The return of the Jayhawks with another fine slice of Americana features writing and lead vocal contributions from all four members of the band on their new album ‘XOXO.

In Iranian mythology the simurg is a giant bird which has the ability to bestow fertility upon the Earth by purifying the land and water which is sometimes equated with the rebirthing ability of the phoenix. In this spirit of rebirth and renewal the seemingly remote Compro Oro, Murat Ertel and Esma Ertel have collaborated to produce this unique album.

The rumbling bass line to opening song, ‘Digging in the Desert’ kicks off a twenty one minute sonic onslaught to the senses, as eight songs trample over your brainwaves.

Following a first listen at a pre-release Listening Party at Vinilo Record Shop in Southampton, it is perhaps a less grandiose offering this time round from Tame Impala, but 'The Slow Rush' has  12 songs crammed with subtlety yet accessible enough to sustain interest.

What sounds like a piano from a western saloon bookends the almost fifty minutes, of the latest album from The Lone Bellow. The short intro leads into ‘I can feel you dancing’, a diamond of a track, warm storytelling Americana with brass!

As each passing year goes by and we get a little older and wiser (possibly), the old cliche is that time genuinely seems to be speeding up, especially as we are now reminded that Ash have been an active band for 25 years.....good grief.

If like me, your knowledge of Norway has mainly been acquired from dark and gritty Nordic Noir television then you'll be delighted to know that Louien proves that there's also delicate and beautiful music to be found there amongst the multi episode dramas about serial killers.

Matt Patershuk is a singer/songwriter from La Glace, Alberta, Canada. For a non-driving city dweller like myself that is immediately intriguing. Thanks to Google Earth I was able to explore the roads leading out of this hamlet of 181 inhabitants and all there is is emptiness. Fascinating!

On the front cover of 'Titanic Rising' multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Natalie Mering (recording under the name Weyes Blood) is seen floating in a submerged childhood bedroom which she has described as symbolic of something internal, warm and womb-like. Initially it's the warm, comforting, internal melodies which python their way around your senses, but those melodies are always underpinned by classic songwriting which really sets this album apart, and you really should listen to it as an album to appreciate the recurring lyrical and melodic themes.

Whilst 'The Canoe' is Carrie Tree’s third album of delicate, acoustic songs, she was a new name to me before the album arrived. She’s based out of Brighton, but has an acknowledged wanderlust, from which she draws inspiration and ideas on which to base her music.

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