Carrie & Lowell
There was a time when we thought Stooshe's debut album would never arrive.
An initial release date was pulled last year after the wretched chart performance (and generally wretched state) of their cover of TLC's Waterfalls, and the all-girl London trio went back to the drawing board. That's usually record industry code for 'out on your ear', but here they are for a second swing.
And it was worth the gamble, because London With The Lights On is an absolute gas. Stooshe have had their sharper edges smoothed since they first popped up in 2011 – take early release F*** Me, now the rather more radio-friendly Love Me – but tucked into the commercial retrosoul, there's enough cheek to bring them to life. "If you really want to stay in my pants/You gotta do better than that," goes the Motown stomp of Slip, and it's the tip of the straight-talking iceberg.
Elsewhere it's all about "blowing off steam" on the doo-wop funk of Put The Kettle On and "spinning like an old skool 45" on the cockney reggae of My Man Music, as Stooshe deliver their street-smart take on 50s/60s girl-group pop. Black Heart's still the killer tune, sure, but for the sunshine soundtrack we're sure to need at some point, you could do worse than check out the rest.