Hope Downs

Released last year the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever album ‘Hope Downs’ has an upbeat but raggedy feel, which I hope to be repeated when I see them at the end of the month Coming in at around 37 minutes it’s also short and sharp and eschews the current trend to create albums that last several …

A Trawl through Past Time

In 2003 Prefab Sprout frontman Paddy McAloon released an album under his own name. Titled ‘I Trawl the Megahertz’ this beautiful and poignant album was made at a time when McAloon was going through a particularly difficult time. Detached retinas had left him facing blindness and increasingly isolated he spent his nights listening to short …

Aldous

Hannah Harding otherwise known by her stage name Aldous Harding produced my favorite album of 20017 ‘Party,’ a slow-burning folk gem that is less of a party of more of a wake. Now she is returning with her new album ‘Designer,’ the less stark but equally beautiful follow-up. Above is a track that gives you …

Song by Song

For the last two and a half years Martin Zaltz Austwick and Sam Pay have set themselves the task of doing a podcast on each and every Tom Waits song in chronological order, starting with the songs on his debut album ‘Closing Time.’ This herculean feat cannot be done alone, so during the series Martin …

Under Her Spell

Esperanza Spalding is a jazz/R’n’B/pop singer who doesn’t neatly fit into the typical musical genres of today. Here new album ’12 Little Spells’, was launched a track at a time, though you can hear it in its beautiful entirety on Spotify. The album has been accompanied by a quite magical stage show featuring incredible choreography, …

Kinfolk

Nate Smith is a jazz drummer of the highest quality. In fact, many consider him to be the best in the world ( something Mark Guiliana might like to dispute) His album ‘Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere’ is a superbly accessible album that exists in the land where Pop meets jazz. One of the standout tracks …

All hail the Childqueen

National Sawdust is a new venue in Williamsburg that feels like a small studio. This helps when seeing acts that have a quite an intimate sound. Kadhja Bonet is a case point. The daughter of an opera singer, her music is full of subtle and beautiful harmonies, which her all-female band enhanced. Tracks like Joy …

Broken Politics

When someone you used to like back in the day comes back with a new album there’s always the worry that they’re going to ruin their legacy with some horror show of a record. Thankfully, Neneh Cherry has emerged with a peach. Her new album ‘Broken Politics’ is superb from first to last. With Four Tet …

The Girl from Chickasaw County

I’m a signed up member of the Bobbi Gentry Fanclub and it seems I’m not alone as there is now a box set of her work that has just been released entitled The Girl from Chickasaw  County.  If that’s too much Gentry for you, I recommend the album ‘Touch ’em with love’ or failingly that …