Thursday, June 22, 2017

40 From 40: 2006

The second year of STN's existence, so most of this is an unashamed Greatest Hits of that year Los Campesinos!' demos changed everything and we generally got our raison d'etre into gear, as it were. Out in the wider world iPods became big things, leaving the Zune and Creative Zen behind like so much Betamax as it expanded and took over the listening world. Just as Malcolm McLaren predicted with cassettes a quarter-century earlier or so, so the music industry valued digital players so much the actual content of them ended up being devalued, music ending up as another thing to put on your phone. Meanwhile Myspace became a thing, its discoveries like YouTube stars but with actual value, as Lily Allen's blog became the must-read of its day, Arctic Monkeys were labelled an ultimate Myspace Band off the back of their debut album sales despite never having touched the thing and Sandi Thom briefly became a star for having a webcam. 2006 was the year the singles chart really embarked on its becalmed path to irrelevance as digital sales tentatively started being added - Gnarls Barkley's Crazy going to number one a week before the physical media came out - and Top Of The Pops breathed its last, as did Smash Hits and CD:UK. A strange old year for the commercial sector, all told, as Paris Hilton and Katie Price bombed, Take That returned as a "man band" and picked up where they'd left off, a major label tried to make out folkie Seth Lakeman was the obvious new James Blunt, and then Amy Winehouse tore the limelight asunder by making a virtue of what would kill her five years hence. Girls Aloud and Justin Timberlake perked up a moribund pop landscape illuminated, if that's the right word, only by Britney's slow breakdown. Pete Doherty went to court seven times, was arrested six times, was implicated in some nasty business, stayed with Kate and inadvertedly launched a thousand impersonators. New Rave happened. So did emo as big business with My Chemical Romance's number one, leading to the infamous Mail piece and the NME's subsequent impression of a War On Emo. In the year of the Ordinary Boys' Preston on Big Brother there was still an outsider culture after all. As for this list, the Spotify set is 38 strong, missing the great underappreciated Anathallo (one of whom would later have a number one as a member of Fun.) and Final Fantasy/Owen Pallett, which disappeared between our compiling this list and posting it. Them's the breaks.




Klaxons - Atlantis To Interzone
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Ban The Gin
The Thermals - A Pillar Of Salt
TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
Hot Club De Paris - Clockwork
¡Forward Russia! - Fifteen Part 1
Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
Clinic - If You Could Read Your Mind
Hot Chip - Over And Over
Peter Bjorn and John - Let's Call It Off
The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Jamie T - Sheila
Mystery Jets - Diamonds In The Dark
Lucky Soul - Lips Are Unhappy
Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken
El Perro Del Mar - God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)
Final Fantasy - This Lamb Sells Condos
Anathallo - Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash)
The Hidden Cameras - AWOO
Arctic Monkeys - A Certain Romance
Field Music - In Context
Midlake - Young Bride
Grizzly Bear - On A Neck, On A Spit
Jeremy Warmsley - Dirty Blue Jeans
Sondre Lerche - Airport Taxi Reception
The Broken Family Band - It's All Over
The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations
Band Of Horses - The Funeral
Cat Power - Lived In Bars
Guillemots - Sao Paulo
Scritti Politti - The Boom Boom Bap
Gossip - Listen Up!
The Decemberists - The Perfect Crime #2
Bat For Lashes - Prescilla
The Rumble Strips - Oh Creole
I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona
Sparks - Dick Around
iLiKETRAiNS - The Beeching Report


Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Saturday, June 17, 2017

STN recommends: 17/6/17

Right then, let's start with some premium STN content, Trust Fund feat. Gareth Campesinos. Their contribution to Art Is Hard's Postcard Club sees Gareth fulfil his Heaton fantasies with a version of the Beautiful South's I'll Sail This Ship Alone that transforms it from tender ballad to muscular fuzzpop. Also new on Art Is Hard, through more conventional means, are the established psych-popper Oliver Wilde and Lucky Shivers' Nicholas Stevenson (who we're pretty sure was a promising solo artist himself at one point) by their powers combined Oro Swimming Hour, Martial Arts Washing Cars being just over two minutes of a more restrained version of campfire Animal Collective, all harmonies and odd sounds. Album Penrose Winoa is out 28th July.

Hey, Everything Everything are actually now back after what seems like months of something being "impending"! You wouldn't really confuse Can't Do, from A Fever Dream out August 18th, for anyone else with the jittery elastic beats, tricksy guitar interruption and semi-cryptic lyrics in nasal, occasionally strained falsetto vocals, but it's evolution rather than revolution and ties in better with their debut than what's come since. A band who've been away for rather a lot longer, Ride, have slightly underwhelmed with their track choices thus far, but Lannoy Point, the opener to Weather Diaries, does the trick, classic floaty shoegaze to a fault with a fluid motorik undertow and Andy Bell set to 'chime'.

Here's a band we've never written about before - Wolf Alice. It's surprising given they pretty much have the kind of bases and influences we generally thrive off, but it just hasn't happened for us. Turns out all they needed to do on Yuk Foo (and maybe Visions Of A Life, out 29th September) is turn away from their radio friendly destiny and instead become Bratmobile. While we're on two minute ire and dynamism, Charmpit are two Californians based in London who deal in harmonic sparkly lo-fi garage pop, this Free The Burbs (a song they're on record as wanting Peaness to cover) from Jelly EP out 14th July. Across the self-sufficient way, part of that ever fluent Leeds DIY scene that we've featured plenty of bands from in the past, "post-punk pop party pack" Crumbs are a jittery, danceable, form that recalls the Au Pairs. Their debut album Mind Yr Manners is out July 28th. Are The Popguns spiritual parents of the scene? So Long, from the just released second post-reformation album Sugar Kisses, suggests their emotionally damaged janglepop has barely aged at all. From a slightly different place Superglu's songs aren't much longer, through a more restrained but still vital melodic indie-punk template with joy forefront on Communion Singles Club offering Welcome Home.

