Rae Morris sounds like a scientifically perfect mix of all your favourite quirky female singers. The kookiness of Regina Spektor, the early covert pop nous of Marina of Diamandis fame, and the ever present hint of Ellie Goulding – if only in the slight huskiness that defines her angelic voice. She essentially writes piano ballads, which have various degrees of polish added to them, all finished to a high gloss atmospheric completion. She’s got a bit of Enya about her epic delivery, especially on For You, decorated with minimal orchestration that sounds like it was recorded in a warehouse. There’s no skimping on any of the full scale, cinematic production.
Underneath the instrumental flourishes often lies a solid electro baseline, such as the Running Up That Hill-juddering that underscores tracks like Under The Shadows – but it sounds as much like Fleetwood Mac as it does Kate Bush. And yet despite these references, it never cashes in on any selfconscious nostalgia or sounds – it’s very much a record made for 2015. The fact that she’s cropped up on Clean Bandit’s debut album tells you everything you need to know about her ability to nail a contemporary sound.
Idlewild Everything Ever Written Their first album in five years, their rough punky edges have smoothed into some classic indie rock songs, with a sizeable detour into country slow jams. Roddy’s voice remains comfortingly familiar, as he keeps returning to a lyrical obsession with youth.
Desperate Journalist Desperate Journalist As Fierce Panda signings, they’re not straying far from the fiercely indie brand sound. They sound like The Organ, who were a female-fronted, The Smiths-sounding miserablists, and hit some of the alternative Britpop glory of Echobelly. And yes, we happen to like this kind of thing.
Rixton Let the Road After the opening acappella, Rixton songs fall into two camps; the boyband staples with more anthemic acoustic guitar than you can shake a Ryan Teddershaped stick at, and the poppier faux-reggae beats that sounds like a four-fold Olly Murs. Slicker – as Pitbull would say – than an oil spill.