I didn’t publish a playlist last week due to an unfortunate glitch on my mobile app, and the week before my laptop was having a funny five minutes, so I didn’t do a write up then. Regardless, I’m back this week, and it’s crazy to think it’s been over half a year since I began this. Enjoy.


1. ‘FLOWER’ – Soundgarden


A great bit of old-school grunge from one of the founding groups of the genre. Soundgarden were instrumental in the creation of the alternative-rock and grunge scene in their hometown of Seattle, along with other Seattle bands who were also signed to the Sub-Pop label. You might have heard of a couple of them. There’s um, Nirvana? Alice in Chains? Maybe, maybe not. ‘Flower’ is the opening track from Soundgarden’s debut album, Ultramega OK, and still as energising today as I’m sure it was back when it was first released.

2. ‘SHUT UP AND KISS ME’ – Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen photographed in London this month.

‘Shut Up And Kiss Me’ comes from American folk-rocker Angel Olsen’s most recent album, My Woman. Released as a single back in June, the track has been on the radio at work a lot recently, which I suppose is due, in part, to how infectious and how brilliant it is. The majority of My Woman is more laid back and at times emotionally crippling. ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me’ comes across as a more jaunty expression of frustration, and is a good lead into the rest of the album, which I highly recommend.

3. ‘DON’T BREATHE OUT’ – Roots Manuva


After getting all excited over featuring Roots Manuva’s ‘On A High’ quite a while ago, I managed to completely miss the release of the deluxe version of his 2015 album Bleeds. How that happened I don’t know, but I’m gutted that it’s taken me so long to give it a listen. Roots Manuva is one of the best British hip-hop artists because he brings together sounds from various cultures and backgrounds that have made the UK their home, and mashes them into a beautiful mixture, his voice adding to that mix wonderfully. ‘Don’t Breathe Out’ holds elements of dub, soul and hip-hop, and says a lot about Manuva’s musical upbringing.

4. ‘LOOKS IS DECEIVING’ – The Gladiators


The Gladiators gained most of their popularity during the 1970s, with possibly their most famous album, Trenchtown Mix Up, being released in 1976. From that album, ‘Looks is Deceiving’ is a gorgeous reggae track, containing simple, steady instrumentation, with beautiful harmonies soaring over the top. I’ve had this song on near-constant repeat all week, and had my first ever listen to Trenchtown Mix Up. It’s amazing stuff.

5. ‘LIKE EYE DID’ – Fil Bo Riva


I don’t think I’ve featured an Italian musician on the playlist before, so it’s great to see the kind of music coming out of the indie sector over there. Riva’s soulful voice in entrancing, and it haunts the five tracks on his EP, If You’re Right, It’s Alright. Mixing soul and folk, the singer-songwriter adds solid beats to sweeping harmonies, but it’s that voice that’ll leave you hungry for more. Incredibly excited to see how Riva’s career progresses.



I’ve featured DJ Shadow on the playlist a couple of times already, but both of those times have used tracks from his most recent album. ‘What Does Your Soul Look Like – Part 1’ comes from Shadow’s 1996 debut album Entroducing…, and represents what much of the album is like. Most prominent throughout the LP are laid back, slow jams that create a rich, calming atmosphere. Entroducing… was met with critical acclaim, and after listening to it a couple of times, it’s easy to see why. Absolutely incredible.

7. ‘KEEP YOUR NAME’ – Dirty Projectors


Dirty Projectors are an American group that presumably formed after frontman David Longstreth decided he wanted to create music with other, equally talented individuals. After releasing a multitude of material between 2007 and 2012, the group seemed to go on hiatus up until late last week when Keep Your Name was released. It’s a haunting, somewhat scathing attack on the idea of art as commerce, and the desire of those who seek only fame, rather than true artistic quality. It’s the first bit of music by the group I’ve heard, but it’s made me want to hear so much more. Luckily, there’s a lot of it to keep me occupied.

