Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #6

6th edition of the playlist is available. As always please support these artists by buying their cds, attending their concerts or even simply spreading this album amongst your friends. Never pay for bootlegs.

Here's the link. Enjoy and feel free to leave feedback in the comments section.

1. Muck and the Mires - Don't Let Her Get Away

A band from Boston, Muck and the Mires have been playing since 2002 and have built up a reputation as one of the finest live bands in America. They won Little Steven's nationwide Underground Garage battle of the bands and have gone from strength to strength since, including touring around Europe. They've got a new album coming out, produced by Kim Fowley which should be great. They've already released a few albums and you can get them through their website. A fantastic band, 'Don't Let Her Get Away' song is a great lead off to this album.

2. Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running (Live)

Taken from a radio broadcast of their show in Australia earlier this year, 'Keep The Car Running' is high on my list of favourite Fire songs. If you haven't seen it yet, check Youtube for Win and Regine performing the song with Springsteen and the E Street Band late last year. They've recently finished the Neon Bible tour, cementing their reputation as one of the finest live performers in the world. Probably be a while until they're out on the road again so in the meantime you'll have to make do with recordings such as this one.

3. Bobby Bare Jr. - The Heart Bionic

Starting out in Bare Jr., who released two albums, Bobby Bare Jr has continued to expand his fanbase through his electric live shows and his excellent albums. He has released three albums and one ep since joining Bloodshot Records. 'The Heart Bionic' is taken from his extraordinary last album 'The Longest Meow' which was recorded in one major 11 hour session, with Carl Broemel (guitar) and Patrick Hallahan (drums) of My Morning Jacket forming the band for the session along with Mike Grimes. With further contributions from Jim James (MMJ), and also his current tour with Son Volt, it is easy to see the company Bobby Bare Jr is in standing with.

4. The Decemberists - O Valencia (Live)

This track is taken from a recording in WXPN Studios back in November 2006. My favourite song off their last record, 'The Crane Wife', this is a great acoustic version. Currently the band are on hiatus as lead singer Colin Meloy has released a solo album (Colin Meloy Sings Live!) and has announced a number of tour dates. Haven't heard the album myself yet but it's been getting good reviews from what I've read. It's a very varied release with songs from Meloy's first band, Tarkio, as well as cuts from every Decemberists full-length pre-The Crane Wife. There is also a tune from the 2006 EP Picaresqueties, two previously unreleased originals ("Dracula's Daughter" and "Wonder"), bits of covers of songs by the Smiths, R.E.M., Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac, and a traditional folk song in debt to Shirley Collins' arrangement.

5. Feist - Lover's Spit (Live)

Here's a great version of Broken Social Scene's 'Lover's Spit' by Feist recorded in session from the radio. Feist, is of course a former member of Broken Social Scene (who isn't) and was with the band when they recorded 'Lover's Spit' for the album 'You Forgot It In People' back in 2002. There's been a lot written about Feist and there isn't much more to add except that if for some reason you haven't yet bought 'The Reminder' you are sorely missing out and also that she has a number of tour dates coming up which you can check out on her website.

6. Dennis Crommett - Some Kind Of Friend

Had the pleasure of meeting Dennis last week after his fantastic opening set here in Paris. Playing solo, the songs off his debut album shone through with his voice raising him above the bar that I usually expect from shows featuring just the singer and his guitar. The album continues along these lines with 'Some Kind Of Friend' being the stand out track for me from a very strong selection of songs. Dennis is also a member of the fantastic Winterpills, who I've featured before, and who have a new album due out this year. To pick up Dennis' album, head over to his website where it's easily available. If you like this track, I'd highly recommend getting the album.

7. Fanfarlo - Harold T Wilkins

A band I've only recently heard of, Fanfarlo come from London and have so far released some fantastic pop singles. All are available through their website and are definitely worth checking out. A band with a ridiculous amount of potential, these guys are going to be a definite one to watch. Fresh off fantastic performances at SXSW, their debut album will be highly anticipated in the music world.

8. The Makes Nice - November Girls

Coming out of San Francisco, California The Makes Nice have released two highly acclaimed albums already - 'Candy Wrapper and Twelve Other Songs' and 'This Time Tomorrow' both released last year. A garage-pop trio who take the best of past musicians and combine it with their own significant talents to make some fantastic music, The Makes Nice are one of the leading bands of the genre. Both of their albums are available through their website and are definitley worth getting if you like what you hear.

