MP3: Transient Colour Glories
Trouble Books falls from the speakers like swirling orange leaves. Soft-focus and heart-meltingly gentle, "The United Colours Of..." is a perfect autumnal record, wrapping itself around you like a warm blanket. Comforting, considered, wholesome, sweet, funny and more than a little bit twee, the album embraces elements of folk, post-rock, melodic pop, and even a burst of noise or two, to create something enduring and nigh-on perfect.
Fuck Buttons follow up their breakthrough album Street Horrrsing with Tarot Sport, a seven-track epic produced by Andy Weatherall. The first single Surf Solar seemed to suggest a heavier techno-influenced direction, but thankfully Tarot Sport is rich and varied, flitting between airy, psychedelic repetitions and shattering rhythms, staccato melodies and tectonic planes of distortion. The heightened production values add a gloss to the sound, but this is a Fuck Buttons record through and through - optimistic, wide-eyed, emotionally generous and sonically powerful.
Listen / order the double vinyl
MP3: Below It
Portland's Peter Broderick was a quiet revelation at Green Man Festival this year. He takes the familiar solo-loop-pedal-guy format and does something genuinely interesting with it, flicking with ease between instruments to create beguiling, haunted, gradually unfurling songs. "Home" is an extremely pleasant listen; thoughtful and gently engaging throughout.
Town & Country, for such a long running project, are a pretty obscure band. Then only mention on eMusic is for a more recent band of the same name, with some comments from disgruntled fans. A little further research shows that they have disbanded and now operate under the monicker DRMWPN. But Town & Country's output was phenomenal, nonetheless. I first found them supporting Godspeed You Black Emperor on the F#A#∞ tour: a hushed little bubble of rapt admirers watched in a sold-out room teeming with chattering, drunk Mancunians. Town & Country played on, sharing conspiratorial smiles with the attentive few. Their purposeful instrumentals slowly unfolded, melding together traditional folk ensemble instrumentation with elements of upbeat post-rock and earthy jazz. "It All Has To Do With It" was duly bought from the merch stand, and at this time of the year it sounds better than ever.