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Rock - Released July 19, 2010 | Shepherd Moon

Manchester-based alt-rock trio I Am Kloot's fifth long player is sentimental, elegant and drenched in booze, falling somewhere in between the autumnal twilight of the Clientele and the streetlamp glow of Richard Hawley. Sky at Night unfolds over a rainy, world-weary United Kingdom, and vocalist/guitarist John Bramwell, who delivers his lines with appropriate amounts of wit and worry, can sound like an English Willie Nelson, especially on the pub torch song “To the Brink.” As fellow northern Englanders, Elbow members Guy Garvey and Craig Potter know the landscapes that Bramwell and company draw their inspiration from, and the duo’s simple, reverb-heavy production work lends added weight to album highlights “Northern Skies” and “I Still Do,” resulting in a stormy, soulful and nuanced collection of late-night last spins that get better with each rotation. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 21, 2013 | Shepherd Moon

For this follow-up to I Am Kloot's lush and focused 2010 Mercury Music Prize-nominated album Sky at Night, the Manchester indie trio wisely retained Elbow's Guy Garvey and Craig Potter as producers. However, while that record gave the Johnny Bramwell-fronted band's sound a game-changing, string-laden makeover -- in the process nodding to Robert Kirby's work for Nick Drake's Bryter Layter -- Let It All In is a comparatively down-to-earth affair. Understated and succinct, with minor flashes of the band's trademark eccentricities, the spotlight here is most certainly on the material rather than how it's presented. Bramwell's deft acoustic guitar work forms the spine of the set, while the ever tasteful rhythm section supplied by Peter Jobson and Andy Hargreaves is given fair room to shine, just as it was on their outstanding Garvey-produced 2001 debut, Natural History. There's a sleazy, burlesque feel to the opening "Bullets" -- echoing that album's "Twist" -- which accentuates all the aspects of their knowing, brooding sound that can be regarded as uniquely Kloot: modestly delivered poetic wit, delicately picked guitar, carefully brushed drums, and melodic walking bass. Elsewhere, there are inspired and welcome reminders of Bramwell's favorite imagery, most noticeably on the tender and reassuring "Shoeless" where we hear: "Don't let the clouds clutter up your sky/Let the TVs turn off their weary eyes." However, as Let It All In reaches the halfway mark, although the ensuing material is equally inventive, there's the distinct feeling that I Am Kloot have decided to pay direct tribute to many of their northwest England forbears for the remainder of the record. While the elegiac "Even the Stars" approximates Tim Booth singing a different lyric to Joy Division's "Atmosphere," "Masquerade" unashamedly nails the Rubber Soul-era Beatles sound, right down to the nasally, Lennon-esque vocal delivery. Next, on the equally '60s pop-influenced "Some Better Day," we're treated to a full-blown, rainbow-colored, kitchen-sink drama in the vein of a latter period Davy Jones-fronted Monkees track, before "These Days Are Mine" ushers in a "Tomorrow Never Knows"-style drone. So, while overall, I Am Kloot's sixth album reads like a heartfelt and stylized ten-chapter celebration of classic pop -- with the opening half consolidating Bramwell's position as one of England's most unjustifiably overlooked songwriters -- it's only a minor disappointment that four of the final five chapters included here sail dangerously close to pastiche. © James Wilkinson /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 3, 2010 | Shepherd Moon

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Rock - Released May 28, 2010 | Shepherd Moon

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Pop - Released November 12, 2010 | Shepherd Moon