As there doesn't appear to be such a thing as a post-holiday disco novelty hit tendency any more, these are the last few weeks for everyone to get their songs of the summer candidates in. Many, not least ourselves, have tipped Peter Bjorn & John's Young Folks for big things, ignoring the fact that nobody on the radio's played it and nobody in the media's talked it up, its support coming entirely through word of mouth and a little MTV2 play. What a song, though, uber-infectious and with every second filled with percussion, synths or just off-kilter harmonies. For those dark stormy nights surely ahead, we reach for the PJ Harvey stranded in mid-90s US alt-rock strut of Metric's Monster Hospital. What did happen to the Futureheads? News And Tributes seems to have suffered appalling word of mouth and the spiky Worry About It Later is almost apologetically crawling out, which will never do for so cocksure a band. Meanwhile there's something suspicious going on around Mercury-poisoned impassioned folk teller of local Dartmoor legends Seth Lakeman now he's on a major label subsidiary - the cover of the single Lady Of The Sea (Hear Her Calling) features him looking wistful in negative, the video has him playing under a waterfall, and TV advertising for this release started about three weeks ago, with the video already on The Box. Final confirmation came this week when the new Q describes him as "the James Blunt of folk" three times. Just because you keep saying it doesn't mean it's automatically true. On the 7" racks keep an eye out for Clearlake's return to form It's Getting Light Outside.
The album slowdown ahead of the big autumn pushes continues - of this week's recommended releases only one contains all new material, and even then it's a fluke of a kind that we've got it as Ooberman only got back together to agree a Best Of tracklisting. That cohortery led to an entire new album, Carried Away, picking up where they left off three years ago on a more orchestral pop bent and with Sophia Churney now sole lead singer. Darren Hayman finally closes the book on Hefner with demos, out-takes and early versions double CD compilation Catfight, Chris Difford revisits Squeeze's back catalogue in stripped down acoustic form on South East Side Story and the still nascent but just you watch Joe Meek reappreciation gathers pace with the reissue of I Hear A New World, his still extraordinary exotica experiment of 1960 credited to Joe Meek And The Blue Men.