Lauren Laverne Take These Flowers Away

For those who were unable to experience the short life of Newcastle, England's Kenickie (1996 to '98), a second chance has arrived for you to redeem yourselves. Lauren Laverne, the fancied and fanciful former singer, songwriter and guitarist of the band, has released her first solo effort. Take These Flowers Away is a four-song EP that gives a taste of what Lauren has been up to since the unfortunate demise of her band. While Kenickie (whose name comes from a character in Grease) were talented at writing songs about teenage love and hate, shopping, make-up and going out to get liquored-up, Lauren has taken a sentimental approach. Opener "I Fell Out Of A Tree" is the story of heartbreak over the death of her band and the love she found in Malcolm Middleton, from the band Arab Strap. This track is a wonderfully cheery sounding pop song that displays Lauren's unique and lethargic voice, although fortunately, none of the songs sound quite as miserable as her boyfriend's band. The rest of the songs range from the lo-fi acoustics of "Good Morning Sunshine" to the Saint Etienne electronics of "Some Kind of Other Presence." The EP even comes with a bonus track available through email, entitled "If You Phone." (Deceptive)