Jim Noir – Finnish Line (self release)
Jim has been making music for a decade now & getting new songs from him is always a treat.
His latest album doesn’t travel very far from his previous work, but being able to find ways to make catchy Beatles-esque pop continually sound fresh is truly his superpower.
Soft Hearted Scientists – The Slow Cyclone (The Hip Replacement)
Cardiff, Wales is the home of lots of interesting things: Shirley Bassey, Roald Dahl, Doctor Who and Super Furry Animals.
Trawling the same kinds of psychedelic ponds as the Furries, Soft Hearted Scientists offer up their 6th album, filled with nifty song-cycles, ambient animal noises and undeniable ear worms.
Paul Smith & Peter Brewis – Frozen by Sight (Memphis Industries)
It is always fun to hear collaborations between members of different bands, and while such a team-up from Paul Smith (Maximo Park) and Peter Brewis (Field Music) hardly qualifies as a supergroup, it’s clear they are friends & sympathetic musical partners.
Their new album is much more orchestral than either of their respective bands, but hints are audible throughout.
ERIC J. LAWRENCE