4ZZZ Music DepartmentAwesome Fortnightly Music Update

It's another list of our favourite things to hit the 4ZZZ Music Library. If you see anything you like you can request it:


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07 3252 1555

Thanks to Ally Cole, Jay Edwards, Lonnie Gilroy, Katie Green, Nick Rodwell, Ed Walker & Tori Zietsch for their contributions.

Australian Artists:

Various Artists: Feral Media Seasons Spring (Feral Media)
- Ah Spring, such a lovely time: bushfires, fist-sized hailstones, heat-waves and super-typhoons. This little EP featuring contributions from Tim Shiel, Pimmon, Nakagin & Nimble Animal captures it all with uneasy, disorienting soundscapes and crashing idm and even some moments of beautiful, ambient respite where Spring is still a time for saying ‘what lovely weather this is’, before global warming and Tony Abbott turn our blue marble into a flaming ball of mud. (Chris Cobcroft)

Various Artists: Lost And Lonesome 15 (Lost & Lonesome)
- A compilation of L&L bands past, present and those only vaguely related, coinciding with the label’s fifteenth birthday celebrations on the 23rd of November, as part of Melbourne music week. The comp. is pretty cool: cuts from Milk Teddy, The Zebras, Monnone Alone and many more. Lazy, arty indie that makes you remember there’s something to like about alt-pop when bucket loads of money don’t get in the way. (Chris Cobcroft)

Alex Cameron: Jumping The Shark (Indie)
- Seekae’s Alex Cameron has a solo album you can download from his (debatably) gloriously ‘90s website. It’s chock-full of sparse, Gary Numan style (or maybe just SPOD style) electro. Dorkily machine-like, cheesily cool. (Chris Cobcroft)

Angie: Turning (Rice Is Nice / Easter Bilby)
- Angie is the solo garage rock project of Angie Garrick (Circle Pit, Southern Comfort, Ruined Fortune, Straight Arrows), only it’s not really garage. Substantially louder and dronier, but less fuzzy than that. Barring the highly misleading single, Parallels, this record is kind of like Fabulous Diamonds without synth or reverb. (Tori Zietsch & Chris Cobcroft)

Ben Wright Smith: If Living The Good Life Is Easy (Why Is It So Hard?) (Single) (Indie)
- You can see why he gets compared to Bob Dylan, with his singer songwriter chops, harmonica and nasal twang, but here, thanks to a wave of psych he sounds more like Spiritualized, which isn’t bad either. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Bennies: Rainbows In Space (Poison City)
- If the Beastie Boys had been ska-punks instead of hip hop and hardcore I think they would have sounded something like The Bennies. Utterly, uncompromisingly party-focused, but still, in a similar sort of way to Deez Nutz, hard as ****. These guys are much less bro-tastic than Deez Nutz though (even with their token post-hardcore synth player), which is a relief. Like unprotected hood-rat sex, completely infectious. (Chris Cobcroft)

Big Scary: Remixes (Barsuk)
- Being signed to Barsuk has it’s advantages, among which must surely be remixes by the likes of Menonema, The Antlers and - continuing Big Scary’s fascination with the instrumental hip hop of yesteryear - Dan The Automator. The Menonema rework of Luck Now is angular and strange, sort of like if Tortoise had got their hands on it, but The Antlers make a smooth and dreamy affair of Twin Rivers. (Chris Cobcroft)

Braves: In Colour (Sampler) (Indie)
- Perth’s Braves set themselves apart from many other indie-pop bands by cleaving to Wavves style fuzzy thunder, but even when they do more straight up indie-pop, here they overlay it with a lot of reverb and more nuanced production which gives these songs significantly greater shelf-life. (Chris Cobcroft)

Citizen Kay: Raise A Glass ft. The Brass Knuckle Big Band (Single) (Indie)
- There’s quite a lot of live hiphop / funk fusion going on at the moment. Some of it is better than other bits. Ghanaian rapper Citizen Kay and The Brass Knuckle Big Band are pretty damn tight together, might even give the Hot 8 Brass Band a run for their money. (Chris Cobcroft)

City Calm Down: Speak To No End (Single) (I Oh You / Mushroom)
- I’m not sure if CCD still think of themselves as post-punk, but they’re really its poppy, dancey offshoot, new wave. They put quite a bit of emphasis on the pop side of that equation, but are pretty skilled at penning their hooks. Something for fans of Duran Duran. (Chris Cobcroft)

