- 09 Jan 15
Now that we've got all that festive malarkey out the way, it's back to normal Free Music Friday business with a major emphasis this week on the new acts who may or not make it on to the Hot Press Hot For 2015 list, which will be unveiled in our January 22 print issue.
Twenty seven of North America's hottest musical prospects feature on Best Of What's Next Playlist 2015, a fab free sampler - but you're welcome to tip! - from the always generous Noise Trade stable.
Also new and heartily recommended from the Noise Trade stable are a Live At Abbey Road four-tracker from Wilco-esque Washington Staters Motopony and some old school Southern-style rock from Winnipeg's The Bros. Landreth.
With the rest of the band moonlighting on other projects, Snow Patrol's Paul 'Pablo' Wilson has teamed up with Foo Fighter Nate Mendel in Lieutenant.
Making their live bow this week with some Californian club shows, they're giving away 'Rattled', a free taster from an album that will be with you in March. It's a muscular affair with lots of lovely fuzzboxed guitar and a hook that's now firmly embedded in our heads. As for the day job, Nathan Connolly confirmed to Hot Press before Christmas that there will definitely be a new Snow Patrol album and gigs this year.
Death Grips have gone and taken everyone by surprise with Fashion Week, an "instrumental full-length soundtrack" which is a pretty damn fine curtain-raiser for jenny death, the Californians' official swan song due in February.
His new Ludaversal album won't be with us until late March, but Ludacris tides us over with a free 20-minute LudaVerses mix that's a veritable bitch 'n' nigga fest. "Excuse my absence," he proclaims at the start. "People been out here burnin' bridges. Seems like I gotta remind you motherfuckers who I am. You know what they call me; Luda!"
Subtle it ain't, but would you want it any other way from Mr. Bridges?
To the streams now and [link]www.npr.org/series/98679384/first-listen[/link] launches into 2015 with newbies from Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, Kat Dahlia and retro merchants Anonymous 4; depending on where you and your device happen to be located, [link]albumstreams.com[/link] treats you to Marilyn Manson, Carl Barat, Cat's Eyes, Lilacs & Champagne, Little Brutes, Chastity Belt, Young Ejecta, Neu Balance, Ascension, Mike Pace & The Child Actors, Vallis Alps, Alpha Celeste, Jagaara, Polyenso, Aurora Orchestra, Swanky Tiger, Future Of What and Dr. Dog, and [link]www.nytimes.com/interactive/arts/music/pressplay.html?_r=3&[/link] really wants you to hear Slurrup, the first new music in five years from Liam Hayes who one suspects has lots of Irish blood coursing through his veins.
Destined to be massive in 2015 is Little Simz, a North London rhymer who released this fab name yer price EP before Christmas.
We're also expecting massive New Year things of Shamir Bailey, a helium-voiced Las Vegas 20-year-old who also does a neat line in stand-up.
Galway electro poppers Grounds For Invasion whet appetites for their debut Dying Stars album next month with name your price double A-side single, 'Bruce Lee'/'Let Go'.
Staying in the Hot For 2015 groove and alt-J's pal Marika Hackman has a rather lovely covers EP begging to be downloaded. Her take on Dusty Springfield's 'Spooky' is particularly tasty.
Trey Anastasio left the rest of his cult outfit Phish at home the other day when he popped into American NPR to record this downloadable acoustic session, which begs the question, "How comes he's sold diddly-squat on this side of the Atlantic?"
Bluesy San Franciscans The Stone Foxes gift new track 'Jericho' to you at [link]labs.topspin.net/daphne/confirm.php?sessionid=4e820ecc36540c54b7f69223f79d4cec&fb=3[/link]
There's also a free tune in return for your email address deal going on at [link]sunsetsons.com[/link] with the British-Australian outfit showcasing next week at Eurosonic where Hot Press, natch, will be in the thick of the showcase action.
If it's surreal videos you're after, look no further than this awesome clip for the new HamsandwicH single, 'Apollo', which is the work of the BQ&Chrome posse.
TG4's new music series, Ceolchuairt, makes its bow at 9.30pm on January 13. In the opening installment, "Hothouse Flower Fiachna Ó Braonáin embarks on a musical journey to Morocco in search of the roots of the blues. Among the hillside villages of the Rif mountain range, he explores the ancient links with traditional Irish music culminating in a magical moonlit encounter with the famous Master Musicians of Joujouka." That's us sold!
One of the week's more unlikely offerings is the free Mega Man tribute album to be found at [link]www.hyacintho-resilience.net[/link]
Having built up a bit of an online reputation for his covers - Walking On Cars' 'Always Be With You' and Kodaline's 'All I Want' among them - Aaron Fleming proves he can write a decent tune himself with 'Heartbeats'. As for the voice; wow!
Gravel-throated and luxuriantly-bearded Nashville resident Jamey Johnson is giving away the Iron & Wine-meets-Tom Waits in a Broadway honky tonk 'Alabama Pines' at [link]big-gassed-records.myshopify.com/collections/download[/link]
We're looking forward to hearing more of this gentleman.
Wiz Khalifa joins forces with Ty Dolla $ign on the moodily atmospheric 'Refresh' which segues into the positively spaced out 'Say No More'.
And that brings us to the end of the first bumper Free Music Friday of 2015. Keep those links coming to @stuartclark66