Staff picks

Staff Picks

This week

Down In Albion (2005) by Babyshambles

“With The Libertines returning for that British Summer Time show, I was reminded of BabyshamblesDown In Albion. Say what you want about Doherty, the guy’s a poet and a great songwriter. Even if ‘F**k Forever’ may seem a tad crude and straight to the point, it’s an all-time favourite of mine.” Rachel Atkins

Bright Fire (2014) by The Honey Trees

“Serious and sweet. Calm and cool. Acoustic and alternative. And a little playful as well.” Gunnar Larsén

The Beast (2003) by The Panacea

“Celebrate summertime by playing the flipside of this 90s ‘ardcore-referencing drum and bass tune by Panacea at high volume. Almost comedic in its intensity; guaranteed maximum annoyance.” Matt Gray

Amphetamine Ballads (2014) by The Amazing Snakeheads

“Nasty, gnarled, voodoo blues, reminiscent of The Gun Club and The Birthday Party, only from Glasgow. Currently supporting Jack White.” Stephen Somerville


Last week

You're A Woman, I'm A Machine (2005) by Death From Above 1979

“I’m flagging this gem up because I can’t believe it’s nearing its 10th year since release. Part of me wonders what I’ve been doing with my life since 2004, and then I remember: oh yeah, I’ve been listening to this. Dark, unpredictable, sweaty and primal, it’s the Dexter of music and definitely worth a spin to celebrate the fact DFA 1979 are FINALLY releasing a follow-up this September.” Karen Bevan

Cavalo (2014) by Rodrigo Amarante

“A very diverse album by the Brazilian singer/songwriter, spanning various musical traditions and strategically woven together by lyrics in Portuguese, French and English (plus some Japanese on ‘Cavalo’). Combining introspective João Gilberto moments and Tropicalia flavours with songs reminiscent of Devendra Banhart or Andrew Bird, this feels like a compilation you’d receive from a dear friend, or early crush.” Mia Filisch

Batman (Explicit Content – Parental Advisory) (2013) by Prince

“Such a great soundtrack. Check the video for ‘Batdance’ – it features some supreme Prince insanity, guitar solos and the set-up for the best movie quote ever: ‘And where is the Batman? He’s at home, washing his tights!’” Phil Quigley

I Shall Die Here (2014) by The Body

“Is it doom metal or is it some kind of bleak electronica? Doesn’t really matter: this is like the soundtrack to one of the most intense thrillers that never existed.” Dan Smith


The week before last week

Oya (2014) by Ibeyi

“Released via XL Recordings – and produced by label head Richard Russell – ‘Oya’ is the bewitching debut single of French-Cuban twins Ibeyi. I can’t wait to hear where they go next.” Gemma Samways

For Years (2013) by Airhead

“This melancholy and haunting offering from producer Rob McAndrews brings both a harmony and discordance between the acoustic and the electronic. Low key and unassuming, it’s an easily-overlooked gem.” Waddaah Abdu

Idiot's Hill (2014) by Basko Believes

Basko Believes is the natural successor to Bon Iver, with a healthy dose of Americana sprinkled on top. ‘Leap of Faith’ is one of the best songs of 2014 so far.” Gunnar Larsén

Moderat (Deluxe Version) (2009) by Moderat

“Unhurried, richly-textured dance music for headphones. ‘Rusty Nails’ is particularly strong.” Sam Gething


The week before that

Business Casual (2010) by Chromeo

“I went to see these guys recently, and hearing material from across their releases has confirmed for me that this is by far their best offering. Funkier than James Brown’s pants and cheesier than a fromagerie but somehow, SOMEHOW, it’s credible.” Dan Smith

Simple Things (2014) by Felt Tip

“Anglo-French outfit hit their stride with a beguiling EP, not least with the charmingly scruffy shuffle of the lead track.” Ian Bell

Future This (2012) by The Big Pink

“Immense electronic beats, a mix of shoegaze-y sounds and big, 80s New Romantic-style vocals.” Sharri Morris

Sueno Latino (2013) by Sueño Latino

“Nobody seems to believe me that we’re heading for an Italo House revival, but we are.” Ben Lee


And so on...

