Morton Valence: Another Country

Fourth studio album from ‘urban country’ duo.

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With Another Country, songwriter Robert Jessett and vocalist Anne Gilpin may well have produced their best album to date, in a genre they’ve made their own – tales of the city rendered in a country idiom, their take on it suggesting that it might be the last surviving form of soul music.

They draw from the genre not just a formal narrative style, including duetting, but also atmospherics, introspection and lucid lyrical content.

Take First Night, a tale of a middle-aged bloke who lands in jail following a rush of blood that prompts him to take part in the 2011 UK riots. ‘Your leather old jacket hangs by the door/It’s been out of style and come back round once more,’ Gilpin observes on A Tear For Every Year, playing the role of the old fool’s partner.

On The Hawkline Discotheque they have a fine stab at a new genre, country disco, before fading out on Everything Is Going Our Way on a note of heavily qualified optimism./o:p

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David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.