Album review

Serene

The brainchild of Seattle-born 21-year-old Ryan Beatty, Serene's debut is nothing if not big on ambition. Beatty admits a fondness for Built To Spill and Sunny Day Real Estate, and much of the music taps into the loud/quiet dynamic and stuttering invention of the latter's How It Feels To Be Something (1998).

There are echoes of Pavement and Modest Mouse among the pulses and explosions, but it's not until the home straight that he finally sounds uninhibited, cutting loose on "Last Words Of A Fallen Angel" and relaxing into the stoner vibe of "Autumn".

Rating: 3 / 10


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Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...