Covers: The Automation (Single) (Indie)
- How difficult to google is that?! Anyway, this song is pretty cool. Extraordinarily lo-fi for this kind of snappy synth-pop-rock, it works surprisingly well, liquefying the band’s undeniable warmth and just spraying it around everywhere. I can’t really pick what it reminds me of, except Animal Collective a bit, maybe? That’s gotta be good. (Chris Cobcroft)

Crump Cake Orchestra: Just Awesome (Indie)
- I don’t really ‘know’ what a crump cake is, although I can imagine, yikes. I’m not sure it would be just awesome, but this record is pretty good. Soundtrack soul and funk. They claim to be hip hop too, but I’m not really hearing it. Their production could use some work and their diva sounds a bit white too, but even with these impediments there’s a whole lot to like here when the soul just overflows with a thick, seventeen piece sound and a heart that you can feel. (Chris Cobcroft)

Cut Copy: Free Your Mind (Modular / Universal)
- Tripping back into Madchester and the baggy ‘90s has, unsurprisingly, invited a lot of comparisons to Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, Stone Roses, etc.. Again, it’s a little unsurprising that, up against all of that, this album occasionally comes up a little wanting. Which is not to say that it’s bad; in fact, it’s a highly enjoyable slice of retro-dance-pop. It just won’t match up to every eccy’d up memory you have of the ‘90s. (Chris Cobcroft)

Dallas Crane: I’m Sorry Darling (Single) (Larkin / Satchell)
- A cut of really big blues-rock is a good way to come back (and literally a bit of a mea-culpa) for the veteran Aussie rockers. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Dead Heads: Power Tripping (Single) (Indie)
- They’re pretty much what it says on the packet: a psych band with enough guitar guts to be grunge as well. The echoing, slightly lo-fi production works well too: fuzz lost in haze. Warm and mysterious. (Chris Cobcroft)

Elizaband: The Twin Eps (Seventh Seal)
- Rory Cooke combines two of his old EPs for a whole that’s pretty good. There’s a lot of hidden depth in this indie-rock: echoes of psych, post-punk, ambient electronics and shoegaze guitar. A muso with a lot of self-awareness and both the musicianship and song-writing chops to turn that into serious indie prowess. Impressive stuff. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Ellis Collective: Walk Back Down (Single) (Indie)
- Acoustic guitar and mandolin (I think), drive this acoustic roots slice of Australian gothic. There’s a touch of Paul Kelly and a touch of Gareth Liddiard and that’s an unnerving but compelling mix. (Chris Cobcroft)

Greta Mob: Let the Sunburnt Country Burn (Indie)
- Self-recorded, produced and engineered, Let the Sunburnt Country Burn has to be one of the punchiest records of 2013. Free from pretension and ingeniously disarming, the debut record loiters between badass blues-rock and mesmerising folk, all the while possessing more than enough grit to sustain the steady reputation Greta Mob have been gaining for their solid live shows. (Tori Zietsch)

Harlott: Origin (Indie)
- Fast, no-nonsense thrash, that’s exactly what I want. In the absence of Slayer to kick the pansy asses of all those metalcore sissies, Harlott will give them the business. (Chris Cobcroft)

Harmony: Diminishing Returns 7” (Poison City)
- The two tracks we’ve already heard as singles (Diminishing Returns / Cutting Myself Clean) are bundled here with an acapella version of the former, which is, for the most part, pretty spooky cool. I’ve been wondering whether there’s a bigger release in the offing for the soul-noise-rockers and I haven’t seen anything about, but when these tracks were sent to me, at least one of them was listed as “2 of 15”, which is a bit exciting. (Chris Cobcroft)

Harry Howard & The NDE: Pretty (Spooky)
- Angular-rocking, post-punk cuts and Harry’s lugubrious drawl. Unsurprisingly good. (Chris Cobcroft)

Hamish Anderson: Winter (Single) (Indie)
- Winter is a delicate, stripped back acoustic track from Hamish's self-titled EP. It displays a maturity and strength in songwriting that extends beyond his 21 years and situates him strongly in the current Indie scene. Beautiful with a tender melody and soothing vocals, it’s quite a contrast to his previous bluesy-rocking on Howl. Having already worked with some notables on his current EP (Rami Jaffee of the Foo Fighters, James Hauptman of Bluejuice and Rob Calder of Angus and Julia Stone) Hamish is currently working on his next offering with Jeff Buckley's drummer. What a match, can' wait to hear the result. (Katie Green)

Heads Of Charm: Check Check Check (Single) (Alone Again)
- Stupendously heavy guitar fuzz and wild abandon lead to a trio of sounds: punk, post-punk and stoner, which go very nicely together. Something for fans of Shellac and more for fanciers of the Jesus Lizard. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ilias: Sometimes I Wonder... (Single) (Indie)
- A fantastically smooth track with a loungey swagger, that is deliciously cheesy, but...this number also has a beauty that isn’t ironic at all. Taken from Ilias’ debut album that has been ten years in the making. He was involved in EVERY part of the process - composing, writing, all instrumentation and vocals as well as mastering and engineering, this really is his work and it really is good. (Katie Green)

