Funny thing about ostensibly running a music blog, is that occasionally kind folk in record companies send me new things to listen to. Sometimes they're even quite good.
Some bands I've received and liked recently include:
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (USA)
mp3 Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Stop the Bus (from This is Somewhere) website
This is the second track from the second album from this group, purveyors of an excellent southern rock in the style of Neil Young's Crazy Horse. When they rock out, they are awesome - sounding like the best gig you never went to in about 1972. Grace is a powerful singer and looks great. The opening track Ah Mary sounds like it's a political statement. They need to move on and write stronger songs I feel, but they are a great live band now, and could make some great albums.
Epo 555 (Denmark)
mp3 Epo 555 - Harry Mambourg (from Mafia, 2007) website
This track sounds like a totally classic slice of 80s indie rock, but isn't particularly typical of a lively and varied new release from this interesting Danish band. It's a good musical formula these days, and the band seem pretty strong. They sound like they'd be a real blast to see live.
I couldn't decide if I hated this or loved it. I'm still not sure, but this wacky, slightly tongue in cheek album is starting to sound like a pretty good mix of the best of American roots music, with an emphasis on dark bluesy swamp-laden rock. They can certainly play, and have some strong tunes. Apparently they've toured with Billy Childish, which is OK in my book, and they're touring Europe now and the USA in November.
Seth Lakeman (UK)
mp3 Seth Lakeman - Poor Man's Heaven (from Poor Man's Heaven EP) website
This is a single (out on Monday), but it is a pretty great one - a blasting shot of power folk. Not sure what he's singing about, or why we need to be encouraged to "c'mon now" throughout the song, but I'll mark it down to youthful enthusiasm. Nice.
mp3 Freakpaeans - Cathy with the laughing eyes (from Now when I wear an anchor) website
I wasn't sent this, I picked it up at a Woodlands recordings gig in Brighton, not realising that the opening act I'd seen and liked was in fact the very same Freakpaeans. Aside from the irritation that this name is almost unspellable, this is a pretty good selection of esoteric English folk whimsy that is neither of this time nor of any other. Recommended. The CD is free from the website for as long as it lasts.
And should I mention the new Radiohead CD? (I like it, but... don't get me started!)