U2: Get On Your Boots. It’s hard to believe a band responsible for so many classics can come up with something like this. As naff as the title suggests. The first single from their new album, No Line On The Horizon. You can say that again. It's getting on something all right.
THE KING BLUES: Save The World, Get The Girl. Never was optimism so huge from a band that triumphed at the Leeds and Reading Festivals. This one's slow, soft ska that unwinds gently.
SEASICK STEVE: Happy Man. The southern blues drawl sounds anything but happy. Culled from the grizzled voiced one's top 10 album I Started Out With Nothin' And I Still Got Most Of It Left. What no doubt makes him happy is that he's got Ruby Turner and KT Tunstall singing alongside him. His real name is Steve Wold and he spent many years living rough on streets in the USA to escape an abusive father. He's plenty to sing about – he's lived in 56 houses in 25 years of marriage to his Norwegian wife. He’s now living in Norway so no more street life for him.
JAKE FLOWERS: Small World. Swirling acoustic songsmithship is blooming with Flowers.
NEW RHODES: Everybody Loves A Scene. If Morrissey was ever going to be slightly content or even excited with his lot, then this is what he could sound like. Slug-it-out indie that punches above its weight and lands the blow somewhere between The Smiths and The Editors. When it slows down, there's a pondering, 50s-style ring, but usually it's galloping indie rock powered by an anger that gives it such powerful impetus. Tracks like You Can Have It All start miserably and then get uplifting by the end which sums ‘em up. Listen out for their hyperactive single, The Joys Of Finding And Losing That Girl.
EMPIRE OF THE SUN: Walking On A Dream. They hail from the land of Oz with singer Luke Steele coming from Perth. Still, that doesn't explain the affected, nasal vocals – surely he doesn't talk like that as well. It tries to give a sense of futuristic presence, but you can't help feeling it's looking back more to the 80s with a David Lynchian weirdness to at least one of the tracks. There's a suggestion the band is a Balearic cross between Fleetwood Mac and Daft Punk. You can hear where they're coming from in their pseudo psychedelic way.