Joe Brunning: Velocity Funk (Joe Brunning's Back To The funk Remix) (Single) (KMS / EPM)
- This is Joe getting his hands dirty with the cuts and the drops of a classic Detroit techno track, originally by Kevin Saunderson. It's a banger from the get go, Joe slices in some slick jazz horn and percussion which seasons it to taste but leaves it true to the D. (Nick Rodwell)

Kalacoma: Waves (Single) (Indie)
- Thom Yorke moanings are probably the least interesting part of this, but the other parts are pretty interesting. There’s the click-clack of big, wonky beats, given plenty of gravitas by even bigger, slamming bass music. If Thom Yorke, Flylo (just saying, been done!) and the kind of dubstepper that Eskmo is got together, it would probably sound a bit like this. (Chris Cobcroft)

Lost Ragas: Phantom Ride (Fuse)
- Matt Walker is a veteran muso with a list of career achievements as long as your arm, collab.s with Mick Harvey, Chris Abrahams, Archie Roach, so on and so forth. To be honest, he’s still not someone I know a huge amount about. With this record Matt & his band make me feel the pain of my ignorance still more strongly. Phantom Ride is dusty country and roots rock of a very high calibre. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mick Turner: (Drag City / Remote Control)
- Dirty Three guitarist and prolific solo artist Mick Turner lays down his latest. His rhythms here are so deliberately, messily complex that they start out resembling an art-rock version of wonky. All the other stuff you know him for is here: experimental, minimal jazz, post-rock, moody folk. Deadstar’s Caroline Kennedy-McCracken and Oliver Mann chip in some vocals, rounding out what is another intricate, almost neurotically detailed, but always intriguing record. (Chris Cobcroft)

New Gods: Beloved (Indie)
- Former Little Red members Dominic Byrne and Adrian Beltrame are joined by Eagle and the Worm’s Richard Bradbeer, Ground Components’ Sam Raines and Dale Packard on this latest release. Cast with a weighty vulnerability, every track is surprising. Drifting between unguarded sparseness and masses of unrefined sound, subtle imperfections liberate the record’s anthemic psych-pop-rock and underscore something really affecting about Byrne’s songwriting. (Tori Zietsch)

perth: What’s Your Utopia? (Hidden Shoal Recordings)
- Perth band, er, perth, are not just a presumptuous band name, but an unusual combination of things. Echoing reverb smothers synthesisers and a variety of instruments creating thickly layered sounds unified by a fairly left-field twee-pop sensibility. It’s similar to a lot of things, but not really, definitively, the same as anything else and there’s not much music you can say that about these days. Still, if you’re a fan of the likes of Neu!, Spiritualized, Caribou, Animal Collective, or Fourtet, you’ll definitely find plenty to like in this kaleidoscope of warmly hypnotic sounds. (Chris Cobcroft)

Pugsley Buzzard: Dirty Wings (Single) (Indie)
- This is more pianobar fare than other PB I’ve heard - complete with Paul McCartney references - but his Louis Armstrong / Tom Waits voice alone would make him worth hearing in almost any circumstance. (Chris Cobcroft)

Rokwell&Groom: New Parts (The Community)
- Diger Rokwell & Felicity Groom prove to be a perfect match on this full-length of dark, shadowy tiphop, a-la Portishead. Nothing new school about this, and you might even say it was a bit obsessed with triphop, but it sounds pretty damn good, so who cares? (Chris Cobcroft)

Sarah Blasko: Fool (Single) (Dew Process / Universal)
- Soulful new single from the singer-songwriter’s latest album. Blasko has always had a flare for darkness and she makes a point of it here by securing two remixes from indie-math-goths PVT and experimental beats boys Seekae. Really liking that Seekae mix, actually, reminds me of HTRK. (Chris Cobcroft)

Shining Bird: Keep Warm (Single) (Spunk)
- You may have noticed that I love these warmly self-medicating, lounge-pop weirdos, well this new single does nothing to change that. (Chris Cobcroft)

Strangers From Now On: Strangers From Now On (Indie / MGM)
- From The Scientists to The Drones, Australia has a penchant for swampy rock. Melbourne born Strangers From Now On, are paying paying their dues with their self-titled debut EP. With the vocalist’s versatility in vocalising, as apart from singing, one is given the impression that these guys are more captivating live than on a recording. Having said that, though, this is still has a raunchy, sludgy charm. (Nick Rodwell)

