Danny Todd and James Smith are Exmagician, two members of the band formerly known as Cashier No 9, who released the stupendous – though mostly overlooked – To the Death of Fun in 2011. Scan the Blue sees the Belfast duo stirring up more of the ethereal vocals and psych rock patterns that made their previous effect such a buoyant record.
This month sees the return of brother-sister group, Wild Belle, with the follow-up to their sublime debut album, Isles.
Texan group White Denim make music for you to live large to. The four-piece has been cooking up a flavoursome blend of blues rock, psychedelia and dub for over 10 years. After hearing their thoroughly absorbing live performance at last weekend’s 6 Music Festival in Bristol, their upcoming album, Stiff, has graduate from ‘maybe someday’ to ‘must-have right away’.
Long-time fans of musician and producer, Danger Mouse, will know that his musical palette is as wide as his hair is big. 30th Century Records is a brand-new imprint label set up by the Mouse to look for “things that I like or that I connect with in some way that maybe other people are not”. This inaugural release features 11 unknown, or barely known, artists, and is a stimulating appetiser to what 30th Century may bring us in the months and years to come.
The common criticism of indie rock bands today is that they are perpetually stuck rehashing ideas from rock’s golden age. Listening to A Dream Outside, the debut album from north London band, Gengahr, such a criticism might seem fair to some. But to dismiss this band simply because of their “borrowed sounds” would be to miss out on an artful, effectual debut.