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This Nottingham six-piece formed around the nucleus of husband and wife team Mark Rolfe and Sharon Cohen-Rolfe and upon hearing their fourth album we're a little upset that we missed out on the previous three. Even a glance though references, inspirations and comparisons on their press release makes Lorna sound as though they're going to have an excellent sound. They even mention Teenage Fanclub's 'Songs From Northern Britain', one of the most undervalued albums of the 1990s. Other bands? Camera Obscura, Belle & Sebastian, Stereolab... they're coming from the right place.
Words are fine of course, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating, and in this case we'd happily go back for seconds. Much of 'Heart Of Wire' is soft, delicate and tender, perhaps contrasting the hollow, emotionless seeming title. 'Sounds We Hear' is as rich as some of the best dreampop going and its chorus is awash with voices, flutes and a velvety smooth backing. 'November Kicks Again' is apparently a reworking of one of Lorna's early songs, yet it could easily be a reworking of one of Belle & Sebastian's early songs. The Scots are clearly an influence on 'Mina and Marco' too, as is, apparently, Edward Elgar, as the song borrows a passage from one of his works.
It's not all lying in the clouds half asleep though, lovely as that side of the band is. They up the pace for the pristine indiepop of 'As She Goes By' which uses subtle orchestration that should have no trouble in capturing a few hearts, and talking of indiepop, it doesn't come much more beautifully sung than on 'Old Shanklin Sunset' or the string-adorned lament 'Whose Idea'. 'Whatever Happened To Andie Walsh?' is a minor diversion, almost delving into kraut or drone-rock, all done with a very sweet tune that uses many instruments, but all in perfect moderation. Adding further diversity is 'What Took You So Long?' where male vocals take the lead and again the tempo is increased a little. By the time we reach the splendid last track 'Chasing Army', it's become apparent that not only is this an album that's so fragile it might break if you breathe on it, but it's one that should be treasured in much the same way
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