Sunbeam Sound Machine: Cosmic Love Affair (Single) (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- Reverb drenched, slow-moving, multi-layered pop that occasionally threatens to drown everything in galactic noise. If the Black Angels had a baby with Animal Collective, it’d make noises like this. (Chris Cobcroft)

Tim Shiel: Duet OST (Indie)
- Tim Shiel (who you may know as Faux Pas) did a soundtrack for an iOS game (a rather good one by all accounts). The soundtrack stands very nicely by itself, 4 cuts of stylish ambient techno embellished with licks from the piano. Both smooth and moving, it’s some of the better stuff that Shiel has ever done. (Chris Cobcroft)

Thief: Closer (Rabble / Shock)
- The Sydney producer has neatly incorporated his influences - Jamie Lidell, D’Angelo, maybe even James Blake - to produce a punchy electro-soul that is hard to say no to. (Chris Cobcroft)

Unknown Lines : Hopes And Their Echoes (Indie)
- While still being, in many ways having an indie-folk sound, multi-instrumentalist Ryan K Brennan infuses Unknown Lines with a certain gothic splendour thanks to free-flowing reverb enveloping their muted sounds and the sounds of post-rock too. All of that together makes a substantially more interesting than average EP. (Chris Cobcroft)

Yeo: Girl (Single) (Indie)
- Yeo may be leaving it a little late to jump on to the new r’n’b wagon, but his processed moans over an almost untuned synthesiser fuzz sound pretty good. If there’s room for Oliver Tank to ride this wave, there may well be room for Yeo, too. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ylem: Singles (Indie)
- Two recent tracks and a remix of Lilt’s Swim. All are united by a downbeat sound (with a liitle bit of wonk in there too) that is, paradoxically, smooth and glitchy at the same time. Pretty old school, but pretty good. (Chris Cobcroft)

Local Artists:

Various Artists: Dub Temple Records: DTR Mixtape (Dub Temple)
- An expansive collection of so many artists who’ve been releasing through Brisbane’s hard-working Dub Temple Records. The mixtape starts out sounding a bit like a Madlib beat sampler, all old-school instrumental hip hop stuffed full of obscure, funky samples.
The sound progresses however into pounding dance beats shot through with dub and world music samples. From there it’s into the remixes which are even more loosely inspired, but it still makes for a pretty badass collection of beats. In case you weren’t paying attention, DJ Walrii recapitulates the whole trip in miniature with a DTR Megamix. This is a surprisingly strong collection as diverse and banging as the best DJ/Rupture illbient collections ever were. (Chris Cobcroft)

1.1.1: Rock Da Nation (Single) (Indie)
- 1.1.1 do their best Spiderbait impression and are perhaps doing gnarly powerpop that’s even a little bit more gutsy into the bargain. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ah Fuck That!: Rubbish (Indie)
- Not that I really need to tell many people around here, but… Politically snarky, sludgy thrash metal. Good for what ails ya. (Chris Cobcroft)

Amon & Audra: Home (Indie)
- Brisbane duo, Amon & Audra, are raconteurs of that classic forlorn alt-country orientation. This EP of five tracks is sparse in arrangement, common in experience and solid as a live performance. (Nick Rodwell)

The Babe Rainbow: Love Forever (Single) (Indie)
- Sort of psychedelic pop rock from Rainbow Bay boys The Babe Rainbow, who, apart from being spectacular for tongue twisters, show great promise in this carefree 1960’s style tune. Can't wait for more. (Lonnie Gilroy)

Bandito Folk: The Embankment (Valve)
- Joshua Tuck, chief singer and songwriter for Brisbane band Bandito Folk is a keen observer, one with wit and insight. His lyrics, therefore, are fresh and engaging. But, on this EP, out of the four tracks, it's split into two tones: he can be the fun, incisive cynic (think Ball Park Music) or the earnest, sensitive balladeer (Jeff Buckley's softer moments). His divide is apparent, and this is bittersweet. (Nick Rodwell)

Crowbird: Rock N Roll Madness (Indie)
- There’s a space for cock-rock when it’s done good and hard. Crowbird are pounding (ok, sorry I’ve got to stop these puns). Much harder than say, the Gunners, who they list as an influence. Potentially not smarter, with a name like Crowbird. Maybe they’re trying to distinguish themselves from those other, non-avian crows…? But they sound a bit like Motorhead and that’s gotta be good. (Chris Cobcroft)

