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Art rockers Paris Motel play songs about Vita Sackville-West and bisexual Elizabethean female pirates. Emma Haigh chats to front woman and violinist Amy May about songwriting, her group's first 18 months and their self-released first two EPs
Listen With Sarah
One of the last artists to attract the attention of the late John Peel, Sarah Nelson makes music using just her computer. Emma Haigh talks to her about her self-released debut album on her own label 'Are You Sitting Comfortably ?"
Former Guthries star Ruth Minnikin has just self-released her debut album, 'Marooned and Blue'. She talks to Emma Haigh about it, and why she intends to remain totally independent
Much acclaimed singer-songwriter Jesse Malin recently returned with his second album, 'The Heat'. He speaks to Emma Haigh about how he has avoided the pitfalls of making the same album twice
Broken Family Band
Since forming three years ago, British alt. country band the Broken Family Band have met with increasing acclaim and attention. Frontman Steven J Adams talks to Emma Haigh about the group's rapid rise and their new album, 'Jesus Songs'
Lost It. Com
Running to three volumes, '69 Love Songs' is the Magnetic Fields masterwork. Emma Haigh says that "nowhere in the history of pop does an album come so close to capturing love’s jaundiced oversights, alienating highs and grateful awe"
The Izzys have been dubbed The Next Big Thing, and have been likened to the Stones. Emma Haigh found little appealing in their debut album on first listening, but believes now on further hearings that there is more to it than initally meets the ear
Let Airplanes Circle Overhead
Neutral Milk Hotel
Hauntingly majestic and spectral orchestral pop on latest album from Norwegian three piece the White Birch
First-rate post rock from Cumbrian-based post rockers Let Airplanes Circle Overhead, which "steps away from traditional shoegazing, and branches out towards a symphonic and structural narrative"
Catchy, but uninspiring indie rock with hints of Pulp, the Cure, Joy Division, British Sea Power from new British-based group the Superheroes
Timely re-release for Neutral Milk Hotel's 1998 album, 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea', which has been an influence on the likes of Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand and Caribou
Listen With Sarah
Kill Devil Hills
Quirky, intelligent pop on first album from Listen with Sarah, one of the last Peel-endorsed acts and the alias for Sussex-based musician Sarah Nelson and her computer
Strangely disappointing new single from the usually dependable Kills
Weak indie guitar rock on debut EP from new London-based band Kill Devil Hills
Impressive third album from singer-songwriter Andrew Sandoval, which proves to be "a heady swirl of 60’s fuelled jangle-pop"
Deceptively childish-looking three song single from Suffolk-based act Animal Planet,w hich combines 40's swing with 60's beach music and 70's bluesy gravelled lounge-rock
"Superbly arranged space-adelic electro-mod tease" on new two track single from Parisian act, the Bishop Invaders
Addictive and haunting new EP from Canadian alternative rockets, the Marble Index
Charming debut album from singer-songwriter and cellist Janie Price, AKA Bird, which shows itself to be "a simply orchestrated voyage inside a subconscious"
Citizens Here And Abroad
Je Ne Sais Quoi
Mellow lo-fi pop from Citizens Here and Abroad, who, constantly on the verge of seemingly swinging out of control "display with gorgeous consistency an ability to shift from elementary wide-eyed jack-in-the-box pop into hard-tinged boppy snarls and glari
Debut album from Icelandic seven-piece art pop collaborative, Ske, which, despite recent stunning live performances, proves unfortunately to sound "disappointingly familiar"
Intelligent and ferecious punk rock from new Swedish punk band, Je Ne Sais Quoi, whose seeming apathy, is combined with "a parodoxical avalanche of sound and fury"
Gothic debut EP from Ruth Minnikin, one of the founding members of much acclaimed Canadian alt. country/folk act, the Guthries
Compelling debut album from new Glitterhouse label signing, Cary Hudson, the lack of sophistication which proves to be its greatest asset and flaw
Over-produced and derivative late 80's/early 90's influenced pop from thirtysomething single mum, Jane
Maddening Californian punk rock, which unfortunately proves to be "the same glob of expelled punk-pop bubblegum you find embedded in the sole of your favourite shoes"
Latest single from Icelandic art rockers Minus, which unfortunately "lyrically...reads like an eighth grade poetry competition"
Impressive second album from Lunasuit, which proves to be "reminiscent of the soft side of Bikini Kill, or a nicer Sleater-Kinney"
Wintry, rich debut album from new French electronica artist, Choa, which "oscillates between the hauntingly beautiful and the frankly disturbing"
Flawed, but impressive "space-surf bliss-pop and psyche-fuzzed hyper-drive " on long-awaited debut album from post rock trio, Sciflyer
Hypnotic, genre-defying debut from sprawling Glaswegian hybrid, Scatter, who supported Belle and Sebastian on the Scottish leg of their recent tour, and who are the latest signings to the Pickled Egg label
Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors
Amanda J. Window
Dominic B. Simpson
L. Paul Mann