8. ‘NEW SONG’ – Warpaint


Back in August, American indie outfit Warpaint released a new song, titled ‘New Song.’ That bloody hilarious American humour is so biting. It was part of their latest album, Heads Up, released last Friday. Whilst I’m not so much a fan of this album as their previous releases, it does contain some catchy tracks, including the disco inspired ‘New Song.’ It doesn’t, unfortunately, have quite the same edge as some of their older music, but at least it shows that they’ve grown as a group. Just maybe not in the way I would have liked.

9. ‘LIONHEARTED’ – Billie Marten


I’ve been waiting so bloody long for this album, ever since I first heard ‘Milk & Honey,’ and luckily it was worth the wait. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily cross the board with its range of emotions, Writings of Blues and Yellows shows how incredibly talented this 17-year old is. Yeah, 17. Incredibly beautiful work from a musician who has an amazing career ahead of her.

10. ‘CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ – The Mamas & The Papas

Mamas And The Papas Arrive In Mother Country

This song popped up randomly on shuffle the other day, and I must have repeated it at least 10 times (a whole lot, I know). Since then, it’s been stuck in my head like an itch I can’t scratch, and it’s really frustrating. Either that, or I have nits. Who knows? The harmonies are perfect here, and you can’t get better than a flute solo, can you really?

Ryan Ottley-Booth




Hey friends, guess what; it’s my birthday tomorrow. I’m getting awfully old. 23? Ew, gross, no thanks. Here’s another lot of musical gems for you. So many great releases last Friday, it was hard to choose my favourites. Enjoy


1. ‘YOU JUST WANT’ – King Creosote

king creosote

The opening track from King Creosote’s latest album, Astronaut Meets Appleman, ‘You Just Want’ is seven and a half minutes of beautifully constructed instrumentation, melody and Creosote’s amazingly haunting voice. King Creosote, real name Kenneth Anderson, is a Scottish singER-songwriter who has released over 40 albums during his twenty-year career. I haven’t heard anything of his up to this point, and I know I’ve said many times that I look forward to delving into an artist’s back catalogue, but this time I’m a little intimidated. This album is incredible though, and really captures the soul of Celtic folk music. I highly recommend giving it a go.

2. ‘SELF ESTEEM’ – Jamie T


My first interaction with Jamie T’s music was, I imagine, much the same as many people my age; hearing ‘Sheila’ on the field at school, and running home as soon as school finished to try and learn all the words to prove you were cool. I’ve been trying to prove that for years. ‘Self Esteem’ is the closing track to Jamie T’s latest album, Trick. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the full thing yet, but it’s been getting positive reviews so far which makes the prospect more inviting.’Self Esteem’ is decidedly more downbeat than what I’ve come to expect from Jamie T, but it’s a haunting soundscape, characterised by soaring strings and T’s self-reflective lyrics.

3. ‘TOO HIGH TO DIE’ – The Parrots

the parrots

Let’s liven things up a bit now shall we? ‘Too high to die’ is a rock ‘n’ roll inspired, garage-rock soaked track from The Parrots, a trio who make a lot of noise, but have a lot of fun in the process. Taken from Los Niños Sin Miedo, (“children without fear”, says Google Translate), the track exemplifies the rest of the album; its production sounds like something straight out of the 60s, and there’s an indescribable raw energy throughout. Great stuff.

4. ‘NUDE’ – Baby Strange

baby strange

Glaswegian outfit Baby Strange released their debut album Want it Need It last Friday, and it’s an ode to classic punk. With heavy, hard-hitting riffs and a production style that would feel right at home in the 70’s, the album is half an hour of intense joy. ‘Nude’ is one of the best tracks to show what I mean, so hopefully it’ll interest you enough to go and check out the rest of the album. Which you should.

5. ‘FLAT BEAT’ – Mr. Ozio


A true classic bit of electro house from French musician Mr. Ozio here. ‘Flat Beat’ was a bonus track from Ozio’s debut album, and soon gained huge popularity, reaching number 1 all across Europe back in 1999. The puppet used in the accompanying video was featured alongside the track in a number of ad campaigns, and remains one of the most nostalgia-inducing images for me.