Darren Middleton: Translations (Footstomp / MGM)
- The newest release to follow Powderfinger’s end is songwriter and guitarist Darren Middleton’s debut solo album, Translations. Combining charming melodies, pop song structures and straightforward storytelling, Middleton has endeavoured to create a release that can be clearly set apart from notable past projects. Featuring appearances from Bernard Fanning, Clare Bowditch and Pete Murray, to name a few, Translations is a mature debut that fits in well within Australia’s alternative pop/rock music landscape. (Ally Cole)

Elroy 4.0: Pursuit Of Paradise (Wildlife)
- In the spirit of the title there’s a pleasantly cheesy chillout vibe to Elroy 4.0’s full-length. Beyond that though his mischievous noodlings go all over the place: glitch, idm, wonky, 8-bit, old-school instrumental hip hop. With so much experimentation it’s not always successful but there are cuts which are winning indeed, like Elroy’s collab. with The Kite String Tangle, Trinkets. Hypnotic, blissful and occasionally transcendental. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Good Ship: The Seven Seas (Autumn Recordings / MGM)
- The Seven Seas is the third LP from Brisbane’s only ‘porno folk country cabaret’ eight-piece, The Good Ship! Recorded by Josh Tuck at Gasworks studios, these mariners have created an album that, with horns, banjo, accordion and percussion a-plenty, is full of odes to the ocean and life on the sea. Unleash your inner pirate, grab some rum and sing and dance along to the joyful shanties of The Good Ship. (Ally Cole)

Heinz Riegler: Sleep Health (A Guide To Saints)
- Two beautiful cuts, exactly seventeen minutes each, of hazy ambience shimmering like the sun bursting through a cloudbank. Ambience can be pretty boring if you’re lazy about it, but even on these longform cuts, Riegler has worked in a fine level of detail that not only retains attention but is movingly emotional as well. (Chris Cobcroft)

JNGL: Saviour - EP (Indie)
- A very accomplished EP from such a young producer. Slow moving electro / deep house with a diverse collection of guest vocals that are also right on the money. Speaks of impressive things to come. (Chris Cobcroft)

Keep On Dancin's: Grey Ghost (Single) (Showoff Recordings)
- Local mid-tempo mood'n'brooders, Keep On Dancin's have dropped a single, Grey Ghost. It's their typical urban-surf shtick, the chorus drops into a dirty riff and a blue scaled wail, reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane, evoking a ghost more inclined to perform a choreographed dance than hold a grudge. (Nick Rodwell)

Lords Of Wong: Reconditioned Motor (Single) (Indie)
- Brisbane heavies Lords Of Wong launch another two sludge-rockets our way, packed full of the scum scraped from the underbelly of Australiana. Especially on the b-side, Club Bistro, there’s a slowly burning psych that pushes on into desert rock. Good stuff. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Ninjas: Yeah Yeah (Single) (Mucho Bravado)
- Geezery blues rock, that owes a debt to the Stones and Oasis. It’s both a sledge and a compliment to say that this would work in a stadium. (Chris Cobcroft)

Pigeon: Two Moon Love (Single) (Create/Control)
- Pigeon are becoming very good at electro-pop, both live and as you’ll hear on this latest single, on the recorded medium. Strutting and seductive 80’s synth-funk. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Pretty Fingers: The Pretty Fingers EP (Indie)
- Pretty big fans of PIL, TPF are all snarling guitars, pumping new wave and some British geezer spewing cynical, judgemental bile on the mic.. Without ever really matching Johnny Lydon in his snide mastery, this is still pretty interesting. (Chris Cobcroft)

Tincture: Tryst (Single) (Silo Arts)
- R’n’B tinged electro-pop/trap, that despite its tinny trebles has a lusciously pop quality. (Chris Cobcroft)

Unsought Duke: Debts And Debtors (Single) (Indie)
- UD’s Matt Neilson has something of Perry Farrell which bonds well with the grungy guitar sound. Here they’re on a bit more of a blues / roots rock vibe than either Jane’s Addiction or Porno For Pyros but fans of those would still find plenty to like and also, this is pretty good just by itself. (Chris Cobcroft)

Weathered: Coast (Single) (A&R Department)
- Reverb heavy, eerie acoustic folk-pop that is just a good deal more interesting than so many folk-pop bands out there right now. (Chris Cobcroft)

Witch Doctor: Popular Non-Violent (Indie)
- Brisbane’s Witch Doctor has been messing around with downbeat, triphop and synthpop for a while now, but I think this EP may be the first time they’ve truly nailed it. Packing wonky downbeat, sleazy triphop, instrumental hip hop, ambient synth-pop and some vox which sound a bit like Beck Hansen. This is a very impressive EP. (Chris Cobcroft)

