On Re­peat Lit­tle Boots (Vic­to­ria Hes­keth to some) broke her mu­si­cal hiatus in Fe­bru­ary with the men­ac­ing, slow-build­ing Mo­tor­way from this sopho­more al­bum. As the open­ing num­ber, Mo­tor­way sets a dark and sul­try tone for the rest of the record, which fea­tures a smat­ter­ing of disco courtesy of Her­cules and Love Af­fair’s Andy But­ler and Simian Mo­bile Disco’s James Ford (who pro­duced and co-wrote many of the songs). It’s been four years since Hes­keth’s de­but al­bum, Hands, and Noc­turnes veers be­tween straight-up elec­tro-pop – not un­like some of Kylie Minogue’s mu­sic – and a bland, te­dious state. Minogue Hes­keth ain’t, but she shines on the up-beat Crescendo, the lala- in­fused Bro­ken Record and the raw’n’dur­rrty Shake. Sadly, th­ese mo­ments of pop bliss are too few and far be­tween to cause a stir. lit­tle­bootsmu­

Mo­tor­way, Bro­ken Record, Crescendo

Self-Re­leased First The Strypes, now Eileen Tack­ney – is there some­thing in the Co Ca­van wa­ter sup­ply? While the teenage Strypes are tear­ing strips off 1960s r’n’b, Tack­ney is tak­ing a dif­fer­ent route al­to­gether. Her back­ground in tra­di­tional and clas­si­cal mu­sic doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily pre­pare you for the sounds of South, an of­ten beau­ti­ful blend of old-school prog (key­board mae­stro Rick Wake­man springs to mind), krautrock tech­ni­cians (Clus­ter, Har­mo­nia) and more re­cent ex­po­nents of the genre (Ul­rich Sch­nauss). Tracks such as Chang­ing Trains, Splen­did Iso­la­tion, Life Goes On and Au­tumn Jour­ney re­veal a mu­si­cian well versed in com­po­si­tion, and one who welds th­ese skills to me­an­der­ing but struc­tured melody lines. The glitch that pre­vents full en­thu­si­asm is the need­lessly atonal Cu­rios­ity. That aside, say hello to mel­low am­bi­ence all the way. eileen­tack­ Down­load: Chang­ing Trains, Splen­did Iso­la­tion, South Armel­lodie Records It’s or­ganic and im­me­di­ate, mu­sic you can touch with your fin­ger­tips. Thirty Pounds of Bone, aka Johny Lamb, from the Shet­land Is­land of Unst, is hewn of stuff akin to that of Jon Hop­kins (in his King Cre­osote/ Di­a­mond Mine mode). Lamb’s third al­bum sets him apart with the vo­cif­er­ous in­die sen­si­bil­ity that de­fined The Band at their va­grant best. Pop­u­lated by snap­shots of itin­er­ancy and sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion mi­grancy, Lamb’s vis­ceral tone strikes many a lone­some chord. Dis­lo­ca­tion and dis­con­nec­tion are writ large on The Bal­lad of Coote­hill, shot through with rich lo­cal ref­er­ences. A lazier Lamb might have mor­phed into The Pogues on Prozac, but in­stead he shines a sharp light on life’s darker un­der­belly. A mul­ti­lay­ered, ragged-edged de­light. thir­ty­pound­sof­­camp. com Down­load: The Snow In Kiel, Home Far­ing

Tin An­gel Char­lie Parr goes out of his way to re­cre­ate a sound lost in time – the sound of the lo­cal blues­man who sings of his friends and com­mu­nity, the ev­ery­day and the ex­cep­tional. And Parr keeps it sim­ple. The hir­sute Min­nesotan told up­root­ed­mu­si­ that this stripped-down pro­duc­tion – fea­tur­ing his grav­elly voice, acous­tic gui­tar (al­ter­nated with banjo), plus friends Mikkel Beck­men (wash­board et al) and Dave Hun­drieser (har­mon­ica) – was recorded in just three hours. His style is mainly the syn­co­pated fin­ger­style of Pied­mont blues, with room for colour­ful, in­tense bal­lads. Opener Jimmy Bell sets the pace and tone: punchy, up­beat but rooted in the prim­i­tive. Parr could be in some­one’s shed, rasp­ing out the fevered likes of Mo­tor­cy­cle Blues and Rat­tlesnake, or re­flect­ing upon the fate of Henry Goes to the Bank or the chill­ing child­hood mem­ory of Bad­ger. It’s gritty and nat­u­ral, though maybe too much for the un ini­ti­ated. Char­

Down­load: Jimmy Bell, Bad­ger



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