6. ‘GRAVEL PIT’ – Wu-Tang Clan


One of the Wu’s most well-known tracks, ‘Gravel Pit’ is a full-throttle ride through some great verses performed by Ghostface Killah, Method Man and U-God. Released in late 2000, it did not receive much praise in the US originally, but has since become one of the most loved tracks by the group.

7. ‘ROYALTY CAPES’ – De La Soul

de la soul

‘Royalty Capes’ was released as a single a little while back, but De La Soul’s latest album and the Anonymous Nobody… was released last Friday. It’s the first release by the group in 12 years, and whilst it is a great album, it doesn’t come close to some of their best work; unfortunately, it’s not quite the comeback album I was looking forward to, but it’s still solid, and a testament to the legendary group.

8. ‘MOOD – WATER VERSION’ – Porches


Porhces is a New-York based project started by musician Aaron Maine. Relying heavily on synth and electronic elements, Porches blend pop and indie rock beautifully, creating mesmerising tracks. They released the album Pool back in February to critical acclaim, and released the Water EP a couple of weeks ago. Water is fundamentally a collection of demos and extra tracks from Pool, but sounds as if its is own project in its own right. Maine’s voice is gorgeous, and the tracks are so damn beautiful it makes you want to cry. Not really, but nearly.

9. ‘ULTRAVIOLET’ – Dagny


The title track from Dagny’s Ultraviolet EP released last Friday, ‘Ultraviolet’ is disgustingly poppy, and I fucking love it. Catchy as anything and full of so many different sounds you can’t focus,  it’s the kind of track I’ll find myself singing in the shower for years to come, so thank you Dagny, you wonderful Norwegian Goddess.

10. ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ – Stevie Wonder


Why? Cos it’s my fucking birthday, that’s why. And yes,  that is clearly not Stevie Wonder in the picture.

Ryan Ottley-Booth









Another Bank Holiday Monday is upon us in the UK, and that’s the reason this week’s descriptions won’t be quite as detailed as usual; I’ve got a few other plans for today,  but wanted to share another batch of brilliant songs. Enjoy.



1. ‘PEOPLE’ – Cadenza feat. Jorja Smith & Dre Island

cadenza j smith.jpg

Cadenza is proving to be one of the most talented producers on the scene right now, doing brilliant work here combining reggae and jungle to create a powerful, full-throttle track. Jorja Smith’s voice is incredible again, and Dre Island provides a solid verse to an incredibly interesting song.

2. ‘NO CD’ – Loyle Carner feat. Rebel Kleff

loyle carner

I included Loyle Carner on the playlist a while back, when he featured on a track by Tom Misch. On the recommendation of a friend though, I explored a lot more of his own stuff and have been listening to it a ridiculous amount ever since. Carner’s delivery emulates classic styles of hip-hop, but he manages to have his own voice and sound, clearly apparent on ‘NO CD,’  making him one of the most exciting UK hip-hop acts around at the moment.

3. ’10 YEARS GRINDIN’ – Akala


Akala’s been on the scene since 2006, which he references on a track that is a reflection on his life and career so far. Known not only for his music, but also his incredible knowledge and ability to put ignorant people down in the best ways possible, Akala is a great rapper, made only better by the depth of his lyrics.

4. ‘PICTURE A VACUUM’ – Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest performs at Camp Bestival in Dorset

Tempest’s latest track opens to just her voice piercing the silence, then slowly builds to a frantic and passionate crescendo, as Tempest’s voice becomes increasingly panicked. It’s a brilliant piece of work from the Londoner, and promises that her recently-announced upcoming album, Let them Be Chaos, will be as powerful and intricate as her previous work.

5. ‘DEGRADED’ – Preoccupations


Preoccupations started life out as Viet Cong, but altered their name after facing controversy for that name. Their debut album under the name Preoccupations is set for release in September, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from the post-punk group.

