4. January 2016

19 Stupendous tracks have been chosen for this month’s top unsigned releases. Listen to the complete playlist here and read below to see why I’ve selected these.

Raving Wild- At the Crossroads (Live)
There’s always one droningly hypnotising track on my playlists and Raving Wild is my one for January. The piano stupefies you into slowly nodding in time whilst you soar on the wings of the distorted vocals and guitar.

Those Unfortunates- Happy New Year
Stepping aside from their usual jerky aggression those unfortunates have crafted a lovely drifting melodica-infused soundscape. Listen to this just as dawn breaks.

Rodeo Terrorists- F and B
More of the same from Rodeo Terrorist Richard- reassuring electronica, nice gentle ambience and no nasty surprises or shocks.

Kid Methuselah- Bloop
The title says it all for this track. A fantastic ambient bloop-fest with many other interesting noises interspersed throughout.

Snippet- Wave Your Sound
I’ve blogged about Snippet previously, and it’s no suprise to find him back in my best tracks. Nice chilled background music crafted from interesting samples and soporific loops.

Elle Marry- You’re Looking Great
I don’t stick many covers in but this one deserves it. A beautifully simple arrangement of the Secret Admirer track- with wistful harmonies that reinforce the futility of it all.

Ella Janes- The Lake
Ella always sings like she is smiling. Perhaps it is just because she enjoys her work so much, but here it adds a malevolent aspect- dangerous like the winter.

Marina Florance- I Told You My Troubles
Marina perhaps already has the biggest following of any artists on this list. Her latest ambient folk singer song-writer release fully reinforces and justifies this. A lovely voice and a lovely unhurried, uncomplicated playing style.

Heidi Brown- Under the Weather
If I was feeling mean I’d call this pathetic fallacy. However I’m not, and it’s truly great. Heidi is one of the best multi-instrumentalists out there and for this she plays piano violin and vocals.

Lake Komo- Resurrect
What makes this song for me is the juxtaposition of thunderous rythm and autotune. Reading those words back makes me question my judgement- it’s not an obvious match- but trust me it works.

Arctic Turn- Bye Bye Barry
Arctic Turn show us here how to effectively ingrain the harp into a post-pop track. They paint a wonderful winter landscape with the harp playing over the phrases like sunlight over dappled leaves.

Jack Conman- Heroin Strings
Here Donnovan meets Bon Iver, a sort of Doniver. However, much more than the sum of it’s parts, Jack has produced a gritty, heartfelt lament. With haprischord.

Nonbeliever- It’s Just Not Good For You
For the first 20 seconds you could be forgiven for thinking that Blur had released a previously unheard track. Top stuff.

The Gorgeous Chans- San Sebastian
I swear I’ve heard this before, but that may just be the signature sound of Nottingham based noodly-indie pop group the Gorgeous Chans. Great hooks, layering of horns and a playful melody. Fans of Vampire Weekend etc look no further for your new favourite.

Courts- Glass Half Empty
This is a tune that can’t be paused. Even if the fire alarm sounds you have to stay and listen in full. The vocals are relentless and would have made a fantastic track as it is- but add a kickass guitar/sax solo and you really feel the power.

Wilsoni Tha’ Funk Master- Slow Asstley Beat
A break from some of the colder sounding tracks this month Wilsoni brings back sounds of the sea and a yearning for Summer. Somehow he’s managed to pull off the ultimate rickroll and produce a genuinely decent beat from Asstley on morphine.

The Hart Strings- Indiana (Live)
My favourite this week is a fantastic live track from The Hart Strings. When this comes on your headphones you can’t stop twitching, singing along, or generally causing concern to other commuters. Trust me- you can’t.