Warm and gentle pop from John (Wilco) Stirratt and Pat (Ryan Adams) Sansone

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Score 4

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The Autumn Defense – Circles

After Wilco’s second Mermaid Avenue project with Billy Bragg in 2000, Stirratt hooked up with Sansone to mine a mutual obsession with ’60s Cali-pop. The duo’s 2001 debut The Green Hour was a willowy affair, but this follow-up is expertly realised. Underpinned by delicately picked guitar, soft piano and the odd flurry of brass, harmonies loom and fade like headlights in fog. Sort of The Blue Nile do Bacharach and David in Topanga Canyon. Comfort music for the soul.