Album: Tired Pony, The Place We Ran From (Fiction)

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The Independent Culture

Gary Lightbody, for the last Snow Patrol record, decamped to Hansa Studios in Berlin to tap into a little of that Bowie/Eno magic.

This side-project finds him half a world away, making the kind of album that sounds like it was released on Asylum Records in the 1970s, full of 12-string, slide guitar and mandolin-driven folk-rock; with a few bluegrass touches splashing a little dust on its denim as Lightbody muses wistfully upon livin', lovin' and movin' on, that holy trinity of the Confessional Songwriter. Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Jacknife Lee make for perfect fellow-travellers on the project, which routes the vintage California Cowboy influences through a modern sensibility incorporating minimalist pulses and ambient background textures. Though equally sombre, the result is preferable to Snow Patrol.

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