Bolton singer-songwriter Simon Aldred is back under his better known moniker after last year’s excursion into electronic soul as Out Cold, and it’s a welcome return. Herd Runners is his best work to date.
He’s picked up some national publicity thanks to fellow Boltonian Maxine Peake directing the video for opening single Clear Skies Ever Closer, and enlisting Endeavour star Shaun Evans to star in the video. Newcomers, especially those fond of the kind of northern guitar soul that is fast turning Elbow into national treasures, will find much to love here.
Aldred’s lyrics regularly deal in lost love and tough times, but the gloriously sunny pop that accompanies it makes this an unquestionably uplifting record. That’s even bearing in mind the fantastically downbeat Drinking for Two, a barfly’s ballad par excellence.
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By Andrew Greenhalgh