And now for something completely different, the post-apocalyptic industrial soul of Algiers. Inspired by the killing of Tamir Rice and the concept of injustice, Cleveland sees Franklin James Fisher deliver his best righteous fire-eyed preacher delivery over looped gospel samples and a surprising Detroit techno passage. The Underside Of Power is out Friday and might even top their stellar debut, our third best album of 2015. Meanwhile The Horrors have gone industrial on Machine, churning Cabaret Voltaire-style warped beats and synths replacing the shoegaze synths and pedals prowling around in the shadows looking for something to take on in a way their forthcoming tourmates Depeche Mode would recognise from circa 1983. Perhaps surprisingly, Paul Epworth is the man at the controls.

The Surfing Magazines are Dave and Franic of the Wave Pictures, Charles Slow Club and... a drummer, and they have an album out on 1st September. Even though Charles takes lead on Lines And Shadows the Wave Pictures influence is pervasive, at least in their laidback soulful variant and definitely sounding like that hallmark of sounding like they're casually tossing a melodic marvel off just because they can. Yes, of course there's an abrasive Tattersall solo. It's not difficult to imagine many of the records lying around in their studio are also in the collection of Ralegh Long, whose Sleeping On My Dreams commands power-pop and 1970s US radio rock for a homebrew English version of classic rock, if classic rock tended to last only 2:19. That kind of track length seems to have become this week's accidental theme.

Monday, June 12, 2017

40 From 40: 1977

You know God Save The Queen didn't really outsell Rod Stewart in Jubilee week before the BBC or whoever is supposed to have been responsible fixed the chart, right? Nobody's ever provided more than hearsay proof usually second hand from Malcolm McLaren or Richard Branson at their most quote-searching, the record was banned from chart return stores all over the place (remember "total sales" and "total sales registered for the official chart" were not the same thing, BRMB basing their returns on diaries compiled by up to 750 nationwide stores), the NME chart placing often brought up as proof is all over the place due to print deadlines and the difference in the type of shops diarised leading to natural differences between that and the main list (and it peaked at 5 in Melody Maker's chart, and somehow Never Mind The Bollocks topped BRMB but not NME), it's been officially registered as selling less than 300,000 for the year, and The First Cut Is The Deepest was shown as ahead when the BPI opened up their audited sales reports some time ago. 12,000 was the difference that week, apparently, at a time of a general sales level meaning that if Stewart really had been outsold two to one that week as often claimed his double A side wouldn't even have been number two. Also John Lydon says he was never bothered about whether it was fixed or not, so you can drop about it if he can. Anyway, a lot more than you're ever going to want to see has already been written about how 1977 was a watershed year for that whole punk thing, so here there's loads of angry/angular men with guitars (and the odd female singer) plus a wodge of early and thus fascinatingly exploratory electro, a handful of funk, disco and reggae, some more streamlined pop and AOR inventiveness, and also Mr Blue Sky, because it may now be illegal not to register it when you have the chance. This is the twentieth 40 From 40, so be reassured that at least there's only this long again to go.



X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
Penetration - Don't Dictate
Ramones - California Sun
The Saints - This Perfect Day
Sex Pistols - Holidays In The Sun
The Clash - Career Opportunities
The Damned - Neat Neat Neat
Buzzcocks - Boredom
Wire - Ex-Lion Tamer
Ultravox! - Young Savage
Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer
The Stranglers - (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
Suicide - Ghost Rider
Brian Eno - King's Lead Hat
Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express
Giorgio Moroder - From Here To Eternity
Donna Summer - I Feel Love
Space - Magic Fly
The Rah Band - The Crunch
Electric Light Orchestra - Mr Blue Sky
Dennis Wilson - River Song
Fleetwood Mac - The Chain
ABBA - Knowing Me, Knowing You
Mink DeVille - Spanish Stroll
Commodores - Brick House
Evelyn "Champagne" King - Shame
Parliament - Flash Light
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing
Elvis Costello - Watching The Detectives
The Congos - Open Up The Gate
Willie Williams - Armagideon Time
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Waiting In Vain
Culture - Two Sevens Clash
Althea And Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
Television - Prove It
Ram Jam - Black Betty
Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
David Bowie - Heroes

Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Thursday, June 08, 2017

STN recommends: 8/6/17

Quicker one today. The Camp extends PJ Harvey's new line in songwriter journalism, a collaboration with Ramy Essam based on the displaced refugee children of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley - all proceeds go to Lebanese non-governmental organisation Beyond Association - a deceptively straightforward strum given weight by the words and the conviction of Essam, an Egyptian dubbed the voice of the country's 2011 revolution. Nadine Shah's own politicised turn, unveiled in full on Holiday Destination come August 25th, continues on the brooding Yes Men, adopting her emotive keening to desperation at the ruling classes with low-key approaching menace.

Katie Crutchfield's second album as Waxahatchee, Out In The Storm, is approaching on July 14th, and opener Never Been Wrong bodes well in terms of upping the ante on the focused anger of someone wanting their say too much to unravel and associated laser pointed single-guitar attack, breaking free of a pop son structure in the process. You almost don't need to be told B-Boys are from New York, such is the recognisable cool quotient spikiness of their debut single Discipline, from debut album Dada out on the 16th, twisting art-rock shapes originating somewhere between Fugazi and Parquet Courts around each other uncomfortably. Finally, "a bit like Radiohead" is both an overdone description and usually an invitation to head for the hills, but it's a decent back of the hand description for Looks by Brazen Head, a hesitant, twisted piece of slow building tension in the way of OK Computer without the electronics or guitar heroics but with a piano part designed to pull the melody in a different direction from everything else. Suspiciously little made public about a band who sound so accomplished from the off, but this is more than a fascinating start.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

