Kevin Bryan reviews some of the latest record releases

Eric Church Mr.Misunderstood (Capitol Records) - Maverick Nashville singer­songwriter Eric Church marches to the beat of a singularly different drummer than most of his country music

contemporaries, and this gives his work a freshness and vitality that’s sadly becoming all too rare these days.

Eric’s fifth studio album, Mr.Misunderstood, has just been released with the bare minimum of advance publicity, recorded in just one month and crammed to the gills with prime examples of his distinctive brand of Americana such as the funk laden Chattanooga Lucy, or a reflective piano duet with Susan Tedeschi entitled Mixed Drinks About Feelings.

Ina Forsman (Ruf Records)­ - Ina may hail from the distinctly unbluesy environs of the Finnish capital of Helsinki but her music is steeped in the spirit of classic sixties r&b and soul, and her hugely impressive solo debut could well see her pigeonholed as a Nordic Amy Winehouse. The contents were captured for posterity at Wire Recording in Austin, Texas, with her locally recruitedbacking band supplying the brassy instrumental underpinning for a largely self­penned setboasting passionate ditties such as No Room For Love, Don’t Hurt Me Now and a stunning cover of Nina Simone’s I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl.

Sarah & Deborah Nemtanu, Bartok : 44 Duos (Decca Classics)­ - This absorbing vehicle for the talents of the Nemtanu sisters finds the Romanian born violinists immersing themselves in the complexities of Bartok’s 44 Duos for two violins, BB 104. The composer’s fascination with the peasant culture of Europe in general and his native Hungary in particular inspired much of his most compelling work and the spirit of folk music certainly suffuses many of his finest creationshere, including Dance from Marmaros, Ruthenian Kolomeika and Bagpipes.

Meilyr Jones, 2013 (Moshi Moshi Records)­ - It’s not every day that you come across an album by an aspiring artist who happily cites influences as diverse as Italian architecture, Lord Byron and the late great David Bowie, but the unashamedly erudite Meilyr Jones has concocted a memorable musical menu from those heady intellectual ingredients. The contents of 2013 were inspired by a brief but life­changing visit that the Welsh songwriter made to Rome in that year, and this exuberant and curiously timeless package is particularly well represented by endearing tracks such as How To Recognise A Work of Art, Don Juan and the wry Featured Artist.