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The Memory Band

Who? Stephen Cracknell leads this London collective, which was originally built around his laptop. Now, they proclaim in their bio to have been born at the turn of the century, and on second full-length Apron Strings, these wistful folk rockers achieve an older-world sound thanks to myriad contributing musicians, who add lush and woodsy orchestral layers.

What’s the Deal? Pure pastoral pop, Apron Strings teems with traditional folk rock that conquers its somber bent. “You might break my heart in two / But I’m ready to let you through,” Cracknell swoons on string-sweller “Come Write Me Down.” And on fairytale fantasia “Green Grows the Laurel,” Nancy Wallace sings, “I once had a sweetheart but now I have none…I’ll soon find another far better than he.” No matter how dour Cracknell and company’s state of love, they tend to linger on a final uplifting thought, which they complement with lovely, comforting instrumental arrangements.

Fun Fact: “I have a platinum disc in my flat for Fatboy Slim’s You’ve Come a Long Way Baby,” Cracknell told “It was awarded to me because I cleared his samples in a previous life.” JULIA SIMON

Now Hear This:
The Memory Band – “Come Write Me Down” DOWNLOAD MP3

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