In 2008 there wasn’t a more emotionally raw album than Former Ghosts’ ‘Fleurs’. If its ambient electronics hadn’t been so masterfully pieced together it would have been too uncomfortable to get through as Freddy Rupert exorcised his personal demons in an attempt to fix his shattered heart. ‘New Love’ sees Rupert over a year into recovery, and while he’s hardly all smiles and gushing about a new crush (‘New Orleans’ has him professing “It’s my fault/I fell in love in the first place” while audibly holding back the tears), there is a sense of optimism on tracks like the Zola Jesus-featured ‘Chin Up’ and the deeply warbled ‘And When You Kiss Me’. Also joined again by Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, Rupert now teeters between harrowing and (thankfully) hopeful, but his masterful, lo-fi craft and courageous honesty is constant.

By Stuart Stubbs

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