6. ‘WEIRD SUN’ – Weirds


I was lucky enough to see Weirds play last Monday, and it was great to see that their live performances are just as electrifying as their music. Haunting, multi-layered and beautifully heavy at certain points, their music will leave you worn out but hungry for more. Their debut EP was released last Friday, and I highly recommend checking it out.

7. ‘SING THIS’ – God Damn

god damn

God Damn are a heavy-rock duo from Wolverhampton who incorporate grunge and punk elements in their music to knock you out with a sound that’s heavy, but not so heavy that you can’t hear the amazing riffs they’ve created. After releasing Vultures back in 2015, God Damn have been touring extensively and released ‘Sing This’ at the start of this month.

8. ‘READY FOR THE MAGIC‘ – Honeyblood


Another duo here who make a lot of noise even though there are only two of them. ‘Ready For the Magic’ sounds like an ode to some of the best early garage rock sounds that emerged in the US, and it is ridiculously catchy. Taken from their upcoming album Babes Never Die, it’s a track that will get stuck your head for days.

9. ‘SMALL CRIMES’ – Nilüfer Yanya

nilufer yanya

A soulful, beautifully performed track from emerging artist Nilfüfer Yanya, ‘Small Crimes’ plays around with differing levels of sound and instrumental layering, but never loses the magic at its core which is Yanya’s amazing voice. I’m very excited to hear more from Yanya, who gained great feedback a few months ago for her cover of The Pixies’ ‘Hey.

10. ’22 (OVER SOON)’ – Bon Iver

bon iver

Just for the record, I couldn’t figure out how to write “SOON” using the infinity symbols that Iver’s used (see the Spotify track if you don’t get what I mean.) But anyway, I thought I’d include this track because it proves that certain people can live up the huge levels of hype. There’d been rumours and discussions that Iver was about to release a bit of new music, and when he did, it was beautiful. Just listen to his bloody voice here. Brilliant stuff.

Ryan Ottley-Booth




An absolutely incredible mixture of music this week. At least I think so. If you don’t agree then you’re wrong and can leave. But don’t really. Enjoy.



1. ‘THE POOL’ – Slow Hollow


I know it says ‘The’ Hollows on the song up there, but after searching for these guys for a while, I found them to be called ‘Slow Hollows.’ At least on social media, anyway. Spotify’s recommendation tools are pretty great, and this LA group were associated with Franky Flowers who have previously featured on the playlist. ‘The Pool’ is a gritty, upbeat track taken from their debut LP, I’m Just as Bad as You Are, which was released in 2014.

2. ‘COMING OF AGE’ – Julia Jacklin

julia jacklin

The word “obsessed” is thrown around incredibly loosely these days, and I’m not one to use a word inappropriately. But what I will do inappropriately is profess my obsession for Miss Jacklin here. This is the third single from the Aussie’s upcoming debut album, and it’s made me just as excited as the previous two tracks released. It’s much more up-tempo than ‘Pool Party’ or ‘Leadlight,’ showing what Jacklin can achieve with a fuller sound. It’s great. I’m seeing her next Wednesday night and I’m ridiculously excited. Some might say obsessively so.

3. ‘WALRUS’ – D.D Dumbo

d d dumbo

Another brilliant artist with a track from an upcoming debut LP, D.D Dumbo use sminimalist sounds to back his amazing voice, creating dreamy, poppy soundscapes. Oh, and would you look that, he’s Australian. I can’t keep up with all this incredible music coming out of that place at the moment. It’s not fair. D.D Dumbo’s album Utopia Defeated is set for release on the 17th of October, so keep an eye out.

