Dave Derby
D&K RECORDS 16.4.07

A chilled out record for ‘thinking people’, the bizarrely-named “And The Norfolk Downs” is one of those albums that has the ability to wash over you and stick in your head. The first time that I listened to it, I found myself humming songs and remembering bits of the lyrics days later.

“Come On Come On” opens the album with the offer ‘I’d really like to help if I can’ and sets the scene of the album. With the emphasis on the vocals, and the accompanying guitar, drums and effects sitting in the background, it’s hard not to really take the words in. Following track “Beaten Down” is a bit more upbeat, then the tempo slows for “Oh True”.

The resemblances that spring to mind with this record are, first, The Byrds, then (on the bouncier tracks) the Beach Boys. Whichever, there is an overriding feeling of West Coast Americana lingering, which is ironic given that Dave Derby harks from New York.

Every track on this album is a belter - as long as Indie / Folk’s your cup of tea – so it’s hard to pick out any specific tracks that stand out. If pushed, I would lean on the Ryan-Adams-esque “Olivine” and the fitting closer “Albuquerque”.

This is a pure summer driving album, designed to be played loud with the windows down on a winding country road or (if you have one) through the expansive country in California. But I found it works just as well in rush hour traffic.

Simon Middleyard