Friday, 28 December 2012

FTC Top 50 Albums of The Year 2012

1. Lost in The Trees- A Church That Fits Our Needs
No bigger, bolder and more personal album was released this year than Lost in The Trees' A Church That Fits Our Needs, an album that confronts the realities of sad sudden death in the most beautiful sublime and majestic way. Frontman Ari Picker's voice transcends sadness into orchestral beauty.
"Ari Picker tries to make sense of his mother's suicide against a backdrop of rich orchestration, piled generously atop a base of delicate acoustic folk like heaping spoonfuls of vanilla frosting."- Rolling Stone
"A Church That Fits Our Needs bursts with the same melodic interplay that makes later Radiohead extraordinary."- Pop Matters
2. Metric- Synthetica
Metric made a strong return in 2012 with their poppiest effort yet, opening track "Artificial Nocturne" opened with the always hopeful Haines spin "I'm just as fucked up as they say," "Youth Without Youth" attacked the police with it's industrial beat and chugging guitars, while "Lost Kitten" had a kylie-esque glitter which further proved Metric's imperial standing.
3. Sharon Van Etten- Tramp
2012 was the year that everyone finally "found" Sharon Van Etten, Tramp was an extravagant leap forward boosted by non stop touring and the impressive Jools Holland debut.
4. Stars- The North
Stars went away and had kids but returned with their most angry and straight forward album since Set Yourself on Fire. A New Energy from the always under looked Canadians
5. Mac De Marco- Rock And Roll Night Club
Backwards Tuned off kilter guitar pop as played by a AM radio, Mac De Marco released two records this year but Rock And Roll Night Club's fuzzy nostalgic charm makes it the finer of the two.
6. Everyone Everywhere- Everyone Everywhere
Everyone Everywhere 2nd album is the finest "emotional hardcore" record this decade, creating a honest intimate punk pop record
7. Dusted- Total Dust
8. Hospitality- Hospitality
9. Moonface- With Siinai
10. Cloud Nothings- Attack on Memory
11. Here We Go Magic- A Different Ship
12. Nada Surf- The Stars are indifferent to Astronomy
13. White Lung- Sorry
14. Converge- All We Love We Leave Behind
15. Stagnant Pools- Temporary Room

16. Kathleen Edwards- Voyageur
17. The Sea & Cake- Runner
18. Exit Music- Passage
19. Diiv- Oshin
20. Ani DiFranco- Which Side Are You On?

21. Sleigh Bells- Reign of Terror
22. Tennis- Young and Old
23. Lucy Rose- Like I Used To
24. Ceremony- Zoo
25. Teen- In Limbo
26. Jherek Bischoff- Composed
27. Crocodiles- Endless Flowers
28. Islet- Illuminated People
29. Goat- World Music
30. Perfume Genius- Put Your Back N 2 It

31. Tall Firs- Out of It and Into It
32. Simian Ghost- Youth
33. Yellow Ostrich- Strange Land
34. Mother Mother- The Sticks
35. Whirr- Pipe Dreams
36. Frankie Rose- Interstellar
37. John Talabot- Fin
38. Chromatics- Kill For Love

39. Earlimart- System Preferences
40. The Gaslight Anthem- Handwritten
41. Chris Cohen- Overgrown Paths
42. Brasstronaut- Mean Sun
43. Advance Base- A Shut In’s Prayer
44. Jonathan Boulet- We Keep The Beat…
45. Purity Ring- Shrines
46. Poor Moon- S/T
47. Tops- Tender Opposites
48. Dark Dark Dark- Who Needs Who
49. Titus Andronicus- Local Business
50. Allo Darlin- Europe
For all available albums check out our spotify playlist:

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tilly and The Wall

Everyone's favourite tap dancing Omaha eccentrics Tilly and The Wall are back after 4 years... 4th Album is due October 1st.

Friday, 31 August 2012

New Rolo Tomassi Album

Remember Remember The 5th of November!