9. Queens Of The Stone Age - Little Sister (Live)

This track is from 2005 where Queens went unplugged in Berlin. An excellent session, it's a little strange at first to hear a restrained take on the song but it slowly grew on me and is definitely worth hearing. A nice accompaniment to the recorded version, this is a fine track which shows if Josh Homme decided to take the band in a more acoustic direction,(however unlikely that is) the songs still work. Check the site for tour dates.

10. The National - Slow Show (Live)

For me, the best band in the world today, The National here perform an acoustic Slow Show on French radio from back in 2007. 'Boxer' was the best album of last year and 'Slow Show' is taken from that album. Due to being in the wrong place at various times, I still haven't seen the band live yet but from what I've heard, the music loses none of it's power in a live setting, if anything it's taken up a few notches. For those lucky enough, the band is touring at the moment so check out the site for dates.

11. Kris Delmhorst - To The Wire

Saw her put on a great solo show last week, Kris is one of the most talented songwriters around and has released some great records, the latest of which 'Shotgun Singer' is where this track is taken from. 'Five Stories' and 'Strange Conversation' are my other favourites but she's one of those artists where there's always at least one song that makes the album unmissable. Was also part of the group who released the fantastic 'Redbird' back in 2005 which is essential listening. Check out her website where you can download some free mp3s and check out her other albums.

12. The Gougers - Everybody Knows

Anchored by the singing/writing team of Shane Walker and Jamie Wilson, The Gougers are one of the few bands able to effectively combine great lyrics with great music. Latest album is 'A Long Day for The Weathervane' , which this track is taken from. Some of the best lyrics I've heard in a while, I really enjoyed this album. They're far too talented to be defined by a particular genre, instead fusing several to make their own sound. Check out their website where you can stream the first forty seconds or so of every song off the album. Won't be long until you'll be wishing you had the full album to listen to the whole thing so you can get that through the website too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #5

5th edition of the Thundercrack Playlist is here. As always artists have been contacted to inform them of their presence on the album. I'm very excited by a couple of these artists who have new albums coming out soon. Hope you enjoy the album and remember to pass on the link to your friends. Please support all these great artists and make sure that their music is able to continue to thrive. Want new great music?? Then make sure all artists have enough money to make the records by supporting ones that you enjoy.

Here's the link to the album File is 60mb so shouldn't take long to download. Feel free to leave any comments on your thoughts on the selection or anything. Enjoy!

1. Kathleen Edwards - The Cheapest Key

I've been a big fan of Kathleen ever since she brought out her debut album 'Failer' back in 2003. It was a fantastic debut album and she's now completed her third album entitled 'Asking for Flowers' which is sure to make a major impact this year. This track is taken from that album and Kathleen herself calls it "the most fun song" she's ever recorded. The album isn't yet available in Europe, look for it in the next few weeks but it has been released in North America. I'm really looking forward to getting it and the tour which I'm hopeful will follow. She has upcoming dates in Canada and America so check her site for details. For those who haven't heard of Kathleen yet, there's still time to catch up to the rest of us by buying her first two great records in time for the release of the new album.

2. Cocktail Slippers - Go Get It

A girl group from Norway, Cocktail Slippers write some of the catchiest songs that I've heard in a while. And catchy in the way that cheers you up as soon as you start humming the tune, rather than the annoying way you can't get 'Umbrella' out of your head. They've got a couple of albums out already; their debut was 'Rock It', with the follow up called 'Mastermind'. Currently working on their third record these girls are destined to break out of their native Norway and having signed to Wicked Cool Records in America, their next record is destined to be a big release. Albums are easily available through the Wicked Cool Records website for only $10 so if you like what you hear, that's the place to visit.

3. Modest Mouse - Dashboard (Live)

One of my favourite bands, this recording is from the Irish radio station 2FM who recorded the band's performance in August of last year at the Electric Picnic Festival. One of the most talented and important bands around, the addition of Johnny Marr has elevated the band to a level that very few bands could ever hope to achieve. They're going to be touring, in what is sure to be the best tour of the year, with REM and The National in America. If you have the opportunity to get to one of the shows, don't pass it up. REM's new album is amazing and The National have released some of the finest albums of this decade so far. Along with the genius that is Modest Mouse, that's one show not to be missed.

