Album review

Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue

You realise 21-year-old singer-songwriter Lerche is a bit different when he opens his second album with a French horn instrumental. It's an act of extreme confidence but hardly misplaced, for the dozen songs that follow boast tunes that wrap themselves around you like a favourite jumper. Steeped in influences from Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks to Jeff Buckley, Lerche can do melancholic troubadour ("It's Too Late"), shiny pop perfection ("On The Tower"), woozy psychedelia ("Days That Are Over") and symphonic ballads ("It's Over"), all sung in the beguilingly lazy voice of an overgrown choirboy. Think swoonsome pop at its most non-cynical but with a left-field twist, like Rufus Wainwright or Ed Harcourt, perhaps. A real find.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...