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It is three years since the Coolbeanz EP, a seven track stripped back affair featuring Izzy and her band in an irresistible outing of melt-in-your-mouth vocals and contemporary jazz and soul infusions. Now on a major label, and with a host of top producers, we have the eagerly awaited debut album, a thirteen track treat with slick arrangements from start to finish. Te voice is at its best in tracks like the opener, Diamond, when it presents as a breezy blend of Amy Winehouse and Lianne La Havas. Te re-worked White Tiger survives from the earlier EP, and has been heard absolutely everywhere this summer. Skinny is a delicious slice of flirtatious soul. However, there are times when you fear that she is being cultivated, sliding dangerously into a world where she becomes an amalgam of Duffy and Paloma Faith. Naive Soul has M&S written all over it, and Gorgeous could be used to sell you anything from a laptop to a pot of yoghurt. But make no mistake, this album is going to sell by the KFC bucket-load. Choose the Deluxe edition with four extra tracks, including the Honne collaboration, Someone Tat Loves You. I'm definitely lovin' it.



Including CD-Rs and limited editions, Kenny "King Creosote" Anderson has released over 40 albums. With such an extensive, convoluted back catalogue, it is hard to keep up with everything he has done or pick highlights. Tis is the best I have heard since the Diamond Mine collaboration with Jon Hopkins and may just be the best album yet from this prolific artist. In simple terms this is folk music but a folk unlike any other. You Just Want is a keening piece of melancholy. Melon Wynt combines a driving krautrock beat, beautifully picked guitar, mournful strings and bagpipe drones. Wake Up To Tis and Love Life are (almost) conventional pop. Faux Call is fragile, painful but ultimately cathartic. Betelgeuse is the closest thing here to anything on Diamond Mine. Te looped and treated child's voice on Peter Rabbit Tea is frankly disturbing. Surface brings more motorik rhythm with fuzzy, funky keys. Rules of Engagement is the closest thing here to straight folk but adds some tasty found sounds and effects. Te songwriting is to KC’s usual high standard. With superb lyrics, he is in fine voice. Tis review has been based on a stream but I’ve ordered a physical copy. And that is pretty much the highest recommendation I can give.



Californian hipsters Local Natives are known for their lush harmonies, slowly unfurling lyrical meanings and being cooler than a polar bears toenails, but have largely avoided airplay or troubling the charts unduly with their first two albums due to a lack of immediacy in their songs. Sunlit youth is a collision of what’s made them beloved of a growing fanbase, whilst reaching further with more obviously radio and festival friendly tunage. Tere is more beef on show here than on Hummingbird, their second and more mesmeric record, and they wear it well; punchy, funky even, while remaining true to their sound and ethic. Te gift they bring is a slow release of the goodies, repeated listens reveals more and this release is no exception. Villiany & Past Lives start the attack with hands in the air anthemic grown up indie, Jellyfish has alt-techno edge and beautiful harmonies, throughout the vocals are often as pleasurable to hear as sound as they are as transmitters of words. Tey played the Waterfront last time out, Novembers tour is mainly bigger cities and they deserve it. Sunlit Youth is another triumph from a band who should be heard coming out of headphones, car windows and stereos all over; it’s senseless to pick tunes from the pack as the whole piece shimmers and glides with angelic masculinity. / September 2016 / 47

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