To call Sky Larkin’s debut album ‘The Golden Spike’ underrated is to succumb to journalistic cliché. When your biggest influences are Pavement and Sleater-Kinney, commercial success is always going to take a back seat, even if the critics want to touch you in your special places. ‘The Golden Spike’ had hits, but it was also elusive and coy; a mischievous little indie-pop record. For the follow-up, Sky Larkin have returned to the same city, Seattle, and the same producer, John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, The Blood Brothers). Naturally therefore, ‘Kaleide’ is an apt successor – a bit smoother round the edges, a bit beefier, a touch more experimental, but still packed with the band’s pop hooks. ‘Still Windmills’, ‘Year Dot’ and the title track are the huge singles, but there’s plenty of juicy intrigue too: the addition of keyboards on ‘Anjelica Huston’ and ‘ATM’ add mournful depth, ‘Spooktacular’ has a fiery outro, and Katie Harkin’s mumbled opening to ‘Landlocked’ is disorientating until the song bursts into life. ‘Kaleide’ runs out of steam towards its close – heaven knows why the original, blustery version of ‘Smarts’ has made way for a sombre reworking – but it’s still an enjoyable, grown-up follow-up to the band’s debut.
There's been some actual news this week. The Movielifereformed, Fightstarreturned from hiatus, and then there was Emoji Artworks. But sadly, today is our last #notthenews round-up of 2014. Try to hold back those tears while we recap all of this week's nonsense.