Meursault - Klopfgeist
Neil Pennycook has got the band (name) back together for a fourth album, I Will Kill Again, out 27th February, and picked up not so much where they left off, as that was the more commercially approached end of his/their sound, but in another place, the uneasy ambience along with Pennycook's familiar heart on sleeve croon suggesting mental desolation and dislocation, dark grace and emotional heft.
Peaness - Same Place
From a very nearly sold out already Odd Box 100 Club 7" that's not technically out until Friday, another glorious instantaneous slab of harmonic power-jangle, glittery on the outside, darkening on the inside. They're playing this year's Leicester Indiepop Alldayer, you know. And they've signed to Alcopop for their next EP!
Wire - Short Elevated Period
It's Wire's fortieth year in showbiz! They are, naturally, celebrating with a new album, Silver/Lead out 31st March, displaying the kind of unyielding, dense-seeming jagged churn that if anything nods at their semi-psychedelic mid-80s first comeback more than the classic opening triptych, but then Wire famously never have been about easy nostalgia.
Mew - Carry Me To Safety
The last few Mew records have been the epitome of hit and miss, so while hopes for Visuals, released 28th April, may not be huge they still hold the capacity to get under the skin. Case in point, the moment when the delicate amble of the verses bursts into technicolour strings and eventually drives everything upwards and into the atmosphere, Jonas Bjerre's porcelain falsetto still setting out the pathway.
Family Friends - I'm Like You
The Melbourne via East London brother-sister duo who are Family Friends sound both heat hazed and dreamily self-confident, which we suppose works within those locations. Slipping somewhere between Throwing Muses and first album Best Coast, it shimmies amongst the reverb and delay on a confident slacker quality.
A Festival, A Parade - People Person
Newcastle's A Festival, A Parade wear their National/Frightened Rabbit/basically any emotive and slightly awkward loud guitar band influences heavy, but do something with them that makes them worth the effort. In this case it's the sense of pushing against something, both in the mental health theme of the lyrics, frontman Joe Allan's distracted paranoia vocal or the constantly aiming, soaring ambitions of the guitars.