Review: This weeks CD releases
Suede – Night Thoughts: Perennial outsiders Suede cement their comeback (after 2013’s Bloodsports) with this, their 7th studio album which finds the band older and wiser. Lead singles Outsiders and Like Kids could be from any Suede album from the last 20 years, but there’s a renewed confidence that comes with this familiarity. Frontman Brett Anderson still has the verve and all the moves, his voice fragile in the trademark ballads, longing in I Don’t Know How To ReachYou, and arch in the glam swagger of the album’s rockier tracks. Night Thoughts won’t convert many new fans, but for the faithful – and there are still many of those – it’s proof that the band are here to stay, and as relevant to those who care as ever. Lee Burrett
Tuff Love –Resort:Tuff Love aren’t afraid of having a confrontational identity. The Glasgow-based duo, Julie Eisenstein and Suse Bear named their first three EPs Junk, Dross and Dregs, and the 15 tracks across those are repackaged on Resort. Trashy it isn’t. Eisenstein and Bear count Paisley Paolo Nutini among their growing fan base and hitched a ride as support to reformed shoegazers Ride last year, taking their fuzzy, sun-warped songs to supersized audiences. Written, performed and produced in Bear’s flat, Resort’s songs offer a certain bedsit charm. Opener Sweet Discontent sets Tuff Love an early high bar, thanks to its slow-fast clatter and frenetic energy coupled with somewhat oblique, subtly dark lyrics. They sometimes clear that bar and occasionally drop just short. John Skilbeck
Seafret – Tell Me It’s Real: The ebbing tides, crashing waves and craggy cliff-tops of Seafret’s Yorkshire homeland form the bedrock of their debut album. Tell Me It’s Real is a record deeply rooted in the natural elements and human emotion. This is fragile, lovelorn folk. The acoustic duo from Bridlington came to our attention with single Oceans. But the debut album shows that Oceans was no one-off. Delicate finger-picking weaves around melancholy tales of star-crossed love. The themes are weighty – still needing someone you can no longer love; life pulling apart a relationship at the seams; the displacement and alienation of leaving your hometown for the bright lights. Their acoustic sound is spare and stripped back, but at the same time capable of soaring to majestic heights. Shane Gladstone
Sia – This is Acting: It’s hard to better a song as beautifully crafted as Sia’s Chandelier, but here’s she’s not far off the same powerful polish. On the first two tracks at least... Bird Set Free smacks into you with all the force of a magpie crashing into a window, feathers flying, claws scrambling against the glass, while Alive builds epically, Sia’s voice breaking and squawking magnificently on the bridge. They’re both certifiable pop smashes, but then things begin to slide into the realm of generic club bangers. Reaper and House On Fire pull things back into focus, switching up the tempo and cranking up the sense of longing, but in the end it doesn’t all quite come together. There’s no doubt Sia can write a cracking chorus though – and that voice, it just towers over you. Ella Walker
Lalo – Piano Trios:Though French by birth, Edouard Lalo, was mainly influenced by the Germanic music of Mendelssohn and Schumann, this split affinity largely accounting for today’s neglect.
Now the Leonore Piano Trio, created by members of the Sheffield-based Ensemble 360, bring to our attention his three completed trios on one generously filled disc. In their hands these are passionate, dramatic and often red-blooded scores, each in three movements, and with moments of repose that feature long flowing lyric passages for Gemma Rosenfield’s immaculate cello playing. Yet Lalo gives the pianist most the big and meaty passages greatly relished by Tim Horton. I promise you a revelatory release very well recorded (Hyperion CDA 68113). David Denton