Just realised most of what I’ve been listening to this month, apart from Elbow, is Edinburgh-based. Time doesn’t permit full reviews, but I like:
- Cloudland Blue Quartet: Soundingfall – classy pop with an 80s feel, lots of nice textures, good melodies and songs that don’t overstay their welcome. I particularly like the use of beats and treated sounds, and the ubiquitous backing vocals, which are immaculate. If you’ve heard any of his recordings before, this is a leap forward. Favourite track: We Drove (Well actually this one is a bit too long but it’s still good!)
- Thorn’s Musical Journey: Broken Sword – Darren Thornberry’s yearning voice is well to the fore in this collection of reflective songs backed by flute, percussion and exquisitely tasteful lead guitar. Given that Darren’s soon to leave Edinburgh, I’m a bit late to have ‘discovered’ him, but I’m a fan now. Favourite track: Hovering
- Blueflint: demo – four tracks from the sessions for their next album, the two banjo-wielding broads step up their game with backing musicians and smooth, sweet harmonies. Their stage presence is one of friendliness and charm, but there’s a dark undertone to some of their songs. The first song I ever saw them do is still my favourite, their own Skippin Skattin
Not recorded yet, but resident in my cranial jukebox, songs by Nelson Wright (we’re working on them) and Ms Fi, who’s got enough good songs for two albums a year. And there are so many great performers at every open mic you go to, people who put passion and verve into their songwriting. It’d make me feel so humble. If I wasn’t a genius.
Daughter (previously referred to in these annals as Pestilence) left for three months in Australia this week. Missing her already.