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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At some point in October, I started receiving emails from record labels and publicists about their Tips For 2015. A new year loomed, distantly, and with it the annual music business imperative to embrace a tranche of new artists. Around the same time, the 2014 Mercury Prize hoopla culminated...