4. Delorentos - Any Other Way

Delorentos are a Dublin-based 4 piece band who released one of the best Irish records of last year 'In Love With Detail'. This song is taken off that excellent debut and they have developed a strong following in Ireland. They've just been performing at SXSW and are working on some new stuff. I've seen them live a few times and they're an excellent live band, with some great songs that really come to life in the live arena. Check out their website if you're not familiar with their work, and pick up a copy of their debut album and also have a look at some of the EP's and singles they've released in the past. All are available through their MySpace page.

5. The Twilight Sad - Cold Days From The Birdhouse

An indie rock band from Scotland, this song is taken from the band's debut record 'Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters' which was released last year to widespread acclaim. One of my favourite albums of the year, the songs slowly revealed themselves after repeated listenings to be full of vivid imagery, lyrics and some fantastic melodies too. They've got a number of shows coming up around the UK so check the website for details on that. Also available are some cool singles and EP's.

6. Dustin Kensrue - I Knew You Before

I chanced upon this album and was delighted to have come across it. Clocking in at just under 30mins, the album is very strong with a very high quality maintained throughout the disc. The record is quite a departure from Dustin's usual job as lead singer of Thrice and I'm of the opinion that it's better than any Thrice stuff, but I'm not a fan of that band anyway. This is a fantastic song and he performed it on Letterman on it's release last year. I'm a big fan of this album, I think it's really good and should be deemed an essential purchase for those who are interested.

7. Spoon - The Ghost Of You Lingers (Live)

Taken from a radio broadcast of a show they performed supporting Arcade Fire(look for a track from them next week) in January of this year, this track finds Spoon recreating their unique sound on a live stage. 'The Ghost Of You Lingers' is my favourite song off their last record 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga'. One of the most atmospheric songs you're likely to hear, it works just as well in a live setting as it does on record. Coming out of Austin, Texas Spoon have been around for nearly 15 years and have released some excellent albums without ever breaking out of the underground, until the release of 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' which has brought them to a wider audience. There's a rich back catalogue for those who haven't yet taken the time to explore this band's history.

8. Travel By Sea - Complete Shakeup

A very interesting band, Travel By Sea is made up of Kyle Kersten and Brian Kraft who make the records in different cities to each other, instead using the internet to put this music together. Which only makes the music more astounding to listen to. Signed to Autumn Tone Records their first album 'Shadows Rise' is available from that website(link below). 'Complete Shakeup' was the first thing I heard from this band and I've been a fan ever since. It really is a beautifully put together track and take a look at their MySpace to preview some tracks from their upcoming new album which should be out very soon. Make sure to get that when it comes out, I'm very much looking forward to it.

9. Iron & Wine - Boy With A Coin (Acoustic & Live)

Taken from a solo acoustic session on KCRW, this track was my favourite song off the last Iron & Wine record, which I still regard as the best yet. Sam Beam's stunning vocals always take the songs above the level that most bands are capable of reaching and this track displays this very clearly. Also, the band are offering up soundboard recordings of their live shows to download. It's a clever move and one which, I think, many bands will soon take as a new source of revenue. Check it out and support the idea, it's a good one.

10. Noel Gallagher - Fade Away (Live)

I've always liked Noel's voice more than Liam's so I was delighted to hear recordings of some of his solo show's from 2006/2007. They're excellent shows and I was delighted to rediscover 'Fade Away' which was an Oasis b-side back on the 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' single. There's footage all over the web of the tour for anyone who missed it and if you look hard enough I'm sure you'll some across recordings of some of the shows. Well worth exploring. Click on the youtube link for another fantastic song from the show.

11. Plants and Animals - Bye Bye Bye

A new discovery for me Plants and Animals have just released an album in Canada, their native country, and which is available through their website for all us Europeans. I'm personally really looking forward to ordering it, because this track is nothing short of breathtaking. One of those songs that instantly command your attention no matter what you're doing, Plants and Animals are certainly an exciting prospect. Based on this track and the others on their MySpace this album is going to be big. I'm very excited about it and I don't think that it's going to let me down at all. One of the tracks of the year even at this early stage. Breathtaking.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #4

The 4th Thundercrack Playlist and a very strong lineup of artists. All of the bands have been contacted to inform them that they are on the album and if any have a problem with it, I will take that song off. However, many of these songs are available on the bands' own websites' and the reaction so far from all bands has been 100% positive.