40 From 40: 1990

1990, time for the Guru. (That's not here.) It was the year of rave in many ways, the evolvement of travelling sound systems and free open air festivals exploting loopholes in the law and bringing the emergent house and trance scenes out of the smiley face acid house umbrella just as the traditional outlets such as the Hacienda grind to a halt under the weight of drugs and non-weight of cash. They came to be called raves, directing endless cars around the M25 into warehouses and fields, and over the next couple of years they'd change things. Kiss became the UK's first legal dance radio station, Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty invented ambient house, and all manner of indie hangers-on discovered there'd always been a dance influence on their sound, their "moment" being Spike Island. Eurodance through Snap! and Technotronic - Beats International and The Adventures Of Stevie V holding up Blighty's end there - bolstered a fading singles sales market that was usually all over the place. Stock Aitken Waterman were on the way out as they had their final number one and several of their big hitters from the previous couple of years disappeared, so in their stead Turtle Power and Timmy Mallett's Bombalurina made it a very long summer silly season amid a welter of reissues and MOR in which the year's best selling single was Unchained Melody, off an advert. At least Madonna was doing interesting things, continuing down the path of least sexual resistance with Vogue, the Blonde Ambition tour and The Immaculate Collection leading into Justify My Love. Milli Vanilli admitted to miming and lost their Grammys, MTV Unplugged began (with Squeeze!), Wembley held a Nelson Mandela tribute concert, Curtis Mayfield was paralysed after an onstage accident and 2 Live Crew were cleared of obscenity charges in a big freedom of rap speech case. Not a great year at the time, but in retrospect a key one for what was about to happen. The two Spotify refuseniks this time around are a KLF track from Chill Out, you'll know why that is, and the remarkable sole solo single by former Stump bassist Kev Hopper, which I and everyone else who saw it remembers from its one ITV Chart Show outing. That was quite the EXCLUSIVE experience that week.




Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - Sheriff Fatman
They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
The Chills - Heavenly Pop Hit
The Sundays - Skin And Bones
The Blue Aeroplanes - Jacket Hangs
Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck
Adamski - Killer
The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds
A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It? (single version)
Dream Warriors - My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring
LFO - LFO
Public Enemy - Brothers Gonna Work It Out
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
N.W.A. - 100 Miles and Runnin'
The Fall - Telephone Thing
Gang Starr - Just To Get A Rep
Happy Mondays - Loose Fit
Mazzy Star - Blue Flower
Lush - De-Luxe
Pixies - Is She Weird
Galaxie 500 - Fourth Of July
Teenage Fanclub - Everything Flows
Nirvana - Sliver
Pavement - Debris Slide
Ride - Chelsea Girl
Sonic Youth - Kool Thing
Dinosaur Jr. - The Wagon
Fugazi - Repeater
Inspiral Carpets - She Comes In The Fall
Kev Hopper - The Sound Of Gyroscopes
My Bloody Valentine - Soon
Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
The La's - Doledrum
His Name Is Alive - How Ghosts Affect Relationships
The KLF – Wichita Lineman Was A Song I Once Heard
Lou Reed & John Cale - Style It Takes
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Ship Song
Julee Cruise - Falling


Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Friday, June 02, 2017

STN recommends: 2/6/17

It's only been a week and again EVERYONE has decided to release new material for us to pick carefully through and highlight the peaks rather than foothills of.

May as well start with Arcade Fire, whose Everything Now - title track of album out July 28th, as you know - extends the synth and disco elements they grazed towards on Reflektor into a sweeping, Abba and Bowie-nodding chant of a chorus and replacement of the traditional run to the crescendo sun with a steady insistent progression to a big coda that turns out not to be the coda. And a synthesised pan pipe break, but y'know.

We next find Sweet Baboo on unusually funky mood on Pink Rainbow, from the album Wild Imagination out today. "Arthur Russell meets Robert Wyatt" says the press release, and with Stephen's delivery and the warm synth against clipped funk guitar for once it's not all that wrong, though the none more glittery rainbow-wigged model in silhouette in the window of a Rewind club solo takes some getting used to. Apparently the lyrical inspirations were Rainbow Connection and the Lovely Eggs' son explaining the Flying Scotsman to him. Another album out today is Peach, by Emma Winston's 8-bit DIY pop under the guise of Deerful. Conceptual Art traces its own path again, wistful Game Boy half-speed minimalist wistfulness. "Not everything's confessional" Winston claims towards the end having just made that sound like a lie.

Featuring members of Johnny Foreigner (which isn't mentioned in the press release so it literally is just us now), God Damn and Viv Albertine's band, Mutes might just lap all o... at least one of them with debut album No Desire, the title track of which is a magnificently sprawling juggernaut touching on noise-pop, Krautrock insistency, bludgeon riffola and cresting avant-indie, the kind of compact while stretched out thing that ultimately demands your attention. That album is out now too.

Doing things by halves has never been part of Kiran Leonard's agenda, which is why Derevaun Seraun, out 15th September, is a "piece in five movements for voice, piano and string trio" with each part inspired by a work of literature, led by seven and a half minute Living With Your Ailments inspired by Albert Camus' The Myth Of Sisyphus. (Given Leonard's previous hugely ambitious arrangements and autodidactic work we'd like to think he played all the string parts too, but that seems unlikely) It's dramatic, literate and as singular as you'd expect from him.

Karen Sheridan's Slow Skies project seems to be a lot more upbeat than it once was these days, not entirely giving itself to abandonment given the melancholia at the heart of Sheridan's voice, but Dancing is about forgetting everything in the joyous moment driven by handclaps and developing with the aid of subtly triumphant horns into warm exuberance of a kind. Brooklyn's Big Thief are a guitar band by definition, signed to Saddle Creek for Capacity out June 9th, but Mary is a stark piano ballad engineered for what seems to be maximum emotional sparsity, Adrianne Lenker's vocal closeness matched by the run of personally charged memories and imagery, pain and empathy.

We've been waiting for the spectral Nordic pop of Anna Of The North to make it to album stage for a while, and that finally lands on 8th September. Title track Lovers shows a lot of those route-one post-XX/London Grammar electropop types that show up on the weekly Spotify playlists where they're going wrong, utilising drum pads and glacial synths much as they all do but coming at it from a direction that's both more assured and icier, maybe emotionally emptied out.

