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‘Ghost Song’ and D’Julz redoes ‘Positive Education’. But does it need it? Bigger names also feature, as Ripperton reworks Silicone Soul’s ‘Dust Ballad II’ and Autechre spin The Black Dog’s ‘Tunnels OV Set’ off into glitchy territory. A minimal air, as might be expected, hangs over much of the work here, although Gary Beck’s ‘Tijuana’ breaks it up with some nice Latin trumpet samples. (David Pollock)

WORLD COCA TENORIO Todo Transito (self-released, www.cocatenorio.com) ●●●●●

It’s always exciting to discover a geat new singer/songwriter, especially one who, as the title of her album Todo Transito (Everything in Movement) suggests, divides her time between the tropical coast of Esmereldas, Ecuador and the somewhat cooler climes of Inverness. Coca Tenorio’s

vibrant, serenading voice moves from celebration to yearning, through melodies Andean, Latin and South American. Grounded in undulating Afro-Latin rhythms, her songs tell stories of life and love with zingy undercurrents. The musicianship is stunning and Coca Tenorio is a real find. Let’s hope we’ll hear much more of her on the Scottish scene in 2010. (Jan Fairley)

WORLD ASERE Junio Groove (Astar) ●●●●●

A thrilling disc from the Cuban group Asere, fruitfully moving on from recent work with the celebrated percussionist/producer Billy Cobham. Taking Cuba’s classic son music by the scruff, they re-earth it, filling it

with sensuous pleasure as with their tribute to its origins in ‘Oriente’: serenading vocals, terrific piano, guitars and trumpet. Their famous contemporary edge comes through in the irresistable rumba ‘Yo Nací En Un Solar’ (I Was Born In A Solar) a patois celebration of growing up in Havana’s marginal neighbourhoods. With Moorish and flamenco edges for ‘Harissa’ and ‘Sonamos Flamenco’ this must-have disc provides a good way to heat up your winter. (Jan Fairley)

POP ROCK PLASTISCINES About Love (Nylon Records) ●●●●●

The fact they came together at a Libertines concert in Paris tells you a lot about this ‘super-extra-hot’ (as frothed over by NME) all-girl French quartet, but then so do the revelations that their producer has worked with Katy Perry and their track ‘Bitch’ has already found its way into Gossip Girl. So don’t let the grungey image fool you: this lot are more The Saturdays than The Distillers. Except that and

they’re pretty good fun, though. The opening ‘I Could Rob You’ paints them as four little Warriorettes primed for violence, and from there it’s all back-alley sass (‘Bitch’) and jet- setting name checks (‘Barcelona’, ‘Coney Island’). Plus ‘Pas Avec Toi’ is entirely in French. Predictable but hook- filled, and not entirely dislikeable. (David Pollock)


Chew Lips Unicorn (Family) Poised to go off with a big *pop!*, the electropop fuzz and danceable shimmer of hotly-tipped London trio Chew Lips arrives with this debut.

The Album Leaf A Chorus of Storytellers (Sub Pop) Jon ‘Jonsi’ Birgisson of Sigur Ros mixed this gentle electro- acoustic LP, full of floaty, cinematic soundscapes and dreamy vocals from Jimmy LaValle.

Ralfe Band Bunny and the Bull Soundtrack

(Ghost Ship)

It’s a jaunty little thing this, making you want to break into a slow polka around a campfire. Like the movie Bunny and the Bull, starring Noel and Julian from The Mighty Boosh, this road-trips through Europe with mandolins, dusty pianos and accordions. Andrew Vincent Rotten Pear (Kelp) The title comes from this Torontonian song- writer’s habit of hiding festering, bittersweet lyrics (about failed Romeos and beaten punks) under a layer of likeable, heartfelt strummed melodies.

The Sunshine Underground Nobody’s Coming to Save You (City Rockers)

Once linked to the nu rave scene, the Leeds indie-rockers return with heavier sounds. They still love itchy, noisy anthems, and add gripey lyrics about British politics. Rod Jones and the Birthday Suit

A Sentimental Education

(self-released, www.rodjonesmusic. com)

It’s not too late to pre- order a limited edition copy of Rod ‘guitarist with Idlewild’ Jones’ first solo album, (physically released later this year.) Order before Tue 26 Jan and he’ll ship it out.

21 Jan–4 Feb 2010 THE LIST 67

FOLK THE BIG BLACK AND THE BLUE First Aid Kit Wichita ●●●●●

Some people are just born talented, it would seem, and so it is with the extraordinarily gifted First Aid Kit, the band consisting of teenage Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg. Aged 16 and 19 respectively, the sisters have only been playing together for a couple of years, having been originally inspired by Connor Oberst’s Bright Eyes, but despite that lack of experience, the Soderbergs’ voices have to be heard to be believed, two wondrous, earthy, mournful and uplifting sounds that intertwine with mesmerising fashion throughout this remarkable debut album.

Influenced by nu-folk outfits such as Fleet Foxes and Midlake, First Aid Kit sound somehow very modern and timeless at the same time, using stripped down acoustic guitar or organ arrangements for the most part here to place their unique vocals to the fore. This is none more obvious than on opener ‘In the Morning’, a stunning and haunting partially a cappella lament which paves the way for a display of mature songwriting filled with the sorrows of the world, dripping with a heartbreak and disillusion that the Soderbergs’ voices lend a brutal kind of authenticity.

From the exaltation of atheism in recent single ‘Hard Believer’ to the

sublime country-gospel rattle of ‘Josefin’, it’s astonishing stuff, and despite the appropriation of old American folk and country sounds by a couple of Swedish girls with a combined age of less than Will Oldham, it’s somehow utterly convincing. Talent such as this can’t be taught, it’s a gift, one which First Aid Kit are putting to awe-inspiring use. (Doug Johnstone)

Most of the songs work quite well in his signature style (and hey, you can follow the words). His core trio is augmented by several guests, including saxophonist Bob Malach, trumpeter Michael Leonhart and Georgie Fame, who plays organ on a laid- back ‘Rainy Day Women’. (Kenny Mathieson)

HOUSE VARIOUS ARTISTS Soma Compilation 2010 (Soma) ●●●●● This latest taste-of-the- label comp demonstrates precisely who has been making waves on Slam’s Glasgow-based label over the last year. It’s very much a family affair this time out as the label’s signees and

associates remix each other all over the place. Slam themselves take on Samuel L. Session’s ‘Can You Relate’, while Joris Voorn tackles their