opportunity, bashing out beautiful songs that no one will ever hear until now. As creative and original as Cocorosie, as lyrically weird as Sparklehorse, yet as accessible as the girl next door, the girl living on a council estate fighting to hear her harp over the arguments that overpower her playing

Catch now before you regret having to stand at the back of a packed out crowd, next to burger king at next year’s ATP, Serafina is a delightful discovery.


Static Caravan

Sadly I can’t find any MP3’s so give her Myspace a try