Lightning Love

Piano indie poppers from Michigan, Lightning Love release their new album "blonde album" this week and it makes me want to put on my shorts and run to the nearest beach for some beers and a BBQ. Anyone wanna come? We can all do the Frug, maybe even the robocop, I cannot do the smurf. Check out their bandcamp.


Crazy Cali Punks Deerhoof are back! Full album streaming below, in my opinion a explosive return to form after the disappointing Deerhoof vs evil. Out September 4th!

Grizzly Bear "Shields"

Grizzly Bear release their new album on September 17th and it couldn't come soon enough as "Yet Again" is probably one of the most exciting songs the band has released since it's kharma clearing debut.

Young Fresh Fellows

Seattle legends Young Fresh Fellows are back this week with full-length "Tiempo de lujo" which despite being around for over 30 years, more than lives up to the name!


Oh Baby new EP from No Cow aka Russian producer Alexey Nikitin... Russian bass music or "future garage" (my preferred term), blissed...


Julianna Barwick released one of the finest ambient pop record's of last year with "The Magic Place" so this collaboration with Helado Negro was always going to be nothing short of special, like a heavenly choir from a parallel universe.

Two Gallants- The Bloom and The Blight

It's hard to believe that it's been five years without a new record from Two Gallants, already being dismissed by new age black keys fans who think they are a rip-off without realizing that The Bloom and The Blight will be the duo's fourth album. Sometime in 2004 when Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel featured on many mixtapes I made for former and failed conquests back when itunes was barely more than a twinkle in the apple's eye. So it goes without saying I'm emotionally attached to these two. Their new album out on Monday has an explosive beginning and hopefully they wont wait five years to release the next one.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Little Bit in Love with Amber Papini


Praise Angela Correa and her lungs, Los Angeles Finest releases Pleiades this week, warm echoy understated pop, check out stand out track "Further"


Teen's debut album "In Limbo" out of this week is a heady rival for album of the week, based in Brooklyn (aren't they all) featuring Teeny former member of Here We Go Magic. Hyptonizing punked up pop with girl gang vocals which somehow managing to mix 60's girl group, menacing electro/kraut sensiblities with a modern day sound. Carpark you always get it right...

Divine Fits

With a line-up that boasts members of Spoon, Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs and New Bomb Tucks, it's no suprise that the debut album from Divine Fits (" A Thing called Divine Fits) released on the Mighty MERGE Records is a thing of complete calculated beauty.


Houndmouth reside from the lowland plains and farmlands and it shows up in their self titled EP, atmospheric indie folk about to tour the states with our very own Dry The River, see them playing a version of stand out track Krampus below.

Wild Nothing

New Wild Nothing album is out the week and sees Jack Tatum and co return with a bigger sound and bolder intentions. Check Out the Dreamy Shadow below. Album of The Week for sure.

The North

STARS STARS STARS STARS STARS STARS, Less than one week to go before "my favourite Canadian band" release their new album "The North"

Mother Mother- Let's Fall in Love

I get a bit of stick for my love of Canada, but I'm a east coaster, so posted about two Vancouver bands in a week is a rarity you should not get used to. Also, when Canadian artists kick the shit out of most other countries, it's only fair to shine the spotlight. Today BC's Mother Mother, who released one of the most effectious records of the last year with the underrated gem "Oleander" from the album Eureka. "Let's Fall in Love" is a play on the classic original and has gone on to shock and offend christians with it's playful lyrics about the sacred canon and it's brutally violent video which forcefully converses it's subject matter. The new album "The Sticks" is out in North America on Sep 18th Check it out:


Chan Marshall has had her problems but she is also has an incredibly loyal and vocal fanbase. I always forget that I am amongst them until she releases something new. Cat Power's first new material in six years "Sun" is released September 3rd/4th and is a stunning return to form. Check out the lead track "Ruin" below:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Alpine's debut album "A is for Alpine" has literally taken a year to get some sort of released in the UK which is a shame given how effortlessly catchy all their songs have been so far... Australian Dreamy electro pop goodness that will make you want to make out with yourself in a heartbeat... see below...


