• Image of Amateur Best - The Gleaners

Amateur Best is the alias of Birmingham-based “personal pop” musi-cian, songwriter, and producer Joe Flory.

'The Gleaners' feels like more of a step into the unknown. Produced and mixed entirely by Flory, the album uses a huge array of instrumentation and hardware to arrive at its unique and varied sound. Flory would buy old drum machines and synthesizers, make a song, and then sell it to buy the next piece of kit. “Mixing it myself made me slightly crazy, but I love the sound of something that has been entirely directed by one person.” Like all the most personal albums, 'The Gleaners' is a record that reveals itself to the deeper listener. Urgent and immediate moments like "Marzi-pan" contrast with the luscious, slower grooves of "No Sleep", while pristine electronic pop belters like "They Know" sit alongside rawer songs like album opener "Rely" (which was recorded completely live, with keyboards from Spencer Zahn and strings from the Kaiser Quartett). Additionally, Chilly Gonzales – who guested on No Thrills – returns for more on The Gleaners and laid down the piano on "19".