Records Also Released

Records Also Released

Findaly Napier / credit: David Boni

New releases by Findlay Napier, Siobhan Miller, Dorec-a-belle, Aaron Fyfe, Jon Hopkins, Lighting Bolt and Kathryn Joseph

Findlay Napier – VIP

(Cheerygroove) ●●●●
Not so much a concept album as just a cracking good concept, Findlay Napier's VIP album – co-written with frequent collaborator Boo Hewerdine – is a ten-song homage to various characters from real life whose stories have inspired him to song. It's a fascinating mix: actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, baseball legend Mickey Mantle and Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, all come to life in Napier's charmingly reverent folk-acoustic collection. (RD)

Daniel AveryNew Energy (Collected Remixes)

(Phantasy) ●●●●
Daniel Avery's 2013 debut album Drone Logic didn't so much reinvent techno as present a pristine contemporary version of it, drawing from iconic influences like the Chemical Brothers and Underworld to hammer out a sound that was credible and crossover at the same time. While this remix-and-reimagine collection – featuring, amongst others, spiritual brethren Factory Floor's acidic take on 'Drone Logic', Perc's dark and bassy 'Reception' and KiNK's dreamy 'Knowing We'll Be Here' – is varied and mostly excellent, the original is still the best. (DP)

Siobhan MillerFlight of Time

(Vertical) ●●●●
A former winner of the BBC Young Folk Award, Siobhan Miller takes a tentative few steps away from her traditional roots with this contemporary collection of songs written with Love and Money frontman James Grant. It's the kind of safe distance that has seen the careers of Kate Rusby and Karine Polwart flourish, and Miller's delicate, nourishing vocals and lyrically rich compositions have a similar potential, particular those with the quirky inventiveness of the album's standout track 'No Butterflies'. (RD)


(Self-release/Creative Scotland) ●●●●
All-female Inverness four-piece Doric-a-belle have been gigging across Scotland for three years in the lead up to the release of their debut album, Listen. The title lives up to the demand – this is a thoroughly enjoyable and superbly crafted collection of songs, equally strong on musicianship and writing. Simple but beautiful melodies are elevated by the exquisite harmonies and unusual combination of guitar, cello, accordion and saxophone. The genesis is Scottish folk but it veers off in different directions, finding inspiration in blues, country and Southeastern European folk, such as the mesmerising 'Taken', a gentle, mournful ballad that is reminiscent of The Be Good Tanyas at their most soulful. (RD)

Aaron Fyfe10 Songs

(Tentman) ●●●
Fyfe has a voice that is impossible to ignore – full of passion, strained emotion and conveying that sense of song being a salve for all the world's heartaches. It's the perfect vehicle for the Glaswegian's continued ascent, particularly when it is combined with a developing talent for songwriting and the kind of chiselled features that seal the deal. Co-produced by Echo & The Bunnymen guitarist Gordy Goudie and Teenage Fanclub's Francis Macdonald, there is a polish and precision to 10 Songs that's very promising. (RD)

Jon Hopkins – Late Night Tales

(Late Night Tales) ●●●●
Polymathic interpreter of moods Jon Hopkins has created electro-folk soundscapes for King Creosote and ventured fully into the more eclectic end of techno with recent tracks like the classic 'Open Eye Signal'. Here employed to create a mixtape for the somnambulist's favourite Late Night Tales series, he rises impressively to the challenge, maintaining a trance-like mood perfectly through Ben Lukas Boysen's opening electro-lullaby 'Sleepers Beat Theme' to Holy Other's slow-moving synth anthem 'Yr Love', Four Tet's siren-calling 'Gille Amma I Love You' and A Winged Victory For the Sullen's glacial 'Requiem For the Static King 1'. (DP)

Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire

(Thrill Jockey) ●●●
Anyone who's seen the immersive, scorched earth live show provided by Rhode Island power duo Lightning Bolt might be aware of the very real problem their recorded career faces. Seeing them live, their audience crowded around them on the floor, is such a distinctive and thrilling experience that it's hard to recreate through a pair of headphones. But what the hell, this sixth album (and first in six years) gives it a good try, with Brian Chippenham yelped his vocals through a fog of reverb and his own machine-gun drums, and Brian Gibson keeping a rein on some lacerating guitar riffs. (DP)

Kathryn JosephBones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled

(Hits the Fan) ●●●
Notable as the latest signing to Hits the Fan, the until recently defunct label which launched Frightened Rabbit way back when, this debut record from Scottish singer Kathryn Joseph introduces a confident emerging talent. Populated by gentle and frostily dramatic piano ballads, its key feature is Joseph's voice, a fluttering, folksy instrument which possesses a similar otherworldly quality to artists like Kate Bush or Joanna Newsom – or, rather strangely on 'The Bone', a sensuous twang reminiscent of Dolly Parton. This difficulty in categorising her serves to demonstrate just how much raw potential she has. (DP)

Kathryn Joseph

Captivating Scottish singer-songwriter/pianist who proved her chops by winning the SAY Award in 2015.

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