Album Reviews

North Sea Radio Orchestra’s ‘I a Moon’ could best be described as, an indie orchestral choral album. It really has significant charm and is reminiscent of Joanna Newsome, Juliana Barwick and The Leisure Society in style of music. 

North Sea Radio Orchestra is actually an ever expanding or reducing ensemble led by Craig and Sharron Fortnam. Two previous albums which used poetry by the likes of Chaucer, Hardy and Tennyson came before ‘I a Moon’ but, this time around, it’s original lyrics with delightfully sweet musical interludes throughout.

 

‘Morpheus Miracle Worker’ the album opener, is a lush string accompanied song with added ethereal layered, (Bjork esqe) vocals from Sharon.

 

The tile track next up has simple instrumentation, which compliments the vocals superbly. A ‘Prog’ style Mellotron (?) is much in evidence.

 

The album has many musical interludes Guitar Miniature #3 does ‘what it says on the tin’.

Heavy Weather is a seven minute duet with heart rending strings and there are again (unintentional?) prog influences that spring to mind, Yes, Gabriel era Genesis and Caravan perhaps.

 

The Earth Beneath Our Feet’ has a PJ Harvey feel and again with strings to melt your heart. The album concludes by alternating between vocal and instrumental tracks.

 

It is a lovely album and would drift pleasantly into the ears of many people

 

8/10

Pete 

A beautiful album with gentle melodies, ethereal electronics and harmonies. Hushed rasping vocals, acoustic, crystal clear and distorted guitars, brass, piano oh, and church bells. 

The band’s website shows that Epic45 are a home recording project/collective based around the ideas and inspiration of Ben Holton and Rob Glover.” Well if music of this quality is the product of a home recordings then, think what they can do in a fully functioning studio!

 

Lo-fi and shoegazing are I suppose the genres to give you a starting point but, the album expands many musical boundaries at will. The band has been around since the late nineties. The first album proper ‘Reckless Engineers’ was released in 2002 on Canadian label Where Are My Records and regular releases through shifting band members have been released since.

 

Described as Seattle's ‘Best Kept Secret’, there is nothing new about My Goodness, but, then why the heck does the music sound so alive and refreshing? You can recall the White Stripes, or anything Jack White that is, The Black Keys, Blood Red Shoes and the list goes on when listening to the ‘My Goodness’ record.

This is powerful and invigorating blues based rock with the Seattle grunge element chucked in. Seventies influences can be heard alongside the thundering bass lines throughout the album which actually, seem to blow a hole through the airwaves with the crashing drums keeping the songs somehow on course, in a blues rock way.

On the rather wonderful hometown label Sarathan Records, My Goodness is made up of guitarist Joel Schneider and Drummer Ethan Jacobsen. I am generally of the opinion that trios are louder than a four piece perhaps, that now needs to be reduced to a duo!

It’s nice to be able to pack instant sunshine to play when you most need it or just, for the sheer fun and ‘chill-ability’ that’s available from Sargasso Trio’s, new album, Get To Grips.

 

A summer record and full of life for sure, the album was recorded not in Athens, Georgia where one might assume it hails from but, in the depths of Norfolk. UK (where there are beaches for sure).

 

The album has a depth in styles, pop, reggae, electro, Caribbean rhythms and roots yet, this mix creates a seemingly simple yet effective body swaying sound. Listen carefully and you will be surprised what you can hear.

 

I was aware of the Middle East from their excellent six song ep I picked up last year ‘The Recordings of The Middle East’ so their full length debut has been eagerly awaited. ‘I want that you are always happy” does not disappoint either; indeed, I would have to say it is a stunning full length debut.    

An Australian six piece collective from Queensland, the album was recorded in DentonTexas and with that in mind, there are some Midlake comparisons here sound wise. Rather than gush about the album on the first few listens, I thought that I would give it some time and see a month down the road if, I remained ‘ blown away’. It seems I do.  

‘Black Death 1349’ is an ethereal start, a story of London 1349 sung with reverence. ‘My Grandma was Pearl Hall’ has sombre piano and a Tom Waits rasping vocal. ‘As I go to See Janey’  has an acoustic guitar which brings a lighter note musically if not lyrically, even at this stage you find yourself sucked into the substance of the album.   

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