Second album from Robin Guthrie's post-Cocteau Twins project

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Violet Indiana – Russian Doll

In the last quarter-century, very few people can truly be said to have been the architects of a new sound. My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields is one of them, and so is Robin Guthrie. Lately, he also co-founded Bella Union (initially intended as a self-sufficient home for the Cocteaus before the band split), which has released extraordinary records by Lift To Experience, Czars and, more recently, Explosions In The Sky and Laura Veirs. Crushingly, his own career seems to have run aground?not that there isn’t music on Russian Doll that’s as lovely as any he’s made, but it’s brought crashing down to earth by deeply average singer Siobhan de Mare (formerly of trip hop also-rans Mono). With all the evocative timbre of a Pop Idol finalist, she chooses the most banal melody lines possible to carry the most banal words. Frankly, she isn’t fit to share studio space with Guthrie, who should be bathing in the kind of cultish acclaim now afforded Shields.