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It's a Good Thing I Love You

In a quantum leap forward from the lo-fi Little Boat EP, Honeyfeet's long-awaited debut album is a darkly atmospheric work full of textural colour and ambience. It's a Good Thing I Love You draws on the familiar Honeyfeet elements of blues, jazz and folk, anchored around Rioghnach Connolly's captivating jazz blues vocals, all carefully refracted through a production filter of trippy, experimental studio effects. The result is a bewitching soundworld, full of languid beauty and dreamy sensuality.

On 'All I Know', a loping three-note bassline sets the mood before the flute and guitar introduce a catchy minor key hook. Connolly's vocals ruminate, full of bluesy anguish and soulful inflection. The feeling of weary lethargy is heightened with the trip hop tinged echo delays, bassy gurglings and glassy handclaps.

'Shadow' is a ghostly blues number coloured with distorted harmonica and deep glissandos from the horns. The effect is eerily surreal, like you've entered a strange dream sequence from a David Lynch film. In 'Rolling Around', the band alternates between the breezy harmonica-led theme and a waltzing guitar melody, looping endlessly with a Radiohead-like restlessness. On 'Harlequin', the only instrumental of the album, the band breaks out with a pleasing mix of mournful Ethio jazz modes and Latin rhythm, with open spaces for solos. With its sexy, bluesy swagger, 'Buried My Husband' could be a forgotten soundtrack to a Bond film.

The album closes with something rather special. At almost eight minutes in length, ‘Gather Me’ luxuriates in a deep, downtempo groove of which The Cinematic Orchestra would be proud. Connolly's vocals are exquisitely nuanced, full of soulful fragility and grace. The same falling chord sequence which opens the album then draws things to a close, the band subsiding into an exhausted jazzy dissonance.

For years Honeyfeet were one of those special bands you might come across by chance and rave about for weeks. But on record there just hasn't been anything to really capture their sound until now. With help from the likes of John Ellis and Paddy Steer, one of Manchester's best kept secrets have finally released a record which truly does them justice.