4. ‘DON’T SWEAT THE TECHNIQUE’ – Eric B. & Rakim

eric b & rakin

Taken from the duo’s fourth studio album of the same name, ‘Don’t Sweat the Technique’ is a masterful representation of a jazz and hip-hop combination. With Eric B.’s top-quality production skills on full show and Rakim’s aggressive delivery, ‘Don’t Sweat the Technique’ epitomises the art created during hip-hop’s Golden Age. The song was used in a rollerblading video game called ‘Aggressive Inline’ that my brother and I used play constantly when we were younger. When it came on the radio in the office last week, the nostalgia hit me like a freight train.

5. ‘SEVEN WORDS’ – Weyes Blood

weyes bloo

Weyes Blood featured on a track last week by Drugdealer, and I was so entranced by her voice that I became lost in her work. It can be calming, cutting, and at times incredibly moving. I made the comparison between Blood and Karen Carpenter last week, and it’s more apparent here. It’s mainly because they share the same vocal range, so I think it’s slightly unfair to compare every contralto singer (yes, I looked it up, I’m not that clever) to Carpenter. Whatever the case, ‘Seven Words’ is a beautifully mesmerising track that will make you want to explore Blood’s previous releases.

6. ‘IMMORAL’ – Ed Harcourt

ed harcourt

Ed Harcourt is somebody whose work I have not come across before. That’s good, in a way, as it means I can plunge into his rich back catalogue and dig around. Harcourt’s debut album was nominated for a Mercury Prize back in 2001, and since then he’s been releasing steadily and writing for a number of other artists. His seventh full-length album, Furnaces, was released last week, and it’s big, powerful and fully engrossing. The songs aren’t necessarily anthems, but they’re so multi-layered, you’ll find yourself fully engaged at all times.

7. ‘THESE WORDS’ – The Lemon Twigs

lemon twigs

When I first heard ‘These Words’ on the radio last week, I assumed that The Lemon Twigs were a 70’s psychedelia/funk outfit. Instead, I find out they’re two brothers (aged 17 and 19 respectively) who are really fucking talented. There’s no denying that the duo (who have expanded to a four-piece for their live shows) have drawn influence from the likes of The Beatles, and even the Beach Boys in places, but it’s their interpretation of those sounds that make them unique. Combining musical ideas from all over the place, the brothers have created rich, beautiful music. They’re debut album, Do Hollywood, is set for release on the 14th of October.

8. ‘TEDDY I’M READY’ – Ezra Furman


This song has been doing the rounds on the office radio for the last couple of weeks, and it always gets itself stuck deep into my psyche whenever I hear it. The opening track to Furman’s latest EP, ‘Teddy I’m Ready’ conjures up images of Teddy-Boys, which is something implied by the track’s title, as well as its 50’s rock ‘n’ roll sound. There are a number of modern artists who try to imitate early rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop styles, but few pull it off. Furman is an exception to that.

9. ‘SOUVENIR SHOP ROCK’ – Savoy Motel

savoy motel

Remember Savoy Motel? They were that group I featured ages ago, because they’d just released a new track but that track wasn’t available on Spotify at the time, so I added a different track, ‘Hot One,’ to the list that week. It seems like they added ‘Souvenir Shop Rock’ to Spotify not long after, but I missed it back then. So here it is now. It’s bloody great. Old-school, laid-back, and oozing with cool, it’s a track that has been on heavy repeat over the last week.

10. ‘SPIT IT OUT’ – Slaves


These lovely lads from Kent exploded onto the scene in 2014, and I’ve been a fan ever since. They’ve brought hard-hitting punk to a wider audience, making it more accessible for those, like me, who might not have gotten into the kind of music they play without actively seeking it out. I guess their marketing team should be commended for that as well, hey? ‘Spit it Out’ is the first single from Slaves’ upcoming release Take Control, due for release on the 30th of September.

Ryan Ottley-Booth




Another round of the Mercury Prize is upon us, and it seems to have appeared out of nowhere. The Mercury Prize often manages to highlight some of the most outstanding music released over the last year, and pushes albums that may have gone unheard into the spotlight. For this week’s playlist then, I thought I’d pick a song from each shortlisted LP, giving my opinion on the album, and whether or not I think it has a chance of winning. There are some obvious choices, some great choices, and as always, some choices that make you question the integrity of a number of music critics. You’ll probably be able to tell which ones I feel that way about. Also, you can vote for your favourite here, with the six most popular going through to the judges. I’ve also taken the current odds (as of 8th August 2016) from Paddy Power, mainly because I don’t understand betting and they were the first to pop up on a Google search. Anyway, as always, enjoy.

