The debut album from Danish artist Soren Lokke Juul,
performing as Indians, transports Bon Iver's man-alone
electro-folk to a wintry Scandinavian setting that is slowly
beginning the thaw.
Somewhere Else. 4AD.
His ghostly high-register singing floats over largely
beat-free backgrounds of subtle keys and layered electronics,
with a shift to the warmer textures of strummed acoustic
guitar on I Am Haunted and Cakelayers. It's
nothing new, yet Juul's measured approach delivers several
moments of beauty that are reward for those who can live
without grand, attention-grabbing statements.
Single download: I Am Haunted
For those who like: Bon Iver, Efterklang, Grizzly
4 stars (out of 5)
By Jeff Harford.
Holy Fire. Transgressive
Cranking out the type of sass and swagger normally associated
with legendary '80s British dance-rock acts, this third
full-length album from Oxford lads Foals is a cracker.
Shimmering with sweaty dance-floor grooves one minute, then
dishing out brooding mellifluous melodies the next, Holy Fire
is the ultimate summer-driving companion.
It is awash with prickly staccato guitars, no better
exhibited than in the dirty fuzz of opening track
Prelude and its companion Inhaler. Foals is a
guitar band in the same way that Queens of the Stone Age is
metal. The guitar is but one ingredient in a recipe that is
dialled to groove.
Single download: My Number
For those who like: The Checks, Motocade, New Order,
4 stars (out of 5)
By Mark Orton.
Wonderful, Glorious. Vagrant.
Over the course of nine studio albums, Mark ''E'' Everett has
become something of a master of the heart-on-the-sleeve
No surprises then in his 10th effort, although its title does
hint at a soul rising from the depths of serial melancholia.
Certainly there is a slightly brighter feel to Wonderful,
Glorious, the prevalence of slinky electric guitar
managing to offset Everett's deliberately grainy (sometimes
Elsewhere, it's the drums that steal the show; from the
tom-tom thud of opener Bombs Away and Stick
Together to the snare attack of Peach Blossom,
there's plenty of interest, even if the formula is getting a
Single download: Open My Present
For those who like: Black Keys
3 stars (out of 5)
By Shane Gilchrist.