There’s a cracking batch of new releases for 10 March. The Navigator by Hurray For The Riff Raff is the cinematic tale of a wandering soul and can be read as a kind of concept album, which in this case is a good thing! The Shins’ first album for 5 years, Heartworms, is a delight full of vivid and infectious melodies, lovely! The second album from Circa Waves is full of indie jingle-jangle and bright energy. At the other end of the musical career scale, Fairport Convention celebrate 50 years of being a band with 50:50@50, half studio and half live, with guest vocals from Robert Plant, among others. 50 Song Memorial contains one song from each year of The Magnetic Fields creator Stephen Merritt’s life spread across 5 discs, and is shot through with whimsy, sorrow, absurdity and romance. Ha Ha Tonka’s latest, Heart-Shaped Mountain, is chock-full of their trademark vocal harmonies, jangly Southern revelry and crunchy hooks, just great! Marc Almond’s Hits And Pieces is, as the title suggests, a best-of plus, a 2-CD evocation of one of the most distinctive singers and songwriters in Britain.
Our album of the week is Semper Femina, which represents a soaring career high for the monstrously talented Hampshire-born singer-songwriter Laura Marling. Her fierce intelligence pours out of this album, which is as keen, beautiful and unparalleled a take on womanhood as it’s possible to imagine.
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