I make a point of visiting a number of record shops whenever I can, going beyond my regular haunts. While I may only make it down to Totnes once or twice a year, I can always be sure of receiving some wonderful recommendations from Rupert, Jenny and the team. Sometimes that happens during a lengthy chat over a cup of tea, on other occasions it’s just a result of reading their info labels on the records. It was the latter that resulted in this particular album ending up in my collection back in April and it didn’t disappoint.
There is a slightly festive feel to some of the retro country soul jangle on offer here and it’s a constant joy, with poised yearning commandeering centre stage. Think She & Him if they weren’t so cynically cold in their delivery and you’ll be somewhere in the right ballpark, but this is far from novelty. These songs are beautifully arranged and perfectly produced, Burch’s resonant vocals rising out of the aching backdrop on tracks like ‘Loneliest Part’ and ‘Not Today’.
Reviews around the time of release couldn’t seem to decide whether it was full on Patsy Cline or in the shadow of Phil Spector and, as a result, I didn’t pay much attention. How grateful we should be for the independent record shops that wade through the new release and leave them on the shop stereo all day before deciding what really matters, otherwise records like ‘Please Be Mine’ would skip through the cracks. Only last year, Drift turned me on to The Radio Dept, a band I’d somehow overlooked for about thirteen years. Those writers can be forgiven as this record doesn’t naturally sit in any one box or lend itself to a particular label. What I can say with certainty is that I’m still finding it magical, many months later, and it definitely suits the December chill should you be seeking a new listen.