It’s obvious why this Pitchfork reviewer didn’t like the new Lambchop album – see for instance what he says about their last record, Nixon: “As the band’s makeshift orchestra performed horn and string swoops worthy of a Vegas-style lounge revue, Wagner’s lyrics and off-kilter vocals provided just enough of a wink to indicate we were all in on the joke, and that it was okay to enjoy the music of our grandmothers. (Hey, remember irony?)”. In other words, the reviewer looked at Lambchop not as a funny band – which they’ve always been and still are – but as a joke band. An easy trap to fall into, I know from experience, if you mostly listen to styles where the funny-serious borderline is rigidly patrolled.

I think Is A Woman is the best record I’ve heard so far this year. Its hooks are tiny barbs but they get to you just the same, and its off-centre supper-club ambience feels entirely charming. It’s a wonderful record for falling asleep to. Most of all, it feels like an entirely fitting progression for the band – most of Nixon was meandering and quiet, after all. The gradual stripping down of the music means that Lambchop’s country and soul inflections are now just gentle hints, memories of listening to something far off and long ago. The music Lambchop are making now, though, is entirely their own.