Thea Gilmore - Murphy's Heart
For her tenth studio album, Thea Gilmore has made her most well rounded and immediate album yet. Her songwriting and observation of human nature are as sharp as ever but it's the arrangements this time round that raise it to another level such as the strings swelling under 'Due South' or the brass stabs on 'This Town'. It's the detail in the characters that inhabit the songs that make the album such a pleasure to listen to, whether it's the person who's worst punishment is to stay where they are ('This Town') or the character running away from their life ('Due South'). She's lost none of her fire, either: 'Love's The Greatest Instrument' is fierce and driving, warning that public ire will "grab our politicians by the balls". Admittedly, there are a couple of moments where you think "hasn't she done this before" - notably 'God's Got Nothing On You' which has hints of both 'You Tell Me' and 'Exit Route' - but that's easily forgiven. At this point in her career, it's almost becoming a cliche to say that this should be the album that breaks Thea Gilmore through to the mainstream, but hopefully recent radio friendly single 'You're The Radio' is the secret weapon that finally gets the public to sit up and take notice of one of our finest songwriting talents.