Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Nadine Shah/A Little Orchestra/Landshapes/The Pastels

Nadine Shah - Dreary Town

You know those soul and jazz-influenced female singers that are all over the style magazines at the moment? Shah's a bit like them but better. A part-Norwegian and Pakistani former gospel singer from the village of Whitburn (near Sunderland) her circling, wracked piano-pounding dramatics found a sympathetic production ear in Ben Hillier to complement her richly descriptive vocal tone and have emerged a little bit Harvey, a little Holiday and a little Walker. Plenty of goodness lies ahead if this recent single is any early yardstick.

A Little Orchestra - Josefina

Just as it says on the tin, A Little Orchestra are a chamber dectet formed by Pipettes ubergrupenfuehrer Monster Bobby who have collaborated with Shirley Lee and Haiku Salut and whose debut Josefina EP out on the 29th includes collaborations with Darren Hayman, Gordon McIntyre of Ballboy and Simon Love. The title track is a collaboration with folkie-poppers Model Village, lending flute-aided lush pastoral textures to an emotive pondering of the nature of living life.

Landshapes - In Limbo

Newly signed to Bella Union, Landshapes used to be Lulu & The Lampshades, most celebrated for their viral utensil-based twee-folk. With the change of name comes a sharpening of focus, chiming guitars and an arresting harmonic vocal sounding both grandiose in reach and stripped to the pulsating core. Tremendous video too, shot in La Paz amid cultures both indigenous and, in the shape of Cholita wrestlers, peculiar.

The Pastels - Check My Heart

The first single from Slow Summits, the Glaswegian indie heroes' first proper album in, sir, sixteen years pretty much picks up where they left off, at least on the airier, Katrina-led side of their sound where a delicious melody and 60s pop-influenced hooks circle each other and dance in the sunlight

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