The Sampler

Tuesday 24 February 2015, with Nick Bollinger

The Sampler for 24 February 2015

Belle Sebastian Field S ren Solk r
Belle & Sebastian. Photo Søren Solkær.

Nick Bollinger reviews a disco-tinged set from Glaswegian popsters Belle and Sebastian; the Laurel Canyon redux of Father John Misty and a symphonic folk opus from The Unthanks.


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Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance by Belle and Sebastian

Nick Bollinger reviews a disco-tinged set from Glaswegian popsters Belle and Sebastian


Belle Seabstian Girls in Peacetime Want to DanceScottish indie veterans Belle and Sebastian lean fashionably towards 80s dance-pop on their ninth album, complete with sizzling synths and party handclaps. But even when they are dancing beneath the mirror ball, the characters in Stuart Murdoch’s songs seem to be thinking about their next visit to the library, something he touched on with Emma Smith at Laneway 2015. The songs are strewn with bookish references. And though Murdoch clearly loves pop the effect of this album, while replete with bright beats and memorable hooks, is typically melancholic.

Songs Featured: The Cat With The Cream, Allie, Nobody’s Empire, The Party Line, The Power Of Three, Enter Sylvia Plath, Today (This Army’s For Peace)

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I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty

Nick Bollinger reviews The Laurel Canyon redux of Father John Misty.


Father John Mist HoneybearUnder the solo sobriquet Father John Misty, former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman channels the psychedelic folk sounds of Laurel Canyon in its 60s/70s heyday. The Canyon is also the physical the setting for songs that parody the genre, while sharing confessional details of Tillman’s own life and loves. Is this smart, multi-instrumentalist, neo-hippie trying to have a bob each way?

Songs Featured: Strange Encounter, I Went To The Store One Day, I Love You Honeybear, Bored In The USA, Nothing Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow

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Mount The Air by The Unthanks

Nick Bollinger reviews a symphonic folk opus from The Unthanks


The Unthanks Mount the AirRachel and Becky Unthank are sisters from Northumberland who started out singing old English folk songs in local folk clubs. And traditional songs are still the basis of what they do, but their music has developed into something sophisticated and almost-symphonic. On their latest album traditional English folksong dissolves in a solution of Gil Evans, Miles Davis, Benjamin Britten and Robert Wyatt.

Songs Featured: Mount The Air, Madam, Died For Love, Magpie, Foundling

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Coming Up on The Sampler

7:30 pm Tuesday 3 March: The Sampler

Nick Bollinger reviews an unusually concept-free set from The Decemberists, the last recordings of the late Pops Staples and talks to guitar hero and Womad headliner Richard Thompson.