Featuring Kindness, Blood Red Shoes and more...

It's increasingly difficult for new musicians to escape the weight of the past.

The sheer volume of what's gone before must be intimidating, making it incredibly difficult to find your own identity. Leafing through this week's releases, it's easy to spot those who have identity issues.

References to the past - both coy and explicit - the occasional sample, it's all in there. The releases who stand out are the ones who stand on their own two feet and shout "This is who I am!"

Even if they're not entirely sure themselves. Puzzled? Well listen to...

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Single Of The Week

Kindness - Gee Up
Erupting out of the consciousness of one Adam Bainbridge, Kindness are one of the year’s most discussed yet infuriatingly difficult to capture new talents. Take ‘Gee Up – initially a B-side, the track has been completely re-worked to produce an itchily catchy piece of funky, 80s style pop. Blissful and euphoric ‘Gee Up’ also has an edge, a sense that the carefree singalong is not all it seems. Oh, and you’d better watch the video – a superb dissection of the music industry.

Kindness - Gee Up

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...and the rest

Blood Red Shoes – Cold
Blood Red Shoes are back. Just when your faith in British guitar music was beginning to halter, the two piece emerge clutching another piece of raw, unrestrained songwriting. ‘Cold’ is all screaming vocals, jagged guitar lines and drums that helter-skelter along like a kid who can’t stop their own momentum. A powerful return.

Blood Red Shoes - Cold

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Dan Mangan – Rows Of Houses
Released last year, Dan Mangan’s album ‘Oh Fortune!’ could well have passed you by. A situation which is – of course – a crying shame. The Canadian’s gently assured songwriting, his mixture of rough hewn rock guitars and gentle melodies, his rich, evocative lyrics all combined to produce something pretty special. ‘Rows Of Houses’ is a great starting point – all storming Springsteen atmospherics, the track is a mini-epic in its own right.

Los Campesinos! - Songs About Your Girlfriend
Poor old Gareth. Listening to Los Campesinos! New album ‘Hello Sadness’ you got the feeling that no matter how fine the music was, it had obviously not been very enjoyable to produce. Which is probably why the Cardiff based outfit has pieced together such a knockabout video. ‘Songs About Your Girlfriend’ is all mistakes, regrets and the kind of heartbreak that only love can provide. The solution? Head down to a titty bar for a video shoot with some fun masks. Problem... solved?

Los Campesinos! - Songs About Your Girlfriend

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Summer Camp – Losing My Mind
The mysterious thing about the whole 90s revival trip isn’t how close the decade seems, but how much I’ve forgotten. The video for ‘Losing My Mind’ focusses on the tension between Liz ‘n’ Jez but the entire set up just seems to remind me of awkward family photos from the early 90s. At once infuriatingly catchy and embarrassingly uncomfortable, ‘Losing My Mind’ seems to press all the right and wrong buttons at exactly the same time.

Orbital ft Zola Jesus – New France
With their new album ‘Wonky’ receiving some – ahem – mixed reviews, it’s easy to view Orbital as some past their sell by date group of rave survivors. Yet nothing could be further from the truth, with ‘New France’ indicating where the album could have gone. Prime Acid synths underpin a vocal from Zola Jesus, with Orbital clearly keen to move beyond the reach of their own shadow. The remix from L-Vis 1990 is half decent as well. What might have been.

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