Some of the best and most promising music I've heard in the last few years has been created in bedrooms. Sure, there's a rough edge to it, but it's the earnest honesty that comes from it that's so compelling. Shunkan, aka Marina Sakimoto, captured my attention last year with her collection of bedroom tracks, ‘Honey, Milk and Blood’. Now she's back with new music, her debut LP. This time, with a full band in a studio. I worried if the magic from her previous work would carry over, it did because underneath the new sound, the honesty is still there.
Key tracks: Blue, Garden, Anything But Love
7. Chorusgirl - Chorusgirl
London based act Chorusgirl's debut LP feels vintage, as if maybe it had come out of a 25 year old time capsule. Yet there's not a single speck of dust on it, spot on jangly pop covering some deep issues keeps it from feeling stale and derivative. A highly confident first offering.
Key tracks: No Moon, Oh To Be A Defector, We Care About You, Girls of 1926
On their debut LP, Scottish punks Pinact offered up a breakneck journey through the band's all over the map influences. Punk, grunge, power pop, it's all in there. It's melodic drive fast music, my favorite.
Key tracks: Brew, Anxiety, Into the One
Even with multiple personnel changes, Wales based Cut Ribbons managed to release their debut LP -- a collection of bittersweet pop songs directly aimed at the heart. Many of the songs were long time fan favorites and had appeared as singles or on previous EPs. And by pulling them all together with a few new tracks, the band put a big exclamation point on all of that promise. Of the close to 30 bands I saw while in the UK last year, they were the only band I saw twice.
Key tracks: Sink Ships, White Horses, Clouds
Often after a meteoric rise, there's nowhere else to go but down. Don't tell that to Scottish synth-poppers Chvrches. Their follow-up to their wildly successful debut LP shows the band was no one hit wonder. They delivered another tight collection of bangers with a deep heart.
Key tracks: Clearest Blue, Leave A Trace, Never Ending Circles, Keep You On My Side