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Ghost Canyon

Title - How Are You Coping With This Century?
Artist - Novelty Island

For those unaware, this 2021 debut album from Liverpoolís Novelty Island is a highly enjoyable trip through sunny, quasi-psychedelic songcraft across tracks with titles like Cowboy On A Bicycle and Blackcurrant Sky.

Entitled How Are You Coping With This Century? (and released thru Think Like A Key Music), others songs with insistent alt-pop credentials abound, such as the Graham Coxon-indebted Michael Afternoon and the free flow of the one-day recordings such as album opener This Bird.

Indeed, the album is entirely other, yet cloaked in a warm-blanket of familiarity. Criss-crossed with cello, harmonium, horns and banjo, How Are You Coping With This Century? is an engine of parts that appear random, yet purrs with cultured reliability.

1. This Bird
2. Cowboy On A Bicycle
3. Michael Afternoon
4. Ladybird
5. Jangleheart
6. Blackcurrant Sky
7. Citrus Wood
8. Listen
9. Blank Wine
10. Iíll Sleep In April
11. Turtle Rock
12. Yes

This beautifully crafted and heartfelt ode to the pure consciousness of music, opens on the gentle pop-bounce of This Bird and the jaunty, joyfully atmospheric Cowboy On A Bicycle and backs those up with the harder edged, mid-tempo rock of Michael Afternoon, the lushly orchestrated Ladybird and then we get both the foot-tapping í70s rock of Jangleheart and the Beatles-esque psych-swirls of Blackcurrant Sky.

The transportive Citrus Wood and the amiable soft rock piano and tambourine flow of Listen are up next and are seamlessly followed by the soft gossamer of Blank Wine, the drum-led AOR of Iíll Sleep In April, the album closing on the alt-guitar rock of Turtle Rock, closing on the vocally harmonious, melodically enchanting Yes.

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