Apart from finding a debut album that you become obsessed with, is there anything better than being sent an album by a band you have never heard of which you subsequently love, and find out that this is their 9th record?!

If you’ve just about had enough of the miserable weather, how about listening to some “raw, fuzzed out garage rock” from Birmingham to cheer you up ?? In that case, that’s exactly what Table Scraps can offer you from their latest album 'Autonomy'.

There are some bands that just effuse class and determination, Calexico are one of those bands and with their new album ‘The Thread That Keeps Us’, they continue to point us down the road to musical joy.

I first became aware of the Eskies last January, when I was at the sympathetic Banjo & Bovril Festival in Bray. I watched some great acts but had to make my way back to Dublin on the last Dart, thus missing the headliner. Just before I left, the Eskies fan posse entered, loud and numerous. I made a mental note to try and see this band at some point.

With the turkey a distant memory, and the new year festivities out of the way, the music fan’s mind starts thinking about the year ahead and what new musical delights will come our way. If top of your agenda to start the year was a dense, complex 70 minute concept album (or at least themed) by a largely unknown band, then Offerings by Typhoon is just the thing for you.

There is no one quite like Dan Michaelson in the musical world. A voice so deep, so rich that you just melt into the music. A beautiful album for a winter’s day. This is Dan’s first album away from his band The Coastguards since 2011's 'Sudden Fiction'.

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.

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