n Love Inks E.S.P. (Hell, Yes!)
A TEXAN trio but frankly their frugal wares could have evolved anywhere.
Opening with the dinky Wave Goodbye the lyrically and musically simple approach continues through dreamy debut single Blackeye and the nagging gem Leather Glove. And therein lies the charm; like The XX there’s an organic feel to Love Inks which allows Sherry LeBlanc’s vocal warmth and a lone guitar to shine.
It’s hard not to fall a little in love with this, even if Rock On could have been recorded in a Victorian gents.
The Robot Heart The Robot Heart (Bleeding Heart Records)
TO say that Tom Marsh had lived a full life before landing in Brighton is an undertstatement.
The music born of those experiences – deaths of friends, arrests, booze and drug abuse – could have erupted into furious angst or flowed contemplative.
The latter ensued with a soulful meshing of acoustic guitars, choral layering, plaintive electronics and a hint of Sussex sunshine to deliver hopeful, filling, unusual indie folk.
Forget the title, this is a very human record.
Pete Lawrie A Little Brighter (Island)
LOOKING not unlike Sheffield’s Jon McClure, this chap is more positive than he looks. Get used to a voice that sounds like he needs a good hack, and there’s a richness as it combines with acoustic strumming and the slightly over-powering strings of opener In The End.
The Liverpool-born Welshman’s gruffness remind of Chris Rea or Ray Lamontagne as tunes sway between the mercilessly poppy All That We Keep, the Blunt-balladry of Half As Good and the troubadour-natured How Could I Complain without quite hitting the ‘complete’ button.