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5 Nottingham Albums to Listen to This Month

15 June 20 words: LeftLion

The sounds of Notts, reviewed. If you'd like to write for us, or want your tunes chatted about, get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Various Artists 
Notts Very Long Songs (album)
Forty tracks – each just thirty seconds long – make up the latest release from the I’m Not From London crew (made as a collaborative effort with Adventure Mayhem Promotions); if anyone was going to pull off something so barmy but brilliant it was always going to be these guys. All proceeds help our local heroes too, donated to key workers as nominated via the Nottstopping festival. 

Perfect for when our attention spans are waning, there’s no genre left uncovered in this patchwork quilt of creative skits. Responding to the same brief, outputs range from Barry Paul H’s dream-state jazz number, Postcard From My Living Room, to the adrenaline rush of Mindset’s Goosefair. The singalong guitar strums of NHS SONG from Myles Knight offer a more obvious tribute, alongside the soothing sounds of Charity Stow’s Right Now. Richard C. Bower treats us to some grounding spoken word in Tonight, where Tim Trampeater pushes things to the limits in the 15-second, I Love My Mum. Eileen Pegg

Various Artists
Circle of Light (Album)
Nearly a year on from when these young adults started what would become a life-changing and career-forming summer workshop, the fruits of their labour are now ready to listen to in physical form (or digitally, if that’s what you prefer, duck). Twenty eclectic tracks, united by a remarkably honest approach to baring all in each song – it’s been hard to ignore this busy youth music charity group since the beginning, and with this record, they’ve created a slab of local cultural history. Eileen Pegg

Lawrence Country
Frailty of Humans (Album)
Combining the sound of Americana with stories from their native Nottinghamshire, this is the third album from the newly re-monikered six-piece, Lawrence County. Using gentle banjo, guitar and fiddle sounds, they switch seamlessly from traditional folk songs to contemporary politics, with a certain US president in their sights on Bye Bye Americae. Full of foot-stomping tales of local life – Dry Stone Wall and Lights Go Out are highlights – it's a stellar record that defies genre. Bagthorpe bluegrass, perhaps? Nick Parkhouse

Peace Garden (Album)
There’s been a clear evolution in Bakes’ sound, from grime-inspired hip-hop he first released, to the low-fi trip hop of Peace Garden. Featuring collabs with Harvs Le Toad, Lazy Eyez and Slacs Bianci, he combines poignant lyrics with skilled musicianship and eclectic sampling. Smoke Away establishes the album’s easy-going mood while standout track, Magical Koi, takes us from Japanese pop culture to a haunting saxophone lament, to the peace garden referenced in the album’s title. Molly Dodge Taylor

TJ Mystique
Love Hurts (single)
Described as ‘upbeat indie-soul’, funky basslines blend with melodic harmonies, offering a contrast to the melancholic lyrics that tell the story of heartbreak. From funky R&B soul to guitar riffs reminiscent of Mac DeMarco, the relaxed sound disguises the bitterness of the lyrics. As TJ Mystique’s third single, Love Hurts is both impressive and a promising look at what’s in store for this relative newcomer to the scene. Molly Dodge Taylor

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