HarperLees Recommends… Albums

During 2020, we recommended albums as a part of our Distraction Ideas.

We have selected tracks from all of the albums featured in our HarperLees Recommends 2020 playlist here .


The albums with links are as follows:

Lianne La Havas – Her self-titled third album comes after a gap of 5 years since ‘Blood’. Previously a Mercury Awards finalist and mentored by Prince, Lianne La Havas returns with a stripped-down collection of mainly guitar complementing her soulful voice.


Jarv Is – Beyond The Pale – The singer formerly of Pulp announces his latest project which was part recorded from a live performance in the cave of Peak Cavern, Derbyshire! It is fair to say that there is no one quite like Jarvis Cocker.


The Blinders – Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath – With an eye catching and perhaps topical title for these times, Even The Stars reviews the album here commenting that it ‘widens their horizons in terms of subject matter without straying too far from the subjects of the political systems around the world, societal issues and mental health.’


Paul Weller – On Sunset  – His 15th solo album has been on constant play on Mark’s turntable this week. Review here with the Village video here and a ‘Making Of’ video.


Katherine Jenkins – Cinema Paradiso – The biggest selling classical artist of the century, Katherine Jenkins OBE, presents her 14th studio album, with a collection of unforgettable movie songs.


Maceo Parker – Soul Food – Cooking with Maceo – The return of the legendary saxophonist, Maceo Parker. He has an incredible CV working with co-legends such as Prince, James Brown and Aretha Franklin and again delivers ‘the FUNK’ as a soloist.


Moonlight Parade – Paint The Sun – Hailing from Worthing, Surrey, Moonlight Parade’s latest EP follows their two previous self-funded albums Caught In A Wave and Out of Nothing are perfect for a laid-back sunny afternoon in the garden.


Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter – A beautiful album arrives almost without pre-amble or warning in the midst of uncharted global chaos, and yet instantly and tenderly offers a sense of purpose, clarity and calm.


Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink – Follows up Shah’s Hyundai Mercury Prize nominated 2017 album Holiday DestinationWith the same ferocious determination and distinct voice, Shah now turns her sights closer to home with an album that explores her own story as a woman in her 30’s and the societal pressures and expectations that come with that.


PINS – Hot Slick – ‘This vibrant album is filled with neon synths, loud guitars, and melodies that mirror the group’s new boldly hued imagery and create the sound of a girl gang refreshed and amplified’. This will definitely have you dancing around the kitchen!


The Joy of The Return – The Slow Readers Club 

91 Days In Isolation – The Slow Readers Club

After playing to a sold out 3,500 capacity venue at the end of 2018, and leaving their day jobs to go full time, the band incredibly released 2 albums in 2020.


Steve Harley- Uncovered – This diverse collection of Harley’s interpretations is in some ways an almanac rather than just a set of great tracks. Steve’s links with some of the songwriters go back to the very start of their careers: Bowie in Beckenham, Dylan throughout his early teens; Cat Stevens and Paul McCartney, both massive early influences. Steve has also very generously donated acoustic tracks for download  in exchange for donations to the NHS Fund here including classics such as Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) and Tumbling Down.


IST IST – Architecture – Described by Even The Stars as ‘a record to immerse yourself in and let it reveal its deep intertwining yet contrasting layers of beauty and a brutal dark side as we live through these strangest of days’.


Tim Burgess – I Love The New Sky – ‘A record teeming with ideas, observations about life and friendship delivered with charm and an intuitive intelligence wrapped in a warm comforting musical blanket that reveals many complexities under its top layers as they push boundaries, drift off the beaten track yet remain focused on their destination’ – Even The Stars


Helen Money – Atomic – The alter-ego of Alison Chesley. She uses the Cello ‘to employ extensive sonic manipulation and an array of plucking and bowing techniques to summon an astonishing breadth and depth of sound’. One for the classical music listeners, with an edge!


Badly Drawn Boy – Banana Skin Shoes – His first album in 8 years sees a welcome return for the former Mercury Prize Winner.


James – Living in Extraordinary Times’ – Whilst this album was released in 2018, we featured it as an inspiration for a newsletter title and the themes were so relevant for 2020.


 All albums and songs are available to stream via the usual providers. However, please consider better supporting the artists who have all seen their income dramatically reduce through Covid-19 by buying the physical versions.