Late into the year we discover a very fine new band indeed. Young States hail from Norwich and are led by lead singer and bassist, Libby Irons who, has a singing voice not a million miles from Stevie Nicks in places.

Hey Sammy is the ninth album in the 10 year musical career of singer-songwriter Bella Hardy. Whilst 2015's 'Before The Dawn' was a breathtaking, fragile sound stripped bare, punctuated with injections of electronics; 2017 sees Bella musically on Hey Sammy with a fuller, more confident sounding album.

I am new to Amelia White. A quick online search revealed that she is a 'lifer' and this is her eighth album. It always amazes me when I discover such a voluminous back catalogue. I dipped into the other albums (available on iTunes) and they all contain top notch songwriting. I have seen Amelia described as a writer-songsinger and that seems an apt description. Amelia is a fine singer, with a voice that can can sound like Gretchen Peters, Karen Carpenter or Lucinda Williams at times, however she is a songwriter first and foremost.

I listened to this album many times 'blindly', i.e. without doing any background reading. All I knew from the picture on my iPod was that Shannon Lay has bright red hair á la Eliza Carthy (before her blonde and blue phases). I did not even realise that she was American.

Noah Gundersen, a singer songwriter from Seattle has delivered a record with emotional lyrics of fear, decay, love, and death. The music is full of contrasts and colour ranging from quiet lyrics with simple acoustic guitar/piano to full bodied crashing guitar riffs.

If I tell you that Duncan Lloyd is the guitarist and founding member of Maximo Park (a band I love btw), then you might be expecting an album of quirky, hooky, pop-rock tunes. Well on this solo effort Duncan shows another side of his musical repertoire as 'IOUOME' (great title or not, you decide?) is rich with melody and feels at lot more gently self-reflective than his work as part of Maximo Park.

Leicester guitar- drum duo (Beth Morris, guitars and vocals & Jamie Brown, drums and vocals) known as Jitterz released their punky, bluesy, tunefully noisy E.P. through a Kickstarter campaign. It's now also available through the usual digital formats.

I started playing this record and my initial thoughts without paying much attention were, nothing new, however when giving the record quality listening time, I was hooked!

The opening cords on 'America' from Juanita Stein’s guitar on the opening track, ‘Florence’ (inspired by a real-life photograph by Dorothea Langue, taken during the Great Depression, of the eponymous Florence Owens Thompson) sets the Americana, widescreen and tumbleweed landscapes sound of this record. Add to that Juanita’s voice; clear, sweet and equally as widescreen as the guitar.

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