One of the great things about art (books, films, photographs, albums) is that it can take you to new places. I mean that in the literal sense. With his album 'The Town Where I Live' Rick Shea takes us to small town Americana – places where there is no work, not much to be hopeful about, where people drink and fight and others dream of escaping. With these songs we get a glimpse into the lives of the characters who live there.

Confusingly named Peter Kernel release new long player The Size of the Night on 9th March via On The Camper records. Whilst sounding like an acoustic guitar wielding singer songwriter, the band are actually a duo comprised of Barbara and Aris, Canadian & Swiss respectively and now based out of Switzerland. When asked whether they are a couple, their response is that they don’t know. All very intriguing.

Quite an exceptional record, one that perhaps we would have liked Trent Reznor or Depeche Mode to make next.  No need to wait though, there is a new ish kid on this block and his name is Luis Vasquez who, has made an incredibly powerful industrial rock album that has been released on the Sacred Bones label.

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'.

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