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Jon Dennis

Andy Bell: Torsten the Bareback Saint review brave, bawdy concept album

(Cherry Red)"Freshly buggered, he braved it into school the next day" is a brave start to an album. But then Torsten the Bareback Saint, the soundtrack to Andy Bell's one-man show at the Edinburgh festival fringe, is a brave album. It tells of a journey

Lewis Watson: The Morning review non-threatening, by-the-numbers pop

In the wake of Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran , here's another young singer-guitarist and potential cover star for Lisa Simpson's Non-Threatening Boys magazine.

The Phantom Band: Strange Friend review shape-shifting mix of folk, rock, electronica and more

(Chemikal Underground) The Phantom Band's shape-shifting is disorientating. Atacama starts with a sparse acoustic guitar accompanying Rick Anthony's baritone, but before you can say King Creosote , some bubbling electronica kicks in. On their third album

The Antlers: Familiars review introspective but controlled leftfield melancholia

The Antlers ' fourth album, Familiars, adds soul to their melancholia, with mournful horns and clipped, Steve Cropper -style guitar figures rather than frantic indie strumming.

Tom Vek: Luck review deliciously unpredictable arrangements

"No time for an existential crisis," sings Londoner Tom Vek on The Tongue Avoids the Teeth, accompanied by Windowlicker-style electronic wobbles.

Amy LaVere: Runaway's Diary review spooky but upbeat storytelling album

(Archer) Memphis singer Amy LaVere 's longstanding penchant for storytelling songs is given free rein on Runaway's Diary, a concept album inspired by her own teenage flight from her family home. Producer Luther Dickinson gives it that spooked sound assoc

Swans: To Be Kind review perfectly listenable swamp blues

Since their emergence in New York in the 1980s, Michael Gira's Swans have enjoyed a reputation for some of the most terrifyingly bleak music imaginable.

Gruff Rhys: American Interior review wit, originality and indelible tunes

The fourth solo album by former Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys is inspired by the 18th-century explorer John Evans, who mapped the Missouri river in a vain search for a lost, Welsh-speaking American tribe.