And finally, forwarding the Australian indie resurgence, Melbourne's School Damage are exemplars of the kind of falling apart DIY bubblegum punk-pop that traces its lineage through those 1978 7"s via Swell Maps through the more ragged end of the Scottish and Australian celebrated early 80s scenes, running on charm and effort. Plus the song is called The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down, so full marks there too.

Monday, May 22, 2017

STN recommends: a massive May catchup

Right then. Buckle up.

We ended up taking blog downtime at the same time as EVERY BAND IN THE WORLD announced a return. First cab off that rank is the mighty Grizzly Bear, up til now perhaps America's most consistently fascinating band. Painted Ruins, out August 18th, brings us two tracks: Three Rings and Mourning Sound both start like a well oiled machine with drum loop and buzzing deep bassline before the multitude of layers come in. In the former wordless chorales and delicately interlocked pieces floating across uneven paths and firing off in all directions before coalescing and resolving around a mini-guitar solo striking and cresting at the heart of Ed Droste's emotional angst; Mourning Sound, boasting a good variety of retro synth sounds, is maybe more direct and radio friendly single-worthy standout than they've ever produced.

Next down the aisle come The National, whose Sleep Well Beast, out September 8th, brings us The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness, a slightly adjusted take on their slow burn dark poise, electrified bursts of guitar rudely interrupting the paranoid elegance that in what passes for a chorus sees Matt Berninger attempt to reach the highest parts of his vocal range reaching for a peak everything else doesn't feel like playing along with. While we're talking bands who've gone two decades finding new paths through inbuilt build-and-release tension, Mogwai release Every Country's Sun on 1st September, their ninth album proper, from which comes Coolverine, tingling and graceful with an undercurrent of anxiety that slowly builds as the drums enter into a spectacular panorama. This year's Brilliant Mogwai Track Title: Don't Believe The Fife. And then there's the multi-faced, multi-faceted Broken Social Scene, Hug of Thunder out 7th July as their first album in seven years, with an understated. skittering Feist-led title track locked into a steady if tense coast until the machines finally attempt to take over at the end.

Onto albums we already knew and have written about, starting with one practically made for us as Public Service Broadcasting, who release south Wales coal mining-themed Every Valley on 7th July, consider the social and political strides of women involved in and around the industry and the miner's strike on They Gave Me A Lamp, and our old showbiz pals Haiku Salut help out (and co-billed) on a track where interview samples are brought into a Haiku-esque series of exquisite interwoven loops eventually joined by a triumphant brass section. Napoleon IIIrd's The Great Lake came out on Friday - there's a full presentation of the album as part of Holmfirth Film Festival on Wednesday - and we'll talk about its late Talk Talk/slowcore with a sax-recalling treatises on dealing with loss in time, save to guide you towards So It Goes, its hymnal closing song of hope and recovery. Fleet Foxes' Crack-Up, out 16th June, has on whole attracted a little more attention, the purposefully striding Fool's Errand expanding the solitude chamber folk approach to take in the Technicolor influence of 1960s sunshine pop. And then there's Sparks. There's always Sparks, and there's always a Sparks song in the form of a conversation involving a laissez-faire God. What The Hell Is It This Time?, from 8th September-due Hippopotamus, is of their latter day goofy-orchestral bent in which the Almighty finally cracks under the pressure of constant prayers and entreaties for good.

And now a brief diversion into Bands You And We Both Like Who Have Released New Stuff Without An Album Seemingly On The Horizon. (Got to think of a catchier title than that.) LCD Soundsystem's fourth album will according to James Murphy be ready when the physical versions are ready, which seems almost self-parodic. In the meantime come two tracks, Call The Police a first cousin of All My Friends' propulsion with a greater ambition that leaves it sounding almost too much like a Brian Eno stadium-aiming production, while American Dream is for the morning after, a woozy fried ultra-introspective to the point of self-loathing self-examination to the backing of cheap waltz time drum machine and crystal synths. Courtney Barnett's How To Boil An Egg is for Split Singles Club, a 7" series the joint work of her own Milk! Records and Melbourne-based Bedroom Sucks, and a track she refers to as "a songwriting experiment", a brain-emptying treatise on loneliness and lack of achievement that stems from her open mic days and on which she plays every instrument in an appeallingly rockabilly fashion. Danger Mouse's track for Edgar Wright heist comedy Baby Driver is built around the intro riff from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Bellbottoms, which would be more than enough grimy funk for us without the flow weight of Run The Jewels and Big Boi added. The blues remains number one. Beach House meanwhile are releasing B-sides And Rarities, a self-defined stopgap, on June 30th, featuring the hitherto unreleased Chariot from the Depression Cherry/Thank Your Lucky Stars double session. There's no good apparent reason why its cinematic sway was left off, unless they thought it chiming airiness was too atypical of their sound.

Let's return to the transcendently dreamy melancholia of Amber Arcades' Cannonball EP for Wouldn't Even Know, featuring a Lee Hazlewood pitch-level cameo from Bill Ryder-Jones which gives it extra self-querying brooding. Electro-folkie Mary Epworth feels like she's been around for some time but is only just getting around to her second album five years after the debut, Elytral out 1st September; from it, Me Swimming glides and throbs entrancingly for more than six minutes, as aqueous and submergent as its title suggests. Michael Nau has been making detailed folk-rock as Cotton Jones, and under his own name on I Root he traces a path from there to classic soul, especially in its laidback shimmering production - album Some Twist is out June 16th.

