Snowgoose Harmony Springs

Considering the wealth of talent on the debut release by Snowgoose — members of Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits and the Soup Dragons — it's remarkable that it's the vocals of newcomer Anna Sheard that stand out. And rather than the expected jangly guitar-pop that Glasgow specialises in, Harmony Springs is a rather wonderful throwback to the British folk scene of the '70s. It isn't an album of contradictions though –—there's a straight-forwardness that's refreshing and gives it immediacy. Chief songwriter Jim McCulloch has obviously listened to Pentangle's discography and is comfortable enough with their jazz-tinged songs to throw that into the mix. They don't completely turn their backs on the Scottish scene though, throwing in plenty of vocal harmonies, while Sheard manages to capture some of Sandy Denny's effortlessness as she breezes through the songs. She really does shine. (Ba Da Bing!)