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Release Date
22 Feb 19
Named after an animated film about Raccoons (not the Cyril Sneer one), Pom Poko are a Norwegian four piece who may well be the great new hope if you're after a band that's original, inventive and a heaps of fun. A hard balancing act to pull off but this lot have done it with aplomb. I'm not an expert on the output of Studio Ghibli, but Pom Poko seem to not just take their name from an obscure 1994 film from the Japanese animation giants.
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Label
Release Date
15 Feb 19
When various members of bands from music scenes gone by decide to form new bands (super-groups, if you will) it can have wildly varying rates of success (both critically and commercially). There's sometimes a definite air of midlife crisis in these ventures, but there can also be an unexpected spark of mid-career creativity. When it works, it really works (The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Electronic) and when it fails it can be a sorry sight (anyone remember Freebass? They had three bassists which should really have set alarm bells ringing).
Artist
Label
Release Date
25 Jan 19
Dead About Thinking is the debut album from "gloom-fuzz 5-piece" Okay Champ. The band's members have a stellar reputation in the North East (and afar), forming from the ashes of  EAT FAST, YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO, Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister and Let’s Buy Happiness. Now they've come together and built something which is probably darker, and more fully formed than any of those individual bands. John Edgar (vocals), David Turnbull (guitar), Mark Brown (bass), James King (drums) and Stuart Walkinshaw (electronics/synths) can make a hell of a din, and they do so with relish.
Label
Release Date
18 Jan 19
David Bazan has been in the business for quite some time. But this is the first album in 15 years that the musician felt warranted the full Pedro The Lion moniker, in part thanks to Bazan going back to his original process of meticulously arranging the bass, drums and guitar, before forming a band to bring the music to life. In this case the band is Bazan on bass / vocals, Erik Walters on guitar / backing vocals and Sean Lane on drums.
Label
Release Date
18 Jan 19
The Twilight Sad haven't released an album since 2014's Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave. That's 5 long years, a cavernous gap for a band who seemed to be just hitting their stride at that point, but a lot has happened in the interim, and when you look at it all on paper it's not surprising that they haven't been re-entering the studio in any sort of hurry.
Release Date
11 Jan 19
Mexican duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete (Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto González respectively) released their last album Balance at the end of 2016 and it seemed to be a conscious departure from their previous, rawer sound.
Artist
Release Date
11 Jan 19
You Tell Me is a collaboration between Peter Brewis from Field Music and Sarah Hayes from Admiral Fallow. It's been about a year since the last Field Music album, and a couple of months since Admiral Fallow co-composed and performed an opera (Navigate The Blood), and in the crazy world of these restless Northern musicians, that's a hole that needs plugging. But this isn't just a quick detour or knockabout, it's about as fully formed and ambitious as you'd expect from their combined previous form.
Artist
Release Date
30 Nov 18
Frog, a duo from ‘The Swamp’ in Queens, NYC are back with a new mini-album called Whatever We Probably Already Had It. Frog seem to like releasing things which are just short of a full length album (although at eight tracks, this one could arguably be treated as such). Since their self titled debut EP came out in 2013 Frog have released only one bona-fide full length LP, 1015's wonderful Kind of Blah. That release has been complimented with a few singles, a re-release of their debut EP, and a fantastic tour doc called Kings of Blah.
Artist
Release Date
23 Nov 18
Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock Out! is a typically brash, daft, thoroughly life affirming album title, and the contents only solidify that attitude. Opening with the ridiculous/straight to the point "Hooray!" the band seem to be dead set on finding the positives in life, albeit with some bumps on the road.
Artist
Release Date
16 Nov 18
Ten is the solo moniker of Dominic Deane, a musician, artist and academic from Leeds who has also worked with Deadwall and Sunwolf. Two years have passed since Ten's previous release Yukon Youth. That album was inspired by a trek around the magnificent landscapes of Alaska, and the album seemed to capture some of that glacial calm and intensity in its exquisite electronic ambience (it even achieved the coveted (and fitting) #10 spot in CrackleFeedback's 2016 end of year list).