Walk Between Worlds by Simple Minds - out tomorrow

The clarity of Jim Kerr’s distinctive vocals and the wall of guitar from Charlie Burchill barrel through this album of bright and shiny tracks.

Magic kicks off the album with a happy vibe, as Jim’s voice, resonant with Joie de vivre, trills out the clarion call to have faith.

The second track is Summer a gorgeous rock number of spun gold which makes you think of warm days with the ipod on full blast, open top convertible rides, blue skies and the smell of dust, diesel and mown hay.

Orchestral manouvres merge into a pop pageant in the title track, Walk Between Worlds, which bridges the gap effortlessly between the band’s signature sound then and now. Listening to this song would make fans of The Vamps, Vaccines or Kaiser Chiefs happily join the legions of followers who grew up with Simple Minds music as a soundtrack to their teens.

In Dreams again would not be out of place alongside today’s chart hits and the cinematic stadium rock of Barrowhead Star will be a definite festival crowd pleaser, apparently written about a concert hall close to where Jim grew up.

Utopia has the synth-soaked sound synonymous with the new wave movement, its close harmonies and tinkling melody promising us Utopia even if just for one night.

The Signal and The Noise is another ‘hands in the air’ anthem and Sense of Discovery brings us to a satisfactory finale to this box of delights. 7/10 Flicky Harrison

Simple Minds are heading for Swindon this summer to play at Lydiard Park on August 31.


Years after Awolnation dropped their sleeper hit Sail in 2011, it’s fair to say the US alternative rockers are more than worthy of attention. Contrary to what its name might suggest, their third album Here Come The Runts is a top drawer smack in the face of unadulterated, melodic, anthemic, rock ‘n’ roll tinged with pop: all killer, no filler.

Frontman Aaron Bruno says: “It’s like a non-GMO record. There’s no fake s*** on there, none of the vocals are tuned. It’s all real playing.” And he’s not wrong. Runts is an authentic foray that hints at a bunch of genres, all sewn together with grungy guitars and industrial edge.

From opener Here Come The Runts - an electro-rock track with a tantalising medley of tempos that never lets you get too comfortable - through Killers-esque romp Miracle Man and final track Stop That Train, which tickles - then smashes - your senses with chunky guitars and a haunting layer of sounds, Awolnation have delivered possibly their best record yet. 9/10 Lucy Mapstone


Three years in the waiting, Rae Morris’s second album has finally arrived. We have been teased since the middle of last year with singles Reborn, Do It and Atletico (The Only One), all displaying different moods. Reborn was an appropriate introduction to a more electronic sound for Morris, while Do It is heart-achingly lovely in its positivity as a relationship tentatively goes to the next level.

The newer tracks in the second half of the album take a few listens to embed themselves into your consciousness, but it will be rewarding. Physical Form slowly builds up into an epic track with thundering drums. And Rose Garden’s piano parts have touches of Kate Bush (no pun intended). Morris’ vocals are ethereal and intimate, and this is a collection that never loses hope even when love ends, because something else begins. 8/10 Lisa Allen


Heath Robinson-esque troubadour Thomas Truax is a teller of wry, noirish stories whose live shows feature self-invented, noise-making contraptions that have fixed him in the imaginations of a cult following. Even when you can’t see the cogs whirring, on record he packs in melodies equally indebted to Tom Waits’s whiskey-spiked wells as to Brill Building aerodynamism.

Eerie glockenspiels and couplets about horse weddings may not be to all tastes, but so many of these ideas hit the mark, and rough edges in this recording bring some humanity to Truax’s dreamworld. 8/10 Michael Dornan