Monday, 18 May 2015

GHOST BONES - SINGLE REVIEW

Ghost Bones - Nape Of My Neck/Sleep Creeps 
Ghost Bones - Nape Of My Neck/Sleep Creeps

Release Date: Out Now

Ghost Bones - great band name - are from Hot Springs Arkansas - great place name. So far, they've got the naming thing down to a fine art.  This two track single starts with 'Nape Of My Neck' (intriguing name, one of the few songs to feature the word nape I would imagine) and immediately you're hit with the sheer force of attitude that fuels this song. An urgent, alarming guitar riff channels a dark, punk spirit while the bass growls and the vocals spit bile and sneer with disdain. Somewhere between Reuben, early No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins and Bikini Kill is where Ghost Bones exist which is, let's face it, an amazing place to inhabit. 'Sleep Creeps' has a more art house feel to it as the expressive guitars tip toe around a dark room before the vocals shriek from the corner as if mentally distorted by something that can't be unseen. Ghost Bones are the kind of band that draw you in, then make you feel a bit sick inside but you still meet them out back after the show before blacking out and waking up in a loft apartment with a new tattoo and a confused smile on your face.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/ghostbonesband?_rdr

Listen/Download Here: https://hearghostbones.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-bones-2

Live Dates:

23rd May - Riverfest, Little Rock
9th June - White Water Tavern, Little Rock
12th June - Maxine's, Hot Springs
19th June - Murphy's, Memphis
20th June - The Blind Pig, Oxford
21st June - The Boxer  The Barrel, Houma
22nd June - Brett's Basement, Shreveport
23rd June - Black Barbie, Houston
24th June - The Riddle Gallery, Bryan
25th June - Three Links, Dallas
26th June - Cheer Up Charlies, Austin
27th June - Paper Tiger, San Antonio

28th June - Mesa Music Hall, El Paso

ONLY SUN - EP REVIEW

Only Sun - Only Sun EP (285 Records) 
Only Sun - Only Sun EP

Release Date: Out Now

I've had this EP in my inbox for a while and without listening to it I knew I wanted to check it out. Don't ask me why, there was just something about the artwork and the way the band sold themselves to me that peaked my interest. This debut EP from the High Wycombe quartet opens with 'What We Started' and I'm instantly gratified. Thumping drums and low slung, grungey guitars are blended with an indie-pop sensibility and the feeling that you're speeding through the city at night with the car stereo turned up high. 'Dawn (Part Two)' takes the pace down a few notches with a desolate low guitar chord progression along with some Bastille meets Editors vibes that build slowly and epically in to an anthemic sound that make me yearn for the much missed The B Of The Bang. By the time this song explodes you only need to close your eyes to see the slow motion crowd scenes of a summer BBC montage with smiling faces crammed in to a tent somewhere in the English countryside.

The second half of the EP starts with the Dutch Uncles-esque 'Take Care' that layers weaving guitars, rapid fire vocals and skipping drums to channel the spirit of Young Knives and Everything Everything. Final track, 'Impact Of Innovation', is a darker, more forceful tune that you just want to lose yourself in on a Friday night after a long week of shuffling paper round an office for people that you never meet or even speak to. Only Sun are one of those bands that have grasped exactly what it means to make quality tunes and then infuse that with all the frustration and energy of modern living which makes for a fantastic listening experience. I can't help but feeling, though, that these guys must explode on the live stage as all of that energy comes bubbling to the surface. Definitely ones to keep an eye on.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/onlysunofficial?fref=ts 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

BLACKLIST UNION - SINGLE REVIEW

Blacklist Union - Alive N Well Smack In The Middle Of Hell (BLU Records) 
Blacklist Union - Alive N Well Smack In the Middle Of Hell

Release Date: Out Now

When you call a single 'Alive n Well Smack In The Middle Of Hell' there's very little chance that you're going to be producing music to be played out on a Banjo or featuring a young chorister. No, LA rockers Blacklist Union are not for the faint hearted or lily livered as they kick in with a riff that is part ACDC, part Buckcherry and a whole lot of fun. This is sleazy, snarling, balls on fire rock'n'roll with that shiny LA gleam to it that makes the vocals sound like Steven Tyler and the guitars wail like Slash is at the helm. If you like your rock'n'roll big, loud and completely unashamed that it's wearing an Indian Chief's head dress on stage then Blacklist Union are for you. Get thee to a mosh pit.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/BlacklistUnionRocks?fref=ts 

