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There's a very soothing country feel to opening track By The Sea, although it rarely strays from safe territory. The best the EP has to offer comes in the second half. The standout track is Wind In Sail, its lively acoustic guitar and double-tracked vocal making for a very atmospheric listen and leads very nicely into the delicately textured, Beta Band-esque Horizons.
Buy/listen to By The Sea here.
Coat Hooks – To The Water And The Wild
The main highlight is Popcorn Blues which builds and dies pleasantly with some Ebow-ed guitar. To The Staring Husks! - a poppy number reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub – is good, however Give Me Back My Keys is a bit dirty-Americana-by-numbers. Decent, but there's real potential here so a shift away from the tried-and-tested sound could see Coat Hooks become something far superior.
Buy/listen to To The Water And The Wild here.
Sonny Carntyne – Unicorns & Ghosts
This new release from the Wiseblood stable is an acoustic singer-songwriter affair, pulling together the dark edges of Sparklehorse and Nick Drake. Like Rainbow Fisher above, the best is saved for the last two tracks, with some lovely vocals on Lies Framing Snapshots. Some subtle percussion and discordant sounds on the utterly superb closing track Unicorns & Ghosts finish it off perfectly.
Buy/listen to Unicorns & Ghosts here.