Elephant - Elusive Youth
If it feels like we've been waiting ages for Elephant to get round to an album... we have, their first single came out two and a half years ago. Sky Swimming is that long player, out 28th April. Elusive Youth was one of the demos that got them attention in the first place, a sighing modernist Brill Building confection that fits snugly between Summer Camp and Cults, neatly enough line-up demographic wise, and just below Camera Obscura, with whom they don't.
Free Swim - Transatlantic Tumnus
After his Android Angel sojourn Paul Coltofeanu is back with the band. They're cagey about where this track is from but it's a roar back to life, a landslide of imagery and a soupcon of satire amid a rush of guitars that sounds a bit to us like the intro to the Specials' Little Bitch, except it then becomes a charging garage rocker.
Department M - Miscellany
Apparently Owen Brinley had an album out at the end of 2013 which we missed, but luckily he's putting this from it out as a single. It seems more redolent of his previous life in Grammatics than what we've heard before of this project, brooding and stewing in its own self-doubt, then turning electronic, bass attack mode tail and ramping up the oppressive atmosphere just to make sure.
Radstewart - Garage Faery
What's already looking like 2014's hardest working support band - Mowbird next month and Johnny Foreigner in March following last year's tour with Sky Larkin, all of which seems as quick and easy a way to become adored by STN as any - have supplied this to a four artist-way split 12" brought into life by the combined efforts of Art Is Hard and Reeks Of Effort, two small labels with better RBIs than most to date. Usual deal: discordant shambling, cynical wordplay around hipsterdom angst, wide knowledge of Slanted And Enchanted, strangely charming for all that.