Woozy Summer days. The French TV version of Robinson Crusoe. Sky Ray ice lollies. If these things could have a sound, it would be the sound of Sarah Cracknell’s new album. An album that the words “pastoral” and “sun-kissed” were made for.

Sarah Cracknell is, of course, the singer with Saint Etienne; a band that have always embraced the sounds of the sixties and seventies. These influences remain on this, her second solo album.

Produced by Carwyn Ellis, the album’s primarily acoustic ambience is at times reminiscent of Nick Drake or Marianne Faithful’s early work. Opening track On The Swings sounds instantly familiar without actually sounding like anything else. I Am Not Your Enemy abandons the acoustic vibe for twangy guitars and a Vox Continental organ, like something Lee Hazelwood would have conjured up for Nancy Sinatra. Listening to final track Favourite Chair is like sinking into one and nodding off into a reverie.

This is an album for a Summer evening in the garden with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. If wet, move your deckchair inside and snuggle down in front of the stereo. Red Kite will send its own sunshine through your speakers.

John Scott

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