New Year part 2 – 2006

Following on from the orgiastic delights of 2005, 2006 is already shaping up to have more than its fair share of decent records. The afore-mentioned, Lost Revue have their mini-album, ‘Orphans And Vandals’ officially released at the end of this month and has an energy and youthful spirit that is deserving of much acclaim. (See the entry on this blog from November for more details.)

Beth Orton’s back in February with a tour and a new record entitled, ‘The Comfort Of Strangers’. It’s a great album and there is much to enjoy for old fans and new listeners alike. Apparently it was recorded in a couple of weeks and thus there is less of the polished production of old. It’s far more rootsy and folksy and absolutely compulsive listening.

Rilo Kiley’s lead singer, Jenny Lewis, has an album, ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’, out on Jan 23rd which picks up from the folksier moments of last year’s ‘More Adventurous’. Ertswhile music publications have already started sniffing about it not being as good as her ‘day job’ but I’d like to quickly point out that they’re talking not inconsiderable amounts of bollocks on this occasion. It’s a great record that benefits from Lewis having the freedom to do what she wants. So often when lead singers from acclaimed bands have a stab at solo work things go rapidly down the toilet (Ashcroft, McCulloch and er, Ashcroft), but this is a model of restraint and a very high watermark. Delightful.

Belle and Sebastian are back too, with ‘The Life Pursuit’. It’s got the jingle-janglies that pervaded the previous, Trevor Horn produced, album along with a whole other bundle of sounds from electronic pop to glam rock. A little more relaxed than the remarkably polished, ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’, this one careers around with a whimsical charm that keeps the pace up right to the album’s conclusion. You’ll not go far wrong if you pick this one up.

Obviously, there’ll be loads of fabulous music coming out in the next few months that I know naff all about right now. Assuming I remember, I might even pop back here and write about what I find.

Just wish to conclude this with a quick mention for an utterly fabulous record from last year that I’ve only recently managed to get hold of. ‘The Black Hole’ by Misty’s Big Adventure is a true joy – a clattering meeting of twee-indie, jazz, pop and music-hall and a few other hard-to-describe ingredients. There are Magnetic Fieldsy elements to the vocals and a darkly comic tone to the lyrics. Hard to think how anyone could not like it. Keep an eye out for it on your next tussle with the music racks.

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