Women In Docs: Carousel (+1)
- Classic, 90’s folk-rock, a-la the Indigo Girls, or really Women In Docs, who are their own reference point these days. A guilty pleasure surely, but one which plenty of Aussies will want to share in. (Chris Cobcroft)

New Zealand Artists:

The Naked & Famous: I Kill Giants (Radio Edit) (Single) (Universal)
- I Kill Giants is the second single from The Naked and Famous’ sophomore album, In Rolling Waves. Drawing on singer Alisa Xayalith’s childhood, it’s a gutsy pop track with pulsating synth, sampled vocals and the band’s signature male/female harmonies. A rocky, synth-filled track with a healthy dose of nostalgia; how can you go wrong? (Ally Cole)

Overseas Artists:

Various Artists: Lee Hazlewood Industries: There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving (Light In The Attic)
- A huge compilation of material by the cultish, drawling folk-cowboy. Lee Hazlewood continues to inspire as much interest in folks these days as ever and this is a treasure trove for those who don’t know him and those who thought they were pretty familiar alike. (Chris Cobcroft)

Action Bronson & Party Supplies: Blue Chips 2 (Indie / Vice)
- The second mixtape that AB & PS have done together and it’s another banger. PS’s gimmicky, stolen pop hits prove to be the perfect accompaniment to Action’s stream-of-consciousness insanity about food, drugs, -uh- ladies and sports. (Jay Edwards & Chris Cobcroft)

Against Me!: FUCKMYLIFE666 (Single) (Total Treble Music)
- Advance single for what is clearly going to be a seriously personal album for the band. Given the cathartic nature of melodic punk, I’d say that Against Me! probably have a pretty decent record in the wings. (Chris Cobcroft)

Autechre: L-Event - EP (Warp / Inertia)
- Of all the stars of IDM - is that even a thing? Whatever - Autechre have seemed the most unwilling to admit that music might have moved on. Sometimes that has yielded pure strangeness, like this year’s Exai, which revealed nothing new and made me forget what I liked about Autechre in the first place. L-Event, however, is slippery, nightmarish glitch, that, under all the splattery sounds has a beat that could still smash a dancefloor and works on both levels. (Chris Cobcroft)

Band Of Skulls: Asleep At The Wheel (Single) (Pias / Mushroom)
- They still have the whiff of corporate rock about them, but BOS can also make some pretty thundery blues rock to rival the likes of The Dead Weather. (Chris Cobcroft)

Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe (Domino / EMI)
- Dev Hynes (Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion), on his second album as Blood Orange, returns with a guest heavy posse, featuring the likes of David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) and Caroline Polachek (Chairlift), trying to repeat some of the pop success he’s had writing hits with the likes of Solange and Sky Ferreira. That may well be a winning approach. Cupid Deluxe sounds like Prince at his most easy-listening and while the cheese is pretty thick here, in a goofy kind of way, this is pretty cool. (Chris Cobcroft)

Broken Bells: Holding On For Life (Single) (Columbia / Sony)
- The Burton/Mercer duo are back again with another spacey rock track. Meandering vocals and unassuming bass lines add a subtle charm to the glitzy synthesizer sounds. I keep getting images of The Bee Gees One Night Only DVD that my mum forced me to watch with her a few years back and I think it might be due to the stealth disco vibes I’m feeling from the latest Broken Bells single. (Tori Zietsch)

Cedron: Chased By Shades (Pee)
- The first minute of Swedish band Cedron’s record is misleadingly slow, really emphasising the old-school hardcore elements of their sound. The rest of the record is frickin’ nitro-powered, but still has, undeniably, no-frills hardcore at its heart. Having said that, the guitar sound is such that even post-rock fans (extremely ferocious ones) may find something to like here, as things build to towering, icy monoliths that Sigur Ros might be proud of. More generally though, fans of Kvelertak (let’s keep everything Scandinavian) will certainly enjoy this. (Chris Cobcroft)

Crystal Antlers: Rattlesnake (Single) (Innovative Leisure)
- This new single from the indie-psych band builds from a lackadaisical saunter to a roaring, shrieking chorus that justifies the journey. (Chris Cobcroft)

DAT Politics: Powermoon (Tigerbeat6)
- The first slice of French electro-pop nutiness I’ve heard from DAT Politics in a while. As ludicrously experimental, stylishly retro-pop and energetically mental as they were when I left them last. (Chris Cobcroft)

Daughter: Amsterdam (Single) (4AD / Remote Control)
- Ethereal and haunting folk rock that is reminiscent of Beth Orton or Bjork at her quietest and least experimental. (Chris Cobcroft)