Music is meant to be loud, we all know it... this Bloomington, IN duo, brothers even Bryan and Douglass Enas know how to turn it until blows, they make a lot of noise for a two piece (as you should...) and recall with a freshness the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain et al but are very much grounded in the now.


PARTY PARTY PARTY! Fidlar opened up my Reading festival, because I missed Future of The Left thanks to over zealous security guards checking out my underwear for Drugs. Party boi! Luckily for me I'd spent months listening to S/T EP and was ready to bop like a rag doll. They released their new EP "Don't Try" to coincide with their visit to the UK and this jam (and entertaining video) "No Waves" is fall down drunk fun.

White Lung

Nothing gets me more excited than Canada or punk girls, so White Lung are the band I've been searching my whole life for right? Energetic kick you in the stomach punk rock that has been lacking since the first Pretty girls make graves EP. They've toured with Ceremony, The Men & Cloud Nothings... but something tells me they are probably better live than all the three combined. Their 2nd album "Sorry" came out in May, check this out:

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Gaslight Anthem

The Mighty Gaslight Anthem return with a new album "HANDWRITTEN" later this year, 45 is another slice of hands in the air punk rock with an epic chorus. You can hear it here:

Twin Shadow- Five Seconds

Twin Shadow's Forget was one of the breakout indie darlings of 2010/2011, and this week, "Five Seconds" saw his comeback get us all back on the dance floor. The new album "Confess" is released in July and you can hear it here:

Metric Return...."Youth Without Youth"

Canadian's finest Metric return with a new album Synthetica and have released it's first song "Youth Without Youth" a electroclash feedback feast of a track. Exciting Times!

Check it out on:

"Youth Without Youth"

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Poor Moon- Illusion EP (Sub Pop)

Poor Moon- Illusion EP (Sub Pop)

Ignore the FF interaction... Poor Moon's Illusion is a hugely brave, stand-out EP, hauntingly effective, southern rock leaning and eerily beautiful, discovered from their tour currently supporting my album of the year from NC's Lost in The Trees in the USA right now.

For Fans of: Lost in The Trees, Thousands, Simon & Garfunkel, Fleet Foxes

Top Tracks:
Illusion, People in her mind, once before, widow.

Bahamas- Barchords


In that wait for the new M Ward album, comes canadian counterpart Bahamas, who manages to bring life to the same style of aged old country soul. Bahama's new album Barchords, diddles with surf rock, blues and a tiny smidge of motown, but most evidently radio pop, winsome tunes with choirs and hooks. The album is often sparse and atmospheric when it should have already gotten going, but the instrumentation is never frought and breezy like the moniker would suggest. 2011's Pink Strat is also "fucking awesome!" TM.

For Fans of: M Ward, Bill Callahan, Ryan Adams et al.

Top Tracks: Lost in The Light, Caught Me Thinking, Overjoyed

I like hats and so does he....

Monday, 12 March 2012

Jake VS The Hipsters

Anyone wanted to see Jake Gyllenhaal go batshit crazy and kill a load of hipsters... well today is your lucky day.

Lost in The Trees- A Church That Fits Our Needs

I first discovered Lost in The Tree's Anti- Debut in the last few months of 2010, a dark little masterpiece dallied with tragedy in a base emotional gut wrenching way... Lost in the trees not only excelled with the beautiful multi-instrumental orchestra melodies but with Ari Picker's band defining knack of storytelling, virtually unchallenged by contemporaries, to create surreal and multi-meaning tales within the grandose. I was most grateful to see them at SXSW last March and the live show more than lived up to expectations. It's been a long wait but after an abandoned visit (subject to the postponement of Magnum's ATP) Lost in the Trees play the lexington tonight and yesterday NPR presented "A Church That Fits Our Needs", the forthcoming new album...
A Church is sadly based around the death of Picker's mother and therefore is undoubtably a very personal but beautiful reflection of her life. Lost in the trees have created a heartbreaking masterpiece which while suceeds for untrained ears being merely lovely, will force any listen to stop where they are doing and completley drench themselves in one of the year's most powerful releases.

