#830 Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther

This is American folk rock from Texas signed to the British label Bella Union, and Midlake make the kind of soft light-indie song-led rock you’d expect from a band signed to Bella Union. That’s not meant to sound disparaging, I own and listen to much of their catalogue output. This is extremely comforting music, effortlessly … Continue reading #830 Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther

#298 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Nocturama

This album is often considered to be ‘lesser’ than the rest of Cave’s recent oeuvre. I don’t think so. I much prefer it to Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! and think it’s rather underrated and contains not only some great individual songs, but as an album appears to be a junction box of the various fuses Nick … Continue reading #298 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Nocturama

#292 Nick Cave – Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!

Six exclamation marks Nick! Really? Six! Well if there was ever a man who could get away with flouting grammatical conventions, it's Nick Cave. This, remarkably, is his 14th studio album with the Bad Seeds. That of course doesn't include the five as part of The Birthday Party and Boys Next Door, the two as … Continue reading #292 Nick Cave – Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!

#267 Anna Calvi – Hunter

Calvi’s third album, which came out 5 months ago (the only ‘new’ music I bought last year) doesn’t break any new ground from her previous two, but is a natural consolidation of what she does best: intense atmospherics, dramatic, almost operatic at times, vocals, and storming guitar licks. There’s a gothic melodrama to her music, … Continue reading #267 Anna Calvi – Hunter

#1266 Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

This is the sound of the apocalypse. The album opens with the tolling of bells, leading us into the eye of the storm, with an onslaught of guitars and drums heralding the end times. No Words/No Thoughts roars with a dark nihilistic energy. I love it. Swans were a new band for me when I … Continue reading #1266 Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

#288 Johnny Cash – American IV : The Man Comes Around

This ‘American Recordings’ series of albums, masterminded by producer Rick Rubin, explores a wide range of covers and classics during Johnny Cash’s autumnal years, and was hugely successful, both critically and commercially. I was a bit late to the party and bought this one on its release solely on the strengths of his incredible and … Continue reading #288 Johnny Cash – American IV : The Man Comes Around