When this album came through by a new band containing members of Red Sparowes and The Nocturnes (Greg Burns & Emma Ruth Rundle) I knew there was a fair chance I was going to like it, after all with that kind of pedigree it’s hard to imagine what they could have done for me not to like it, but ‘Kitsune’ by Marriages far exceeds mere ‘like’ and enters straight in at the higher end of ‘love’.

What Burns and Rundle have done is produce an album that is instantly recognisable to fans of Red Sparowes, the bass and guitar intro to opener ‘Ride In My Place’ is 100% pure Sparowes, but then take it somewhere other than the dark, heavy and bleak landscapes that are largely the domain inhabited by Red Sparowes and instead take it somewhere warmer, somewhere more emotive, somewhere a tad less apocalyptic; it crosses the kind of blissed out desert grooves of Sleepy Sun with the ethereal nonsuchplace of Sigur Ros but is also really unlike either, if that makes any kind of sense?

It’s hard to pick out standout moments because the album hangs together as one glorious whole, each track seamlessly seguing in to the next. It’s a soundtrack to an epic roadtrip through the badlands of imagination; however special mention needs to go to the power of ‘White Shape’, without doubt the most Sparowesy track here, perfectly presaging the transcendental climax of closer ‘Part The Dark Again’, both combining to make a hell of a way to finish the record. But really the whole album is a highlight; a golden, fuzzed out cloud of effulgent emotions.

If there’s one complaint it’s that the record isn’t long enough, the six tracks weigh in at a slightly lightweight twenty five minutes and revives the age old EP / Album debate, but frankly that’s a small niggle when the quality is this high and as they say in show business, it’s best to leave the crowd begging for more and ‘Kitsune’ certainly does that. More please, soon please.

Released June 25th on Sargent House (seriously, have they ever released a bad record? – Ed).

Posted by Dan.

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