Review: Despite having found initial attention via the modern British folk scene that also spawned Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling et al, Bear's Den have managed to carve our a distinct identity for themselves, and this second album sees them building on this with aplomb and ingenuity. Maintaining their trademark heart-on-sleeve approach, and harnessing their Ivor Norvello-worthy songwriting chops to electronic soundscapes and sweeping melodic traditions that extend through hazy recollections of the '70s and '80s, 'Read Earth & Pouring Rain' is the sound of this duo striking out as global contenders for widescreen pop supremacy.
Review: Communion artist Lucy Rose has no more words left. That being said, her album, of song and siren, manages an ode at least for the lost and crestfallen. With light jazz and choral motifs providing the LP with its eloquent interludes and moments of passage, mood swings in the album's climax hits notes that sets things off like the clapping thunder between clouds. A songwriter's call, no less, Lucy Rose delivers an album full of resilience and praise that's just that bit west of the bible belt.
Review: With crooning skills somewhere between the likes of James Blake, Ben Folds and Jeff Buckley, the hottest heartthrob in town is Tamino, a Belgian-Egyptian whose name derives from the hero and prince of Mozart's opera 'The Magic Flute'. Not bad. Complete surrender you might say for his second album, and while singer-song writing tropes of acoustic guitar solos and lonely vocals are all there, touches of contemporary style can be heard in the beatmaking of "Sun May Shine" to the slightly dancier melancholi folk of "Chambers". It's the subtle strokes of Tamino's eastern tone and thematic in numbers like "So It Goes" and "Each Time", however, that give his music a sweet sheen of emotional exotica.
Review: You could almost be forgiven for thinking "Dance Through It", track five on this warm and groovy outing from Twin Peaks, was the work of Simply Red. Guitar licks and funky keyboards are set to a leisurely tempo, the song itself telling the story of a girl with something to hide, who uses musical expression - specifically dance - to mask those issues. Heartfelt narrative meets soulful pop; need we say more? Well, maybe, so here's a little extra. Most of what's here is worthy of a feel good film score, from the anthemic chorus of southern rock 'n' roll effort "Oh Mama", to the pared back sing-along opener "Casey's Groove". As such it should go without saying fans of country, AOR, and (proper) R&B should already have the title and band noted down and marked up for immediate purchase.