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Music Albums & Singles

Single Reviews April 13

The Agency

She / The Temple (Solarbear)

Newcastle band, The Agency, have really come up trumps with this double A-Side. ‘She’ marries the spirit of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang’ to the moodiness of Chris Isaak; while ‘The Temple’ is dripping with the gothic drama of Nick Cave – and that’s a combo that I won’t be kicking out of bed any time soon. (Note: The band are playing Heartattack & Vine, Lime Street, Newcastle, on Saturday 27 April in a gig which we imagine will be all kinds of excellent.) 

Released 29 April

David Anthony & Lisa Millett
Where Were You (Hi Life Records)
London’s recently formed Hi Life Records have struck gold with almost immediate effect with this shimmering slice of sass with Lisa Millett providing the full-bodied vocals (and high-notes) in this well-subtle groover. 
Released 9 April

Emergency Door Release
Chester Zoo (self release)
This Newcastle four-piece do a very nice line in indie/rock which has got a bit of guts behind it, with Chester Zoo being a fine example. It kicks off at mid-tempo pace before moving through the gears with some urgent guitar riffs and plenty of zipping hither and thither. Very good and they’re launching it with a gig at The Cluny on 13 April. 
Released 13 April

Daniel Trim
E-Link EP (Glasgow Underground)
Deep, fulsome house music with satisfyingly thick, spacious production making it perfect for disco bunnies and headphone geeks alike. Verso’s pizzicato sparkle will make you smile, while the hi-energy intensity of Do You Really Love What You Do will keep you driving forward through the Spring showers. 
Out now

Old Toy (Gomma)
It’s been a little while since Telonius’ last outing on Gomma and it’s certainly been worth the wait. The original’s insistent, clipped grooves are set up nicely by a crisp rhythm track, and Ricardo Baez brings a slick, fluid feel that adds something new to the mix. Classy. 
Out now

Signature Soul
Love Song (Disco’s Revenge)
Debut release on this new house label from Signature Soul (which features Ed “Gusto” Greene, Scott Trent and New Jersey Natives) and it’s a real breezy, Latino flecked, hand-clapped studded delight. Deeply sensual, oozing soul and pulsating with Frankie Knuckles-esque rhythms. 
Out now

Finest Ego: Finest 12” Series Vol. 4 (Finest Ego)
Lomovolokno (come again?) goes for a grainy, atmospheric twist on the future bass thing, producing rain-speckled electronica that trades on slightly out-of-sync layers of percussion and rising synth chords. Sieren brings a slicker, more synthetic feel, taking in standard 4/4 grooves, robot soul and low slung instrumental hip hop, contributing to a nice selection of understated future beat. Released 1 April

Secret Gold 03 (Exploited)
Five tracks of superslick house from the home of superslick house, Exploited. Michelle Owen’s What Say You? bounces along at a fair old clip and Pavel Petrov goes all Ibiza 1992 on us with Violet View, but the standout track is from the ever-classy Urulu, whose It’s Over is a lesson in deep. 
Out now

Illustrious Mover (self release)
Loving the Scott-Walker-staring-moodily-out-of-a-window vocals on this startling new single from this Newcastle band who know more than a thing or two about building atmosphere. Understated grandiosity has never sounded so lovely. 
Out now

Super Heavweight EP (Glasgow Underground)
Another compilation showcasing a handful of class acts, the best being Brett Gould with his jump-up house, You Say; Fassbender with the thick minimalism of Ovr Kill; and the always welcome Romanthony with the typically twisted soul of The Wanderer. 
Out now

The Deadstock 33s
Underneath The Pines (Gomma)
Brooding vocal dance track, given the remix treatment by Ewan Pearson, who builds on the understated groove, adding just the right amount of keyboards to underscore the menacing lyrical content. The Disco Bloodbath Dub just about does away with the vocals, focusing on a growling, predatory bassline. 
Out now