mumford and sons

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BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (Universal)

This four-piece from London may have a banjo on hand and a similar way with an archaic lyric and alt.folk melody as Fleet Foxes, but here on their debut album with widescreen producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire's Neon Bible) they bring some dramatic urgency which kicks them clearly into the alt.rock territory. With songs which have a...

The Leisure Society: The Sleeper (Inertia)

The Leisure Society: The Sleeper (Inertia)

There is a lot of neo-folk around and you suspect the success of Fleet Foxes has prompted interest in people like Mumford and Son, the Unthanks and Joanna Newsom. This oddly named British outfit – which suggests an ambient-lounge act – should appeal to an even wider audience. With hints of McCartney at his most pastoral, a...

Stornoway: Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

Stornoway: Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

Named for a small town in the Outer Hebrides and affecting a kind of folksy pop, Stornoway from Oxford pull light and slightly satirical styles (We Are The Battery Humans with its references to people born to be free-range but preferring to watch television) together with Anglofolk of the Amazing Blondel-to-Fleet Foxes continuum and literary...

Mountain Man: Made the Harbor (Spunk)

Mountain Man: Made the Harbor (Spunk)

Here's an unusual and interesting one: Mountain Man are actually three young women Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Randall Meath from various parts of the great USA who met at Bennington College in Vermont. Inspired by a mutual love of a kind of alt.folk and old time country -- and a cappella singing -- they formed this...

Damien Jurado: Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian/Rhythmethod)

Damien Jurado: Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian/Rhythmethod)

With a lovely, sympathetic production by Richard Swift -- sort of budget-priced Phil Spector -- and melodies which swell with Fifties and Sixties pop-romanticism, this is one of those album (like Swift's) which will be taken to heart with a passion by those who discover it. Previously Jurado out of Seattle came at you from the...

Dylan LeBlanc: Paupers Field (Rough Trade)

Dylan LeBlanc: Paupers Field (Rough Trade)

From the understated openers with their gentle backbeat, soft organ and steel guitar, LeBlanc -- barely 21, out of Louisiana -- announces himself as part of a long lineage which stretches back to the country-soul out of Muscle Shoals studio (where his dad  was a session musician) and the country-rock of the early Band, but which also...

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

By abandoning the pure pop-economy of their terrific, 05 self-titled debut for the more embellished and ambitious sound Those the Brokes in 06, this English outfit of two sets of siblings lost followers, and momentum. But where that debut was a radio/car album, Brokes was a headphones experience. The openers here – a...

Richard Thompson: Rumor and Sigh (1991)

Richard Thompson: Rumor and Sigh (1991)

Like Elvis Costello, Christy Moore, the late John Martyn and a few others in a very select company, English singer/songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson made timeless albums. Pick up any of his from the early Eighties or even the late Seventies and they make as much sense today as they did then. Yet after more than 45 years in the...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

A propos of not much, Fleet Foxes' chief songwriter Robin Pecknold recently recorded New Zealand singer-songwriter Chris Thompson's Where is My Wild Rose? for an EP and it appears on You Tube (just with stills) here. But . . . to the matter in hand. If it's fair to say FFoxes' debut album was unexpected, then we might also observe...

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