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North of the Border

August 8, 2022

No one does indie music better than the Scots, so I make no apologies whatsoever for bringing you an hour of banging sounds from north of the border, mostly stuff released in the last couple of years.

Tamzene, who closes the show, is from the Black Isle (not an island !), just north of Inverness. A former busker, this year she realised a dream of hers by supporting Adele at Hyde Park. “It means the world to me,” she said. “I feel like it’s a moment to share with everyone who’s helped me along the way. The outpour of messages has been overwhelming, nobody gets anywhere alone, so it makes me feel like it’s really worth pursuing what you love. I’m most excited to sing for fans of Adele, because she really is an artist who influenced me.”

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Dig that rhythm

July 25, 2022

This week’s playlist has a distinctly retro feel, though the music’s very much of the 21st century, in fact a lot of it is from the last 12 months. It’s feelgood music, but don’t expect any nostalgia fest – this is also music that’s never less than razor sharp. The playlist weaves between old time soul, funky rhythms, blues rock and country rock.

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Tramlines taster

July 18, 2022

Next weekend it’s the Tramlines festival in Hillsborough Park in Sheffield. Heroes from the past like Madness, James, and The Coral; superstars of the presnt like Sam Fender and Becky Hill; great indie rock and post-punk from Working Men’s Club, Yard Act and Just Mustard; and a good scattering of young up-and-coming artists.

It’s been fun checking out all the bands and putting together a festival taster playlist. I may just do a couple more of these before the festival season ends.

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Hip hop from the Underground

July 11, 2022

This has ended up as basically an alternative UK hip hop and grime playlist. I’m not sure that Hollie’s poem counts as hip hop, but I reckon you’ll like it, and the American Nappy Nina is in there too just because she’s fab.

Once again the standout track is at the end, so give yourself time to listen to the full seven minutes of Lowkey’s Letter to the 1%.

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Underground sounds from Ireland

July 4, 2022

An Irish alternative rock playlist (with a little bit of hip hop thrown in). It’s only when you actually put these things together that you realise just how much exciting new music is coming from the other side of the Irish Sea. It’s a virtually unknown artist though who steals the show – don’t log out until you’ve heard Lauren Ann’s killer version of Teenage Kicks.

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Female music of recovery, healing and renewal

June 27, 2022

This week the US Supreme Court struck a devastating blow against abortion rights. My heart is weeping for all the women who will suffer, and the women who will die, as a result of this cruellest of judgements.

My playlist this week is for anyone recovering from hard times and trauma. Let these songs by women help you to find peace and strength.

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Rumbles from the Underground

June 19, 2022

Rumbles from the Underground is my new weekly playlist.

Expect a variety of themes, and an emphasis on new music.

For my first list, the music is all new and fresh … and also dark, edgy and dangerous.

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New tunes

March 27, 2022

It’s my last day in isolation following a mild dose of Covid 19, so I thought how about a quick playlist. These are songs released in the first three months of 2022. You’ll have heard of a few of them, but this hasn’t been a big year so far for the big hitters. It’s when you burrow down in the underground that a lot of the really exciting stuff is happening.

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The dark underbelly of the Jazz Age

January 10, 2022

My first project for 2022 is to assemble some Spotify playlists of music by decade.

Here’s the first fruits. The lists will inevitably grow in size as we move closer to the present day, but part of the idea also is that every list is a working document which may well be added to over time.

These two lists are countercultural lists. Prepare yourself to enter the dark underbelly of the Jazz Age: far away from the bright lights of Broadway, a world of wild rhythms, hard drinking and hard drugs; of strong women artists who took no prisoners; and a new age of political folk song inspired by the Great Depression …

1920s

1930s

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My end of year list is here

December 15, 2021

These are the sounds that have excited me most in 2021.

Here are 80 reasons why I love the current music scene in the UK (and Ireland). And why you should, too.

India Jordan contributes new song 'Balby Bastard' to compilation benefiting  LGBTQIA charities