Plastic Animals – Automaton EP
Plastic Animals may have a sparse, lo-fi aesthetic but they don't forget their sense of melody, as a result sounding like the filthy lovechild of The XX and Wilco. The band use ambient noise to great effect, creating a stunning textured sound. A very good EP all round, but the sprawling climaxes of Sundowning and opening track Yellowcraig make it a must-listen.
Yellowraig is available to listen to on their Soundcloud page. The rest of the EP will be available here on 2nd June
Madison – Armbands single
Cumbernauld's Madison sound something akin to The Xcerts circa 2009, and are to an extent similarly earnest lyrically. This earnestness however doesn't detract from the fact that they write fantastic pop tunes. Armbands is particularly well-crafted with an anthemic chorus that'll stick in your head and some excellent twin-guitar playing. I'll be keeping my eye on these guys, so should you.
Available now here
North American War – Ivory and / Geraniums 7''
This is mad, discordant genius. NAW have got that 80's Post-Punk/New-Wave thing going on, but have eschewed the weediness of those bands in favour of sounding UTTERLY MASSIVE. Geraniums On A Spit is a softer affair initially, but it's not long before those big, spiky guitars return. There's lots of 80s revival stuff going around, but these guys are doing it right.
Limited release of 250 available from 30th May, presumably from here.