When Sarah Cracknell last released a solo album, Tony Blair had just assumed power and Spice Girls were a fixture in the charts. The Saint Etienne singer’s second set, recorded in a barn, suggests a 1960s gem unearthed in a junk shop, Cracknell’s sultry voice buoyed by atmospheric strings and a sense of drama absent from most pop. In the Dark is both charming and unsettling, while On the Swings sounds like the soundtrack to a film set on Paris’s Left Bank circa 1965. Ultimately, though, it’s Red Kite’s little touches (the sighs on The Mutineer; the nods to modernity on I Close My Eyes) that ensure it lingers in the memory.
Sarah Cracknell: Red Kite review – like a 1960s gem unearthed in a junk shop
Paul Mardles is a subeditor on the Observer New Review