(Side note: notice how the first four tracks are from albums that have similar styles/colouring in their artwork? Marketing departments knew what was “in” this year I guess)


1. ‘ADORE’ – Savages / ADORE LIFE 


I don’t know if there’s much more I can say about this lot. They’re kicking off their third playlist with a gorgeous track from an outstanding album. ‘Adore’ is much more laid back that most of the album, building to a resolution it never quite reaches. Beth’s voice is captivating as always, and this is the album I would like to win the prize this year. I don’t think it will unfortunately, but I think they deserve it for bringing post-punk to a wider audience and for injecting their sense of vibrancy and raw power into the music scene. Odds: 10/1

2. ‘LAZARUS’ – David Bowie / BLACKSTAR


After receiving a lot of flak in the office last week for my views on this album, I was wondering whether or not I should make them public here. In short: I don’t think Blackstar should win the Mercury Prize. Whilst it is a good album, it’s not necessarily brilliant. And whilst David Bowie was one of the greatest musicians the world has ever had the pleasure of knowing, I don’t feel like this album is his best work. There are so many other amazing acts to contend with, and I have a feeling people will be more inclined to award Bowie the Mercury mainly because it would be a fitting way to honour the legend we lost. But at the core of it, isn’t the Mercury about rewarding the best music of the past year? Sadly, I don’t think Blackstar qualifies as that. Odds: 5/4

3. ‘LOVE & HATE’ – Michael Kiwanuka / LOVE & HATE


Two out of two for Mr Kiwanuka hey? His debut album Home Again was shortlisted for the Mercury back in 2012, and here he is again four years later. If nothing else, it shows that his music is able to tap into people’s souls, and hold their emotions hostage for the album’s duration. The title track of Love & Hate represents this, but also Kiwanuka’s knowledge of how to write a bloody great song. I don’t think the album will win it, but it’s nice to see Kiwanuka’s talents recognised again. Odds: 7/1



If you’re a gambler, I’d get your wallet out now. The last three years that I’ve guessed the Mercury Prize, I’ve guessed 2 winners correctly, mainly on a gut instinct. It felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach when I heard ANOHNI’s name announced out last Friday, so I know who I’m going with. It’s an extremely close call between ANOHNI and one other, but you’ll see who that is later. HOPELESSNESS is a gorgeous album, filled with lyrics about her own emotional anguish, and also scathing criticisms of the world’s political climate. Brilliant. Odds: 6/1

5. ‘CELEBRATION’ – Jamie Woon feat. Willy Mason / MAKING TIME

jamie woon

I hadn’t heard Making Time until last Friday, so the Mercury Prize did its job in one respect; it found a new audience for certain artists. Woon’s soulful voice is absolutely incredible, and that’s what dominates much of this album. The backing instrumentation throughout is mostly simple, allowing Woon’s voice to ensnare you. A great album, but not a winning one. Odds: 25/1


Another brilliant release from Radiohead that could be a strong contender to win. Masterfully crafted, highly polished, and full of classic Radiohead qualities, A Moon Shaped Pool is a beautiful piece of work. ‘Daydreaming’ is perhaps the best showing of Thom Yorke’s voice, and it’s wonderful. Odds: 15/2

7. ‘CLOSE ENCOUNTERS’ – Bat for Lashes / THE BRIDE

bat for lashes

Taken from Bat For Lashes’ highly anticipated concept album The Bride, ‘Close Encounters’ focuses on Khan’s voice, forcing the listener to hear her words. There’s an element of folk present in the melody, which seems constantly unsettled. I don’t reckon the album will win, but it definitely deserved to be shortlisted. Odds: 16/1