MOODBLANC - SINGLE REVIEW

Moodblanc - Over (100 Songs) 
Moodblanc - Over

Release Date: Out Now

Is Nu-Disco a thing? I've heard of Nu-Metal but not Nu-Disco. Apparently, though, Nu-Disco is now a thing and Swedish duo Moodblanc are carving out a niche in Nu-Disco. Have I said Nu-Disco enough? No? Nu-Disco. Anyway, 'Over' is the new single coming out on the ever excellent 100 Songs label and it's an odd juxtaposition. On the one hand, you have the late night disco grooves played out over the top of some clicky beats and a smattering of early 80s disco melodies. But then, on the other white-gloved hand, you've got the vocals of a hungover LCD Soundsystem mumbling away in the corner of the nightclub. If this is Nu-Disco then I can get on board. It beats the hell out of Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach any day.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/moodblanc/timeline

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

THE HAPPY HOLLOWS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Happy Hollows - Astrid (Pesky Fruit) 
The Happy Hollows - Astrid

Release Date: Out Now

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! You might be about to fall in love with your new favourite band. Los Angeles band The Happy Hollows are a trio of indie-poppers with a slick, edgy sense of cool that is refreshingly infectious. This latest single comes ahead of a forthcoming jaunt to the UK and if 'Astrid' is anything to go by these guys will be turning an awful lot of heads. Think LadyHawke, Ellie Goulding but way, way cooler or Hot Chip with more soul and you're not even close. Singer/Guitarist Sarah Negahdari is an immense talent, channelling the likes of Kate Bush and Karen O at various points as her vocals soar above the rainbows and trawl the gutters with the curl of a lip. Throw in some sumptuous synths, a driving beat and layers of guitars and you've got yourself a hook laden indie-pop smash in the making. Listen up UK, this is your chance to get in on the ground floor with something special, your chance to say you were 'there'. Go forth and adore them for they are The Happy Hollows.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/happyhollows?fref=ts

Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/happy-hollows/astrid

Live Dates:

14th May - Troubadour, West Hollywood w/Fool's Gold
29th May - South Sea, Sheffield
30th May - The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
4th June - The Loft House, Nottingham
5th June - Dog & Parrot, Newcastle
6th June - The Castle Hotel, Manchester
7th June - 13th Note, Glasgow

9th June - The Finsbury, London

YEALLOW - SINGLE REVIEW

Yeallow - The Trick (Try & Dye Records) 
Yeallow - The Trick

Release Date: Out Now

When you see a band made up of chaps called Fred, Ted, Bill and Ced you could be forgiven for expecting them to be a bunch of toothless Yorkshiremen playing spoons and a tea chest. Instead, this quartet hail from Strasbourg and cite influences like Zappa, Muse, Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem. Intrigued? I know I am. This latest single from Yeallow, 'The Trick', has a Zappa meets the Strokes riff to it initially before breaking in to something between Metal Molly, Soulwax, Young Knives and a French version of early Supergrass. The relentless, scuzzy guitars are punctured only by a poppy bass line and the kind of middle eight that you might expect from Dutch Uncles. Yeallow are the musical equivalent of a Lord who has run out of money - classy at the core but rough around the edges.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Yeallow.Club?fref=ts

Live Dates:

22nd May - No Man's Land, Volmerange Les Mines
13th June - Phalsart Festival, Phalsbourg
16th June - MUDD CLUB, Strasbourg w/Parlor Snakes
20th June - Chez Paulette, Pagney w/Caesaria

4th July - Why Not, Dudelange

THE SALVADOR DARLINGS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Salvador Darlings - Show World 
The Salvador Darlings - Show World

Release Date: Out Now

London duo The Salvador Darlings (great name) are comprised of the beautifully named Carine Fierobe on vocal duties and Bryan Borcherds making all the other noises. This new single from the pair, 'Show World', has an opening that could be straight out of the Linkin Park or Evanescence ballad book but soon settles in to something more akin to Portishead or Sneaker Pimps which is a lucky escape for everyone involved. The woozy guitars, intermittent beats and haunting vocals all surge in and out of focus like the ebbing tide on a shingle beach where the shingle is made of shredded hard drives and the sea is as black as oil. There is a dark, bitterness to The Salvador Darlings that is hard to ignore or resist so why bother? Just indulge yourself in the darkness.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/TheSalvadorDarlings


Watch The Video/The Making Of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzALhN_ZEZM 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

