Rurals Sweeter Sounds

Deep house heads that haven't heard the Rurals are in for a treat with this absolute must-check release. The third album in three years from this British countryside-dwelling crew, Sweeter Sounds is all that and a bag of chips, handily highlighting the Rurals' sweet, deep and absolutely distinctive live house sound. "Lush" would be the best description, and they know it, kicking the album off with a track of that title. This song is an instant classic, with the gorgeous vocals of Marie "Tweek" floating over smooth beats, bits of guitar and the luscious lilting keys of mister soft touch, Pete Morris. This is essential summer listening, as at home on the late night dance floor as during Sunday brunch. "No Power" offers up the sweet sax of Charlie Hearnshaw, vibing beautifully with the Hammond and Tweek's strong vocal melodies. The title track takes it up a notch, with rugged beats accompanied by keys, grooving live Gurner bass and that voice - very sweet indeed and a guaranteed floor filler. The Rurals bunch are just as solid in their instrumentals, with the deeper than deep, percussion-heavy "Mission 1" being a personal favourite. "These Changes" rounds it out nicely, with rich bass, delay, sweet Hammond, vibes and more to explore. Rurals co-founders Morris and guitarist/producer/DJ Andy Compton have done themselves proud. Now it's up to you fans of Naked, Wave, Large, Guidance and the like to spread the word. (Peng)