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They Also Ran – The Ones That Got Away – January 2017

Wow, it’s March already. 2017 has already hit us like a juggernaut with a multitude of long players and really, it’s started off so impressively that I just might already have decided my top three albums of the year. In a time of great uncertainty and divisiveness, the one constant crumb of comfort has been the top quality music that has enriched our lives. We can’t review ’em all, of course, so here’s a brief round up of some of the ones we missed, starting with January. Later this week, we will round up February…

JANUARY

Soft Error

SOFT ERROR – MECHANISM (Village Green)

This is a beautiful electronic album of a highly cinematic nature. It begins with ‘Silberblick‘, which is stark and disquieting, much like Thomas Newman‘s ‘American Beauty‘ theme, and throughout, we are taken on an odyssey of sparkling lo-fi symphonies and intense, urgent melodies. A real winner of an album. 8/10.

https://soundcloud.com/villagegreen181/soft-error-you-caught-up/s-Kc9rf

Bic Runga

BIC RUNGA – CLOSE YOUR EYES (Wild Combinations)

Something of an oddity this one, as we flit between the electro-folk of the ‘Things Behind The Sun‘, which is somewhere between Nick Drake, Fairport Convention and Tunng, then the itchy, twitchy nineties dance-pop of ‘Tinsel Town In The Rain‘ and the intriguing version of Neil Young‘s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart‘, which is like a bridge between the original and Saint Etienne version, perhaps sharing more common ground with the inimitable Canadian. Either way, Close Your Eyes is a very pleasurable experience. 7/10

Dearly Beloved

DEARLY BELOVED – ADMISSION (Aporia Records)

Noisy bastard alert! Noisy bastard alert! The dozen tunes on Admission were recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606, and somehow, that makes perfect sense. A relentless plethora of infectious rockers, these belligerent little fuckers sizzle past your nose at speed, but somehow manage to square up to you and threaten to murder your donkey along the way. Delightfully aggressive numbers like ‘Who Wants To Know?‘ and the almost Pixies like ‘When You Had The Choice‘ are amongst the many highlights within. 8/10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcVT8zVBUA8

Charlie Cunningham

CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM – LINES (Dumont Dumont)

…and the perfect antidote, should you still be reeling from the incessant onslaught of Dearly Beloved, is probably Charlie Cunningham‘s debut album, Lines, which is akin to sitting next to – and staring across – still waters on a warm summer afternoon. Quite frankly there’s so much anger out there at present (a fully justified anger, granted) that it’s nice to have a record that sounds so relaxed and happy with itself and life in general. Tracks like ‘An Opener‘ and ‘Lights Off‘ feel a bit like José Gonzalez has cloned himself over several times and the entire clan has come together for a group hug. Personal highlight is the rather more downbeat ‘How Much‘, which feels like dusk on top of a hill. Is that weird? 7/10

Sacred Paws

SACRED PAWS – STRIKE A MATCH (Rock Action)

Remember when Malcolm McLaren did ‘Double Dutch‘? Well, the debut album by this female duo from London and Scotland sounds a bit like that, if the late punk mogul had been backed by LA’s Fool’s Gold. It’s decidedly contagious stuff and you can’t help doing shimmies around the room in Hawaiian skirts while it plays, though quite where that came from, I really don’t know. Sacred Paws want you to smile until your sacred jaws hurt, and with gems like the early eighties influenced ‘Wet Graffiti‘ amongst their canon, you’ll be hard pushed to stop them. 7/10

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.