Various Artists - Letters to Sonny Vol. 1 (Lights
& Lines Records)

Release Date: Out Now

There are two things you need to know about this compilation from the Lights & Lines record label. Firstly, it is very, very long coming in at 19 tracks long and featuring a variety of artists and collaborations. Secondly, it is raising money and awareness for a very good cause; namely the Young Epilepsy in the UK charity that is very close to the heart of label boss Mike. 

The album itself is like walking through a multi-stage venue or festival with honest and ecclectic music all around you and, as such, disecting it seems a bit like frog marching you through the venue against your will. So, I'm going to point you in the direction of some of the highlights and then let you grab and bimble around at your own will. The opening collaboration between Gozer Goodspeed and GRIM17, 'Things That You Can't Say Aloud', has the trademark dirty blues vibe of the former but with an added sense of dark forboding and skittish energy that makes this an oustanding way to open the collection. 

'America 1940' by the Kintners is a sombre slice of Americana in the face of Nazi aggression while 'As If They Know' by the Pomegranate County Irregulars rattles along with a brilliantly Cash-esque ensemble piece. I have recently become a fan of Torrid (A Love Affair) and their live version of 'Without You' from the Sofa Sessions really impresses with its raw, soulful rock vibe that is so redolent of Haight Ashbury that you can almost smell the Patchouli drifting across the room. 

Andrew Hartshorn's 'Emerging Shadows' feels like a cross between Ludovico Einaudi and the soundtrack to a thriller written by Danny Elfman while closing track 'Shatter the Glass' by Adalia is a fragile but gorgeous slice of alt-pop with a underside of rock to give things a kick. Like I said, this is a quick tour of some of the highlights but it's all worth exploring and for an incredibly worthy cause so why not hit pause on Mariah and give something new a slice of your time. 

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