STORY POP SEAFIELDROAD Seafieldroad (Biphonic) ●●●●● It’s a shock to find Swimmer One and Seafieldroad’s Andrew Eaton- Lewis stripped of all his usual sonic accoutrements. But this second solo effort of piano ballads is thoroughly beguiling. Rich vocals are the focal point and there’s minimal treatment of them; giving the feel of an intimate home session. Highlights include ‘Cramond Island Causeway’; showcasing a spine-tingling vulnerability to the Edinburgh- based songwriter’s delivery and a real romance to his storytelling, as does ‘You Are the Only Place on The Map.’ a must-hear as he croons, ‘I wish I could make a map of everything/So you would know exactly where my heart lives/That would be more use than all these stupid songs I sing.’ We’re not so sure . . . (Camilla Pia)


ALT ROCK KING’S DAUGHTERS & SONS If Then Not When (Chemikal Underground) ●●●●● Not many alt-rock super-groups would align themselves with both William Faulkner and Led Zeppelin, but then Kentucky’s King’s Daughters & Sons are no ordinary band. Formed by members of post- rock dreamboats The For Carnation, post-hardcore troupe The Shipping News and minimalist chamber-rock ensemble Rachel’s (among others), KD&S evoke their various origins while making something resolutely other from the pastoral folk-rock of ‘Arc of the Absentees’ to the elemental, instrumental splendour of ‘A Storm Kept Them Away’. The vintage Tom Petty swagger of ‘Dead Letter Office’ and the lambent guitar tapestries of ‘Sleeping Colony’ ensure this is a glorious debut. (Nicola Meighan)

INDIE-FOLK THE LAST SEPTEMBER As the Crow Flies (self released) ●●●●● After a five year hiatus, these Edinburgh gentle indie rockers return with a second album, following their well-received début, Vagrant Song. As the Crow Flies features guests Poppy Ackroyd (Hidden Orchestra and Aberfeldy) and Ali Petrie (Hobotalk) who also co-produces the album. Frontman Pete Deane accomplishes lovely songwriting; his velvet vocals and touching lyrics make for a very graceful listen. His Peter Gabriel-esque voice echoes throughout stand-out tracks such as ‘Sing’, ‘Precious Time’ and ‘Ventolin’; not bad for an album that was started because Deane had to write new music for his degree, eh? (Andy Noble) The Last September play Sneaky Pete’s Edinburgh, Sat 26 Nov. Download the album from

COUNTRY ROCK BONNIE PRINCE BILLY Wolfroy Goes to Town (Domino) ●●●●●

‘Stop all the moaning and bemoaning your fate / god isn’t listening, or else it’s too late,’ sings Will Oldham on ‘Time to Be Clear’, his voice like driftwood lapping at the shore. In all things heart- shattering and beautiful in the world of alt country the Bonnie Prince abides in, this latest collection is yet another understated marvel. For most of the record his voice is accompanied by a lazy guitar strum and a breathy female vocal, so when a slow, hypnotic electric guitar chimes in on ‘Cows’ or the odd swamp-rock riff finds its way into ‘Quail and Dumplings’, the dissonance is startling. ‘We are unhappy,’ sings Oldham simply on the song of the same name, and the almost religious resignation in his voice is, as ever, utterly compelling. (David Pollock)

FILMMAKER’S DEBUT DAVID LYNCH Crazy Clown Time (Sunday Best) ●●●●● AVANT-JAZZ BILL WELLS Lemondale (Double Six) ●●●●●

The dark cinema of David Lynch needs no introduction, nor does the music in his films whether the work of composer Angelo Badalamenti or his use of older pop songs. Who could forget Dean Stockwell lipsyncing Roy Orbison’s ‘In Dreams’ in Blue Velvet? Lynch’s debut album is a hazy blur between Neil Young’s Trans, The Walker Brothers’ Nite Flights and more recent Earth. It’s a mixed bag with some intriguing highlights; ‘Good Day Today’ has a moody house vibe and ‘Stone’s Gone Up’s upbeat synthpop is totally unexpected. Sadly there’s too much incongruous filler generic drum and guitars which wouldn’t be amiss from the LA noir settings of Mullholland Drive, but less fun as a listening experience. (Nick Herd)

You wonder if Bill Wells ever sleeps. The Glasgow indie/avant-jazz catalyst has already made one of the albums of 2011 in Everything’s Getting Older, his exquisite union with Aidan Moffat not to mention his forthcoming National Jazz Trio of Scotland LP, and recent contribution to a Jens Lekman EP. But that hasn’t put the brakes on Lemondale one of Wells’ most ambitious and enchanting records to date. Recorded in one day in Tokyo by Wells and a 14-strong cast from the Japanese Underground, including Tenniscoats’ Saya, Tori Kudo and ex-Sonic Youth guitarist Jim O’Rourke. Its experimental meditations, vocal serenades and wide-screen melodies are sublime. (Nicola Meighan)

FOLK /FADO GUITAR REISSUES CARLOS PAREDES Guitarra Portuegesa / Movimento Perpetuo (Drag City) ●●●●●

Fêted by Six Organs of Admittance and the Kronos Quartet, Paredes was a virtuoso of the Portuguese guitar, a 12-stringed instrument with a crystalline sound. Known as ‘the man of a thousand fingers’, these LPs are beautifully recorded, picking up every exquisite detail of his astonishing playing. Guitarra Portuegesa (1967) put

him on the international map, with compositions in the traditional fado style. ‘Cancao Verdes Anos’ and ‘Romance No 1’ are utterly spellbinding in their gorgeous melancholy, while the faster dance tunes are full of energy and grace. Movimento Perpétuo (1971) saw Paredes (who died in 2004) open his style to classical and jazz influences. Sublime. (Stewart Smith)

FOLK ROCK ROB ST JOHN Weald (Song, by Toad) ●●●●●

Forget the much misused ‘F-word’. Rob St John is miles better than most folk, and putting a full electric band behind his whey-faced Lancastrian intonations has put muscle and guts on his musings. Yet for all the low-key chorales,

musical saws and string-laden back-woods baroque pulsing this full-length debut’s eight songs, it’s St John’s increasingly forceful mix of melancholy and otherworldly rapture that counts. At the record’s core is the slash and burn revelation of Domino. If the late Nick Drake and another old Nick’s Bad Seeds ever hitch up at some rural English crossroads, this is what such an unlikely clash of souls might sound like. (Neil Cooper)

17 Nov–15 Dec 2011 THE LIST 89