Orbital – Wonky
Top Tracks: Stringy Acid, Straight Sun and Beelzedub.
Seth Lakeman – Tales From The Barrel HouseA predictable, yet brilliant, return from one of the best folk singers in the business right now. Seth Lakeman’s Tales From The Barrel House is much more traditional fare – focusing on the lives and trouble of miners, coopers, blacksmiths and the people who craft and toil – than previous album Hearts & Minds. As always Lakeman’s work brims with storytelling and striking rhythms, none more so than the wonderful Brother Of Penryn and dramatic closer The Artisan. Opener More Than Money was recorded in the George and Charlotte copper mine of Morwellham.
Top Tracks: Brother Of Penryn, The Artisan and More Than Money.
Yppah – Eighty OneThe sixth album from Joe Corrales Jr. is a wonder – a bit of everything in a swirling electronic sea and four songs with Seattle-based singer Anomie Bell. Eight One hits the heights with the Moby-esque R. Mullen and the delicate fragmented yet majestic Never Mess With Sunday. Sadly Anomie Belle sounds a bit lost within the instrumentation but the ethereal Three Portraits is excellent.
Top Tracks: Never Mess With Sunday, Three Portraits and R. Mullen.
Lightships – Electric CablesLightships is Gerard Love from Teenage Fanclub and is a joy from start to finish. The delicious vocals and looping guitar-work add to the light and easy feel. Opener Two Lines is perfect with a gorgeous outro as is the beauty of Sweetness In Her Spark (“this old heart is beating for her…”). On Silver And Gold, Love does a very credible impression of Mark (E from Eels) Everett and produces another slice of falsetto magic. The pop sensibilities of his former life come back with the upbeat Stretching Out and closer Sunlight To The Dawn is six minutes of brilliance.
Top Tracks: Sweetness In Her Spark, Silver And Gold and Sunlight To The Dawn.
Gemma Hayes – Let It Break
Key Tracks: There’s Only Love, Fire and Ruin.
Sarah Donner – Fossil Of GirlSarah Donner is a singer on the verge of something huge. A voice that embodies several different instruments in one and never stays in the same place for long, Donner breathes freshness into a genre (Michelle Branch did the same). It all starts in style with The Pilot. Often playful but occasionally serious, the inward-looking title track is followed by the hit and miss All My Guns, likewise Signs Off Life is coupled with the country-mockery of Bitches You Can Steal My Shit. It all comes together with the vocal gymnastics of The Crane Song and the Garfunkel & Oats pop styling of Your Love Is My Drug.
Key Tracks: The Crane Song, The Pilot and Your Love Is My Drug.
De La Soul’s Plug 1 & Plug 2 – First Serve
Top Tracks: Pushin’ Aside Pushin’ Along, Pop Life and Top Chefs.