STARDEATH AND WHITE DWARFS: New Heat. OK, a great band name and the racy soft-vocal psychedelia is just spaced out enough to live up to it.
PALOMA FAITH: New York. There’s a certain granite feel to her voice, but a musical nail file comes in the form of the sound’s soulful sweep that heads off towards gospel utopia near the end.
MUSE: Uprising. Glammed-up electro dancefloor strut that’ll probably raise both eyebrows on many Muse devotees.
DUB PISTOLS: I’m In Love. Heavily soulified reggae version of the 80s hit that more than breathes new life into it. Ex Beats International singer Lindy Layton and rapper Rodney P share the vocal duties. If this doesn’t make you feel good, there’s something wrong with you.
CAROLINA LIAR: I’m Not Over. It captures a big brash pop rock hookline and there’s no way it’s going to let go. It wasn’t that long ago since frontman Chad Wolfe was living in a car in Los Angeles struggling to make ends meet.
WAVE MACHINES: Punk Spirit. Starts off quietly enough – almost reflectively – but then builds and builds in a rather more noisy lolloping way as it crashes down on the shore named chorus. More folk than punk which maybe why the spirit is missing.
NOAH AND THE WHALE: The First Days Of Spring. Some would say this is surreal, dreamlike meandering in thought and music. Others would dismiss it as rambling dullness. No doubt there’s a quiet complexity to it and the more full-bodied the sound gets, the more the interest level rises and when they do lighten up they certainly lift flagging spirits. It accompanies a film shot in London and Surrey.
JOHN ILLSLEY: Beautiful You The former Dire Straits bass player has gone down a gentle soft rock route here that probably surpasses a lot that Dire Straits did. It’s still a mystery to many as to how they became so big. Illsley has teamed up with Irish singer Greg Pearle and listening to the rich vocal hue and touch of bluesy calm simply washes away anxiety and tension.
FLORENCE RAWLINGS: A Fool In Love. If the Blues Brothers had a sister she would be Florence Rawlings. Why? Well, she softens the natural harshness of rhythm and blues with authentic soul.