Kano is an explosive an provocative artist, starting his career at a young age in the then-underground grime scene. He gained popularity through a number of collaborations with more well-known artists but has since become a stand-out artist in his own right. Made in the Manor has more leanings towards earlier British hip-hop rather than grime, which is maybe why I like it so much. It questions the country, government and establishments contained within, exposing the frustrations and opinions of a man who seems to have had enough. I’m glad for Kano’s nomination, but I feel like there’s another grime artist who might pip him to the post. Odds: 8/1



The Mercury Prize is somewhat notorious for picking a super left-field artist and bringing them to the forefront. This year, that artist is The Comet is Coming, a three-piece group who incorporate psychedelia, electro, funk, and a whole lot of jazz into their music. I hadn’t heard of these guys before, and am only half way through Channel the Spirits, but I’m liking them so far. Not winners, but a good choice for the shortlist. Odds: 20/1

10. ‘MAN’ – Skepta / KONNICHIWA


The last time I included Skepta on the playlist, I said that I wasn’t a huge fan of grime. And whilst it’s grown on me slightly, that statement is still mostly true. However, just because it’s not my favourite genre of music, it doesn’t mean I don’t recognise the huge cultural shift it’s caused in the UK, and the fact that Skepta has played a huge part in that. Still remaining independent, many grime artists have changed perceptions not just of UK street music, but also the ways in which business can be done. The album was a triumph critically, and I’d wager Konnichiwa is going to be butting head’s with ANOHNI’s LP. If any album managed to perfectly capture youth culture in 2016, it’s this one. Odds: 5/1

11. ‘PEOPLE’ – Laura Mvula feat. Wretch 32 / THE DREAMING ROOM 

laura mvula

Laura Mvula’s second album was met with critical acclaim, with most focusing on her refusal to write “pop” music and instead craft songs layered in complex melody, harmony, and rhythm. There are moments where The Dreaming Room can feel claustrophobic and chaotic, but it mostly serves its purpose; an album that pushes the boundaries on modern genre definitions and explores Mvula’s talent as a songwriter. Odds: 16/1


the 1975

Come on. This fucking lot? Out of fairness, I have to include their shambolic effort in the same vein as some of the most impressive releases over the past year? Fine. They have no chance. Although, Alt-fucking-J won back in 2012. Christ.  Odds: 18/1

Ryan Ottley-Booth




Loads of absolutely brilliant music released recently, so there’s only one oldie this week. That oldie is a reissue though, so the details are a bit hazy on whether it actually counts as an oldie. I’ll contact my lawyers. I’ve had NAO’s album on near constant repeat since its release last Friday. Absolutely amazing. Enjoy.


1. ‘THE SPOILS’ – Massive Attack feat. Hope Sandoval


Released alongside another brilliant track featuring Ghostpoet (‘Come Near Me,’) ‘The Spoils’ paints a dreamy landscape, combining beautiful instrumentation with gorgeous vocals provided by Hope Sandoval. The tracks are apparently going to be part of a full-length album that will be released sometime in the near future, and they’ve made me incredibly excited.



I already mentioned that I’ve had NAO’s album For All We Know on near repeat all weekend, and there’s a good reason for that. It was difficult picking one track for the playlist, as they’re all so bloody good. A truly masterful blend of pop, R&B, funk and soul, the East-Londoner has created a piece of work that ensnares you with gorgeous vocal lines and harmonies, then reels you in with top-class songwriting and production. One of my favourites of the year so far.

3. ‘HYPER DARK’ – Sleigh Bells

sleigh bells

I hadn’t heard of New York duo Sleigh Bells until last week, when I heard ‘Hyper Dark’ on the radio, (this seems to happen a lot). The track uses distorted, heavy guitar riffs over more conventional electronic sounds, bringing together two genres that seem to be becoming more entwined than ever. Sleigh Bells have been around since 2008 though, so clearly they’re a couple of trendy trend setters. ‘Hyper Dark’ has a chorus as catchy as they come, and I find Alexis Krauss’ voice enchanting.