RANGLEKLODS - SINGLE REVIEW

Rangleklods - Schoolgirls (Tambourhinoceros) 
Rangleklods - Schoolgirls

Release Date: Out Now

Still one of my favourite band names of all time, Rangleklods are back with a new single ahead of their forthcoming album. The dubiously titled 'Schoolgirls' is not something that I would recommend you go searching for on that internet but it is a dark, quietly menacing and slightly sleazy piece of woozy indie pop. As the singer channels a young Bobby Gillespie in the video interspersed with images of increasingly disturbing nature, the tone is of something between the a 80s goth-pop club classic and a modern piece of art-pop that would go down an absolute storm in some trendy pop up club in East London. The off kilter synths and raw beats are all very Swim Deep which is ace but there is a confidence and assuredness that puts the duo up a notch on other acts having a go at this style of music. Beautiful, edgy music but with a dark underside, just the way I like it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/rangleklods?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfuGMNdWUQ&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

11th May - Freizeitzentrum West, Dortmund
12th May - Club Stereo, Nuremburg
13th May - Schraglage, Stuttgart
14th May - Bang Bang Club, Berlin
21st May - Moritzbastei, Leipzig
22nd-24th May - Maifeld Derby, Mannheim
23rd May - Ekko, Utrecht
26th May - The Lexington, London
30th May - Bla, Oslo
14th June - Northside Festival, Aarhus
19th June - Frytka, Czestochowa
25th June - Kloften Festival, Haderslev
3rd July - Roskilde Festival, Roskilde
15th July - Dour Festival, Dour
16th July - Musik I Lejet, Tisivilde
30th July - TrailerPark Festival, Copenhagen
1st August - Danmarks  Grimmeste Festival, Aarhus
5th August - Skanderborg 2015, Skanderborg
13th August - Alive Festival, Thisted

6th November - Pumpehuset, Copenhagen 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

WHITE BIRCHES - SINGLE REVIEW

White Birches - You Will Find A Fire 
White Birches - You Will Find A Fire

Release Date: Out Now

Swedish duo White Birches speak to the child in me with the retro video for their new single 'You Will Find A Fire'. The tune itself speaks to the part of me that wants to be a moody detective in an 80s film, cruising the streets late at night to a menacing soundtrack looking for trouble makers. The gently throbbing synths and moody, disco influenced vocals take you on a journey that is at once timeless and utterly modern. Jenny Gabrielsson Mare's vocals are cold and atmospheric which is enough to make me a fan but then the fact that she created the video as well just makes me fall a little bit in love with her. I mean, a moody, disco inspired heroine with an interest in retro computer games and animation? I'm sold.

More information: http://www.whitebirches.se/

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw5gZV6Ad18

Live Dates:

15th May - Havremagasinet, Boden
16th May - FG7, Lulea

11th July - Bakgardsfestivalen, Arvika 

Friday, 8 May 2015

THE ALMIGHTY RHOMBUS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Almighty Rhombus - Down South 
The Almighty Rhombus - Down South

Release Date: Out Now

Well look at this dapper bunch of Canadian chaps and chapesses!?! It's like a scene from the Breakfast Club but before they made it more gritty. New single from Canadian eccentrics The Almighty Rhombus, 'Down South', is a sub three minute masterclass in scuzzy pop punk with attitude and flair. Somewhere between the Stooges, the Killers, the Flaming Lips and Young Knives, The Almighty Rhombus are a whole lot of fun and the ace video that accompanies this single only serves to confirm that. So, if you like you're music fun, to the point and full of energy then The Almighty Rhombus might just be the band for you. You also might like to cut down on the Red Bull and stop watching TV at 3.00am. Just a hunch.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/TheAlmightyRhombus?fref=ts

Watch The Video: http://exclaim.ca/Music/article/almighty_rhombus-down_south_video

Live Dates:

11th May - Reflections Cabaret, Halifax
13th May - Bar Le Deck, Edmunston
14th May - Gus' Pub & Grill, Halifax
15th May - Pressed, Ottawa
16th May - House Show, Ottawa
17th May - L'Esogriffe, Montreal
20th May - The Mansion, Kingston
21st May - Wasted Space, Oshawa
22nd May - Rum Runners, London ON

