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HS 202CD HS 202CD

"Having already established his bashful genius with three acclaimed mini-albums and the off-kilter quirkiness of debut long-player Fancy Barrel, Aidan Smith returns with the next chapter in his captivating story. Allotments takes the listener on an epic journey, visiting London, Paris and 'The Bull's Head' and introducing more of the tragi-comic characters that have peppered Smith's remarkable canon of work so far. Reminiscent of Kurt Weill's woozy cabaret and Rufus Wainwright's touching melodrama, but anchored by a traditional pop ideology, Allotments is a perfectly-formed oddity; its realism and surrealism runs through every beguiling jaunt. Opener 'Morning Was Your Picnic' announces itself with dizzying brass and woozy organ, immediately confirming Smith's unparalleled understanding of melody, while lyrical vulnerability runs hand-in-hand with a streak of biting black humor. 'Murder Ballad' provides a fresh new take on the oft-ubiquitous Saturday night tale of woe, Smith's startling wit and candor sitting alongside barbershop quartet harmonies. Future single, 'Wearing Your Clothes,' is a sweet account of one man's adventures in his partner's wardrobe ('tie your ribbon through my thinning hair?'), while 'Lament Of A Victorian Prostitute, London 1865' is a tender, sideways look at the world's oldest profession. Dramatic arrangements and flawless musicianship send Smith's eccentric characters straight to your heart. With breathtaking shows supporting Yo La Tengo, Badly Drawn Boy and Calexico already under his belt, Aidan Smith devotees are already hiding in parks, cafés and libraries across the country, but Allotments, arguably his finest achievement, is going to see numbers grow, and grow and grow. Beautifully packaged using recycled card and featuring the wonderful artwork by Michael Crowe."