Marshmallow

Album of the year according to The Go-Betweens' McLennan and Forster

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Ah, autumnal strum and well-turned couplet, chime and vaulting chorus. Much as scouring the pirate radio waves to keep up with the latest avanturban musics (anyone for eight-bar?) has an eternal appeal, you can’t beat ’em. New Zealander Alan Gregg, formerly of Kiwi favourites The Mutton Birds, has crafted 11 songs whose lightness of touch is matched by their casually heart-melting profundity. Songs that delight in little sensory details (“You can smell the bread baking”), a devastatingly neat sense of rhyme, and the domestic push-and-pull of love. For anyone who’s had their heart alternately broken and buttered by Stephen Duffy’s Lilac Time (“Be careful not to use/All of your’I love yous’/On the first one who makes an offer you cannot refuse”, from “Anytime Soon”, is pure Duffy), The Go-Betweens and Fountains Of Wayne, Marshmallow is a lifetime of Christmas mornings.

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