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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - JIM CAR­ROLL JOE BREEN SIOB­HÁN LONG

Asy­lum As 2013 state-of-the-art ur­ban pop goes, Home is where it’s at. Rudi­men­tal have demon­strated that they know how to pro­duce a hands-in-the-air an­them ( Feel the Love), with vo­cal­ist John New­man help­ing reach for the stars, but that’s just one ar­row in the quiver of the Hack­ney four-piece. Home throws it­self around with great aban­don to cre­ate a su­perb, vi­brant can­vas of di­verse sounds and styles. There are con­tem­po­rary art­ful shim­mies ( Spoons), slam­ming hip-hop rubs (An­gel Haze show­ing her skills on Hell Could Freeze) and, of course, Emeli Sandé (Ms Ubiq­uity 2012 chan­nels Shara Nel­son on More Than Any­thing). Sandé isn’t alone in the guest vo­cal­ist gal­ley; there’s also good work done by Foxes and ris­ing Ir­ishThai singer Sinead Har­nett. This year’s great multi-ev­ery­thing pop party has just started. rudi­men­tal.co.uk

Feel the Love, Hell Could Freeze, More Than Any­thing Self-re­leased The name of the genre im­plies coun­try-spe­cific mu­sic. But like so much of US cul­ture, “Amer­i­cana” trav­els far and of­ten re­turns to the place from whence it sprung. In the process it car­ries the riches of mul­ti­ple in­flu­ences, fur­ther embellished with new lay­ers of mean­ing. When John O’Con­nor of Cork roots band John Blek & the Rats lets his emo­tion-stirred voice sham­ble through the folky Call­ing Out My Name, the road­house coun­try of Rosie and the shuf­fling Lord! Don’t Leave Me, he is re­tread­ing es­tab­lished melodies, and lyri­cal con­ven­tions with a dis­tinc­tive south­ern flour­ish. There are lots of ref­er­ence points here – Townes Van Zandt, the Felice Broth­ers, Willy Nel­son – but equally it all sounds re­fresh­ingly lo­cal. And though the 12 tracks on the band’s im­pres­sive de­but are new, they ex­ude a warm sense of fa­mil­iar­ity. Break­ing­tunes.com/ johnblekandtherats Down­load: Leave Your Love at the Door, Rosie

Com­pass Records If Tim O’Brien and Ali­son Brown ever had a love child, it might just be Frank Solivan. This new­grass/blue­grass four­some spi­rals through skin-tight banjo pick­ing, ra­zor-sharp man­dolin and jazz-tinged con­cen­tric cir­cles – all with a de­gree of con­trol that bal­ances tech­ni­cal pre­ci­sion and im­pro­vi­sa­tional vir­tu­os­ity. The joy­ous mu­si­cian­ship is shot through with a lyri­cal warmth long as­so­ci­ated with blue­grass. Solivan’s man­dolin and fid­dle are a force to be reck­oned with as they go string to string with Danny Booth’s bass, Chris Lu­quette’s gui­tar and Mike Mun­ford’s banjo. O’Brien’s guest vo­cals on Solivan’s The Edge of Let­ting Go bring fur­ther colour to what is a lov­ingly crafted, highly co­he­sive, marathon fin­ger-pickin’ and ef­fort­lessly in­ven­tive de­but. dirtyk­itchen­band.com

Down­load: Gone, M80

Leave Your Love at the Door

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