Huw Stephens’ Top New Music Picks

Blazing through the underground with Radio 1’s new music overlord
Huw Stephens

Well, hello. Here is a chance for me to shout about some new bands, so shout about new bands I shall. I’ll start with Spycatcher, a band to get excited about. They played Mike Davies’ Lock Up Stage at Reading and Leeds, and they nailed it. Their ‘Don’t Like People’ single sticks out, as does the ridiculously titled ‘Remember Where You Were When Michael Jackson Died’.

Taking a breather and a bit of unplugging, I’m also loving the fragile beauty of Daughter’s music. Her lyrics and guitar-playing are quite mesmerising, there’s a depth and a starkness to her lyrics that, maybe like Laura Marling, take you to another place.

There is an occasional sparseness in H Hawkline’s music too, a host of ideas and some great songwriting. His new album on Shape Records, ‘The Strange Uses Of Ox Gall’, is psychedelic and full of accessible, simple pop songs that are sweet and otherworldly. He’s a one-man operation but it really works live too – he looks like a young Dylan and has a filthy mouth on him. Listen to ‘My Dreams’ if you can.

Across the pond are Friends, a bunch of New York guitar-pop funksters with a cool fuzziness about them. Their debut single over here, ‘My Girl’, comes with this great cover of ‘My Boo’ by Ghost Town DJ’s. Darwin Deez turns up and plays with them, and it’s one of those records that makes you happy seven-inch vinyl still exists.

I love Hollie Cook’s self-titled album on Mr Bongo. Her reggae-pop songs are made all the more special by Prince Fatty who produced the collection, and Horseman who adds his incredible vocals to her songs. Her father, Paul, was in the Sex Pistols and this album is a real discovery.

Until next time, dear readers…

This article originally appeared in the October 8th issue of NME

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