HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS Bavarian Fruit Bread (Rough Trade)
Hope Sandoval was/is half of Mazzy Star, and The Warm Inventions is Colm O Ciosoig, who used to be a quarter of the late, lamented My Bloody Valentine, and "Bavarian Fruit Bread" is their first album. And if you've heard any of Mazzy Star's three albums you'll know roughly what to expect: honeyed crooning, slow motion songscapes, acoustic guitars and an air of loveliness that's not going anywhere in a hurry.
There are signs of the envelope being if not exactly pushed then at least eased open a little here. The opening track is a cover of The Jesus And Mary Chain's "Drop", and old folkie Bert Jansch drips and draws some gorgeous acoustic guitar work over an interpretation of "Butterfly Mornings", a song written by one Richard Gillis. "On The Low" is the album highlight: slinky, 16 rpm Bacharach & David loungecore punctuated by some very 60s guitar stabs, it could be Portishead in a flotation tank. And "Baby Let Me" is, uncharacteristically, a rolling instrumental piano piece.
"Bavarian Fruit Bread" is no better or worse, or more or less essential, than any Mazzy Star album, but in appealing to pretty much an identical demographic it practically recommends itself; it's lovely, dreamy music, that doesn't have, or even want, to shout to make itself heard.