As he proved with his recording of A London Symphony – Record of the Year, Gramophone Awards 2001 – Richard Hickox was a Vaughan Williams specialist. This reissue of an original 1995 recording features such lesser known works from the composer as Household Music and Flos Campi. Alternating between the passionate and the tortured, between long-breathed lyricism and moments of obvious pain, Flos Campi has never really found itself in the mainstream concert repertoire, maybe because of its title, misleadingly suggesting jolly music. Household Music has equally suffered from its title, rather an off-hand one for pieces that at their best show the composer’s brilliance as an arranger. Riders to the Sea, however, is a masterpiece, seen as the finest as well as the most concentrated of Vaughan Williams’s works for the stage, conjuring up multiple layers of emotional response to the natural world, a losing battle with the sea, and the God which rules it, for the islanders in the North Atlantic.
Scottish indie pop stalwarts the Trash Can Sinatras were founded outside of Glasgow in 1987 by singer/guitarist Frank Reader (the brother of ex-Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader), guitarists John Douglas and Paul Livingston, bassist George McDaid, and drummer Stephen Douglas. Initially formed as a cover band, they were performing in a local bar when they were discovered by Go! Discs label representative Simon Dine; their first single, the superb "Obscurity Knocks," appeared in early 1990, evoking the jangly guitar pop crafted by Scottish bands like Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, and Josef K a decade earlier. A second Trash Can Sinatras single, "Only Tongue Can Tell," preceded the release of the quintet's debut LP, Cake, which met with a positive response on both sides of the Atlantic; in the U.S., it became a particular favorite on college radio.