malcolm middleton

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Malcolm Middleton: A Brighter Beat (POD/Rhythmethod)

Malcolm Middleton: A Brighter Beat (POD/Rhythmethod)

If there was a band name attached to this rather than Middleton's you'd be talking a Scottish supergroup. The line-up of players includes members of Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian, Reindeer Section and Delgadoes -- and Middleton was in the duo Arab Strap, a band which (like most of those mentioned) never quite gained a decent foothold in New...

Hobotalk: Homesick for Nowhere (Yellow Eye)

Hobotalk: Homesick for Nowhere (Yellow Eye)

The Scottish singer-songwriter Marc Pilley who is the hub of Hobotalk has a gentle way with his music: nothing feels forced or false, and the augmentation of his simple tunes by mandolin, violin, female backing singers and the like just bring these songs to life even more. A refined simplicity is the key here and you can hear why he was...

Dawn Landes: Fireproof (Shock)

Dawn Landes: Fireproof (Shock)

Located somewhere between alt.folk and alt.country (sort of the urban/rural crossover) this Kentucky-born, New York-based singer-songwriter has supported the likes of Andrew Bird, Jose Gonzalez and Suzanne Vega, and overseas writers say if you like Cat Power, Beth Orton or Regina Spektor then Landes' subtle and intimate style is for you....

The Gutter Twins: Saturnalia (SubPop)

The Gutter Twins: Saturnalia (SubPop)

The menacing baritone of Mark Lanegan (formerly of grunge-era Screaming Trees, sometime guest with Queens of the Stone Age) was recently employed to redemptive uplift on the Soulsavers album which was one of the Best of Elsewhere 2007 (see tag). Here he and Greg Dulli (of Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers) as the Gutter Twins explore...

Malcolm Middleton: Sleight of Heart (FullTimeHobby/Rhythmethod)

Malcolm Middleton: Sleight of Heart (FullTimeHobby/Rhythmethod)

This astringent Scottish singer-songwriter and former Arab Strap member appeared at Elsewhere previously with his excellent album A Brighter Beat, the opening track of which was the brittle but bouncy We're All Going To Die. That song was released as a UK single before Christmas last year and started at odds of 1000-1 against becoming Radio...

Steve Abel and the Chrysalids: Flax Happy (Monkey/Rhythmethod)

Steve Abel and the Chrysalids: Flax Happy (Monkey/Rhythmethod)

Among the many unaddressed issues about the effectiveness of New Zealand Music Month is that of so many albums being released: they cancel each other out and some just won't get the attention they deserve. I sincerly hope that out of the mountain released -- around 50 albums in, or in time for, NZMM, which is just self-defeating -- that this...

Brett Dennen: So Much More (Rhythmethod)

Brett Dennen: So Much More (Rhythmethod)

This great album came out so long ago that I had it at Elsewhere about a year back and then deleted it because I just assumed it was lost to all (except me) and I needed to free up some space.Lord knows why it has now reappeared in a different cover and with "PRIORITY RELEASE!" emblazoned (three times) across the top of a promo flyer.I...

Malcolm Middleton: Waxing Gibbous (Pod)

Malcolm Middleton: Waxing Gibbous (Pod)

This somewhat eccentric Scottish singer-songwriter Middleton is not "an acquired taste" (which has a pejorative meaning) rather a taste that few in this country have acquired: despite being in Arab Strap and widely hailed by UK critics for his solo albums (this is his fifth) he has barely made a ripple outside of Britain --...

Edwyn Collins: Losing Sleep (Shock)

Edwyn Collins: Losing Sleep (Shock)

Scotland's Orange Juice fronted by singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins only had one persuasive album (You Can't Hide Your Love Forever in '82) and one UK hit (Rip It Up from the album of the same name, also in '82) but their arch, often ironic and non-threatening pop has recently occasioned a 6CD/DVD collection, a reflection of the high regard...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Jeffrey Foucault: Horse Latitudes (Signature)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Jeffrey Foucault: Horse Latitudes (Signature)

For his first album of originals in five years – the follow-up to his gripping Ghost Repeater – this beardy and rustic Americana singer/songwriter ups the stakes as his strong, dark brown and assured voice takes on life, loss and love in iron-hard images which bring to mind Leonard Cohen (“strange birds on the fence line,...

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