Listen now on NPR:

Monday, 5 March 2012

A Week in Releases- Monday 5th March 2012

Another week, Another load of albums out of the gate to ring in March.

Album of The Week: Ceremony- Zoo (Matador)

Certainly Matador's signing follow up to Fucked Up, Ceremony's first for the label "Zoo" more than justifies why Ceremony are the best of the (former) Bridge Nine bunch, kicking off with the throbbing riff and pounding drums of album opener "Hysteria" which leads with the guitar attack of the Bronx before they wasted everyone's time being "Mariachi" and is the album's true punk sing along. Zoo is certainly not as genre pushing as Ceremony's masterpiece "Rohnert Park" and Ceremony are certainly beginning to show their rock n roll aspirations over their past incarnation of power violence on the aptly title "violence violence" but it's all apart of the journey. Producer John Goodmanson polishes up the sound in a way that allows it to be both accessible and expansion, but "Zoo" does not lose much of the intensity of the band's back catalogue, it merely develops past the insular sensibility of "Rohnert Park" wearing it's hidden pop aspirations of it's sleeve. A solid introduction to a brand new age.

In other releases... Bruce Springsteen starts to show his age on the quite frankly painfully plodding new album "Wrecking Ball" A Solid opener (the single "We Take Care Of Our Own") leaps into Springsteen's weakest release for a long time, with the white collar "Easy Money" never really ringing anywhere near the social middle american stories Bruce has created in the past. While "Shackled & Drawn" belongs squarely on a white trash Country Music Station... Has Springsteen lost his everyman appeal, well not exactly... but there are several misteps on this record which sound more like a millionare condescending his own audience in the pursuit of saving up for another rainy day. (3)

Proving there's more to Scranton, PA than just Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute, The Menzinger's third studio album "Oh The Impossible Past" is a welcome signing to the frankly stale Epitaph. A Mid-Tempo Punk Rock Slow Burner which literally glows with melodies and bleeds a timeless love of passionate, dedicated rock n roll delivery. (8)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Nada Surf- The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (City Slang)

It's easy to be brutal and hate when you can be a complete fanboy about other bands and I've been in Love with Nada Surf since 2000. Fresh from the instore this evening at Rough Trade East, that love has grown even bigger, naturally. Nada Surf played a 50 minute set with songs from the new album, Goodmanson produced Lucky, personal favourite The Weight is A Gift and my freshman experience with them Let Go. ("Happy Kid" was my first encounter)

While never a massive band in this country, the american three-piece write poppy, anthemic pop songs which never disappoint... and their new album, released next week in the UK, once again demostrates their ability to craft an excellent melody out of the ether. Now on their 7th album into a TWENTY YEAR CAREER, tonight's instore was possibly one of the best stripped down sets I have ever seen... (big words but warranted)

It's currently streaming on the always reliable NPR First Listen and is released on City Slang on Monday. Welcome Back Nada Surf!

UPDATED: Sleigh Bells- Comeback Kid

Sleigh Bells' drop the first track from "Reign of Terror" a few weeks ago, and blogs went wild about the new sound (not really "new" at all really) but the most exciting thing about the 2nd track from the new album "Comeback Kid" is how mighty Alexis Krauss' vocals are sounding... (un)holy and beautiful.
Album Drops Mid-February!

These Two are so fucking beautiful... you need to see the video. WOOF WOOF WOOF! (But not with the blonde wig!)


As two of 2012's great white hopes go up against each other in the first of the big release weeks of 2012!
ROLL UP ROLL UP To See two really irrelevant bands to battle out who is less likely to play anywhere bigger than the electric ballroom but probably should still be playing the garage.



