Second album of Scando-Americana from Sigur Ros label-mates

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Amandine – Solace In Sore Hands

Americana always was a slightly open-ended musical sub-category, but it makes even less sense when applied to a band from Sandviken in Sweden. True, Amandine used be known as The Wichita Linemen, singer Olof Gidlöf, has a sweetly melancholic voice in the style of Neil Young or Sufjan Stevens, and some of their songs feature a banjo.

But there’s a distinct absence of twang or hee-haw. Instead, you get moments of pastoral beauty, Satie-like piano and glacial songs anchored in melodic permafrost. Country, it just ain’t.

ALASTAIR McKAY