One to get them talking

UP-AND-coming rockers A Silent Film could well do well following in the wake of Elbow‘s recent success.
For the Oxford-based group’s debut sound is closely aligned to Guy Garvey’s group, as well as adding hints of Snow Patrol, Athlete and even Pablo Honey era Radiohead.
A slew of epic, emotive piano-driven rock that gets grander as the album goes on, debut offering A City That Sleeps is never going to break down any musical barriers, and is a little naive at times.
What A City That Sleeps might do however, judging by fine nuggets such as the magnificent You Will Leave Your Mark, is wake up the record-buying public rather fast.

Buy Belleruche

ONE that passed me by on it’s inital release last year was Belleruche’s debut, Turntable Soul Music.
Penned by dj Modest, singer Kathrin deBoer and guitarist Ricky Fabulous, the album is a fantastic halfway house between Cut Chemist and Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings.
If the London-based trio’s album, a collection of rich, soulful trip hop, did the same to you, check it out now.

It’s a steal!

FOR their fifth studio release, Washington DC-based trip hop duo Thievery Corporation are about to go global.
Sadly it’s unlikely to be global in a Baby One More Time way – instead the group have enlisted the help of international talent ranging from Brazilian vocalist Seu Jorge to Afrobeat artist Fela Kuti to Indian sitarist Anushka Shankar for their latest LP, Radio Retaliation.
Melding trip hop, hip hop and dub with a world of other influences, the album is political without aggression, and without losing their trademark chilled out charm.
In short, Radio Retaliation is one i’d recommend you tune in to.

Shri delight

LEADING British Asian musician Shri, full name Shrikanth Sriram, releases his third solo LP Seven Steps next Monday, marking an expansion as a solo artist.
And listening to the album, it’s clear these steps are onwards and upwards.
Having worked with leading lights of the scene such as Nitin Sawhney and Talvin Singh, as well as notably teaming up with DJ Badmarsh, as well as putting out two LPs alone, Shri is now a producer as polished as a showroom car.
Fusing sturdy breakbeat and electro with rich, textured subcontinental instruments and influences, tracks like Just For A Minute and Pulse show Shri is equally at home in both fast and slow gears.
There are a few blips on this track list – the sketchy Mad B-Line for instance – but for the most part, Shri’s latest is Seven Steps in the right direction.

CSS make Move

• BRAZIL-IANT band CSS release the latest track from their superb album Donkey on October 13.
The infectious Move is a shining example of the South American group’s goodtime indie electro pop sound.
CSS, full name Cansei De Ser Sexy, will also be playing a date at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms on the day of the release.
• Musical melting pot Thievery Corporation have released a new album, Radio Retaliation.
The dance duo’s fifth LP features collaborations with rappers Sleepy Wonder and Notch, Afrobeat artist Femi Kuti, Brazilian singer Seu Jorge, Indian sitar player Anushka Shankar and American Chuck Brown.
• Rockers Primal Scream have released a new single.
Uptown, which features a reworking by sought-after producer Calvin Harris, is the latest cut to be lifted from the group’s latest album, Beautiful Future.
• All hail The Loose Salute, who have a debut single in the form of the dishevelled Why’d We Fight out on October 13.
The emotive country track is a break for the band, who put out a poppy debut LP, Tuned To Love, earlier this year.
• The first of a two part collection of Benin-based band Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo De Cotonou’s ’70s afro-funk recordings is being released later this month.
The compilation features tracks recorded by the group in secret for small independent African record labels while contracted to larger label Albarika Store.
• Honeysuckle Weeks, the second album by The Submarines, is released on October 20.
The eclectic electro group, who are currently soundtracking the Apple iPhone 3G adverts, will also be playing a handful of UK tour dates throughout the month.
• The Rifles are hoping to shoot up the charts with a new single, Great Escape.
Released on November 3, the track is the first from the rock group’s second album, Pavement Diaries.
• Mancunian maelstrom The Vortex release a new single, Dirty Soul, on October 6.
A mixture of indie and electronica influences, the single is a clear nod to Manchester’s musical heritage.
• Ashby-de-la-Zouch’s finest three-piece The Young Knives have revealed the working title of their third album as Royal Sunlight.
They are currently writing for the LP, the follow up to this year’s excellent effort Superabundance.
• If all of this is music to your ears, you can read more from the pop world online at

Rap from the Bay area

HAILING from Cuba’s Guantanamo, yes, that Guantanamo, Madera Limpia – duo Yasel Gonzalez Rivera and Gerald Thomas Collymore – mix traditional Cuban music with modern rap.
It’s a kind of Buena Vista Social Club meets The Roots.
And it’s absolutely fantastic.
Granted, the duo rap in Spanish – and the only Spanish I know I’ve learnt from my daughter watching Go Diego Go – so I have no idea whether the pair are addressing social ills or undressing Cuban chicas in their lyrics.
But musically the mix of traditional Cuban styles, all brass and dance, with menacing beats and growling basslines lifted from hip hop and rap shown on La Corona just fits.
The album, the group’s second, really is a crowning achievement.

Max out


BRITS Max Pashm‘s new album may have been created in a London studio, but the sound is a little more exotic than that.
The group, which describes their sound as “KlezmerBalkanGreekGypsyPunk with Electro-beats”, is a melting pot which fuses influences ranging from Robert de Niro speeches to Zorba The Greek-style traditional tunes to contemporary breakbeats.
Sadly the result on Never Mind The Balkans… is not always as exciting as it sounds, if that makes any sense.
Too often, for example on Anarchy and The Tongue, Max Pashm take the whole thing too far and it’s just a bit cringeworthy.
That said, for the best part the album is an inventive take on the traditional music of a region not normally given much of an airing on these shores – for example on Once Upon A Time In Hellas and I Nervo – and it works really well.

Cold War Kids hot stuff

LESS obvious than Kings Of Leon‘s release, today also saw the sophomore album from Cold War Kids go on sale.
Loyalty To Loyalty is the follow-up to the magnificent Robbers And Cowards – an album I emplore you to check out – and it sees the group’s ramshackle blues-indie continuing with vigour.
Probably best demonstrated in the stomping I’ve Seen Enough and the White Stripe‘d Something Is Not Right With Me.
Perhaps a leveller for the band – less peaks but less troughs too – Loyalty To Loyalty won’t disappoint the group’s loyal following, and might perhaps gain them a few more to boot.