As always there is a good mix between live and studio stuff and some great bands that you might not have heard of before. Remember the aim of this site is to promote these artists and help support them. So if you like the music, please do something to help spread the word about it, whether that be buying their records, attending their concerts, or even simply just passing on this link to your friends. Just do something...

Here's the link

1. Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine

A band I first heard about back in 2003, Great Lake Swimmers and it's singer/songwriter Tony Dekker have released three breathtaking albums. 'Your Rocky Spine' was one of the tracks of last year and deserves to be revived this year. The album it features on, 'Ongiara', was another stand out of last year. Possessing one of the best voices in music today, Dekker allies this with outstanding lyrics, making him one of the most talented artists around. The music is slow and spare but there is not a note wasted on this record. Essential.

2. The Hellacopters - The Same Lame Story

A Swedish band that are unfortunately coming to the end of their existence, The Hellacopters have released some excellent records over the past 12 years. Released as a single last year 'The Same Lame Story' sees the band on top form doing what they do best, rock. For anyone unfamiliar with the band, there's a whole bunch of albums, singles, eps and dvds available so check out their website where you'll find all the information that you could possibly need on all their many releases. Definitely worth checking out their back catalogue and their new and final album is also coming out on April 18. Make sure you get the final statement by this tremendous band.

3. The Len Price 3 - Rentacrowd

A band that wear their influences proudly, The Len Price 3 are English to the core and are creating quite a stir at the moment. Currently signed to one of the finest labels in the US, Wicked Cool Records, The Len Price 3 released the album 'Rentacrowd' to acclaim from such noted figures as Rolling Stone's David Fricke and MTV's Kurt Loder. Currently working on their third album (their first is entitled 'Chinese Burn') the band are going from strength to strength. As David Fricke said "Rock & Roll doesn't need saving; the cure's right here."

4. Broken Social Scene - Superconnected (Acoustic Live)

Taken from a session for the radio station KCRW in 2005, this track see's BSS rework one of the songs off their self titled album of 2005 in an acoustic fashion. One of the finest live bands that I've ever seen, BSS are soon to embark on a European tour so check their site for details on dates and venues. A massively populated band, all are very active musicians and BSS is not their only venture so bands such as Metric, Emily Haines, BSS Presents Kevin Drew and countless others are well worth looking up.

5. Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (Live)

One of the most talented musicians in the history of rock music, Warren Zevon has often been overlooked by the music public. He has released some fantastic albums, none more so than 'Excitable Boy', the title track of which is featured here. Noted for the contrast between his sometimes dark lyrics and his more upbeat sound, 'Excitable Boy' is a prime example of this. Just have a listen to the lyrics on this track and Warren's fantastic piano playing. It was recorded back in 1992. As a musical aside, Warren recorded an album with Bill Berry, Peter Buck and Mike Mills of REM under the name of 'Hindu Love Gods' back in 1990. It's available on Amazon for those interested. Warren passed away in 2003 and left a legacy of great albums and performances which should never be forgotten. Go on to his website and sign the petition for him to be inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame.

6. Menomena - Wet And Rusting

Coming out of Portland, Oregon Menomena released their last album 'Friend And Foe' last year which features this song 'Wet And Rusting'. The band consists of three members, Brent Knopf, Justin Harris and Danny Seim, which leads to some amazing live performances. The album was entirely recorded, produced and mixed by the band and is richly layered. Currently touring Europe, their live shows are stunningly unique experiences. 'Friend And Foe' was their third album, their first two are 'I Am The Fun Blame Monster' and also 'Under An Hour'. Well worth checking out, my recommendation is to start out with 'Friend And Foe' and delve from there.

7. Jeff Tweedy - Jesus Etc. (Live)

Interesting recording this one, it was recorded in March of last year in somebody's house. It was a benefit for charity, with the previous year a group of fans paying over $17,000 for Tweedy to play. Not sure how much was paid for this performance but by the sounds of it, he gave them as much value as possible. He took a request from each person in a room of about 30 people and so the setlist is full of rare gems. A fantastic recording as well, 'Jesus Etc' is my favourite Wilco song and this is a great performance. One of the best songwriters in a long time Tweedy and Wilco continue to make great music and put on brilliant live shows.

8. The Contrast - Caught In A Trap

Another English band, The Contrast were formed back in 1999 and have since released six albums. Describing themselves as a guitar power pop band, the band released last November an excellent compilation entitled 'Perfect Disguise : Introducing The Contrast', which is an excellent start for anybody interested in hearing more of this band. Available on their site along with a t-shirt for $16, that should be everybody with an interest in hearing good music.

