August 28th, 2020

Album Review: Widowspeak – Plum

Posted on 28 Aug 2020 at 10:03am

After a decade of being relatively prolific (an album every other year, regular as clockwork), Widowspeak return after a three-year break with their fourth album Plum. Should fans expect a devastating volte-face in sound, or even an overhaul?

Well no, it’s more of the same.

Their last album, 2017’s Expect The Best, was dubbed as a return to the sound of their beginnings, and Plum picks up where they left off. It’s all laconically strummed guitars, occasional piano or synths, all justifying the dreaded term folky psychedelia (which seems immune to the passing of time or taste). This isn’t necessarily a criticism, as the Brooklynites now have the experience and the chops to withstand any passing trends.

Wistful romanticism sustains the order of the day. The opening title-track features pensive acoustic guitar and the comforting vocals of Molly Hamilton right in place, combined with a uniquely romantic notion (‘You’re a peach and I’m a plum’) that will reassure the listener that they should not be bracing themselves for screeching guitars and widescreen utopian. The shuffling, snappy drums of The Good Ones ensures it chugs along nicely, built around an arch, matter-of-fact guitar lick. Like most here it’s probably a minute too long, although the spooky piano at the mid-point does bring a Portishead vibe to proceedings.

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Doves stream Cathedrals Of The Mind from new album The Universal Want

Posted on 28 Aug 2020 at 8:51am

Doves have served up another slice of the album which will bring over a decade’s wait for a new record from the band to an end on September 11th.

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Album Review: Jamie Webster – We Get By

Posted on 28 Aug 2020 at 6:59am

If there’s something of the busker about Jamie Webster, it’s probably more by accident than design.

Many singer-songwriters begin like that, on the pavement, staring up at uncaring suits and black-shined shoes as the notes pour out and loose change explodes into a battered instrument case. Of those that make it, few choose to honour the hard lessons.

Better still to square the Liverpudlian and former electrician in the folk tradition, but only because he chooses the least complicated ways to connect with people; a strummed guitar, some welcoming chords and a proudly accented voice, basic tools made good by joy and artistry. Whatever the story, there’s much of the past in his music, a conscious anachronism in an era when the present is constantly trying to erase itself.

Webster cuts more to the chase than his forebears though, saying We Get By, ‘documents and asks questions of the struggles, joys and escapes of everyday working-class life. A few chords, a bit of passion and a lot of the truth’. These days, that’s a hard thing to find, as fooling ourselves has become a national sport, a blight the singer lays out on opener Down The Road, its scuffed-up indie rock immediate proof that this isn’t just another street corner urchin with a grab bag of hope.

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Grandaddy announce reissue of The Sophtware Slump on 20th anniversary

Posted on 28 Aug 2020 at 6:05am

Another anniversary to make some of us feel old is approaching on November 20th.

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Public Enemy announce return to Def Jam for release of new album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down

Posted on 28 Aug 2020 at 5:23am

Public Enemy have made their return to Def Jam in time for the release of a new album later this year.

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New Music Friday: Disclosure, Angel Olsen

Posted on 28 Aug 2020 at 5:09am

There’s fresh albums from Disclosure and Angel Olsen out today on New Music Friday – have a listen to both right here on Live4ever.

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