Emma Winston as Deerful has drawn our attention before, and from debut album Peach out 2nd June comes the minimal synth introspection of Cloudwatching. Another we've written about a good few times in the past, Seazoo are finally approaching their debut as yet unconfirmed album with the aid of Roy's World, a sprightly piece of typically Welsh scene-scented warped insta-pop with an ineffable hook and wobbly psychedelic synths. Not quite as many of the latter as inside Flamingods' percussive psychotropia, which achieves a kind of divergent form with the tripped out shamanistic sound (and video) of Mixed Blessings, from EP Kewali out on Friday. Hey, Zola Blood, there's another name we've blogged before, and their album Infinite Games is out on Friday. The Only Thing has definite soaring ambitions of not being held down into another electropop act but not in that obvious radio-demanding way, instead attaching its ineffable melody to an appeallingly insistent misshapen beat.

Next, to Glasgow. Atlas Cedar is Chris Syme, whose In Hollywood quotes inspiration from Supertramp in the song information but comes across like a more Americana-friendly take on that Quiet Is The New Loud thing from around the start of the century, a hazy, well layered electro-acoustic shuffle with sonic nods to a late 60s aesthetic, unshowy but keen to imprint itself. Meanwhile the city's DIY/punk scene is as fertile as ever, Breakfast Muff's R U A Feminist, half of a double A-side ahead of an album due in July, full of piss and vinegar, Eilidh McMillan spitting out the words against an increasingly ragged and increasingly angry backing. From ragged punx to ragged lo-fi, What's In Your Bag? from Dublin's Silverbacks' Sink The Fat Moon EP, which came out on Friday, is built on the rickety foundations of laconic lo-fi.

Newly signed to Big Scary Monsters over here, Canadians Single Mothers are an incendiary proposition on Long Distance, essentially Japandroids to the power of Dischord. Second album Our Pleasure is out 16th June. Compass by Leeds' Esper Scout surges like the pop-accessible end of Sonic Youth, which isn't a bad thing when it's shaped into a subtly insistent charge of their own and around smart lyrical consideration of homeliness and displacement; the sometime Cribs support are going to be worth watching as they promise an album next year.

Here's a name you likely never expected to see again - Montreal's The Dears were almost a big deal around the mid-00s for their Smiths-inspired expansiveness. Now down to a duo, Times Infinity Volume Two is either their seventh or six-and-a-halfth depending on how you read it and returns them to the might and internal heft of their peak, 1998 a misleadingly upbeat gallop that eventually finds its sense of place and release in its closing quarter. And, perhaps very much finally, Cardiff's My Name Is Ian - go on, guess how many of them are called Ian - are about to go sixteen albums in seven years to the good with Cincinnati Cola via the ever reliable Bubblewrap Collective, the spectacularly titled Fight, Drink And Watch People Die On TV a pure garage indie-rock thrill.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

STN recommends... April 2017

Finally, very belatedly, the best new songs of the fourth month of the year.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

STN recommends: 3/5/17

First things first, we realised we didn't get time to write a Recommends at the end of last week and then spent just as long putting the songs we wanted to write about on Twitter instead, so who's the real winner here?

















Drahla - Faux Text

From Leeds, a Too Pure Singles Club release, recorded by MJ at Suburban Home Studios - some people have worked out the express route to getting onto STN. And luckily it's a great single too, a menacing meeting of almost-spoken intrigue with surging art-noise guitars and skronking sax in the Sonic Youth lineage but none the worse in ideas and ominousness for that.




Soeur - Just Yet

There's been a few bands recently reaching back to the great gritty grunge sound of 1992, and not a lot of them are very good. Bristol via Worcester's Soeur, who we first came across just this weekend at Handmade festival, have the charm and nous to pull it off on their What Separates Us EP, knowing all about the key to it all being the capture and release, allied to the raw, sleazy dual female vocals. And check that riff bringing down buildings in its wake.




Orchards - Darling

Another Handmade discovery, Brightonians and recent PWR BTTM support Orchards are tricky to grab hold of, switching seamlessly from Foals-style slightly straightened angular hi-life influenced shapes to big showy synth-driven choruses to exuberant shiny poppiness, bursting with hooks throughout. Fans of Fickle Friends will find plenty to like here.




Monday, May 01, 2017

40 From 40: 1997

Cool Britannia! Backing Britain! Noel at No.10 with Tony! (There's a reason why we're posting this on 1st May 2017, obviously) Yeah, 1997 was the year that all kind of evaporated and Be Here Now was key in making it that way, alongside the old canard of just being too much of the workaday being hailed as next big things - note in this playlist even the bands thrown into the Britpop malaise are audibly making great distance from that form. The year's big winners as far as hindsight goes ended up being Radiohead, making the most of the first great uber-muddy Glastonbury and of the technologies made available to them to progress - which is telling given at the time almost as much critical hosannah-ing was being given to the Prodigy's hooligan breakbeat culmination Fat Of The Land, which from this distance has been thoroughly subsumed by the albums before it even before you factor in the very much timelocked context of a Crispian Mills cameo. Of course what actually sold in 1997 was the reworked Candle In The Wind, brought into a world that was all for the lachrymose having just made Puff Daddy's I'll Be Missing You an enormous starmaking vehicle, and, in long form, the Spice Girls, so great a cultural force that their Saturday Night Live appearance got on the actual news back over here. Chumbawumba of all bands had a massive international hit. Dimly remembered roots rockers Texas reinvented themselves to world-carrying effect. Someone tried to get New Grave going as a genre, while urban London took up speed garage, the opening strains of a very fascinating, very much evolving form (even if the recorded version largely existed in white label 12"s and remixes) that pretty much has a through-line via the following year's UK Garage boom to this day. Jeff Buckley and Michael Hutchence both left us, the latter a polarising force to rock stardom of the 1990s, the former an unwitting key text in the softening of the form in the early 00s. 1997 - a transitional year, but not in the usual way.




