Review: Should you find yourself in continental Europe, or the little islands surrounding it, you may be feeling a sense of the autumnal blues upon the release of this European Heartbreak LP. It's far from a morose and downcast listen though, with the choral of Annelotte de Graaf's voice a shining light to lead you through the trepidation of winter. On top of her two law degrees and work for the international war crimes tribunal, this latest opus provides her with a second album following Fading Lines of 2016, and expect spells of tatty pop intertwined with boops and breathy vocals that meet with subtle brass instrumentation, pianos and folky practices, all sung with a slight smug and smirk of discontent.
Review: It's not often you can legitimately call a record brave. Most of the time, when we use that word it's to describe wildly experimental sonics, cutting edge arrangements and never-heard-before noises. Anna Burch doesn't quite fit those descriptions, not that her unarguably 90s-influenced, Gen X survivalist rock tones don't impress. Nevertheless, she's taking the biggest risk of all on 'If You're Dreaming'; turning to face herself head on, and analyse what she sees. There's catchiness, and a stoner-ish, downtrodden or at least lackadaisical air to the way in which she approaches guitar scuzz and this immediately jumps out and grabs the ears. However, that slightly retro leaning approach to arrangements is contrasted by a very 21st Century take on life's great lessons, losses and triumphs - guiding themes behind much of the songwriting.
Review: Harriette "Hatchie" Pilbeam has been in the incubator of London label Heavenly for roughly two years now, with the label slowly establishing the artist before this debut with a slick run of 7" singles and promo material. Colliding breathy synth pop with reverb-drench folk, a touch of trip hop and good old-fashioned indie, Keepsake presents the debut opus from an emerging talent that's helping define what Shoegaze can be for 2019. Highlights include the Enya-like "Secret" and the melancholic two step beats of "Stay With Me". With touches of Boards Of Canada to be found in Hatchie's music too, there's a deep musical brain behind these beats and it should not be slept on. Check. It. Out.
Review: Possessed of one of those 'sing the phone book' voices that could extract gravely gravitas even from the back catalogue of Black Lace if he tried, Mark Lanegan might have been forgiven for resting on his considerable laurels, yet instead he's forged foward across each album with innovation and fortitude both - 'Gargoyle', aided and abetted once again by Rob Marshall and Alain Johannes, expands on the electronic textures and handsome melancholy of 2014's 'Phantom Radio', yet roots them in a bluesy grandeur amidst tales of lost love and redemption. With a lightness of touch balanced out against an effortless charisma of delivery, this is proof positive that Lanegan's gloomy charms render him a talent for the ages.