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Tom Baird Monsters In The Quay Of Sea (Beanie Recordings)

Cocktails, the last album by Glasgow-born, Ayrshire-based Tom Baird, was a big favourite round these parts, as it marked a real step forward from his endearingly offbeat debut, Incidents And Accidents.

Baird still has too quirky a demeanour to be comfortably slotted into the folksy singer-songwriter category, but equally there's too much serious thought put to structure and melody for him to be pigeonholed as indie-twee: the delight here is not knowing exactly what's coming next, but being sure it'll be something that's worth the time it takes to listen. Wheeze captures something of The Beatles settling into a post-Rishikesh groove, while Summer Kings looks elsewhere in the UK 1960s pop canon for inspiration and walks away carrying a barrel-load of sunny hooks. Elsewhere, the squelchy psychedelic mood of Two Hands Heavy is balanced by the more traditional acoustic ballpark of Twisted Hearts, although Baird ensures the mix always contains at least one element to buck the generic trend. Eccentricity is this record's badge of honour.

Alan Morrison

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