Lou Rhodes – theyesandeye (Released 22nd July)

£17.99 – LP

After six albums with electronic genre-benders Lamb and three solo albums to date, including the Mercury nominated “Beloved One”, Rhodes’ capacity as a songwriter and interpreter of songs is fully road-tested but never formulaic.

Lou Rhodes’ fourth solo album defies categorisation. Yes, there are elements of the singer-songwriter roots she bathed in growing up but these are embroidered with a rich palette of stark piano, vocal layering, transcendent harp and strings all wrapped up within a heady smattering of vintage reverbs.

“I had a bunch of songs”, says Rhodes, “but I wasn’t sure which way to go with them. I had a gut feeling I wanted to experiment with a slightly psychedelic feel and, by chance, met up with Simon Byrt (co-producer) in a friend’s studio. It turned out that he has a strange passion for vintage spring and tape echoes and, before long, we’d decided to make a record together.”

Recorded in that same friend’s studio in rolling Wiltshire countryside crammed full of an analogue nerd’s paradise of vintage desks (one of which was used in the Beach Boys “Smile Sessions”), microphones and tape machines supplemented by Byrt’s own collection of reverb boxes. Acoustic guitar was played by Rhodes, additional guitar, bass, piano and synths by Byrt, abstract pedal steel by Ian Kellet, drums by Nikolaj Bjerre, string arrangements by Danny Keane and harp by Tom Moth.

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