Favourite Sons is the most recent project of Ken Griffin, formerly of nineties outfits Rollerskate Skinny and Kid Silver. This is a record of lyrically world-weary but musically upbeat country-pop; an odd but potent mixture of Beirut, Flaming Lips and The Divine Comedy, uprooted and transplanted deep into Marlboro country. You can almost see the band, playing behind a wire cage in a hick bar, aloof and oblivious while a bar-room brawl spills all around them, bar stools flying while the lap steel twangs. Griffin’s rich, deep, country-tinged voice hangs over it all, resigned and sometimes defeated (“I made four thousand wrong turns to end up here alone in bed”). It’s all immediately accessible stuff, yet the strength of the songwriting lends it great substance.

By Chris Watkeys

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