Review: Joshua Burnside – Ephrata

With his first album, Ephrata, Joshua Burnside is attempting a difficult balancing act, by using an often twee genre as a vehicle to smuggle something more subversive. For the most part he succeeds. Don’t get me wrong, I love a banjo as much as the next waistcoat-wearer, but the market is so saturated with folk pop that a guy can’t even watch Ant & Dec’s Saturday Takeaway without being assaulted by fiddles, ukeleles, jaunty whistling and bloody accordions during the ad breaks (Accordions. Possibly the least rock’n’roll instrument on the planet). 

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Review: Jen Gloeckner – Vine

I don’t know about you but I don’t dream much (my dreams are rare visitors consisting of terrifying scenarios involving the Inland Revenue). But listening to her new album, Vine, one imagines that Jen Gloeckner always sleeps very well and wakes to the sound of birdsong, with motes of dust dancing in the dawn rays.  Her new album is the very definition of ‘dreamy’. 

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Review: Lyle Christine – Duff Steer

Cards on the table: I am a friend of this artist’s mother-in-law. If that bothers you read no further. Regardless of your opinion on my journalistic integrity, I would urge you to give this album a listen anyway. Because it’s very good. And it’s also refreshingly funny. Now read on…

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Review: Imaginary Tricks – Skommel

A magpie, we are told, will steal anything that attracts its eye, and take it back to adorn its nest. Imaginary Tricks do that too, collecting and assembling components in ways that no one would anticipate, to create something beautiful. Their new album Skommel is a delightful pick’n’mix of influences and noises, which constantly remind the listener of other artists, and also combine to create something unique and rather wonderful.

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