* Marlon Williams, real life dreamboat and man about town. I’ve stupidly missed all of his shows (and I think there’ve been a few), but have heard he puts in a cracking performance. All charm and old-soul sounds.
* Strange Tails by Lord Huron – I don’t know how I came by it but have hardly stopped playing it. From the first listen I was deeply committed. A week later I was writing a very serious and angry email to my ex, but took the time to add a ‘PS This is the best thing you’ll hear all year, I promise xx’. That says a lot, I think.
* Ryan Adams Live at Carnegie Hall is of course a feature. How could it not be? All the glory of his beautiful songs (his beautiful songs!) and all the banter between songs. I love the insight into his humour and habits, and such a perfect set list. Solo and solemn.
* Windfall is the new Joe Pug I’m just getting to know. His voice has a special place in my heart – having seen him in NYC a couple of years ago I played his Messenger album nearly non-stop all the way to New Orleans. I remember sitting in our Savannah studio just before dusk and feeling like life was amazing. This new collection is sounding pretty good too.
* Andy Shauf is new to me and already dear to me. These songs are swingy and sweet in parts, and more layered and moody in others. His voice gets soft and raspy, a bit of the Elliot Smiths to it, and so lovely at that. A brilliant find for the long hours of travels I have ahead. I can’t wait to get to know all the details of the songs.
* Hozier has long rugged hair, an Irish accent and sings about epic kinds of love – total heartthrob situation. I can see why this album is doing so well, powerful songs and a beautiful voice with a nice bit of bluesy, soul.
* Ibeyi are two wildly talented French-Cuban sisters who are currently blowing my mind. I heard their spectacular song River on Flashdance’s May playlist and downloaded the album straight up. You have to get onto this.
* How do you find words for the new Sufjan Stevens? Probably best to just read Dave Eggers, to be honest (which is good life advice regardless of the question now I think of it). It’s so tender and emotive, so beautiful and terribly sad. I love listening to it.
* Josh Garrels is my kind of sweeping, romantic, guitar-loving listening. It sounds a bit folky and feels really natural.