Album review

Nickel Creek - This Side

Since their eponymous 2000 debut, Nickel Creek seem to have undergone a Popstars-esque makeover, all tousled barnets, wide-leg denims and moody photo ops. The vision, however, remains gloriously unaffected. To believe music this steeped in warm country earth yet determinedly shorn of revivalism flows from three sprites barely out of their teens is some feat. Again guided by producer Alison Krauss, This Side expands on their intricate acoustic shanties by occasionally plugging in the amps and stretching bluegrass, indie and folk over a thrillingly realised canvas. And still not a banjo in sight.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...