TIM BURGESS - Oh No I Love You

FRESH from hosting the magnificent Tim Peaks Diner at this year’s Kendal Calling festival, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess is back with his second solo CD.

And what a beautiful album it is too. Co-written with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, the bouncing country vibe of songs such as The Doors Of Then and Anytime Minutes sits perfectly beside the blissed-out California soul of White.

And despite many of the songs detailing the universal feeling of heartbreak and loss, Burgess’s lust for life and positive spirit shines through, leaving the listener with a warm glow.

A Case For Vinyl is almost too gorgeous, while the slow-burning epic A Gain, with its gospel choir crescendo, takes the breath away.

Having achieved so much in his musical career already, most artists would be happy to rest on their laurels, but instead Burgess has gone and produced an absolute masterpiece.

CHUCK RAGAN - Covering Ground

HEAVILY influenced by Bruce Springsteen, American singer-songwriter Chuck Ragan’s latest offering is a rootsy-folk delight.

Acoustic guitars and fiddles dominate on this CD - Nomad By Fate sounds just like a late-night jam in an Irish bar, while You Get What You Give could easily have been written by The Pogues.

Fans of old-fashioned folk and protest songs will be keen to grab this album.

LAU - Race The Loser

PUSHING the boundaries of modern folk music, Lau return with their third album having enlisted the production skills of Sufjan Stevens and R.E.M. collaborator Tucker Martine.

Sparse opener Saint Monday sounds like a winter’s day on the Outer Hebrides, while The Bird That Winds The Spring encapsulates all the hope of summer and is really quite lovely indeed.

Using electronic instruments as much as the traditional folk sounds of the fiddle, guitar and accordian, Lau have proved that they were worthy winners of best group at the BBC Folk Awards for three years running.