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Sydney’s The Jezabels released their five track EP Dark Storm last month, available for purchase via their website. Check out ‘Mace Spray’ – they just keep getting better, I reckon. Definitely a band to keep a close eye on.

Mace Spray – The Jezabels

The Decemberists have a new album in the works entitled The King Is Dead, due for release January 18. Head to their website for a give-us-your-email free download of preview track ‘Down By The Water’. It’s a goodie. Love that harmonica.

A couple of Scots to tell you about now – first up is Yusuf Azak, the latest artist to feature on the excellent Song By Toad record label. I’ve only sampled a few tracks on his myspace and they’re a tad unconventional, but I have to admit I find myself quite taken. ‘Eastern Sun’ was the first song I heard and I think what struck me first was the contrast between the fragile vocals and the seriously intricate guitar. Beautiful. ‘The Key Underground’ is fantastic too – best played loud, I find, with all your windows open so that people passing by can enjoy it too.

Eastern Sun – Yusuf Azak

The Key Underground – Yusuf Azak

https://itallstarted.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/yusufazak-thekeyunderground.mp3

The Just Joans hail from Motherwell in Scotland, which is place I’ve never heard of before, but Google informs me that it’s south east of Glasgow and was nicknamed Steelopolis due to being the largest steel producer in the country during the 19th and 20th centuries. You needed to know that, didn’t you?

The Just Joans have been around since 1997 and play a brand of indie folk/pop that typically sounds all sweet and lovely, but paying close attention to the lyrics usually reveals wry observation and a biting sting in the tail. And the accents! They quite often have great titles too, like ‘Hideous Accident (Hope He Doesn’t Die In A)’. Gold!

Sample ‘Stuart’s Got A Dirty Book’ below, and head over to Weepop Records to purchase their latest offering, the seven track EP Your Pain Is A Joke Next To Mines. It’s worth checking out their other artists too, as they have several mp3s available for free download.

Stuart’s Got a Dirty Book – The Just Joans

Bonus:

Hey Boy… You’re Oh So Sensitive – The Just Joans

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