Dave Simpson

Annie Lennox: Nostalgia review poignant renditions of pre-rock standards

(Island)Rod Stewarts mega-successful Great American Songbook series has become something of a blueprint for musicians at a crossroads donning a metaphorical black tie and settling into the nostalgic glow of pre-rock music standards. As the former Eurythmi

The little-known musicians behind some of music's most famous moments

Raphael Ravenscroft's sax line on Baker Street was better known than he was but hes not alone in being the little known creator of something famous.

Mark Lanegan Band: Phantom Radio review a career highlight from a gothic-grunge hero

(Heavenly)The Screaming Trees former vocalist has by now fairly firmly established himself as a kind of post-grunge/Americana Johnny Cash, with moody songs awash with tales of drug abuse, redemption and dark humour. Theres plenty of that here. Black is

Tweedy: Sukierae review eerie, personal and devotional

(DBPM)After almost 30 years in music with his bands Uncle Tupelo and Wilco and work in genres from alt-country to electronic psychedelia Jeff Tweedy has finally made his first solo album, with his 18-year-old son Spencer on drums. Conceived as a doub

alt-J : This Is All Yours review sublime hooks and textures

(Sony)Two years after carrying off the Mercury Music prize for An Awesome Wave, alt-J arent exactly pandering to the needs of an unexpected mainstream audience. Minus departed bassist Gwil Sainsbury, their second album exhibits the playful adventure Radi

Allah-Las: Worship the Sun review west-coast psychedelic pop

After attracting attention a couple of years ago for bringing about the return of 1960s-inspired guitar pop, Los Angeless Allah-Las could be entitled to feel a bit miffed that their former support band, Temples, have stolen their thunder.

Interpol: El Pintor review a cheerful return to sonic murk and doom

Since 2010's eponymous fourth album, New York's sharpest-dressed miserabilists have taken a lengthy hiatus and lost talismanic bassist Carlos Dengler and brief replacement David Pajo, while frontman Paul Banks has been solo and dabbling in rap.

Twin Atlantic: Great Divide review wistful stadium rock with heart

"You can tell that the youth of today have lost their voice/ No questions, we just accept what we're taught," sings Sam McTrusty on The Ones That I Love, opening Twin Atlantic's third album.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow: Sea When Absent review beautiful sonic collage

Twenty-two years ago, Nostradamic pop critic Simon Reynolds predicted that pop music would become a game of mix-and-match rather than great leaps forward, as artists would fuse genres and sounds together to create new music.

Jamie T review triumphant return of a modern original

"I'm pretty nervous. I've forgotten how to play everything," Jamie Treays, AKA Jamie T, told a radio interviewer recently, ahead of this long-awaited live return in an intimate venue.