Album review

Erin McKeown - Grand

McKeown's studio debut, Distillation, was a wonderful, homespun affair that sounded like a one-woman version of The Be Good Tanyas. The follow-up is even better—echoing with touches of brass, Hammond B3 and Django-style guitar. Grand also drips with old-fashioned pop melodies, all given a noirish charm to create a record of folk-jazz-hip-hop-country-rock-swing that doesn't quite fit anywhere. There are perhaps hints of Rickie Lee Jones, Ani DiFranco, Dan Hicks and Tom Waits. But after just two albums proper, McKeown has forged a quite unique musical identity for herself.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...