Album review: Tunng, Turbines (Full Time Hobby)

There's a deceptive warmth to Tunng's Turbines, exemplified both by the description, in “Trip Trap”, of a woman as “sweet and sour, a poisonous flower”, and musically by the blend of wispy analogue synth and tingling acoustic guitar in “Heavy Rock Warning”.

Album review: Nino Machaidze, Arias & Scenes (Sony Classical)

It's not hard to understand why Nino Machaidze has become something of an overnight sensation since her 2008 breakthrough in Roméo et Juliette at Salzburg. In this selection, the Georgian coloratura soprano combines phrasing of nuanced subtlety with top notes of stunning power, ranging from the lilting, seductive “Quando men vo” from La Bohème to the impassioned gusto of her dramatic Violetta in an extended scene from La Traviata climaxing with a joyous “Sempre libera”.

Album: Georgia Ruth, Week of Pines (Gwymon)

Eisteddfod-reared singer-harpist Georgia Ruth Williams was raised bilingually in Aberystwyth, as far into Wales as you can get without falling off the edge.

The Handsome Family, Wilderness (Loose)

Album review: The Handsome Family, Wilderness (Loose)

A sort of bestiary of myth, legend and animal analogy, Wilderness uses wildlife traits as jumping-off points for enigmatic tales in typical Handsome Family manner.

Flip chart: 58th Eurovision Song Contest

The 58th Eurovision Song Contest is back this Saturday. Last time the UK, represented by Mr Humperdinck, finished second-last.

Floraleda Sacchi, Philip Glass: Metamorphosis (Amadeus Arte)

Album review: Floraleda Sacchi, Philip Glass: Metamorphosis (Amadeus Arte)

Floraleda Sacchi's harp lends itself particularly well to the minimalist logic of Philip Glass's progressions on this anthology of transpositions, never better than on the “Opening” from Glassworks, where the bass pulse beds beautifully among the mirroring figures of the theme.

Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)

Album review: Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)

There's a strange, archaic feel to the songs of head Messenger, MC Taylor, with their Biblical references and invocations to “cleave ye to the rock”.

Violinist Richard 'Ric' Sandersof English folk band Fairport Convention perform live on stage

Fairport Convention, Union Chapel, London

"You look far too young for a Fairport Convention gig," bassist Dave Pegg informs us before admitting "We need an interval now as some of us require the restroom."

Album: Marius Neset, Birds (Edition)

Young Norwegian saxophonist Neset stunned all with his extraordinarily assured debut, but this follow-up is so ambitious the stakes are raised sky high.

Devendra Banhart, Mala (Nonesuch)

Album review: Devendra Banhart, Mala (Nonesuch)

Devendra Banhart's last few albums left little impression, and despite moving to Warners' artists colony Nonesuch, his latest seems unlikely to arrest that trajectory.

British group: Mumford & Sons

Brit Awards 2013: No wild things from a music scene in the wilderness of mediocrity

Emeli Sandé, happily, doesn't look like an identikit winner, but she does sound an awful lot like Adele

Album review: Various Artists, Reason to Believe: the Songs of Tim Hardin (Full Time Hobby)

Just as he was, by all accounts, an unpleasant man blessed with enviably beautiful gifts, so do Tim Hardin's songs clothe often unwelcome sentiments in gorgeous melodies.

He will still rock you: Queen's Freddie Mercury

Online music archives: Net gains for those who love rare rockers

There are sites full of undiscovered gems emerging online all the time

Simon English: Will Tucker show new boy Carney the ropes?

Outlook Spare a thought for Paul Tucker, who had every reason to think he was a shoo-in to replace Sir Merv at the helm of the Bank of England, an institution he understands as well as anyone.

Bon Iver, Wembley Arena, London

A venue brimming with 12,000 people does not immediately appear to be the most suitable setting for a singer/songwriter who made his name with an album created in solitude, whilst holed up in a cabin in deepest Wisconsin.

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

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'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
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This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
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Songs from the bell jar

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King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
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End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

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Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

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