The Loose Salute is a British band founded by drummer Ian McCutcheon (formerly of Slowdive and Mojave 3 who also sings and plays guitar). The rest of the band consists of Lisa Billson (vocals, keys, percussion), Charlotte King (backing vocals, percussion, bells and whistles), Pete Greenwood (guitar, bass) Alan Forrester (bass, keys).
Subdued and thought provoking, The Loose Salute's debut album 'Tuned to Love' is a low-key gem that combines country, rock and indie-pop to create a wonderful and sweet sound. Ian proves that he is more than just a drummer as he skillfully sings on tracks such as "The Mutineer" and "Ballad of the Dumb Angel" and sounds a little like Elliot Smith in spots, which is not a bad thing! Having Lisa Billson singing on the album is also a treat as her voice is a pleasant surprise and truly does accentuate the album. Tracks like "Photographs and Tickets" or "Why'd We Fight?" are sung with soulful charm and the more upbeat numbers like "From Head to Sandy Toes" have great harmonies from Lisa and Charlotte. "Cold Water"(one of my favorites tracks on the album) feels like something Leonard Cohen wrote for Lisa to sing. The guitar and keyboard work meld with the other instruments as well as Charlotte's smooth backing vocals to add the final touches to a wonderfully charming record.
This album (like several others this year) shows that there are still a few bands out there that have some original ideas. They may have found inspiration from a mix of different bands but they have made the sound all their own. I mean really...who knew the Brit's could do country music? This album will be in the car all summer long as it is a great soundtrack to those lazy Sunday drives to nowhere in particular.
8 out of 10