The new release by string quartet ETHEL is a CD, despite it being packaged like a 7”. It boasts a gorgeous cover – Innova rarely caters to obkect fetichists, but this time they did, and it’s quite a treat. I like ETHEL – their recording of Mary Ellen Childs’ Dream House is what attracted me to their work a few years ago. Heavy features eight works by eight composers. They all share a certain heaviness – eitheir from their inspiration in blues or soul music, or in their see-saw approach to the string quartet. Worth singleing out are Raz Mesinar’s long and obsessive “La Citadelle”; John Halle’s strange “Sphere[‘]s”; and Don Byron’s “String Quartet No. 2: Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye”, the brilliant disc opener. Overall, Heavy delivers a highly enjoyable and rather varied listen. Accessible music with lots of surprises.