23rd May - The Train Station, Brantford

GOLDBIRDS - SINGLE REVIEW

Goldbirds - Silver & Gold 
Goldbirds - Silver & Gold

Release Date: Out Now

Right, time to shake off those post election blues (pun intended) and get your rock'n'roll on. London quartet Goldbirds have new single 'Silver & Gold' ready for you to shake your sexy thing to so the least you can do is oblige. Go on, shake it. The relentlessly perky beat is embellished by  even more upbeat guitars, slathered in organs and given a shot of country infused rock'n'roll to make it one of the most infectious tunes I've heard this year. This is the perfect tune for dancing recklessly to until your eyeballs are sweating and these guys would feed off this energy to whip up something of a frenzy that you would be hard pushed to resist.  Gloriously fun and energetic stuff which might just be the tonic us lefties all need tonight.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/goldbirdsband/timeline

Live Dates:

15th May - Chaplins, Bournemouth
30th May - Milland Food, Drink and Music Festival, Milland
30th May - Star of Kings Cross, London w/Morningside Lane
19th July - Roving Festival, Cheltenham

22nd August - JD Festival @ The Bedford, London

BRITTSOMMAR - SINGLE REVIEW

Brittsommar - Can't Breathe On My Own 
Brittsommar - Can't Breathe On My Own

Release Date: Out Now

On this dark day for democracy in Great Britain there is a somber tone in my heart so this latest single from Brittsommar, a Madison native now resident in Sweden, is the perfect mixer to go with my depressive cocktail. 'Can't Breathe On My Own' is as soft and misty as early autumn morn in the Scottish isles but when that voice kicks in, oh my word don't you know about it. Imagine Johnny Cash weaving that syrupy voice over meandering but maudlin fiddle, rippling percussion and some gentle guitars. Got that? Now layer on the attitude and delivery of Nick Cave as well as some atmospherics that I can't quite put my finger on, for good measure. Truly sublime in a real wallowy kind of way which is exactly what I need right now as do about 75% of the British population.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/Brittsommar?fref=ts

Thursday, 7 May 2015

HEY BULLDOG - SINGLE REVIEW

Hey Bulldog - Makin' Friends Not Millionaires 
Hey Bulldog - Makin' Friends Not Millionaires

Release Date: Out Now

Manchester trio Hey Bulldog have a ballsy new single for your ears....that sounded better in my head but I'm not suggesting they put their balls in your ears. Unless you want that? No? OK, fair enough. Anyway, 'Makin Friends Not Millionaires' is ballsy from the get go as dirty, muddy guitars ride on the crest of a wave formed of crashing cymbals and rifled drums. When the vocals kick in there's a real Charlatans meets Dutch Uncles vibe going on but boy oh boy do those guitars keep on coming at you? I don't think I can remember the last time I heard a tune with such persistent, almost nagging guitars that force their way under your skin to infect every part of your being from the distorted drone to the slide notes. There is a real movement in the UK at the moment for tight guitar bands embracing the psyche sound and giving it an injection of fuel which may or may not be whisky based. Love this song and, given half a chance, will probably love this band. And their balls.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/heybulldogmusic?fref=ts

Live Dates:

24th May - Chorlton Arts Festival, Manchester w/Vinny Peculiar + The Yellhounds + Mamma Moonshine

13th June - Manchester Psych Fest @ Night & Day Cafe, Manchester w/July + The Lucid Dream + The Sundowners + Black Tambourines + White Noise Sound + Crocodiles 

BOUZOUKI LUKEY - SINGLE REVIEW

Bouzouki Lukey - Leave The Door Ajar 
Bouzouki Lukey - Leave The Door Ajar

Release Date: Out Now

A boy from Belfast belting out ballads on a bouzouki you say? Why the hell not. Bouzouki Lukey (see what he's done there) specialises in that most folkish of instruments, the bouzouki, but in 'Leave The Door Ajar' he also has classically catchy folk tune to back it up with. Think Mumford & Sons in an upbeat mood, the Bluebells but more up to date or David Kitt the day after he's fallen in love for the first time. The bouzouki is an emotional and evocative instrument at the best of times but throw in the lovelorn voice of our Lukey and you'll find yourself staring wistfully in to the middle distance across a field of corn....which will be difficult for those of you reading this in an inner city location but, y'know, suspend reality for a few minutes why don't you?


