The Postal Service - Give Up: 10-Year Anniversary Reissue
Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard – of Dntel and Death Cab for Cutie respectively – likely didn’t consider the longevity of their fun little ‘record-by-mail’ project. But their only album, Give Up – immortalised now in double disc and triple vinyl – has become a cult classic. Fusing 80s-inspired electro-pop and lovestruck lyrics, it still sounds hopelessly romantic and helplessly catchy. (Ryan Drever)
Small Black - Limits of Desire
A second full-length dose of sleepy electro-pop from Small Black, this finds them in more lush, bright and polished territory without reducing their previous charm. Musically, it doesn’t offer anything particularly groundbreaking but works well at honing a tried and tested formula. ‘No Stranger’ and ‘Breathless’ are perfect summer listening. (RD)
Akron/Family - Sub Verses
(Dead Oceans) ●●●●
A familiarly spasmodic and eclectic collection of noises and nuances this, from haunting atmospherics to gang-driven vocal parties and jagged, decorative riffs. Recent collaborations with spirit guide Michael Gira and Swans make sense given Sub Verses’ pervasive sense of sonic exploration through twin worlds of euphoria and dread. (RD)
Sweet Baboo - Ships
(Moshi Moshi) ●●●●
Welsh master of all that is weird and folky, Stephen Black, aka Sweet Baboo releases more awkwardly charming solo gems. With a knack for engaging, shimmering melodies, laced with trademark deadpan wit, he's on top form. Ships is undoubtedly the sharpest knife in his drawer. (RD)
Hiss Golden Messenger - Haw
(Paradise of Bachelors) ●●●●
Hiss Golden Messenger mines the depths of American history and its ‘ill-prophesied future’ on Haw – named after the river in North Carolina. On these enrapturing, folk-inspired tracks, the bonds and burdens of family and faith are explored with remarkable delicacy given their emotional clout. A fine example of songwriter MC Taylor's ever-evolving musical palate. (RD)
Hiss Golden Messenger supports William Tyler, Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sat 4 May.
Collar Up - Ghosts
Edinburgh dream-pop trio Collar Up enter the hazy consciousness occupied by Pitchfork mainstays Beach House and Washed Out with this ambitious album of melodic candyfloss. However, they also drop in ambient atmospheres worth attention on their own merits. The colourful textures employed throughout belie the murkiness of their Scottish origins. This is the soundtrack to your escapist fantasies. (RD)
Album launch, The 13th Note, Glasgow, Sat 4 May; Limbo at Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Sat 18 May.
Adopted As Holograph - S/T
Former Uncle John and Whitelock stalwart David Philp is the crooning mastermind behind this set of postmodern Palm Court swing which comes awash with fiddle, accordion and acoustic guitar. It all sounds a whole lot like The Monochrome Set gone retro zydeco. As wryly jaunty as it all is, there’s still a doleful melancholy to Philp’s delivery, and a trad warmth worth waltzing to.