But while ‘If You Wait’ serves up similarly chilly, ethereal sadscapes, they lack any of the Putney trio’s tears-on-the-dancefloor verve. Muffled drums crunch like fallen leaves underfoot while chiming guitar lines glide through the mix, but it feels undercooked and repetitive: little flourishes, from the Rhodes licks of opener ‘Hey Now’ to the dub guitar clatter of ‘Flickers’, fail to break up the sullen monotony.
Soaring above it all is front-woman Hannah Reid’s sublime vocal, which moves effortlessly between an unassuming Joni Mitchell-esque falsetto and diaphragm-straining Florence Welch theatrics. But she’s let down by listless lyrics about crumbling relationships and bittersweet late-night rendezvous that are so nondescript they’re not worth quoting. ‘If You Wait’ is a slick affair and not without its downbeat charm, but it’s incurably samey and skin-deep: an album that leaves you cold. Buy this album here
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In case you didn’t know, Scandinavia is cool right now. The food, the fashion, the facial hair – plus the Vikings have invaded the British Museum. All we need next is a healthy economy, a reliable public transport system and a sense of social justice, and London will be indistinguishable from Oslo. Meanwhile in Hackney, there’s yet another Northern European-inspired incursion. Or apparently so: the website claims this bar-restaurant-club draws on ‘a Nordic aesthetic’, although it’s not immediately obvious within. Oslo occupies the previously deserted old Hackney rail station and takes on a bit of a railway theme with its luggage-rack lighting, plus there are industrial stylings that give the whole place a Janet Jackson ‘Rhythm Nation’ video feel. The restaurant part is rather fancy, its food incorporating a few of the forages, pickles, jellies and marinations of New Nordic cooking. The kitchen is regularly given over to guest chefs, and you have to book – it’s always heaving. Eat in the bar and the food is more straightforward. Where once the standard snack in pubs was a toastie, sausage roll or pork pie, now it’s the slider or fried chicken. These are served alongside frankly obscene portions of chips, slathered with the likes of cured bacon fat and bacon salt, or braised oxtail, gravy and cheese. There’s a commendable range of craft beers from the vicinity, including a couple from Five Points Brewing just five minutes up the road at the Downs.Head upstairs and you’ll find a
Venue says: “Join us every Thursday night until late for Soul Soul Soul – a night of vinyl appreciation with DJs playing soul, funk, disco and more.”