More information: https://www.facebook.com/bouzoukilukey?fref=ts 

WHOOP-SZO - SINGLE REVIEW

Whoop-Szo - Mirror North (Out Of Sound Records) 
Whoop-Szo - Mirror North

Release Date: Out Now

I've been looking forward to these guys to come swinging around again so I was pretty stoked to get the latest single from the eccentric and eclectic Ontario folks Whoop-Szo. 'Mirror North' is a six minute beast that opens with a slow, foreboding melody (or should that be malady?) set to a slow waltz that soon gives way to a tidal wave of distortion that My Bloody Valentine would be proud of. When the vocals finally kick in, there's a certain Cobain drawl that hooks you in and that rhythm keeps persisting before the tune takes a turn for the freaked out we enter the realms of the stoned jam. Sure, the guys like to freak out at the end and, sure, this won't be played at many school discos but if you're looking for something a bit different and boundary pushing  then you will never go wrong with the wonderful Whoop-Szo.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/WHOOPszo?fref=ts

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

HAYES & Y - SINGLE REVIEW

Hayes & Y - Dancefloor 
Hayes & Y - Dancefloor

Release Date: Out Now

Here's an intriguing prospect. Hayes & Y seem to be named after part of the name of a non-league football club (Hayes & Yeading) despite hailing from Sofia in Bulgaria and releasing a single called 'Dancefloor'. Well, I'm always ready to hear something a little different. This new single from the Bulgarian quartet starts with a sleazy, swaggering mood which demands that the video is in slow motion and features every band member wearing sunglasses before slowly removing them. There is an element of the Killers about the slickness of this indie-pop but there is something slightly more aggressive about the sex appeal going on here as the guitars persist like a guy drunkenly chatting up a bored businesswoman propping up the bar. Strangely, this song gives me the creeps and arouses the senses at the same time which is pretty impressive for non-league following indie rockers, don't you think?

More information: https://www.facebook.com/HayesAndYBand?fref=ts

Live Dates:

6th May - Dublin Castle, London
7th May - Carsons Bar, Manchester

8th May - The Royal Standard, Sheffield

KOBADELTA - EP REVIEW

Kobadelta - Open Visions EP 
Kobadelta - Open Visions EP

Release Date: 1st May 2015

My favourite Geordie miscreants are back with six tracks on an EP of disturbingly large proportions. Diving straight in, they begin with 'Even The Odds (They Mean You No Harm)' and it's like waking up in the back of a dark, speeding van with no idea where you are or where you're going. Distorted drums, scuzzy guitars and a Jim Morrison-esque drawl all combine to make for a truly disorientating experience that you can't help but get swept up in. 'Blame It All On Me' has more of a snarl about it as the menacing guitars and Nick Cave style vocals weave through the night sky with serpentine cool on the lookout for a bottle of bourbon and an open minded woman. By the time we reach the midway point of 'Maskirovka' the band have settled in to their Hunter S. Thomspon style and you can't help but be drawn in by the swagger and cool of the band that the likes of Kasabian can only dream of.

The stoned swirl of the opening refrains of 'Watch What You're Doing' is soon replaced by a groove that churns, burns and smoulders with lust, desire and a real sense that evil is riding in on the next motorbike you hear coming over the horizon. 'Ithaca' means business. There are no two ways about it. The size of the sound that Kobadelta create is so impressive and awe inspiring that you can't help but draw comparisons with the Doors in their pomp or My Bloody Valentine mid freak out. And then there's 'Black Pyramid', a song with a heavy rock name and the balls to match it. The perfect way to peak at the end of this orgasmic musical experience. Every time I come back to Kobadelta I am reminded of what an awesome, powerful and thoroughly captivating British rock band they are which cheers me up and makes me want to go out and get loaded. All good.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Kobadelta?fref=ts

Live Dates: 

30th May - The Green Room, Stockton-on-Tees
30th May - Sonic Union 2015, Stockton-on-Tees
11th July - Tynedale Park, Newcastle
24th July - Verve Bar, Leeds

7th-9th August - Northbound Festival 2015, Cumbria

Monday, 4 May 2015

SEAKER - SINGLE REVIEW

Seaker - Animal 
Seaker - Animal

Release Date: Out Now

Seaker is a new project from London based artiste Kiran Hungin, a talent that can't be tied down for long in this fickle musical landscape. This debut release under the moniker of Seaker, 'Animal', is as ambitious as it is beautiful in terms of the landscape it creates. A gently persistent piano riff sets the scene for the vocals to drift out of the night sky before processed beats start to scatter from every which way and synths swoon all around. This is music for emerging from the shadows and in to a much deserved spotlight, reinforced by the repeated refrain of "from hunter to animal", calling for us to shed the cowardice of the hunter and embrace the raw bravery of a wild animal. A slow burner, undoubtedly, but once it catches this tune burns brightly.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/seakermusic?fref=ts

