Field Music - If There Is Something
Why no talk of Plumb being on the Mercury shortlist? They're the kind of band critics swoon clean away at the feet of, and not without reason. To tie in with an October tour the brothers Brewis are putting out a covers album, Play, available from 1st October only from their website. The roll call - Syd Barrett, Robert Wyatt, Pet Shop Boys (twice!), the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, John Cale and this Roxy Music song given the stately, stomping and unexpected moment of falsetto harmony treatment.
Darren Hayman & the Long Parliament - How Long Have You Been Fighting For?
A second taster of Hayman's sprawling 17th century Essex witch trials concept album The Violence, pastoral folkiness in a woodwind-spattered shape decorating Hayman's imagining a puritan love song as written by people who believed only the blind were truly pure as they could never look upon God's image directly.
Withered Hand - Inbetweens
Hayman also at work here, this time as producer, on Dan Willson's new EP, out on the 24th and with this as title track. Not really as delicate as Willson makes the sentiments sound, the imaginative lyrical touches come together as something wracked within its own pain where the humour is pitch dark and romance is bleak. Oh, and Neil Pennycook of Meursault, Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit and Josie Long of comedy all cameo in the video.
Allo Darlin' - Golden Age
Northern Lights will be the third single from the glorious album Europe and it comes backed by this lively and entirely summery shuffle, a circular guitar riff that's just there to enjoy itself acted out as Elizabeth finds herself lucky to be where she is, again. They're on tour at the moment, a free afternoon show in Blackburn today followed by Leeds Brudenell tomorrow supported by STN compilation stars Just Handshakes and T.O.Y.S, Brighton Haunt on Wednesday and London KCL on Thursday with Tigercats. Don't sleep on any of them.