Happy ninth birthday, us.
Sam Airey - Station Approach
Leeds' Airey came across our radar with a delicate sound of thunder by the name of The Blackout in 2011. After an EP the following March he went live-only for a while but returns with a new single on 9th June, produced by Whiskas who also adds guitar squalls to Airey's haunted, whisky-soaked vocal and gradual build from folk picking to outright storm, the untutored, unhurried craft of the songwriting remaining intact underneath.
Blessa - Unfurl
Across the Pennines, Blessa were among our Fourteen for '14, their first release of the year being the Love Is An Evol Word mini-album on 23rd July. Produced by MJ, this track seems more indebted to synthpop shapes but still wriggling around the linear patchwork encompassing a chorus that comes on like a standard big radio-friendly refrain and then turns subtly nervous-energy awkward.