Cousteau Cousteau

Oh, the sweet misery. If listening to Tindersticks, Nick Drake or Scott Walker wasn't miserable enough, here comes another competitor out of the UK to add to the list of sorrowful musicians. Well, they're not that miserable, more bittersweet. Whereas the Tindersticks are a glass of scotch, Cousteau are a nice glass of wine. Make that a bottle. Their music is elegant, relaxing and superbly performed. The overall beauty of this self-titled record is a toss up between the wonderful sound of the performing band and the deep, crooning voice of singer Liam McKahey. On single "Last Good Day of the Year," some of the nicest horns in history chase the wonderful lyrics. Cousteau are as romantic as hell - that should be the selling point for this impressive debut. (Rykopalm)