Death Grips: Government Plates (Indie)
- Oh yeah I love Death Grips. Another brutal torrent of performance poetry wrapped in industrial steel. I mean really, this sounds great. No-one is as hard as this: Necro, Dalek, Dead Prez, no-one. Also, did they sign to Sony just to torture those guys? A couple of days after Epic announce they’re ‘re-releasing’ No Love Deep Web, bam, DG splash their brand new album all over the internet. Making my day. (Chris Cobcroft)

Diego Garcia: Paradise Tour EP (Concord)
- A strangely winning cheese-whip from the former Elefant frontman. Echoing lounge-pop with a flamenco tinge. Never really sure if it’s tongue-in-cheek or not, but this is primed for the highly ironic exotica market and comes complete with a Peaking Lights remix. (Chris Cobcroft)

Freya: Paragon of the Crucible (Holy Mountain Music / Deadlight Entertainment)
- Freya are back with their fourth full length, Paragon of the Crucible. Potentially their most realised album to date, this release sees the band reaching new dynamic levels, with frontman Karl Buechner pushing his vocal boundaries. This is a release for fans of Lamb of God, Sepultura and Earth Crisis. (Ally Cole)

Glass Animals: Psylla (Single) (Wolf Tone / Caroline / Universal)
- The elusive Glass Animals have once again emerged to unveil Psylla, the first track to surface from the band’s album recording sessions. A combination of digital and organic sounds, future-facing electronics and soulful, melodic vocals, Psylla is a mesmerising track that stands as a fantastic example of electronica tinged indie. Look out for their debut LP, due for release in early 2014. (Ally Cole)

The Growlers: Humdrum Blues (Single) (Smack Face)
- The Growlers’ off-kilter approach to 60’s pop and surf-rock - sparse, echoing and, somehow honest - wins me over, where the highly processed pop revival falters. It’s been called ‘beach-goth’ in the past, which is a fair appellation. (Chris Cobcroft)

Irmin Schmidt: Villa Wunderbar (Spoon / Mute)
- This is a collection of Can founder Irmin Schmidt’s work comprising solo and soundtrack stuff as well as some previously unheard Can remixes. If you need a more familiar point of reference, imagine a German David Byrne and that’ll bring you uncannily close to what’s on offer here. Tango, krautrock, easy-listening pop, industrial, experimental music theatre, jungle. I don’t know why I’m surprised that this is insane. Often in a way that makes me want to laugh out loud, this is deeply entertaining. (Chris Cobcroft)

James Vincent McMorrow: Post Tropical (Dew Process / Universal)
- I’ve been looking for relief from the indie-folk onslaught, but the last place I ever expected to get it is James Vincent McMorrow. Candidacy for the position of the next James Blunt, sure, but not this album, which isn’t due out till early 2014; his label folks are obviously giving everyone plenty of room to get acquainted with it.
Synth-folk blends with neo-soul harmonies that echo Justin Vernon, Pat Grossi or Abel Tesfaye, but soar where truly few dare. At a guess I’d say this is cheesy enough to please his pop listeners, but this is also a work of brittle beauty that caught me completely off-guard. (Chris Cobcroft)

Jon Hopkins: Collider (Single) (Domino / EMI)
- Urgent, glitchy, techno driving a synthesiser sheen that is impossible to resist. Vangelis should wish he sounded this epic. This single is everything that made Immunity such an amazing record, in microcosm. (Chris Cobcroft)

Kurt Vile: Feel My Pain (Single) (Matador / Remote Control)
- Feel My Pain is an unadulterated folk offering from Vile, featuring meticulous guitar work and arresting lyrical content, “Feel my pain and I’ll do yours. We’re all banged up but who’s keeping score?” (Tori Zietsch)

Mogwai: Remurdered (Single) (Rave Action / Spunk)
- Advance off next year’s Rave Tapes. Fairly meh opening builds to a synth heavy grind that folks who appreciated the recent work of 65daysofstatic and Fuck Buttons should hook into. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mount Eerie: Pre-Human Ideas (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
- A reworking of Phil Elverum’s back-catalogue via the medium of Garage Band and also Autotune. Not because he’s trying to make a cheap joke and it never comes off as that, but because he’s sick of being heard, unproblematically, in the continuum of folk music. It certainly does make you think a bit harder about what exactly he’s been trying to say in these songs and, for all the plastic horror of his orchestration, this is as intimately listenable as Mount Eerie ever is. (Chris Cobcroft)

