Album review: You Tell Me

You Tell Me - You Tell Me (Memphis Industries)

You Tell Me are Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes and Field Music’s Peter Brewis.

You Tell Me are Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes and Field Music’s Peter Brewis.

YOU TELL Me is Field Music’s Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes, and despite drawing on a diverse set of influences, the duo has created a cohesive, often beguiling debut as a duo.

Given the bands Brewis and Hayes hail from, it is no surprise there is a hefty dose of indie-rock and indie pop influence thought. However there are also definite strains of British folk-rock (think Judy Dyble era Fairport Convention ), and Beatles-like melodicism. Indeed the duo's sense of melody is strong and elevates many of the best songs here.

Some of the inspirations are more unexpected though. 'Get Out Of The Room' is all spiky acoustic guitar and percussive clicks, backed by an ambient drone, with vocals building from understated to urgent. An undoubted highlight, it has a touch of Peter Gabriel to it. Meanwhile 'Water Cooler' is an unashamed 1980s homage which recalls The Thompson Twins.

What really stands to You Tell Me though is Sarah Hayes voice, which has a quality, clarity, and beauty one normally associates with 1960s folk-rock, and is best heard on opener 'Enough To Notice', the most folk-rock oriented track here, as well as on the marvellous ballad 'Springburn', with its deft string arrangement flitting between voice and piano, adding to the sense of drama lurking beneath the restraint.

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