Ben Christophers – The Spaces In Between

Wolverhampton maverick's third album

The Blue Nile – High

Another lengthy hiatus, another Blue Nile album. Here Paul Buchanan revisits the same spot on the hillside overlooking the evening city lights, is still filled with the same surging, oblique melancholy and longing that has sustained The Blue Nile since 1984, is still crafting singularly mature MOR in a darker shade of turquoise all his own. This time, however, the overall return feels diminished in effect—"I Would Never", for instance, trespasses dangerously close to U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".

Joss Stone – Mind, Body And Soul

Sophomore effort from Devon's teenage would-be-soul empress

Embrace – Out Of Nothing

Long-lost Yorkshiremen's rousing return

East London upstarts' audacious LP

Full Glottal

Icelander moves into new career phase with experimental vocal fantasies


Debut from raw Lincoln leather lads, seemingly in production since 1938

Grand Drive – The Lights In This Town Are Too Many To Count

Fourth album from leading UK Americana exponents

Twenty-ninth solo album from original Van Der Graaf generator

Clayhill – Small Circle

Folk-rock that nods to both the present and the past

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Among several profitable distractions during the festive break, I enjoyed following a Twitter thread about old Uncut CDs. Among...