It’s nice to shake things up from time to time and one of the recent Uncut CDs pointed me in the direction of a couple of records I would otherwise never have heard.

‘The House That Jack Built’ by Jesca Hoop seems perched somewhere between St Vincent and Catlow. It’s a record of ambitious arrangements with songs often taking unexpected turns. The track on the Uncut CD ‘When I’m Asleep’ is a good example. It starts off like a folky PJ Harvey but morphs into a big chorus with layered vocals. This schizophrenia is typical of a record that’s not easily categorised record – it’s a very modern sounding record, there’s some indie rock but equally some tracks which lean quite heavily on dance and rhythms.

It’s a record that I’ve been enjoying as a whole for a while now but I’m not sure I’ve really got a favourite track on it. And that lack of a couple of killer tunes could be something that will result in me moving on from it when other things come along. Time will tell.

Jesca is actually playing the Electric Circus in Edinburgh tomorrow (Tuesday 25th). I’m actually really tempted to go but am not going to be able to go due to parenting duties .

Family of the Year’s LP ‘Loma Vista’, sourced from the same compilation, certainly doesn’t lack at least one killer tune but, for me at least, it’s not nearly as consistent a record.

‘The Steps’ the opening tune is the perfect blend of Californian pop and alt.rock, which gives the song a slight edge that really puts it into my range of appreciation.

But nothing else on the album has jumped out at me in the same way. These guys certainly know their way round a catchy tune or nine but, by emphasising the Californian pop side of things, it ends up rather saccharine for my tastes.

It’s not the first time that I’ve found that the most obvious song on one of these compilations doesn’t necessarily point to the best album. And if there was anyone weighing up these two alternatives, I’d unhesitatingly point you in Jesca’s direction.

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