From somewhere in America, which makes them seem a bit more exotic than they are. Howler are like a group of tourists that come and hang out for you for a bit, at first you like them, but once you discover that they are repetivitve and incredibly annoying, you soon want to smash them in the face and kick them to the head as they beg you they wont make anymore annoyingly "fuzzy" (vibe term) rock and rolly rubbish again. The album is annoyingly "lo-fi" in the way that it is designed to be "lo-fi" and mixed to be "lo-fi" and mastered to be "lo-fi" in a vain attempt to blend it to the small town, uncomfortable to be mere tourists. A nod to the 60's british uk rock and roll sound, some songs a strokes knock-off band from 2011 with a couple of bonafide "hits" thrown in for a re-release for the summer festival crowds. For Fans of ultimate irony, America Give Up could easily be re-released as Howler Give Up!


Tribes seem also quite appealing, the vocalist's raspy Christopher Owens meets Issac Brock meets Johnny Whitney over expertly structured guitar ballads with lad sing-a-long choruses. Wait. Lad Sing-a-long choruses, it all got dark there. If Howler are annoying tourists, Tribes are the lads you were mates with, that won the battle of the bands and got incredibly cocky, moved to a slightly bigger city and never spoke to you ever again. Judging by "Baby" they'll be moving back to their Mam's houses sometime mid 2013 with the head's firmly between their legs.
Tribes are far more interesting than Howler, but it's more or less the same concept, as filler outnumbers the killers 10-2.

WINNER: Tribes- it's still unmemorable dross which will surely be forgotten shortly, but at least its has a bigger picture to it, against the dime-a-dozen wannabe credible mix of Howler. And of course we should support the local lads really anyway, they might be cretins now but they'll soon be home and working in the local pub before you know it. Although obviously being American buzz crush superstars Howler are better looking. But saying that makes me as bad as them doesnt it...



NME 100 New Bands of 2012 Reviewed Day 3 (21-30)

Today's artist will undergo an X-Factor like scenairo... because really someone should be policing all the various emerging talent nights around the country and not in that lacklustre, show potential sort of way but in a "you should really give it a rest, the only people that like you are your mum (and the only artist she really like it's mariah carey so what the fuck does she know anyway..." sort of a way...

Of Course the following 10 have progressed past that status and none would get anywhere in the real talent "can you sing in a generic way that is marketable to anyone under the age of 18, over the age of 50, labotimised british public or the others than dont really like music..." shows...


It'a yes from me.... big opening chorus, nice pedal looped distorted guitars, nice if slightly overwrought lyrics, reverbed enough to make them sound like a harmony, i mean of course it has elements that sound like a lad rock band hit the wrong pedal and went space rock White Lies Karaoke, but lots of potential here, which I hope doesn't get bogged down in what has come before.

if the idea of Ke$ha going rap and time traveled back to the 2.27 seconds that Uffie was cool in 2006, then I think you'll probably dig this pure excuse for "music" that is only likely to be enjoyed by teenage girls who's idea of culture is a Jersey Shore marathon. Go Home Love.


Not sure how or why How To Dress Well Or Palmistry are on this list and despite the obvious genius, the likeliness that this will transcend the mindset of your average NME Reader in 2012 is slim to none. Nor do I imagine a hungry hoard of Vaccines fans to be boning their girlfriends to either of these this year. File Under Hipster. Excellent though.

If Jamie T died, Tom Vek was blugeoned to death (and anyone cared) and anyone actual gave a fuck about nu-rave... then Breton might make it. No-one does. The End.

This is just what the music industry wants us to like? Someone pretending to be Nick Cave pretending to be Mike Flowers???


If you think ladrock is still being sidelined by Music in the tens and you really really liked Viva Brother, cannot wait for the new Twang album and dont understand why your the only one- All The Young. New Favourite Band. Give Me A Fucking Break.


