sun 26/01/2020

Americana

Album: Squirrel Flower - I Was Born Swimming

The first album from the Boston-bred songwriter Squirrel Flower opens and closes with autobiographical songs. “I-80” opens with the artist - real name Ella O’Connor Williams - giving up on lyrics, poetry and, later, giving up on love, its rootless...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Liz Lawrence - Pity Party

Picking the best album at the end of the year is always unfair on the early releases. Recency bias means the newer albums carry more excitement. Better Oblivion Community Center's self-titled debut would be a major contender if it had released in...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

2019 has been quite the year. Amongst other difficulties being a grown-up hurls at you on the reg, I lost my guiding light (may her adventures on the other side of this universe be everything and more). And the testing times that ensued sees me now...

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The Lumineers, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - a stomping but exhausting night

There was something fitting about the Lumineers entrance in Glasgow. As “Gimme Shelter” blared around the SSE Hydro, lights pulsating over the crowd, it was drummer Jeremiah Fraites who took the stage and started the opening beat of “Sleep On The...

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Greener Grass review - American suburbia goes haywire in surreal dark comedy

The pink, turquoise and orange world of Greener Grass is a riot of derangement. Here is the suburban dream gone haywire, where, out of politeness, a woman gives her baby to her friend because she admires it. Every adult wears braces, hair...

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Darlingside, Cecil Sharp House review - finger-picking good

The four young men who comprise Darlingside met at Williams College, in the Berkshires which, each October, declares a “Mountain Day” when students hike up Stony Ledge and celebrate with donuts, cider and a cappella singing. Perhaps on one such hike...

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CD: The Lumineers - III

It’s fair to say that things are going pretty well for Denver folk-rockers the Lumineers: Grammys, two platinum-selling albums, huge arena tours, support slots for the likes of U2 and Tom Petty, and the massive boost of having one of their songs (...

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CD: Whitney - Forever Turned Around

As days get shorter and the sun tucks itself behind a blanket of clouds, Whitney return with the bittersweet sound of summer ending. Forever Turned Around is the long-awaited follow up to 2016’s Light Upon the Lake, and the band have lost none of...

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CD: Tanya Tucker - While I'm Livin'

When Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin released the former’s stripped back, soul-bearing American Recordings in 1994 the impact was massive. Not only did it show a way that country music could cross over to a much wider audience, the alt-rock crowd, for...

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CD: Bon Iver – i,i

If you’ve been paying attention, you might have already heard most if not all of Bon Iver’s curiously named i,i album – weeks before its physical release on August 30. The band debuted two tracks (“Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like)”) at London’s All Points...

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Graham Nash, Alexandra Palace review - from Salford to Woodstock and back

It was one of the great moments of Woodstock as Stephen Stills, amid the applause for “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, tells 400,000 muddy people: “This is the second time we’ve ever played in front of people, man. We’re scared shitless!”Crosby , Stills,...

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CD: Morganway - Morganway

On the face of it, the idea of “an East Anglian Americana collective” is a little weird, but then East Anglia’s an area that’s historically been host to a lot of Yanks and it was from one of the USAF bases that the late great Paul Oliver, the...

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