9. Yeasayer - 2080

After having recently made a high profile appearance on Conan O'Brien, Yeasayer are the band to watch at the moment. They released their debut album 'All Hour Cymbals' at the end of last year and having listened to it repeatedly over the last few weeks, I'll vouch for the greatness of this record. 2080 was the song that first got the attention of most people and it really is a fantastic song. The difference between Yeasayer and most other bands is that the album more than lives up to the quality of this song. An album that you will listen to for a long time, it rewards repeated listens. Going to be massive.

10. Rufus Wainwright - 14th Street (Live)

One of the most prolific and musically talented artists in many years, Rufus' career has developed from his self-titled album back in 1998 to last year's highly acclaimed record 'Release The Stars'. This track is taken from 'Want One', still my favourite of Rufus' records. Rufus always puts on a great show, whether it be solo or with a band and is always worth going to see. He's touring at the moment so check for dates on his website. Also for those who don't know his stuff, any of his albums would be a good start, each has their strong points. 'Release The Stars' would probably be the best. Can't go wrong with any of them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #3

Here's the third edition of my playlists. All of the bands featured on the album have been contacted in advance to tell them that they will be featured. I do this out of respect for the bands and to allow them to ask me not to use the song if they would rather it wasn't featured. Once again, the response from the bands has been very positive so thanks to them for their support. Thanks also to the tapers who record the live music featured on the album. Their work is hugely appreciated by all music fans.

I love putting these albums together but it does involve a considerable amount of work. In light of that, I would ask anybody who downloads the album to simply send the link on to 10 of their friends and help spread the word in any way that they can. At the end of the day, I do this to help these bands gain more exposure and new fans. The more people that know about it, the better for all involved so I would very much appreciate any assistance in promoting the album. I'd be delighted to hear from anybody who would like to help or who has already helped in posting the link on their blog.

I'm making this a weekly album now so check back next week for another album full of more great music.
Now here's the link to the album, enjoy and remember to support these artists in whatever way you can, even if it's just passing on this link. Thanks

1. The Sticks - Make You Mine

An instant classic, this song is sure to propel The Sticks to the mainstream of British music. Coming out of Manchester, The Sticks were only formed in July 2007 and already have a devoted following. The fantastic vocal pairing of Poppy and Tom Rush lifts The Sticks above the level of many British bands and will surely elevate them to the level that the band's talent deserves. An ep is due out shortly so keep an eye on their website for more information on that. I haven't heard such a new band able to produce 3 songs of such high quality in a long time. Check the others out on their myspace and then make sure you get a hold of the ep when it comes out, proof that you were there from the start, before they became the coolest band in Britain.

2. Lucky Soul

Another English band, this time coming from London, Lucky Soul released their debut album 'The Great Unwanted' last year to widespread acclaim and well deserved it was too. A fantastic pop record, there were a number of songs which I could have chosen to put here but 'Ain't Never Been Cool' was my eventual choice. The first song I heard from the band, I was instantly hooked. If you haven't yet got the album I would highly recommend it for 13 beautifully crafted pop songs, illuminated by lead singer Ali Howard's amazing voice.

3. R.E.M. - Living Well Is The Best Revenge (Live)

This track is taken from a recording of one of R.E.M's rehearsal shows from Dublin last year and is featured on their new album 'Accelerate', due out at the end of March. Having personally attended 3 of the 5 shows, REM put on some of the best performances Dublin has ever seen. They have found a new energy and enthusiasm and this burned through every new song that they played. They have also embraced the internet as a form of promotion for their music and are proving to be one of the most innovative bands in coming up with new ways to release their music and encourage people to buy it. Accelerate is being released in three different formats, with each one offering something different. Look at their website for details of that and also their impending world tour. Also check out a couple of spin off websites that they've set up such as As excited as I've been about a new R.E.M record in a long time.

4. Grand Archives - Torn Blue Foam Couch

Coming out of Seattle in America, Grand Archives formed in September 2006 and have just released their debut album entitled 'The Grand Archives' on the SubPop label. A band with a truly distinctive sound, this song is one of my early picks for song of the year and the album will undoubtedly be on many album of the year lists. Led by Matt Brooke (a former member of Band Of Horses) Grand Archives have the staying power missing from so many of today's bands and will be around for years to come. Album is available from the Sub Pop link below and while you're there check out some of the other bands and merchandise available. Some good stuff on the site.