I like the name far more than the band, imagine if this band was Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Norm and Woody Harrleson... wouldnt that be amazing?!? even if they were really shit, it was still be amazing! The Cast of Cheers sound like Two Door Cinema Club/Foals Overruns, judging solely on Goose, I think this a good call, its catchy, simplistic structured hooky pop and like I said... good name.

Awful Name The Jezabels and basically we've all heard this before, it's basically Chrissie Hynde fronting howling bells... which to be fair could just be the shoegaze pretenders anyway, The Jezabels will do okay but I'd probably kick em out in the next round.

The Maccabees- Given to the wild

Last week saw the return of The Maccabees, "Uk's No 1 Indie Band" and I'm sure we are all meant to fall to our knees out of jaw dropping respect for their exciting new direction as they inevitably take the world by storm (Escape) in 2012. TM (Hyperbole department)

But "Given to the Wild" is so incredibly average that the best it could hope for is half hearted thumbs up.

Of Course, The Maccabees are trying something different (different in that they all know how to play their instruments a bit better now, gone for that math rock pop shimmering guitar sound that the Foals went for on their last album and have included something new into the mix e.g. bongos bring Unknow to it's "staggering conclusion...") and Orlando Weeks' voice has improved a million times from the band's first album, the notes he can now hit are one of the un-borecore features of this record. Because otherwise the macca's third album is relatively songless, pleasant but forgettable affair. When they do take it one step up and try and build to something exciting, it takes so long to move away from total mind-numbing boredomland that you've probably turned it off already.

Lead single "Pelican" stands out like the "most beautiful sore thumb I've ever seen" but there's nothing more that will appeal to the fans of the maccabees vital, embracing and engulfing sound of the previous two records, but wall of arms signified a bit planning to experiment... in the shadow of so many other great bands. They have earned the mainstream credibility which makes "Given to the wild" an even more disappointing affair. 5/10

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

NME 100 New Bands of 2012 Reviewed Day 2 (11-20)

So the previous post dealt with the big 10, those are the bands that we should have wet our pants over by the end of 2012, if not I'm going to be disappointed, although at least half of them are boring (but will probably headline Brixton Academy by the end of the year- good luck to you) So the following 90 are recommedations from various formats, bands which are the new this or that

Time to me best westwood impression cos that's the world that P Money be rocking, Example things it's well good... Example's Shit, P Money is 4 real better.


No, not the Les Georges Leningrad london dance popsters, but Albini produced NY/Illnois project from John Grabski, who formed the once nameless project as a reaction to a personal bout with Cancer. Teeth are loud, violent, introspective, a true emotional record which propels from Albini's abrasive production style. Album is out in February, second one to follow shortly after...


Really! Sharks! Again! I'm not listening to this again... Don't know how they got on this list.

More silliness from yet more fucking members of Odd Future, isn't your five minutes up yet.

15) Y NIWL
Welsh Surf rockers who released an excellent album at the top of 2011 and have been on tour with Gruff Rhys ever since... Don't know why they are on this list but far more deserving than most of the artists on the list, Nicky Wire flying the flag for Wales as usual (and good on him!)

Great Name! And sure to piss people off! Their songs sound like they are recorded by someones half broken taped up walkman... so cant really tell if they are good or bad, but on the thin line between, if Divine and John Walters were still a duo and making movies... they would provide the soundtrack.

if this was 1992, Fear of Men would be the best name for a riot grrl band, but its 2012, so Fear of Men sit somewhere between Throwing Muses and Sky Larkin, which is not a bad thing, but the demos never truly mark them apart just yet, set to be determined on the release of the full-length.


Bournemouth needs a surf rock band, I cant decide whether Bos Angeles is the best or worse name ever, ultimately they sound like a load of other lo-fi American surf rock bands, but since this is a genre or sub-genre I dig... Bos Angeles do it very well.


NO.... Hipster band by hipsters for hipsters that no hipsters will enjoy. maybe peaches geldolf.

punked up boy/girl lo-fi, again half a million bands that do exactly this... but they do it very well. I don't know how many times I will write this going through this list. No offence to Ghost Outfit, your the best of this entry.

