wed 22/01/2020

singer-songwriters

Album: Gabrielle Aplin - Dear Happy

According to Gabrielle Aplin, the delicate piano ballad which closes, and provides the name of, her first album in over four years was written as a letter to herself; and one penned at a particularly turbulent point in her life. “It’s not easy for...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Leonard Cohen - Thanks for the Dance

Leonard Cohen’s death, just as Trump finagled his way into the White House, was the cruellest of blows. Now more than ever we need his bitter, witty, ironic commentary and wry observations, his wonderful words delivered in that bottomless “golden...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Josienne Clarke – In All Weather

As one half of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award-winning duo with Ben Walker, Josienne Clarke released four superb albums, including 2014’s Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour and their finale, 2018’s Seedlings All. There’s an absolute clarity to her voice, as...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Mega Bog - Dolphine

The lyrical and musical languages spoken by Dolphine are not immediate yet since its release earlier this year the album has repeatedly fascinated. Take “I Hear You Listening (to the Bug on My Wall)”, where Erin Birgy sings “Crazy Kermin in the hall...

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Robbie Williams, Wembley Arena review - 12,000 people having a bawl

"The nice bloke-ness of Robbie shines through all he does,” David Baddiel commented in a tweet thanking the singer for dedicating his Wembley performance of “I Love My Life” to him. There is no denying it. Williams has that side to him which...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Angie McMahon - Salt

Appearing on NPR Music’s legendary Tiny Desk Concert series back in autumn, Taylor Swift talked about how, in interviews over the years, she’d been asked a thousand variations on “what would you write about if you ever get happy?” “Would I not be...

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CD: Leonard Cohen - Thanks for the Dance

That voice’s husky confiding wasn’t quite silenced. Working helped Leonard Cohen live a little longer, and old friends and family have gathered to complete these last bequests. “As for the fall it began long ago,” he sings, and more than a quarter...

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Jazz Voice, Royal Festival Hall - engulfing beauty and hidden gems

Jazz Voice unfailingly supplies a gigantic sugar-rush of auditory pleasure, and this year’s edition was no exception. Arranged, scored and conducted by the brilliant Guy Barker, the evening’s opener saw rising US vocalist Judi Jackson and the EFG...

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CD: Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka looks set to conquer. His previous two albums set him up as the sensitive singer-songwriter who tips his hat to the muscular soul music of Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield; the lone troubadour who’s clearly listened to more than a...

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10 Questions for musician Craig Finn

As frontman and lyricist of US rockers The Hold Steady, Craig Finn specialises in vivid storytelling featuring larger than life characters. It’s a writing style that he has carried with him into his solo work too even if, as he says, the stories are...

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Wilderness Festival 2019 review - marvellous misbehaviour

The thing about Wilderness is that it’s just so jolly decent. Acres of decadence, sprawled safely over the yawning magnificence of Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, combine to create a scintillating country fair reverie – a heady mix of good music, high...

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CD: Cross Record - Cross Record

It’s not every artist who performs “living funerals” along the way as she tours. Then again, American singer Emily Cross is far from the average rocker. Cross Record was previously Cross and her husband Dan Duszynski, who were also both in the...

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