5. Winterpills - Broken Arm

One of my favourite bands at the moment, this song comes from their second album released last year 'The Light Divides'. An album that really rewards repeat listens, it was one of my albums of last year. 'Broken Arm' is a fantastic tune and is best summed up on their own website -" ‘Broken Arm’, which might be Smokey Robinson lyricism negotiating with the shade of Elliott Smith". They also have a new album coming out soon and have a number of songs posted on their myspace so have a listen and then I'm sure you'll want the album so head to their official site to get that. Their first album is available there also and you can pick both of them up for the great price of $20. Well worth it.

6. David Ford - To Hell With The World (Live)

An artist I've been closely following since he released his debut album back in 2005, David Ford is one of the most talented musicians in the industry today. His live version of his song 'State Of The Union' is worth the price of admission alone and if you get the chance to see him live, do not miss it. If he's not coming to your area (check his website for tour dates) look this song up on YouTube. Amazing song. The song I've posted here is a new song that he's playing on his current tour. I was blown away by it when I saw him and although the sound is a little low, turn this one up and enjoy. He has a great voice and writes some excellent songs. He's admired by his peers and music critics alike so make sure you get his two albums (available at the links below) and go see him live while he's still playing in smaller venues. He won't be there for much longer.

7. Bruce Springsteen - Prove It All Night (Live)

Ever wondered why every new band seems to reference Springsteen in any interview they do? Listen to this recording of 'Prove It' from 1978 and it'll become clear. The greatest live performer I have ever seen and with, arguably, the strongest body of work in rock music, Springsteen continues to define the genre and influence countless bands. Probably more relevant now than at any time in his career, if you've never given Springsteen a chance, now is the time to do it. He's out on tour at the moment with the mighty E Street Band and if you've never been to a Springsteen show, get yourself a ticket quickly. Though this recording is from 1978 don't be fooled into thinking that he's no longer capable of such a song. Trust me, after seeing him three times in the last few months, this song could just as easily have been taken from a show on his current tour. Tour dates on his site and check out for more information on 'The Boss'.

8. Elsinore - Cannonballs

Another American band, hailing from Illinois, this foursome are, in their own words, "a touring Midwestern band putting in the time and paying the dues." Listening to this song, I think everybody will agree they won't be paying their dues for much longer. This is an achingly brilliant song, and they've got a clear vision for their music. The lead vocals of Ryan Groff are stunning, a distinctive voice in an industry that seems to reward mediocrity. I came across this song and was shocked to discover that they are currently unsigned. They have a lot of upcoming shows and many already behind them which is always a sign of a serious and talented band. These guys are going to go far and are currently working on a new studio album.

9. Josh Ritter - Rumors (Live)

'Rumors' is taken from Josh's last album 'The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter' which is, in my opinion, his strongest set of songs to date. This was his fifth album and he has built up a very significant and dedicated following around the world. A fantastic live performer, Josh always plays with a smile on his face and is genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to sing to a group of people. One of the best songwriters of recent times, Josh is continuing to push himself to new lengths and also challenge his audience to keep up with his evolution. He is not satisfied with staying in the same mould and if you listen to each of his albums in order, there is a clear progression on each one. Josh is going to be around for a long time and I think is going to be one of the most important artists of our generation as his albums continue to evolve.

10. Kings Of Leon - Milk (Live)

One of this generation's big bands, Kings of Leon have both the talent and the desire to stay at the top for a long time. 'Milk' is taken off their second album 'Aha Shake Heartbreak' and works fantastically well live. It shows range in their work, which is important for any band who want to continue to be relevant. A great live band, the last Kings album 'Because Of The Times' was easily in the top ten albums of last year and anybody who hasn't yet listened to a Kings Of Leon album, it's an excellent place to start.

11. Tegan And Sara - Call It Off

'Call It Off' comes from the new album from Tegan and Sara, 'The Con'. I've been listening to it for the past couple of weeks and have been very impressed. Having largely ignored the duo up until now I was delighted to come across this brilliant record. There's a couple of great songs on the album, especially look out for the title song, which is sure to be on a lot of song of the year lists. Touring Europe at the moment, Tegan and Sara are on the edge of the mainstream. I'm sure that this new album will give them the extra push that's needed.