I wouldn't hold my breath for instant fame for any of the above...

NME 100 New Bands of 2012 Reviewed Day 1 (1-10)

Who's The Hot Shit in 2012?

We live in a time where we all predict who is going to be the big thing before the end of the year, we all do it, whether we manage artists, book artists, do PR, write for a magazine/zine or just love music.
I also have no clue what is going on with certain genres, so looking through kerrang/hammer/rock sound whatever is kinda pointless for me because I've been out of the loop on metal/hardcore etc for literally a decade now.
As much as I ride it, NME is still a pretty respected in the industry sources for breaking artists, and no they don't get it right all the time and a lot of the stuff that is pushed within it's pages is utter dross....
But this week's issue is about the 100 bands you must listen to in 2012, so given the influence it has or has had over the industry and over my musical growth as a teenager (as I'm sure is still the case with a lot of indie teens today) I'm going to check out those 100 artists...

Day 1- 1-10


Howler look and sound like a NME band, they sound a bit like a garage rock Drums (Strokes/Libertines) etc, got Rough Trade's A&R wet and have already supported NME's boner of 2011 The Vaccines. And although I'm not too sure how much anyone listens to (or respects) Johnny Marr's opinion in 2012 but he like's them too.
Howler sound exactly what you'd expect from them... competent indie rock and roll to bounce along to at a summer festival, not challenging in the slightest, but what they do they do pretty well, good harmonies and nice guitar lines. Will they save music? NO FUCKING WAY! But it's enjoyable enough for the youth of now to fall in love with this year before they forget and move on to whoever sounds exactly like this in 2013.


"Thrash pop band from Brisbane" states their Tumblr, I like Brisbane (home of my favourite Australian band The Grates) and their in your face house party owes more than a fiver to Death From Above 1979, which would be a lazy comparison if it were not so fucking spot on. Of course it's meant to be "brutal, uncompromising etc" but its also disposable, and not in that party time way, as nothing hits in the same way of the much more impressive two piece sing-a-long "BFF vibe" of Japandroids. Not to say that it is terrible, just you've heard it all before, much better... So while the noise matches DFA1979, it resonates with the same emptiness of Test-icicles, like a joke you thought was really funny but now have forgotten the punchline. I'll wait for the album.... I'd rather hear this that probably 60% of this list...


Pharrell, Nas, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Kanye West all in the headline and all in love with him, certainly an impressive batch of names... Frank Ocean's background from Odd Future and creating music since he was a teenager also work to his advantage. Ocean's vast collection of You Tube hits present a slick vibe which is certainly intriguing, a nice vibe for 2012, I cant imagine this is really appropiate for me, but I wouldn't turn off Kiss FM if this came on.


Sounds like the plot of a movie, Harlem's "spoiled-ass motherfucker" saw his bro capped and turned to drug dealer before coming "the future of hip hop" and signing a mega bucks deal. He raps about the usual guns, drugs and bitches, so if you havent heard enough of that... you'll fucking love this.


Alabama Shakes appear to be Alex Turner's choice for 2012, and that's an interesting place to start because that reveals nothing about the band. Whether they like it or not, Alabama Shakes are "soul revivalists" and whether she likes it or not frontwoman Brittany Howard voice is from another time, that glorified American image of the rise of civil rights movement, the true african american deep south and of proper soul. Alabama Shakes stand out on this list because they are the first band with soul, real soul and thank Jesus, Howard hasn't kept up with modern music because 2012 is better for it. All the best to them, Thanks Alex, good that we can rely on you. Recommended.

