Consider this a clearing exercise for our backlog of bands to write about, as well as a one stop shop for some types that might be of further interest this year.
From: Austin, Texas
Blurb: Pictures of Dan Bejar, Stephin Merritt and Bill Callahan (and Arcade Fire) are prominently positioned on this 'space, and like they Philip Woodbury would like you to think there's a full band at work. A 22 year old from Austin, Texas, he's released three albums, the latest of which, November 2009's There Exists An Abstraction Ladder, echoes with an auteur's attention to streamlined but still rough terrain detail, vaulting impressively around the place from distorted electronic crashing to acoustic laments to introspective songcraft with inventive production. You can pay what you want for There Exists An Abstraction Ladder, or just stream it, from Burywood's Bandcamp.
RIYL: Wolf Parade, The Unicorns, AC Newman
Blurb: The drum machine backed delicacy of this Australian quintet's morsels is less from the twee school than a more lounge, some say louche version of the skittering keyboardy electronic side of indiepop. Short songs, occasionally about odd subjects, coasting in on the breeze but leaving an impression.
RIYL: Au Revoir Simone, Pipas, early Camera Obscura, that Pastels/Tenniscoats collaboration
From: North London
Blurb: Who'd have thought the Duke Of Uke store would be such a game-changer? Lofty Heights are primarily one Gregory Griffin, a Californian whose folk pop bears the imprints of both dusty back porches and modern London lo-fi strumalong odd storytelling. He sounds a little like Zach Condon, actually. Even in the depths of winter it sounds like the most summery fun.
RIYL: Darren Hayman, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, Dent May And His Magnificent Ukelele
From: South London
Blurb: Good name. Led by Mark Woods, formerly of overstaffed cabaret-soul-metallers Do Me Bad Things, they bring the klezmer-influenced Beefheart warped blues to swampy rock'n'roll and pull the whole thing down into a crashing, shuddering mess of glory.
RIYL: SixNationState, The Dirty Backbeats, some bands people who don't carefully read every word of STN might recognise (80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster a bit)