Steven James Adams – House Music (State 51)
As former singer of the Broken Family Band, Adams gained no small amount of acclaim across a fairly prolific few years. Now gone solo he’s producing delicate and affecting songs that come from the home and the heart. That means there are no pre-programmed four-on-the-floors here (don’t let that title fool you), but instead acoustic guitars and a strong sense of Indie songwriting. Reminding us of both Steve Mason and the Beautiful South this is an enjoyable record perfectly suited to the oncoming of autumn. Check out ‘Tears of Happiness’ here.
Teleman – Breakfast (Moshi Moshi)
To all intents and purposes Teleman are a Pete-less Pete and the Pirates. In losing a front man, they’ve also lost a certain ramshackle nature and have gone on to replace it with a polished sense of classic Indie song craft. While that tends to run closest to 90s Brit-Pop, it also filters a long history of lightly arch, melodic, guitar Pop, taking in many of the same 60s influences as Pulp or American contemporaries Vampire Weekend. It’s perhaps no surprise to find Bernard Butler on production duties ensuring vocals are crisp and choruses snap. Check out ’23 Floors Up’ here.
Basement Jaxx – Junto (PIAS)
There’s a certain nostalgic vibe for 90s House running across genres at the moment, so it’s no surprise that this latest from Basement Jaxx follows suit. As far as Grime-y look backs go, it’s better than most, no doubt because these guys were actually in the clubs rather than listening to the radio under their bed sheets at the time. As we’ve come to expect with Jaxx albums, Junto is full of uptempo Dance that has one eye on current trends and the other firmly on the charts. ‘We Are Not Alone’, featuring Meleka, is as classic Basement Jaxx as they come. Check it out here.
Sinkane – Mean Love (City Slang)
It’s rare we come across such a disparate and leftfield collection of influences and styles in one package. Even rarer for that package to be as coherent as this. These mid-tempo compositions flit between Soul, R&B, Country, and Electronica, while retaining an Afro-funk sense of rhythm. There’s a heavy dose of nostalgia running throughout this enigma of an album, and not since The Clash were in their heyday has such a muddled sound of 60s America been so entertaining. First single ‘How We Be’ is a wonderful exemplar of the personable yet worldly vibe just waiting to be discovered. Check it out here.
Jungle – Jungle (XL)
If you’ve caught yourself wondering what that cool Indie R&B you’ve been hearing all summer is, there’s a good chance the answer is Jungle. Filled with warmth and groove, this is a hook laden album with a focus more on the functions of Pop than on the styles that have influenced it. Nowhere is this more true than on ‘Son of a Gun’, which is just off-kilter enough to feel timelessly modern rather than hollow and uncanny. It’s a fine line to walk, but when you can cultivate soul filled vibes like these, the end result will always be in your favour. Check out single ‘Busy Earnin’ here.
Erland and the Carnival – Closing Time (Full Time Hobby)
While some may remember this pair from their recent album as the Magnetic North, this third outing as Erland and the Carnival returns to an acoustic Indie fold, while retaining a sense of Folk phrasing and storytelling. With marked differences between tracks, the band state diverse influences including Jon Hopkins and Kurt Vile, it’s testament to their songwriting that this is a coherent and engaging listen throughout. Perhaps that’s down to the Folk bent, which engenders a feeling of respect for a good story well told. While Paul Weller’s contribution on ‘Quiet Love’ is largely forgettable, the light psychedelic touches on ‘I am Joan’ are a highlight. Listen to ‘Quiet Love’ here.
Catfish and the Bottlemen – Catfish and the Bottlemen EP (Communion)
Hot off the festival circuit, this four-piece from Llandudno have been doing some serious touring of late. It seems to be paying off too, as their lightly quirky name can now be found attracting attention in the national press as well as your local gig listings. Don’t let that name fool you though, there’s no Americana or slide guitar on show here, instead this is classic Indie rock packed full of choruses that are sure to keep venues across the country bouncing well beyond the summer season. With singles like these, you can expect to hear them all over the radio too. Check out ‘Homesick’ here.
Redinho – Redinho (Number)
The long awaited debut from Redinho finally arrives and the wait has been worth it. The cross pollination of R&B, Electro, Hip Hop and House has resulted in many fine records in the past, but also a fair few duds. Mention the addition of a Talkbox and normally alarm bells would be ringing but, while OTT in some hands, here it serves to meld those soulful vocals into constant conversation with the beats around them. Those beats are as inviting as they come too, sucking the listener into an electronic harmony worth basking in. Check out ‘Playing With Fire’ here.