And after that little break in cynicism, comes Spector, who are garbage, garbage in that there's at least one of these bands every year, over-stylised, no substance, well-dressed, "gosh he's dating Peaches Geldolf" (because of course Peaches Geldolf is the most talented of all people with a huge knowledge of music, a tastemaker if ever such person existed, I mean she's the london style/music/talent everything isn't she?) and come on by now hasn't everyone dated her! Good God!
Spector aren't really about the music though are they... these douchebags never are, they hypnotize teenage girls with their fringes into beliving that there is something more than a song you've heard before with lyrics fresh from the recycling bin. Dev Hynes is the NME Champion for them which explains a lot... and they claim their musical cues are taken from the Strokes, but at least they had one and a half good records, I suspect Spector may struggle to find 1 and a half second of one. Spector don't just talk bullshit, they are bullshit.

Okay, I love a suprise, while the previous 6 have been familiar to me, Willis Earl Beal is out of the blue. Big New Signing to XL, Beal has natural talent, easy to spot on his acapella you tube videos, the "NME buzz story" TM is as follows discharged from the US Army for medical reasons, slipped into depression, his first gig was 6 months ago while previously he had only left engimatic CD's around town for people to pick up in attempt to find a girlfriend. Beal's voice recalls the raw power of Otis Redding but his claims to have no particular style yet. NME states he wants to work with Cat Power, could front a soul band or go experimental, but basically Beal doesn't know what he wants to be yet and no-one else does either... so maybe it's a little early to pass judgement just yet, but the raw energy of this one is enough to make his first album released in March, worth a listen. Watch. This. Space.

8) 2:54
UK Based Ghostly Female-Fronted 2:54 have so far backed up their buzz status with a list of atmospheric ethereal singles which sets them apart from their obvious comparisons. They are the sum of their parts and every review will of course include "sounds like Warpaint, sounds like PJ, sounds like girls fronting My Bloody Valentine, sounds like Lush, sounds like Howling Bells (albeit with more than one song tbc...)" Alan Moulder is of course involved and while Zola Jesus, Chelsea Wolfe et al have got this covered, it's got a epic hook to it that will seem them taking this to the mainstream in the new year with the "authenticity" that other's could not and would not, because 2:54 are within their own realm.


"I can be the answer..." begins Azealia Bank's already smash hit 212, with it's 1.6 million views regularly requested in clubs everywhere. 212 sets the bar satellite high so only time will tell if the record is as strong as her epic introduction. Banks has a huge voice (It's my personal highlight of the track), can spit with the best of them, and if all of her tracks can explode genres as much as 212, I have to agree that 2012 will be Azealia Bank's year... I cannot fucking wait for this record!


NME is a bit late to this party, as Claire Boucher's Halfaxa featured on many best of the year lists but something tells me that this introduction will be the first for many. Nothing can really be said that hasn't already, Halfaxa and Geidi Primes speak for themselves, Boucher is an incredibly talented musician who i can only imagine will only grow in 2012. But I cannot imagine her having the same mainstream impact as most of this list just yet...

More Tomorrow....With P-Money, Teeth, Sharks, The Internet, Y Niwl, Connie Fucking Francis, Fear of Men, Bos Angeles, Brown Brogues and Ghost Outfit... Seems the NME is a little slow on some of these as well...


Meant to post about this last year, but my main man from Community (Best TV Show ever) Donald Glover released his debut album "Camp" in November, has already sold out 2 nights at Camp (Basement) later this month... Apart from his starring turn in "Community", Glover is an accomplished stand-up and a former (award-winning) writer of Tina Fey's 30 Rock.

Another actor turned rapper you ask? Heard it seen it before.... Glover is something different though, he is a great comedian but Camp is not a hip hop spoof, it's seemingly the combination of range of experiences from heart-breaking women (name-checking a "ironic" Rugrats tattoo) to growing up to people thinking he must be related to Danny Glover (cos they are both black and actors-a regular joke from his hit show) Gambino is not about fucking bitches and drug dealers, its real, but not in that way!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Delicate Steve

Still Slamming Through some of the records I did not get a chance to plunder from last year, case in point from New Jersey (mainly) instrumentalists Delicate Steve and the wonderful acoustic meets psyche fights a world influence of genre spinning pop of debut "Wondervisions"

Excellent Gem