VARVARA Go [Release date 23.02.18]

Hailing from Finland (the most exciting thing to come out of Finland since fromer Liverpool player Jari Litmanen according to one previous review), are based around guitarist/vocalist Mikko Kari. This is the band’s fourth album and is one for those who like a bit of indie rock with a punk edge.

‘Gone’ and ‘Fly Far’ are top notch indie rockers with a punk beat, whilst ‘Up To The Top’ recalls the Foo Fighters in their 90′s period. If there’s one slight drawback the album tails off slightly after the impressive first five songs on the album.

Varvara deserve to get more known outside of their native Finland and Mikko Kari’s melodic vocals ensure their songs are airplay/playlist friendly. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

I’M WITH HER See You Around

I’m With Her is a trio consisting of Crooked Still’s Aoife O’Donovan (piano/synth), Sarah Jarosz (mandolin/banjo) and Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins (fiddle/ukulele) and they are a bit of a modern folk ‘super group’.

The trio produce some stunning harmony vocals throughout the whole album, never sounding to twee and listening to say the title track, you can see why I’m With Her will attract rave reviews and fans. ‘I 89′ has a rock base, whilst ‘Game To Lose’ features more of their uplifting harmony vocals. Shades of Joni Mitchell is some of the songs, yet I’m With Her have their own distinct sound and all bar one of the songs on this album were composed by the band.

The super group tag can be the undoing of many, luckily that’s not the case here and hopefully we will get more from I’m With Her in due course. Until then, dive in the musical treat that awaits you here. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

CHIARA BERARDELLI Seamonster [Release date 02.03.18]

This is a very personal album from Glaswegian singer/songwriter Chiara Berardelli as it deals with her pain and sadness at not being able to have children. Despite the subject matter Chiara has produced an album of thoughtful, tuneful songs like the title track with its jaunty beat and folk backing. Opening song ‘Free Floating Love’ and the piano led ‘Another Planet’ recall Mercury Rev and that band’s love of a lush arrangement.

An album that grows on you after each successive listen and worthy of your precious listening time. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.

Featured Albums w/c 6 January (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JESSE DAMON Damon’s Rage (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 STORMFORCE Age Of Fear (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 GARY FLETCHER Rivers Keep Flowing (indie)

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