Cloud Boat - I Left For A Reason (It Escapes Me Now)
There's quite a few trying to send 80s-influenced electronica down a darker path but few as successfully in creating a genuine fear of the dank unknown as the London duo whose last release was a full year ago, synth drones and guitar strokes nodding to hypnagogic dreampop before falling through the oppressive wormhole into the white of a minimal pool of sound waves in an echo chamber.
Haiku Salut - Los Elefantes
A Yann Tiersen soundtrack, chamber piano and accordion to hand, as rearranged and sent into something less definable and more experimentally playful by a Derbyshire instrumental trio whose debut album Tricolore is released on March 12th, shortly after which they'll be playing our second annual Leicester Indiepop Alldayer (if we ever manage to book a headliner, or indeed anyone else)
Jacques Caramac & The Sweet Generation - It Takes All Sorts...
Spotted by Lee Keep Pop Loud, this washed up in the detritus of 2012 - the 7" came out December 10th - from a shady trio who called the B-side Cadbury's Voltaire. We've not seen such levels of committed thematic punning in band name and title since The Be Be See - and whaddayaknow, that band's leader Kevin Retoryka is responsible here, along with the rhythm section from French art-rockers Underground Railroad. Taking a hefty swipe from The Fall, it's redolent of the sort of skewed Velvetsian curiosity that would have come out of Manchester via homemade cassette labels around the turn of the 80s.
Mat Riviere - Wool
The doomy/doomed lo-fi electronics mangler's second album Not Even Doom Music - officially out 1st April, but preorder the vinyl and get mp3s now - sees him retreat further into insistent inscrutability, a constant loop, out of focus vocals and offbeat drum sallies finding their way of worming their way into the conscious.
T-Shirt Weather - Beyoncé Eyes
There seems to be a little pool of modernist pop-punk emerging from down Durham way, mostly via the Discount Horse, um, stable. This trio heading straight for the jugular, precious little studio sheen and lots of chugging, staccato insistent riffology in a two and a half minute cut of fizzbomb melody. They say it's about "things going flat, like an old pop".
VWO - Spinne
Someone must have critiqued the Wellington duo as that couldn't owe much more to Animal Collective on a 1:16 downscale if they adopted nicknames. So they have. Maybe that's unfair on Natas and Scientist, as while there's a distinct cream of Avey Tare involved the pounding piano adds some kind of grounding to the chanting vocal cadences, splashing cymbals and whirlwinds of weird found sounds that form their own neo-psychedelic percussive mania.