Best known for 2007 single ‘People Help The People’, Bolton’s Simon Aldred stretched his wings last year with a lovelorn set of electronica under the name of Out Cold, but here he returns to his country-hued roots as the one-man Elbow who occasionally nudges the tempo over 80bpm. ‘Herd Runners’ is a romantic album, stuffed with fond reminiscences (the steel guitar-brushed title track), heartbreak (the fluid, Philly soul-influenced ‘Don’t Leave Me Here Alone’) and slivers of hope (the prettily ramshackle ‘The World Could Turn’), without ever sounding soppy. Maybe it’s a northern thing. Aldred shares Richard Hawley’s producer Colin Elliot, but also his gruff, warmhearted authority, and it’s a similar hard-won wisdom that makes ‘Herd Runners’ so moving.
- Record label: Heavenly