Old Fears (2014) by School Of Language

“Crisp, uncluttered, pared-back and funky 80s-style art-pop, produced with only a handful of instruments, by David Brewis of Field Music fame. If you like Metronomy you should give this a listen.” Sam Gething

Richard Sen presents This Ain't Chicago - The Underground Sound Of UK House & Acid 1987-1991 (2012) by Various Artists

“Excellent compilation of lesser-known Acid House bangers, curated by DJ of the time Richard Sen. It’s raw and retro-futuristic, and I love that while the songs are all on a similar vibe there’s a real stylistic diversity.” Dan Smith

The Best of the 12 Mixes (2013) by D Train

“Huge collection of D Train 12" extended mixes. Some of these are absolute jams.” Reece Daniels

Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2014) by Angel Olsen

“Emotive and genuine with a lot of lovely moments.” Ling Khor


Upside Down Mountain (2014) by Conor Oberst

“Another Nonesuch gem. Combines trembling vocals and indie-flavoured tunes with an up-to-date soundscape. File between The Jayhawks and Snowmine.” Gunnar Larsén

Patherns E.P. (2006) by COH

CoH cranks the arpeggiator with this noisy tribute (of sorts) to the influential sounds of Giorgio Moroder. Borderline danceable in parts, it’s possibly one for adventurous DJ usage.” Matt Gray

Reachy Prints (2014) by Plaid

Plaid show their softer side with a set of delicate, deeply melodic electronica. Such a treat.” Gemma Samways

Rebel With A Cause (2014) by Ghetts

“Pulling in influences from rock, reggae and R&B, Rebel With A Cause is a boundary-pushing take on grime. Must listen!” Aysh Banaysh


Wounded Rhymes (2012) by Lykke Li

“The release of I Never Learn inspired me to re-listen to this album. Catchy and energetic, yet dark and sometimes slightly menacing indie-pop. ‘I Follow Rivers’ is an all time favourite.” Sam Gething

Frames Of Reference (2013) by Ø [Phase]

“This style of techno is very in vogue and this is one of the better producers.” Tom Traves

The Drums (2010) by The Drums

“BRING BACK THE DRUMS! Brimming full of punchy drum beats, East Coast licks and bittersweet nostalgia, every track is epic. Oh, and the band members are indie-boy dreamboats…” Sharri Morris

Right from Real – Pt. I (2014) by Lydia Ainsworth

“Proffering ethereal vocals and an exquisite mix of electronic and orchestral sounds, Lydia Ainsworth’s debut EP for Arbutus Records is definitely one for fans of Braids, Julia Holter, Austra and Kate Bush.” Gemma Samways


Sylvan Esso (2014) by Sylvan Esso

“As a long-serving fan, it came as a surprise to discover Mountain Man’s Amelia Meath popping up as the vocal foil to a morass of sticky, glitchy and bass-heavy electronics. One track in and it all suddenly makes sense; her vocal chops and sense of rhythm pairing perfectly with Nick Sanborn’s, frankly, expert production. It may not be the most unique offering of 2014, but it’s by far one of the best.” Nick Skelton

The Doghouse (2014) by Elli Ingram

Elli Ingram’s vocals and songwriting ability never fail her. Each track is as good on its own as it is with the others. If you enjoyed her Sober EP you will love The Doghouse.” Aysh Banaysh

Glow (2014) by Tensnake

“German disco, Tensnake style. Schwing it Brüder.” Gunnar Larsén

Best of Oliver N'Goma (2011) by Oliver N'Goma

“Awesome collection of smooth, summertime jams from Gabonese megastar Oliver N’Goma.” Matt Gray


From back in the mists of time...