Album Review BNQT - Volume 1

BNQT - Volume 1

Very much an album in Eric Pulido’s image.

Rating:

It’s hard not to wonder whether there’s something fundamentally flawed about the concept of a supergroup, because they so rarely seem to add up to anything like the sum of their parts. Perhaps the way to go about it is to approach these kinds of projects the way that BNQT have. They’re led by Midlake’s guitarist-turned-frontman Eric Pulido, who enlisted Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell, Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle and - perhaps slightly incongruously - Travis’ Fran Healy.

So, five vocalists, ten tracks, two written and sung by each. Remarkably, ‘Volume 1’ sounds far more cohesive than that setup might suggest; it’s very much an album in Pulido’s image, with a lot of the songs taking on that psych-tinged folk slant that serves as Midlake’s calling card (the rest of the group are the backing band, which might explain it). 

The quality of the songwriting is uneven, and the real intrigue comes from hearing the likes of Kapranos and Lytle in decidedly unfamiliar territory; Bridwell’s contributions, ‘Unlikely Force’ and ‘Tara’, sound like Band of Horses offcuts. The Franz man’s ‘Fighting the World’, which closes the album, is a languid affair that simmers with quiet drama, whilst Lytle makes a pleasing excursion outside of his comfort zone on the instrumentally lush, string-heavy ‘Failing at Feeling’. Ultimately, though, it’s Pulido’s steady hand that brings an assured, if occasionally slight, album together where there was so much potential for these heavyweights to step on each other’s toes. 

Read More

Striking silver: Crows

Striking silver: Crows

After several years spent making waves on the live circuit, London post-punks Crows are finally gearing up to release their debut – with some notable mates on board to help.

Nilüfer Yanya: Space Oddity

Nilüfer Yanya: Space Oddity

Solidifying all her early promise on gorgeously rich debut album ‘Miss Universe’, Nilüfer Yanya confronts the paranoia of the social media generation, marking herself out as truly special new voice.

Self Esteem: Independent Woman, Part 2

Self Esteem: Independent Woman, Part 2

For the best part of a decade, Rebecca Taylor was one half of indie folk duo Slow Club. Now, she’s setting her powerhouse pipes free with a solo pop project full of humour, sass and wild ambition.