Barns Courtney – 404

You might not know the Barns Courtney name, but you’ll probably know his songs Glitter And Gold and Fire from a host of sync spots on TV. He deserves to be known properly, as his music has the big personality to match Courtney’s flamboyant, Brandon Flowers-style vocals. He’s from Cambridgeshire, but is bigger in the States, where he’s regularly performed on chat shows. Small wonder  … Continue reading Barns Courtney – 404

The Rough Guide to Folk: Jake Xerxes Fussell

Upon the release of his third solo album, the delightful Out Of Sight, US folklorist Jake Xerxes Fussell walks Chris Parkin through the folk and country blues records that are important to him… One of traditional folk music’s less pleasing traits has been the tendency for its protagonists to engage in bouts of territorial pissing. But Jake Xerxes Fussell is having none of it. After … Continue reading The Rough Guide to Folk: Jake Xerxes Fussell

The Essential: Samplers

Despite often costing far less than a regular LP, many samplers have become highly collectible. Surely a definitive list of 40 is impossible? Step forward Mark Sampson… The birth of the sampler album is generally attributed to Jac Holzman, the head of Elektra Records. With no budget for advertising, he looked for other ways of promoting his catalogue (then) of folk and world music. Always … Continue reading The Essential: Samplers

The 60 Greatest Debut Albums Of All Time

Some artists develop their sound over the course of a long career, working gradually towards a creative peak, while others hit the ground running and deliver a fully realised masterwork at the first time of asking. And it’s the latter group we pay tribute to here as  Gary Tipp names vinyl’s greatest debut albums… Debut albums have several advantages over what follows in a band’s … Continue reading The 60 Greatest Debut Albums Of All Time

Genre Hopping: Female-fronted pioneers

The women of garage rock, grunge pop and indie have been busy. Chris Parkin celebrates a slew of tremendous new vinyl releases. There’s only one rule concerning album announcements: don’t do it on the same day that Sleater-Kinney reveal to the world they’re recording a new album with Annie Clark (aka St Vincent). At least that’s the “note-to-self” that Mary Timony – Carrie Brownstein and … Continue reading Genre Hopping: Female-fronted pioneers