Beet, Maize & Corn cover

Beet, Maize & Corn


Beet, Maize & Corn is one of The High Llamas’ most quietly radical albums. It’s defined by its autumnal cast, and the minimalism of many of the arrangements – songwriter and arranger Sean O’Hagan seemed to be aiming for a chamber sensibility here, with some nods to pre-sixties popular music, and the wry, playful songs of Carla Bley and Robert Wyatt. If that makes the songs sound like a suite of studies, well, O’Hagan is a considered artisan, but things never feel stuffy or over-intellectualised – and on songs like “High on the Chalk” and “Calloway”, the combination of O’Hagan’s keening voice and the near-abstract, modular arrangements is quite moving.

Jon Dale

Recommended by