I'm just getting my head around the new Elliott Smith compilation, and there's a lot to take in. "New Moon" features 24 songs stretched over two CDs, dating from the mid '90s. Ostensibly, I guess they're demos; mostly Smith plus acoustic guitar recorded without fuss at a variety of basements in the Portland area. But the clarity and quality is obviously stronger. Like everything Smith released in his lifetime, these are stealthy, insidious songs that are worth living with.


Read More >>

Perhaps he's been inspired by the way his other half, Joanna Newsom, goes about her work. Perhaps he's up to some clever contract shenanigans. Whatever the real reason, it's pretty easy to read high creative significance into Bill Callahan's decision to drop the Smog brand and release this fine new album, "Woke On A Whaleheart", under his real name.


Read More >>

I've been thinking some more about that new Wilco album, not least in response to a post from someone called Andrew. "It appears every thinking American songwriter," he writes "has been listening to Midlake's "The Trials Of Van Occupanther" and decided that America and Fleetwood Mac circa "Rumours" and "Tusk" are the way forward."


Read More >>

Jeff Tweedy has always been a perverse bugger. When Wilco became the toast of the Americana classes, Tweedy did everything in his considerable power to disassociate himself from the scene. He made the two greatest albums of his career, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and "A Ghost Is Born", and saw his band hailed as so adventurous as to be virtually avant-garde. Clearly, though, being stereotyped as a radical is starting to get on his nerves.


Read More >>

You know, up until a couple of weeks ago, I never thought I'd want to play a Bright Eyes record ever again. Their early records had sounded naive, passionate and interesting. But Conor Oberst's default schtick soon lost it's charm for me, closer resembling a kind of whingeing verbal diarrhoea. I know he was still pretty young - he's only about 27 now - but his pretensions still seemed rooted in adolescence, like a clever 16-year-old trying to cram all the ideas, images and words he knows into one song.


Read More >>

"Brianstorm", the new Arctic Monkeys single, turned up in the Uncut office yesterday, and it's a relief to report that our first impressions weren't wrong. It's good.


Read More >>

Thanks to all your responses over the past few days. A couple of people have asked me to write about the Kings Of Leon and Modest Mouse albums, both of which I have here. But to be honest, I'm not hugely keen on either (save the first track of the Kings album, "Knocked Up", which is the best thing they've done by far). The point of Wild Mercury Sound, I guess, is simply to write about things I care for.


Read More >>

I suspect few records released in 2007 are going to provoke as much argument as this second Arcade Fire album, "Neon Bible". A week before the official release date, you can already feel it coming, as inexorable as the tidal waves and imprecations of doom that fill Win Butler's lyrics.


Read More >>

Thanks for all your comments on the Arctic Monkeys blog. Hopefully, I should have my own copy of the album in a few weeks, and I'll post something more considered than last week's effort once I've listened to it more than once. In the meantime, I figured I should allay one or two fears.


Read More >>

So we’re sitting in Domino’s new offices, somewhere on an industrial estate in Wandsworth. There’s a train track outside one window, a gas holder outside the other, and some old Pavement and Sebadoh posters on the floor. Then there’s this massive crash of very heavy drums and guitars. The new Arctic Monkeys album has started, it seems.


Read More >>

Newsletter


Editor's Letter

Some more thoughts on Kate Bush and Alice Gerrard


On Sunday, Kate Bush inadvertently staged a one-woman assault on the British charts. This week, 11 records in the Official UK Albums Chart are by Bush – not bad, really, for a woman who has only really released nine new studio albums in the past 36 years.

Apart...