Liz Green – Haul Away!

Play It Again Sam, 2014

Throwback folk songs that are heavy on the piano and brass instruments, Green’s seemingly sad tales are revamped here into some brighter, fuller moments and even a banjo. Recorded live to outdated equipment, the lo-fi ragtime and vintage sounds transport the listener to another time, and Green’s unique voice and songwriting make the trip more than worthwhile.

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Beneath The Watchful Eyes – We Held Our Breath Until Our Hearts Exploded

Fluttery, 2014

As you may have gleaned from the verbose band and album name, we’re in the expansive and cinematic climes of post-rock here. BTWE traverse it ably enough, the rangy melodic guitars, sorrowful piano, and ambient sections counterbalanced by glitchy electronics and distortion-heavy riffs. At its more sedate, the record brings to mind The American Dollar, whilst its noisier explorations may well prick the ears of 65daysofstatic fans. It’s no surprise to learn the Blackpool duo behind the project are core members of Goonies Never Say Die, though this is often a moodier and more daring listen.

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Birds Of Satan – Birds Of Satan

Shannabelle, 2014

Members of Foo Fighters and Chevy Metal tap into their inner prog-rock fantasies and play around with metal riffs that would make Dio and Maiden fans proud. Undeniably ’70s influenced, the sounds of classic and punk rock are tangled within, but in between ’80s metal, garage-rock and a hair ballad it’s anyone’s guess as to what genre is most referenced. Unexpectedly nostalgic and fun; yet another interesting side project from the Foo camp.

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James Supercave – The Afternoon

Hit City, 2014

A band rather than a person, this LA outfit’s version of art-pop makes quick work of a short listen packed with Brit-rock, alt-rock and quirky electronica. From louder, rhythmic rockers to slow burning and soulful, there’s plenty of reverb, sonic playfulness and falsetto singing across four tracks that end all too soon. A great mix of indie-pop, arena rock and electronica, there’s a must hear album in the future for these guys.

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Bobby Bare Jr – Undefeated

Bloodshot, 2014

Part Westerberg bar rock and part honky tonk, Bare’s self-proclaimed break up record is not exactly pop-rock, despite plenty of melodic guitar work, but also not exactly Americana even though he gets near twang on occasion. Actually, Bare has more in common with the psyche sounds of My Morning Jacket than he does Nashville where this was recorded, though that’s only one avenue he explores. One thing is for certain though- Bare is probably the best songwriter you haven’t heard yet.

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diNMACHINE – Dance To Reason

Yocto Yotta, 2014

Far from a strictly club friendly disc, the trip-hop, industrial, multi-faceted rock on these instrumental tunes soar, mesmerise and might even make you anxious just from listening. Composed of both live instruments and computer sounds, there’s a healthy mix of noisy prog-rock as well as melodic undertones, and the band are ambitious and skilled enough to pull off a 17 minute song that doesn’t have you consulting your watch. CitingĀ Dance To Reason as merely experimental would be doing the band a grave injustice; this is in a league all its own.

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