Washington trio Swings know all about their hometown heritage, but refuse to be burdened by it. From the same spring of crunching guitars, scattershot rhythms and DIY values that birthed Dischord Records and the still-revered early ‘80s DC hardcore scene, their upcoming debut album ‘Detergent Hymns’ – dropping on January 17, with a cassette release on Quiet Year Records – takes the gritty, inventive rock lilt of local heroes Faraquet, Fugazi and Beauty Pill and slurs it into something new.
Meet Baltimore's finest odd couple. Sasha Desree is a suave, handsome and trained opera singer, hailing from New York; Mike Collins is a rambunctious, funky and trippy producer from Boston. Together, they're Silk Rhodes: the duo who got together in Baltimore and started to create weird, lo-fi takes on classic soul music. Their self-titled debut is tinged by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince, The Delfonics and Sly & The Family Stone, but given a minimal twist. "We were having an identity crisis of sorts, but we got around it by allowing it to be fun," Collins told NME.
It sometimes seems that we (as British music fans and writers) romanticise America's DIY scene without realising the strength of what we have right here at home. As our DIY issue at the end of October highlighted, the UK has great homegrown indie scenes from Penzance to Eigg.
Pinkshinyultrablast hail from St Petersberg but owe their sound to the Home Counties circa 1990, cribbing smartly from the snarling, spectral guitars and poppy melodies of cult Brit fuzz summoners Slowdive and Ride. Their debut album ‘Everything Else Matters’ arrives on January 26 via Club AC30. Till then, new single ‘Holy Forest’ is a woozy wonder: a shimmery shoegaze snatch-and-grab whose looped guitars soon spill into a huge wash of euphoric noise, singer Lyubov Soloveva's soft vocals bobbing delicately at its surface.
Liverpool-based trio All We Are have been ones to watch ever since 'Utmost Good' went viral earlier last year. Since then, they've played a load of festivals, hooked up with Warpaint for shows and unveiled a cover of Caribou's 'Can't Do Without You' in the process. Here, we've got a video of them performing that track live for us at Jack Rocks The Macbeth.