Paris Motel

In The Salpetriere

In case you hadn’t realised, it’s nearly 2008. That means it’s many thousands of years since a bloke who probably looked a bit like Andy Burrows got bored of painting on cave walls and fashioned a guitar from a branch and a mammoth’s spinal cord. So when bands like The View sound like they could only have existed since, oh, June 2002 (specifically the day The Libertines released their first single), Paris Motel sound like they could have existed at any time since about 1542. This, the debut album proper by this incredible mini-orchestra led by the multi-talented Amy May, is almost classical in its scope and beauty. It uses instruments such as a cor anglais that by rights belong in a museum and it boasts songs called things like ‘Coignet’s Trial’. However, despite all of this, it still manages to sound totally now – like Arcade Fire playing in an English country garden.

Nathaniel Cramp