This is the only one left in the backlog of my monthly picks - after this they'll come up every month.
Hot off the press – newly released, or pre-release – usually new music.
Re-release – newly discovered by me due to a specific reason (usually a re-release or repackaging)
New to me – not a new track, but one I’ve only just come across
1. Guns N’ Roses – The Blues Hot off the press
That’s right mofos, it’s a new GN’F’N’R track, proving that Axl has been doing something these past 13 years. 9 have slipped through (and on to) the net and this is amazingly one of the less grandiose cuts. Welcome back Mr Rose.
2. Howlin Rain – Dancers At The End Of Time Hot off the press
An impressively slack musical intro for the first 100 seconds makes this a real stand out. Further proof that 70s rawk has never been so influential, Oakland’s Howlin Rain use their influences to very good affect.
3. Santogold, Julian Casablancas & NERD – My Drive Thru Hot off the press
Recorded to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Converse, this is a great track that deserves more credit than its “recorded for cash from a brand” background will afford it. The three stars work well together, but props to NERD for great production.
4. David Holmes – I Heard Wonders Hot off the press
Another welcome return, this time from the man from Belfast who soundtracked all the Oceans films. This is a blinding, driving number from his forthcoming album, The Holy Pictures.
5. The Herbaliser – Amores Bongo Hot off the press
I don’t know what’s more amazing – the fact that music like this is still getting made even though it’s not 1995 anymore, or that it can still sound this good. It’s like Big Beat never went away.
6. Scratch Feat. Kanye West – Ready To Go Hot off the press
Scratch from The Roots is releasing his debut solo album soon, and has a bizarre mix of guests. This is the best track from the pre-release sampler, whose other tracks feature guests Damon Albarn, Musiq Soulchild and would you believe, Daniel Bedingfield?!?! To be fair it’s not that bad a track but this is better.
7. Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today Hot off the press
Culled from one of my favourite music blogs (www.rcrdlbl.com) this is an instantly striking track, though I’m a little thin on the background of the band, except to know that they played in London recently and I missed them.
8. The Toms – Sun New to me
I could just repeat Port O’Brien’s entry (above) for this band too, as the same applies. The beat reminds me a lot of Doves and this was taken from Death Cab For Cutie’s ITunes celebrity playlist.
9. Lykke Li – I’m Good, I’m Gone Hot off the press
Pronounced Licky Lie, the Swedish popster continues the fine recent (and not so recent) tradition of Robyn and Annie.
10. Mystery Jets – Two Doors Down Hot off the press
All over radio by now, this track is so catchy it’s almost annoying. I’m impressed that a dowdy indie band has turned in such a bright slice of singalong pop though.
11. Bobby Digital – Don’t Be Afraid Hot off the press
RZA’s back as his alter ego Bobby and this track is very much indicative of the brilliance of the new album. It suffers from a bit of to-be-expected hip hop album flab, but it’s still a cut above most others at the moment.
12. Dawn Landes – Bodyguard Hot off the press
Atmospheric stuff from Dawn Landes’ second album. Probably not intentional at all but this is very reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor’s Ode To Billy Joe cover from the first Help charity album. The resemblance is striking.
13. Coldplay – 42 Hot off the press
Almost as much derided as lauded these days, this is my favourite track from the new album. Typically minimal lyrics and a terrific switch of tempo half way through, a trick that’s pulled off several times on the album.
14. Joan As Police Woman – To Be Loved Hot off the press
Former lover of Jeff Buckley (she’s even covered one of his tracks), Joan Wasser is a very successful session violinist, and this is taken from her second album as Joan As Police Woman. This track could be maudlin, but manages to stay on the right side of the tracks.
15. Sun Kil Moon – Moorestown Hot off the press
Sung-Kil Moon was a Korean boxer, which is where Mark Kozelek takes this name from. And Moorestown is an apparently drab place in New Jersey. The only thing you need to know apart from that is that this is a lovely song, and he has a voice that has twangs of the likes of 70s stars like Don McLean (I think).
16. John Prine – Illegal Smile New to me
Recorded in 1971 when Prine was just 24, this comes recommended by My Morning Jacket.
17. American Music Club – The Decibels And The Little Pills Hot off the press
These guys seem to have been around for a while but they’re new to me – this is a great track that’s just begging to be listened to on headphones whilst travelling, ideally on a train through beautiful countryside while the sun’s going down. Do it.