Spearmint - Sweeping The Nation
Comet Gain - These Are The Dreams Of The Working Girl
Velocette - Get Yourself Together
Kenickie - People We Want
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
Prolapse - Killing The Bland
AC Acoustics - Stunt Girl
Dawn Of The Replicants - Lisa Box
Cornelius - Freefall
Yo La Tengo - Sugarcube
Supergrass - Richard III
Clinic - IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - The Impression That I Get
Belle & Sebastian - Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie
Grandaddy - A.M. 180
Radiohead - Airbag
Primal Scream - Burning Wheel
Cable - Freeze The Atlantic
Super Furry Animals - Demons
The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
Massive Attack - Risingson
Portishead - All Mine
Eels - Your Lucky Day In Hell
Flowchart - Flutter By Butterfly
Björk - Bachelorette
Spiritualized - Come Together
Blur - Death Of A Party
David Holmes - Don't Die Just Yet (The Holiday Girl) (Arab Strap Remix)
Six By Seven - 88-92-96
Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan
The Chemical Brothers - The Private Psychedelic Reel
Missy Elliott - Beep Me 911
Scott Garcia feat. MC Styles - A London Thing
Cornershop - Sleep On The Left Side
Tindersticks - Bathtime
Elliott Smith - Between The Bars
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
Teenage Fanclub - Ain't That Enough
Sodastream - Turnstyle
Pavement - Shady Lane


Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

40 From 40: 1975

*The* 1975, because pop SEO has to work in STN's favour at some time. The year of Rollermania, Whispering Grass, Sailing and the UK's best selling album being The Best of the Stylistics. Disco took off with plentiful American number ones and the Bee Gees' patronage. Bob Marley at the Lyceum was the public face of an underrated year in the progression of the golden age of reggae, as you'll see reflected in the closing suite of this playlist. Blood On The Tracks. Wish You Were Here. Horses. A rugged American songwriting hero in waiting simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines. Slade In Flame and Tommy proving two sides of the same music-filmic coin. I'm Not In Love. Bohemian Rhapsody. Peter Gabriel leaving Genesis. The Rolling Thunder Revue. Saturday Night Live beginning. Sean Lennon's birth. And in a once quiet corner, Punk magazine and the first Sex Pistols gigs. Meanwhile, back in the worlds of where glam meets pop or proto-punk, soul looks bleary-eyed at the dancefloor and funk and Krautrock do their particular, peculiar arrythmic things...




Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road
Patti Smith - Land
Dr Feelgood - All Through The City
The Tubes - White Punks On Dope
The Dictators - Teengenerate
Television - Little Johnny Jewel
Pere Ubu - 30 Seconds Over Tokyo
Brian Eno - I'll Come Running
Sparks - Get In The Swing
Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman
Sailor - A Glass Of Champagne
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
Joni Mitchell - In France They Kiss On Main Street
Bob Dylan - Idiot Wind
The Isley Brothers - The Heat Is On Pts. 1 & 2
David Bowie - Fame
Ohio Players - Fopp
Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star
Donna Summer - Love To Love You Baby
Parliament - Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)
War - Low Rider
The Meters - Fire On The Bayou
CAN - Vernal Equinox
NEU! - Hero
Harmonia - Walky Talky
Robert Wyatt - Solar Flares
Kraftwerk - Radioactivity
John Cale - Guts
The Walker Brothers - No Regrets
Yabby You - Conquering Lion
Burning Spear - Slavery Days
I-Roy - Welding
Sylford Walker - Burn Babylon
Johnny Clarke - Don't Want To Be A Rude Boy
Susan Cadogan - Congratulations
Cornell Campbell - Dance In A Greenwich Farm
Observer All-Stars & King Tubby - Dubbing With The Observer
U-Roy - The Great Psalms
Lee "Scratch" Perry - Hold Them Kung Fu
Trinity - Three Piece Suit


Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Friday, April 21, 2017

40 From 40: 1989

You know we always fill this part up by talking about how the year in question is transitional or misleading? It's not quite reflected here because of time, place, the best work coming in the previous two or three years and the ageing process as much as anything, but 1989 isn't one of those years. It was the Second Summer Of Love, the acid house and rave scene boom leading to one of the great youth culture moments, the year of smiley faces and baggy clothes, the TB-303 and breakbeats, countryside rendez-vous and overreaching hedonism comparisons. Even guitar bands started learning from it as Madchester caught on, just as Tony Wilson said it would. In time, for all the police attention and tabloid scare stories, they'd come to make documentaries about that summer. Also, Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers have three number ones, though one of the pair behind them will go on to found hard house label Tidy Trax so they still tangentially count. Like A Prayer and its religion-baiting video is the big worldwide hit of the year, cementing Madonna as the icon of the age, while in Britain it's the peak year of Stock Aitken Waterman, giving Sonia a number one, Jason Donovan the year's biggest selling album and the Reynolds Girls a shortlived career. Our biggest selling single is Ride On Time, reflecting house's commercial imperative and its habit of getting away with things, eh, Martha Wash? Then again this was the year of Milli Vanilli's secret slipping, so maybe that was just attuned to the times too. New Kids On The Block emerged as Ken left Bros, Band Aid II happened and this glorious minute's worth of TV fiasco happened. Are we going have a look at the possibilities?




Public Enemy - Fight The Power
Beastie Boys - Shake Your Rump
The D.O.C. - Portrait Of A Masterpiece
Double Trouble & Rebel MC - Street Tuff
Redhead Kingpin & The FBI - Do The Right Thing
Young MC - Know How
Neneh Cherry - Kisses On The Wind
De La Soul - Me, Myself & I
Momus - Hairstyle Of The Devil
808 State - Pacific 707
Orbital - Chime
Starlight - Numero Uno
Kon Kan - I Beg Your Pardon
Soul II Soul - Get A Life
New Order - All The Way
Popguns - Waiting For The Winter
The Wedding Present - Brassneck
Nirvana - About A Girl
Pavement - Box Elder
Another Sunny Day - You Should All Be Murdered
fIREHOSE - Riddle Of The Eighties
Kirsty MacColl - Free World
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - Madonna Of The Wasps
Yo La Tengo - Barnaby, Hardly Working
Pixies - Gouge Away
Fugazi - Margin Walker
Spacemen 3 - Revolution
Silver Bullet - 20 Seconds To Comply
Barry Adamson - Under Wraps
Happy Mondays - Hallelujah (Maccoll Mix)
Wire - Eardrum Buzz
The Sugarcubes - Regina
The Blue Nile - Headlights On The Parade
Kate Bush - The Sensual World
The Sundays - Can't Be Sure
Bob Mould - See A Little Light
The The - The Beat(en) Generation
The Cure - Lullaby
Galaxie 500 - Blue Thunder
The Stone Roses - I Am The Resurrection


Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

STN recommends: 19/4/17

Because remember: NEW MUSIC DOES NOT STOP.


christian fitness - slap bass hunks

Please refer to yesterday's post.