Natalie Prass: When I Am Alone Ft. Among Savages (Single) (Indie)
- The most interesting thing about this single from the sweetly voiced Nashville singer-songwriter is the backing track. Featuring highly processed everything, there are elements of electro-blues and haunting touches of ghostly r’n’b. It’s got that same sensation of having feet in two eras as King Krule,or Gil Scott-Heron’s last record, but, instead of slobbery weirdos singing there’s a young diva prettying everything up. (Chris Cobcroft)

Nguzunguzu: Skycell (Fade To Mind)
- LA based production duo Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda make a fusion of footwork and Angolan kuduro (it’s a bit like soca, which is a bit like dancehall) and here they let it run to bass heavy and science-fictional excesses that can be pretty damn techy-cool, but also pretty gimmicky. It reminds me of the outrageousness of TNGHT, but without quite the same level of audacity. In the same way, too, Skycell sometimes begs to be chopped up and sold off to MCs to rap over. Still, despite it’s limitations, you won’t often find tribal beats as frisky as this. (Chris Cobcroft)

No Joy: Pastel & Pass Out (Mexican Summer)
- Just three tracks on this Euro tour EP by the Canadian shoegazers. The girls have found the perfect balance between sweet pop melodies and really rather brutal shoegaze. I’m sure that, with so much ‘gaze around it has to become boring sometimes soon, but is that even possible when it sounds as good as this? (Chris Cobcroft)

Phantogram: Phantogram EP (Republic / Universal)
- Shadowy electro-pop that for all its dark eye-liner should have no problem finding a home in the charts. (Chris Cobcroft)

Psapp: What Makes Us Glad (The state51 Conspiracy)
- The London twee / glitch-pop duo return with their fourth full-length. The tinklings, chirps and sugary, loungey, pop melodies are balanced by the grim realities of adults and their romances. It’s been compared to that album David Byrne and St. Vincent did together, but for all that there is a striking resemblance, this isn’t half as much hard work as that was. You could also compare this to (again the more easy-going work of) The Fiery Furnaces. (Chris Cobcroft)

Rafael Anton Irisarri: The Unintentional Sea (Room40)
- This dark ambient record, full of popping glitches and scratches, was inspired by California’s Salton Sea, a man made salt-water lake, accidentally created during a construction project. Many of the photos I’ve seen of it are as full of darkness and horror as this music (think dead fish as far as the eye can see), but there is also a subtle beauty to its endless, eerie tranquility, and that’s captured here too. (Chris Cobcroft)

Rosie Lowe: Right Thing (Single) (37 Adventures / Pias / Mushroom)
- In many ways a very muted piece of electro-soul, but still quite moving and with its crushing electro-industrial beat, a bit exciting too. If FKA Twigs can get a go right now, this certainly can too. (Chris Cobcroft)

Sumie: Never Wanted To Be (Single) (Bella Union / Pias / Mushroom)
- I keep waiting for this Swedish songstress to cut sick and start shrieking like some PJ Harvey channeling gothic haridan. Never happens though, her pristine, acoustic folk remains unnervingly, just that. I feel like Heathcliff or Stanley Kowalski, driven to distraction by this woman. (Chris Cobcroft)

Summer Camp: Two Chords (Moshi Moshi / Pias / Mushroom)
- This new single from the duo of Summer Camp strikes a balance between their former twee synth-pop / 80’s soundtracks fascination and their present transmogrification into a purely dance-pop band. Pumping dance rhythms with just enough of a hint of something left-field to keep it from being completely mindless. (Chris Cobcroft)

Swearin’: Surfing Strange (Wichita / Pias / Mushroom)
- I don’t know how many people heard Swearin’s debut, so they won’t have much to compare this second full-length to, except for the whole-of-the-‘90s worth of thunderous and warm alt-rock-pop with experimental flourishes. Pavement, Breeders, Sonic Youth fans, we got you all covered, try not to like this, I dare you. (Chris Cobcroft)

Warpaint: Love Is To Die (Rough Trade / Remote Control)
- This softly ethereal new single would probably sound like The xx but for the muscular drum beat which produces a sort of post-punk propulsiveness. I’m not always sold on Warpaint, and this isn’t a revelation, but I’m keen to hear what the album offers. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Whistles And The Bells: The Whistles And The Bells (Sampler) (Indie)
- Prog-roots-rock? Anyone? This is actually surprisingly good. Bringing these styles crashing together yields some bizarre but excellent dividends: sick banjo solos for instance. Even given that frontman Bryan Simpson sounds nasal and wheedling, like Alt-J’s (very odd sounding) singer, he and his compadres are bloody solid at what they do and bring shock and awe to this as though it were stadium rock. It’s a little bit of many things, but its sum is impressive. (Chris Cobcroft)

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