Review: Kim Edgar – Held

Edinburgh-based folk-pop singer-songwriter Kim Edgar is renowned for her beautifully crafted, keenly observed and quietly powerful songs, which have a real emotional connection with the listener. The songs on Edgar’s fourth solo album, Held, address issues of grief, addiction and solidarity…”Many of the new songs are hugs I wrote for myself, after my dad’s death, which I realised could reach out with open arms to other people too.” For this album, Kim Edgar has once again enlisted the talents of some of Scotland’s finest musicians to provide added colour to her imaginative musical palette, and there are also guest vocals from fellow Scottish singer-songwriters Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni.

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Review: Chartreuse – Keep Checking Up On Me

Chartreuse are a Birmingham-based band consisting of close friends Michael Wagstaff (vocals, guitar and keys), Hattie Wilson (vocals and keys), Perry Lovering (bass and keys) and Rory Wagstaff (drums). Since forming in 2014, Chartreuse have developed an ambient, dark-pop sound with emotional depth and flavours of jazz, soul and folk. The band create spacious soundscapes which allow their beautifully crafted songs to breathe and stretch out. Last year’s debut EP, Even Free Money Doesn’t Get Me Out Of Bed, created considerable interest and so the follow-up EP, Keep Checking Up On Me, has been eagerly anticipated.

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Review: Joachim Cooder – Over That Road I’m Bound

Joachim Cooder, the Californian singer-songwriter and musician, is known to many as a sought-after percussionist, who has worked with artists of the stature of Buena Vista Social Club, Dr John, Mavis Staples, Ali Farka Touré and, of course, his father Ry Cooder. Joachim Cooder’s body of work also includes haunting and evocative film scores. For his third solo album, Over That Road I’m Bound, Cooder has reimagined the plain-spoken songs of country music legend Uncle Dave Macon, exploring and expanding on the tunes, adding some extra lyrics and reworking Macon’s banjo melodies for his own chosen instrument, an electric mbira, a variation on the African thumb piano. The resulting ambient and hypnotic soundscapes are stunning and very far-removed from country music.

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Review: BK3 – Think About It!

BK3 (formerly known as the Brian Kellock Trio) is led by Edinburgh-born jazz pianist Brian Kellock and also features drummer John Rae and bassist Kenny Ellis. Brian Kellock is one of the top piano players in the UK jazz scene, with a distinctive, swinging playing style which has made him the go-to pianist for visiting American jazz musicians for many years. Kellock has been involved with a number of solo and collaborative projects over the years but his trio has been a constant (with the same line-up) since forming in the late 1980s. The Brian Kellock Trio’s last album was Live At Henry’s, which won Album of the Year at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2001. Now, 19 years later, the re-named BK3 return with a new album, Think About It!, seeking to transform often quite rare jazz standards into something quite dramatic and special.

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Review: Zoe Graham – Gradual Move

Zoe Graham is a young Glasgow-based singer-songwriter and musician. Her roots in acoustic music (she won the Best Acoustic award at the 2019 Scottish Acoustic Music Awards) have provided a solid platform for the development of her current brand of shimmering, multi-layered electro-pop. The potential demonstrated by Graham in her debut EP, 2017’s Hacket & Knackered, has been realised in spades with the release of her second EP, Gradual Move, a set of four beautifully-crafted and uniformly excellent electronic pop gems.

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