Waxahatchee - Silver

Katie Crutchfield returns with a meaningful guitar crunch that harkens back to the days when we called this kind of thing 'college rock' and Tanya Donelly roamed the land. Big old hooks, self-questioning approach, streamlined for maximum emotional effect. Out In The Storm is out 14th July.




Slow Skies - Shut Your Eyes

It's been a while since we've heard anything new from Dublin's Karen Sheridan, whose 2014 EP intrigued us with its glacial shimmer and yaw. There's very little information about what this is for or from but, if slightly more approachable, it remains a delicate floating confection of Sheridan's honeyed vocal and a number of interesting textures gliding below the surface.




Two White Cranes - Miso

We last saw Roxy Brennan exploring her electronic urges as Furore; back to the guitar for a while she's almost lilting as she tackles the mental delocation of moving away. No definite news of a full release but there's some dates coming up




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

STN recommends: 18/4/17

Christian Fitness - Bees Mode

Reminder of STN policy: you don't write about Christian Fitness songs, you let them happen. Seems the next album's going to be called Slap Bass Hunks.




Girlpool - It Gets More Blue

When we first met Cleo and Harmony they were skeletal and direct; with maturity comes personal consideration and a filling out of a lot if not all of the gaps - listen! Drums! - which gives the music a tinge of Pavement lo-fi broken melody against the softly downcast harmonies without sacrificing that off the top of the head emotional intimacy.




Saint Etienne - Magpie Eyes

It's back to the club-ready machines, whirring dreamy synths and sequencers for the second taste of Home Counties, out 2nd June, inspired partially by the Creation Records tome but mostly by a sense of loss and missing out on the world.




Kamikaze Girls - Berlin

The Leeds duo - yeah, one of those again, we're afraid, but bear in mind what it takes for us to endorse a guitar/drums duo these days - are newly signed to Big Scary Monsters and roar out of the blocks with rough-hewn juggernaut riffs and powerhouse drums driven by focused fury. Album Seafoam is out June 9th.




Sweet Baboo - Wild Imagination

The title track from Stephen's latest album, released 2nd June, is a dreamy, one man Beach Boys on a budget concoction that like much of his best work is sweetly uplifting very much in his own world that's just a slightly more sepia printed version of ours.




Post War Glamour Girls - Pollyanna Cowgirl

For a moment there they sounded like they'd gone *cough* anthemic. From third album Swan Songs, out April 21st, serpentine guitars and James' familiar doomy vocal fighting back against the wall of indifference.




Deerful - Subjects Of Our Love

Emma Winston has done time in Darren Hayman's band and Owl & Mouse amongst others; in her solo guise - album Peach out June 9th - she takes up Gameboy and assorted slightly worn synths to create racing 8-bit electropop of a personal affirmation hue.




BEAK> - Sex Music

Geoff Barrow's other band, as you might recall, go for the motorik, vintage organ sound and turn out surprisingly slinky, if unsurprisingly dark in doing so.




The St Pierre Snake Invasion - Dick E Mozart

76 seconds of death-or-glory-but-the-former-if-at-all-possible crashing hardcore, part of the Too Pure Singles Club, from a Bristol band whose singer did the auxiliary vocals when Mclusky played their semi-reformation shows, which follows with his band's angry crash dynamics.




Her's - I'll Try

Swooningly, nimbly romantic playing itself off against Norwegian vocalist Audun Laading's distracted slacker slur, the Liverpool-based duo have turned a few heads for their somnambulent bedroom pop, all of which is collected on story-so-far compilation Songs Of Her's, out 12th May.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

40 From 40: 2009

As promised when we did 1970 on Good Friday, the other end of our forty-year spectrum and a list notably more biased than most, even if its span is only the last five years, towards what STN was writing about at the time anyway. The Big Pink were the hot new thing of the day and Duffy emerged as the big winner at the Brits, we took our entertainment where we could find it. Michael Jackson's death was announced late on the Thursday of Glastonbury, and starved of anyone else to talk to BBC News interviewed White Lies' touring keyboard player about it. Oasis split, properly this time. "Kanye'd" briefly becomes a thing with the unwitting aid of Taylor Swift, though nobody now remembers him doing the same to Justice's video directors at MTV Europe's beanfeast three years earlier. Lady Gaga in her original "mixing up outerwear and underwear" phase broke enormous. Susan Boyle had the world's biggest selling album. Confusing days.




Ebony Bones! - The Muzik
Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
Napoleon IIIrd - The Strong Nuclear Force
Animal Collective - My Girls
The Phantom Band - The Howling
Grammatics - D.I.L.E.M.M.A.
Joe Gideon & The Shark - Civilisation
The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea
Rose Elinor Dougall - Start/Stop/Synchro
Broadcast And The Focus Group - the be colony
Mat Riviere - FYH
Wild Beasts - Hooting & Howling
Los Campesinos! - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
The Leisure Society - The Last Of The Melting Snow
The Low Anthem - Charlie Darwin
Laura Marling - Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)
Bat For Lashes - Moon And Moon
The Wave Pictures - If You Leave It Alone
The xx - VCR
Slow Club - Come On Youth
Emmy The Great - First Love
Jesca Hoop - Four Dreams
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
Super Furry Animals - Inaugural Trams
Stairs To Korea - Boy Bear It In Mind
Copy Haho - Wrong Direction
Standard Fare - Dancing
The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Come Saturday
Johnny Foreigner - Ghost The Festivals
Future Of The Left - Arming Eritrea
Colourmusic - Yes!
Nosferatu D2 - 2 People, 0 Superpowers
Sky Larkin - Summit
Bombay Bicycle Club - Always Like This
Broken Records - If Eilert Loevborg Wrote A Song, It Would Sound Like This
Luke Haines - 21st Century Man
Madness - The Liberty Of Norton Folgate


Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

Friday, April 14, 2017

40 From 40: 1970

40 From 40 refers, as you've likely forgotten, to forty tracks from each of forty years, and this extended weekend we're going to tick off the alpha and omega of our chosen timeframe. 1970 first, a year when the 1960s hadn't quite finished yet - the Beatles were still officially a going concern until Paul announced his lack of plans in a Q&A to promote his debut solo album in April and then filed court documents for their dissolving on New Year's Eve. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died within two and a half weeks of each other at the same age, Simon & Garfunkel released their final album together and Mike Nesmith left the Monkees. The Isle Of Wight festival brought about the age of the outdoor field-based hootenanny, that and other open-air and collective events over the early summer inspiring a tiny affair in Pilton later in the year. Musically, soul was at the end of its first golden age, the singer-songwriters were on the march and loud things we couldn't understand yet were coming into focus.




Edwin Starr - War
The Temptations - Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)
The Equals - Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys
The Jackson 5 - The Love You Save
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
The Supremes - Stoned Love
Chairmen Of The Board - Give Me Just A Little More Time
The (Detroit) Spinners - It's A Shame
Freda Payne - Band Of Gold
Booker T & the MG's - Melting Pot
Bob & Marcia - Young, Gifted And Black
Dandy Livingstone - Rudy, A Message To You
The Upsetters - Clint Eastwood
Toots & The Maytals - 54-46 Was My Number
John Lennon - Instant Karma!
The Last Poets - When The Revolution Comes
James Brown - Super Bad (Parts 1 & 2)
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Segun Bucknor & His Revolution - La La La
George Harrison - Wah-Wah
Syd Barrett - No Good Trying
Badfinger - Come And Get It
David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World
The Beatles - Across The Universe
Nick Drake - At The Chime Of A City Clock
Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
James Taylor - Fire And Rain
Neil Young - After The Gold Rush
Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon
David Ackles - That's No Reason To Cry
Van Morrison - Moondance
The Kinks - Powerman
The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane
The Rattles - The Witch
Deep Purple - Black Night
The Stooges - T.V. Eye
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song
Amon Düül II - Archangels Thunderbird
T. Rex - Ride A White Swan

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

40 From 40: 2004

2004 was a year when things were upturned. Britney got married twice, the first cracks in that impregnable facade, though this was also the year of Toxic so nobody pried too deeply yet. That clearly wasn't something going to be afforded to Pete Doherty, whose charge to the front pages took hold as he left the Libertines, checked into and then fled a growing number of rehab clinics for crack addiction, got arrested a lot, formed Babyshambles, made the possibility of his playing gigs somewhere into a spectator sport and was voted top of the NME's Cool List to boot. Up the top end of the industry U2 re-established themselves as the biggest band in the world while their heir apparents Coldplay saw their disciples emerge into their own spotlight, just as the Libertines were with Razorlight pitched as the land's coolest band. That state of affairs was one grime, fresh off Dizzee's Mercury win in 2003, was very willing to ignore and go on its own way (until grindie happened, but we do not speak of grindie), Wiley and Lethal Bizzle emerging and Channel U doing on a Sky platform what SBTV would later do to greater acclaim online. The Streets proved the white trojan horse connecting the underground to the charts, a necessity in a year that despite finding house room for Scissor Sisters was more interested all told in Peter Andre's comeback, Eric Prydz, Natasha Bedingfield and the Eamon vs Frankee 'battle', a kind of Roxanne Wars for people who find swearing hilarious. No wonder Top Of The Pops was shunted off to its BBC2 Sunday night morgue towards the end of the year. Band Aid 20 happened at the end of the year to put the tin lid on a lot of things, not least Dizzee's crossover from urban to showbiz. It was also the year John Peel died, and despite everything that's happened since in the way we consume and learn about music the spiritual gap is still apparent. In solidarity with everything we learnt from him, here's a playlist of forty songs we like to think are eclectic in his honour but are actually all whitebread indie that he'd shake his head at.




Evil Nine feat. Aesop Rock - Crooked
Soulwax - NY Excuse
Saul Williams - List Of Demands (Reparations)
Kelis - Millionaire
Wiley - Wot Do U Call It?
The Go! Team - Bottle Rocket
Rachel Stevens - Some Girls
TV On The Radio - Dreams
Electrelane - The Valleys
Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve
Annie - Heartbeat
The Long Blondes - Giddy Stratospheres (original version)
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Les Savy Fav - The Sweat Descends
Bloc Party - Helicopter
Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
The Walkmen - The Rat
Mission Of Burma - The Setup
The Fall - Theme From Sparta F.C.
Mclusky - Without MSG I Am Nothing
yourcodenameis:milo - All Roads To Fault
Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty
Blonde Redhead - Equus
Sons And Daughters - Johnny Cash
The Golden Virgins - Renaissance Kid
Morrissey - First Of The Gang To Die
Graham Coxon - Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - There She Goes, My Beautiful World
Hope Of The States - The Red The White The Black The Blue
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
British Sea Power Allied With The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa - A Lovely Day Tomorrow
Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
The Mountain Goats - Slow West Vultures
Clinic - Circle Of Fifths
The Futureheads - He Knows
Interpol - Evil
Art Brut - Formed A Band
65daysofstatic - Retreat! Retreat!
Sufjan Stevens - The Dress Looks Nice On You
Handsome Boy Modeling School feat. Cat Power - I've Been Thinking


Previously among the 40: 1972, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008