Everything We Ever Thought We'd Ever Want, Me & You, Well, It Just Came Through. I Am Kloot, Sky At Night.

The musical fertility of Manchester soil's indubitable, although there's a disparity in the seeds that have sprouted from beneath its redbrick alleys, primarily in how primordial a number of the city's vast array of acts actually are. Looking the wrong way at whichever Appleton it is going out with a Gallagher at any one time whilst sipping on a cherry beer in Big Hands or catching Bez on a bad pill in the Ha├žienda way back when, you'd be forgiven for fearing most Manc musicians. That said, there's a unique tenderness pumping through its off-kilter counter culture, namely the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, Doves, Elbow and, um... Starsailor, Simply Red and David Gray. That said, maybe best to discard the final three...

John Bramwell's I Am Kloot can quite convincingly count themselves amongst such downtrodden manufacturers of a bewilderingly euphoric melancholy, perhaps set to lead the pack following the release of their umpteenth LP, Sky At Night (July 5th). Opener Northern Skies sets the discordant tone that streams through the record like a trickling river on a bed of luscious harmonies and cracked vocal chords, an idyllic stomp to soundtrack wooded stargazing, whilst To The Brink sounds akin to Richard Hawley were he filled with a tad more hope and glory than the blazing Sheffield steelworks have invoked in his swooning baroque retro rock. Lately recalls The Polyphonic Spree squeezing into a shed to record Spiritualized covers, The Moon Is A Blind Eye is Alex Turner's attic vinyl stash gone gospel perhaps requiring an anti-depressant or two and the saxophone bombast of Same Shoes falls just about on the licit side of old hat. Whilst Sky At Night may not be an LP to delve into whilst within reach of the medicine cupboard, nor the wine cellar for that matter, Bramwell's songwriting is rooted in a perturbing almost arresting ability to pinpoint sumptuous melodies Britt Daniels would quite enthusiastically slurp up with his Spoon, compiled of galloping rim shots, giddy strings scaling the uttermost heights of fingerboards and choruses capable of yanking you back from most cliff edges. The record's centrepiece however, Radiation, is the sort of sprawling, six-minute passion stirrer the band have threatened to spurt out for around a decade, with the limbs aloft almost pragmatic exhilaration it egresses, as strings, horns and tambourines bid for cognizance over Bramwell's hurtling affirmation of "Everything we ever thought, we'd ever want, me and you, well it just came through. It just came true." I Am Kloot may well have just arrived at exactly where both they and we really wished they'd got to many, many moons ago.