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ED HAR­COURT Fur­naces Poly­dor

He has cited Tom Waits and Jeff Buck­ley as in­flu­ences through­out his ca­reer, but re­ally, Ed Har­court has al­ways pil­fered from a mul­ti­tude of gen­res and styles; the fact that he has played in both The Lib­ertines and Mar­i­anne Faith­full’s band in re­cent years, as well as writ­ing with Paloma Faith, is tes­ta­ment to his di­ver­sity. The Lon­doner’s seventh al­bum doesn’t buck that trend, dark­ness fiz­zling un­der the feral rock chug of Loup Garou and the woozy, Waits-es­que Noth­ing

But a Bad Trip. You’ll also hear bustling in­die an­thems ( Last of

Your Kind), brass-hued grooves ( Fur­naces) and sul­try, al­ter­nate Bond themes ( Oc­cu­pa­tional

Haz­ard), along with plenty of pi­ano and strings and Har­court’s richly tex­tured and pli­able voice. It’s a clut­tered hotch­potch at times, but Har­court’s glee­ful sense of aban­don is un­de­ni­ably ad­mirable. Ed­har­ LAU­REN MUR­PHY


Some peo­ple just dis­ap­pear, don’t they? Five years ago, Ben­jamin Fran­cis Leftwich re­leased his de­but, Last Smoke Be­fore The

Snow­storm, to great ac­claim; it went on to sell more than 100,000 copies and even­tu­ally gained more than 150 mil­lion global Spo­tify plays. The world, ob­vi­ously, was ready for Leftwich, but life tripped him up – his fa­ther died. Need­ing, as he says, “to live out­side of mu­sic” for a while, Leftwich took time to re­think. And then, of course, to write. The re­sults are re­ally beau­ti­ful – an as­sort­ment of songs un­der­pinned by sad­ness and loss yet which see hope be­yond the ob­vi­ous grave emo­tions. The style is so­phis­ti­cated folk-pop – hushed and frag­ile – de­liv­ered con­sum­mately by a song­writer whose time has, not for the first time, truly ar­rived. ben­jam­in­fran­cisleft­ TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

THE RI­FLES Big Life Cook­ing Vinyl

When it comes to dou­ble albums, there is a fine line be­tween “just not be­ing able to choose 11 or 12 songs” and “giv­ing your fans as much mu­sic as pos­si­ble”. What­ever The Ri­fles’ ex­cuse, there’s no get­ting around the fact that their fifth al­bum is un­nec­es­sar­ily long. If that was the only prob­lem, it might be for­giv­able – but these in­of­fen­sive in­die songs are sim­ply too for­get­table to dis­like. The Lon­don­ers draw par­al­lels with Kaiser Chiefs ( Tur­tle Dove,

Nu­mero Uno) and Mad­ness ( Jonny Was a Friend of Mine), although Caught in the Sum­mer

Rain tem­pers the perk­i­ness with a vague twinge of grunge. The over­bear­ing feel­ing, how­ever, is that The Ri­fles are sim­ply a decade too late with this jaded sound. ther­i­ LAU­REN MUR­PHY

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