Live Dates:

27th May - Sebright Arms, London w/Malka

20th June - Akira Records @ Tooting Tram & Social, London

Sunday, 3 May 2015

THEA GILMORE - ALBUM REVIEW

Thea Gilmore - Ghosts &  Graffiti (Fullfill Records) 
Thea Gilmore - Ghosts & Graffiti

Release Date: 18th May 2015

If I was to tell you that the likes of Joan Baez, I Am Kloot, King Kreosote, the Waterboys and Joan As A Police Woman had got together to make an album you'd be understandably intrigued and more than a little impressed. When you learn that all of these artists are actually just guests on the latest long player by the outstanding Thea Gilmore then you might need to sit down and a stiff drink. This is a twenty track beast of an album full of star guests at every turn, old songs, new songs and favourites revised so find yourself a comfy chair with a good view and let's begin.

The album opens with the gentle strum of 'Copper' which eases you in to Gilmore's warm voice and lyrical flexibility before 'Start As We Mean To Go On' steps things up a notch to mirror the poppier moments of the Indigo Girls or Texas. 'This Girl Is Taking Bets' sees the first guest appearance, from the excellent Joan As A Policewoman, and the twangy, blues house guitars channel the likes of Michelle Shocked , Chris Isaac and a more punchy take on George Ezra. There is a real end of the night, after the party has finished feel to 'Holding Your Hand' whilst 'My Voice' features the undeniable talents of Billy Bragg on a more politically charged and spirit rousing tune that Peggy Seeger would be proud of. The mood picks up on 'London', however, as the country tones and lively rhythm tells a tale of not necessarily being homesick but certainly of longing to be somewhere that you're not. We're only six tracks in and already there is more versatility and ingenuity than most modern releases achieve in their entirety - there's even a joke about the time difference between the US and UK. Strong start.

Thea Gilmore - hats off to her!
'Coming Back To You' is probably my favourite track of the album as the infectious violin melody and strong sentiment of love and loyalty get firmly under your skin. 'Love Came Looking For Me' is a slick country-pop romp that leads up to 'Inch By Inch' featuring the legendary Joan Baez, a slow piano based malady that would make even the toughest man or woman shed a tear and think about some deep seated regrets. The halfway point of the album  is 'Glistening Bay' which sees the Waterboys adding a certain grizzly quality to proceedings before the haunting 'Sol Invictus' sees a choir build the power and intensity in a way that only the collective human voice can. The lazy guitar strum of the marvellously monikered 'Razor Valentine' soon gives way to the withering northern vocal of I Am Kloot and a moody saxophone adds a certain underworld charm to affairs.

This is a particularly unique album in that it looks backwards, forwards and brings some past moments in to the present with a bit of a polish up. However, running through the core of the album is excellent musicianship, superb songwriting and clean lines of creativity. 'Old Soul' and 'Live Out Loud' are great examples of the country-folk ability of the lady that this album celebrates while 'Juliet' is the kind of song that makes you want to pack a bag, throw it in the back seat and head off in to the sunset with nothing but a map and a few mix tapes. There is a very different feel to 'Don't Set Foot Over The Railway Track' with a drunk keyboard sound setting the scene for John Cooper Clarke to display his unmistakable spoken word performance poetry. 'Wrong With You' is a sassy tune that has a femme fatale spirit at heart while 'You're The Radio' is more of a US country radio hit that gives people hope and a sense that they're not alone. In the home straight, 'Inverigo' sees Gilmore performing with King Creosote on a slow building ballad before the album closes with the seasonally inaccurate but utterly gorgeous swoon fest of 'That'll Be Christmas. Thea Gilmore is a talent in terms of quantity and quality, there's no denying that, but the really impressive thing is that she has achieved a 17 year career, produced an album almost every year and not once has she compromised on what she wanted to produce or how she wanted it to sound. Superb and humbling.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/theagilmoreofficial?fref=ts

Live Dates:

9th May - Town Hall, Birmingham
10th May - Glee Club, Nottingham
12th May - Arts Centre, Pocklington
13th May - Komedia, Brighton
15th May - Sage, Gateshead
16th May - Arts Centre, Bingley
20th May - Town Hall, Cheltenham
22nd May - Pleasance, Edinburgh
23rd May - RNCM, Manchester
25th May - The Stables, Milton Keynes
26th May - The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

27th May - Cadogan Hall, London