4. ‘RIVER IN ME’ – Trentmøller


Jehnny Beth’s voice is instantly recognisable on the latest track from Danish electronic music producer Trentmøller. Her voice is suited to this high-tempo, high-intensity track, which combines elements from a number of different dance sub-genres that I’m not even going to attempt to describe. All I know is that I love this track, and that I’m looking forward to the upcoming album from Trentmøller, released on the 16th of September.

5. ‘UM CHUGGA LAGGA’ – The Pixies


The Pixies are one of those bands whose music I love when I hear it, but whose music I don’t have a great knowledge of. Unsurprising then, that when I heard ‘Um Chugga Lugga,’ I thought it was a track taken from one of their earlier albums. Oh how wrong I was. ‘Um Chugga Lugga’ was released on the 6th of July, and it contains many of the elements you’d expect to hear from an alternative rock track released in the 90s. However, this sound still feels relevant in today’s music market. It’s the head single from another album being released in September that I’m looking forward to.



Another group who have hearkened back to their original sound, Korn have emulated many of their earlier tracks with ‘Rotting in Vain.’ And yes, I like Korn, big shock. Back in the day, I dyed my hair black and had a depressing Bebo theme. I don’t know a lot about the nu-metal scene apart from the big names, and Korn are one of those big names who I’ll always enjoy listening to. Preferably in private though, so nobody can see me pretending I have dreads.

7. ‘STRANGE TIDES’ – Shakes


Another great group from the other side of the world. Those bastards. ‘Strange Tides’ is a catchy, definitively indie track that’s had a lot of buzz on the blogosphere recently. Making great use of classic indie and some psychedelic ideas, Shakes have created an infectious track that’s made me want a whole lot more. Their EP Tambourine Girls is great also, but it’s not enough. Also, the bands’ bio is brilliant.

8. ‘YELLOW MELLOW’ – Ocean Alley

ocean alley

When you learn someone likes Coldplay, you’re often skeptical of what music they recommend; that’s only to be expected. However, redemption can come in many forms, one of them being a recommendation of a track like ‘Yellow Mellow,’ which brilliantly combines elements of reggae, jazz and funk. It’s a laid back track, suited perfectly for the remainder of the summer. Well, perfect if you’re on holiday, or if you live somewhere where the weather doesn’t change its mind every 5 minutes.

9. ‘PHARMA KARMA’ – Sam Sparro feat. Daniel Merriweather & MC Emoni Fela

sam sparro

Sam Sparro found massive fame back in 2008 with the huge hit ‘Black & Gold,’ but after that, he dropped off my radar completely. I haven’t listened to any of his other music that’s been released since, but ‘Pharma Karma’ is a track that I think is going to make me take the dive into his back catalogue. The latest single takes a look at the huge commercialisation of pharmaceuticals in America, and criticises the high prices and lack  of support for those who become addicted to the meds they are prescribed. Bryan Hahn from Mass Appeal interviewed Sparro about the subject, and it’s worth a read.

10. ‘NIGHT ON THE SUN’ – Modest Mouse


Much of Modest Mouse’s music contains an air of fragility and uncertainty, and ‘Night on the Sun’ falls into that category perfectly. After a staggered, somewhat nervous start, the track evolves into a gentle, haunting and beautiful piece that, while not containing catchy hooks, will still stay with you long after you’ve heard it. The Night on the Sun EP was originally released way back in 1999, but was reissued on vinyl (and digital platforms) last Friday. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Ryan Ottley-Booth





Seeing as the playlist is now 200 songs in, I thought I’d share the whole load in one big lovely go. It’s a great mix of music, combining all the stuff that I love, including some of the best new tracks from this year. If you’re so inclined, you can follow the playlist and be granted 10 new songs automatically each week. I’m such a swell guy. Enjoy.



Ryan Ottley-Booth