They have been playing their melancholic, eerie indie for the best part of a decade and are lauded by critics from Time Out and The Sun alike, but Manchester three-piece I Am Kloot have yet to become a mainstream name.

It's something of a mystery why not. They frequently headline European music festivals and songwriter and guitarist Johnny Bramwell's witty, cinematic songs have been used on films including Danny Boyle's Sunshine, Snowcake and Gone.

The Independent proclaimed them "the best band to come out of Manchester in 20 years", while Pete Doherty said Johnny was one of the four greatest songwriters of the past decade.

Describing themselves as "a Harold Pinter real-deal to everyone else's overblown, Cecil B De Mille mock-ups" Play Moolah Rouge, their fourth studio album, came out on Monday.

Dedicated to respected Manchester singer-songwriter Bryan Glancy, who died in 2006 and was a good friend of the band, it was recorded in just a few days at Moolah Rouge Studios in Stockport.

"We treated the recording as a gig," says Johnny. "The dynamics you can hear are the real dynamics.

"One year we played 200 gigs; the next 150. We became aware that the audience and that live feeling were actually better than our records - and that was a big frustration. So we took a gamble."

A journey through the heavens and hells of human experience, the band say it bears most resemblence to Natural History, their alternately tender, self-loathing and cynical 2001 debut album.

"Of all our records so far, Natural History is our own favourite," Johnny says. "There's the same venom on Play Moolah Rouge. Except now it's turned inwards."

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