Artist Name: Malpas
Correspondent: Simon Goff
For those looking for something truly a bit different in the nu-folk wave that has been sweeping the UK, here are Malpas. The quintet from Birmingham has managed to create a pleasing mix of electronica and folk, blended with well-crafted pop. They are a perfect and modest balance between warm synths and electric percussion with singing strings and charming glockenspiel. If you appreciate music that clearly has had a lot of care put in to it, look no further.
Artist Name: Stuart Newman
Correspondent: Gary Scattergood
It's said that Brighton troubadour Stuart Newman seeks to capture melancholic daydreams on rainy days, and on this offering he's seemed to pretty much nail-it. The 23 year-old, who has a distinctive voice and an ear for an understated tune, self-produced his debut album Single But Defective. Despite being unsigned, he's already chalked-up global attention. During July/August 2010, he designed some T-Shirts, which he offered to fans around the world for free…they went to destinations such as Finland, Russia, Sweden, Romania, Mexico, Taiwan and the USA.
Artist Name: H Hawkline
Correspondent: Jake May
Releasing his fantastic debut effort A Cup Of Salt on Cardiff’s Shape Records last year – an exciting journey through creepy psychedelic folk and driving instrumental krautrock – Huw Evans aka H. Hawkline is as excellent in the flesh too, just as likely to produce brilliant upbeat surfy pop as he is spine-tingling finger-picked wonders. With the first album massively underappreciated, let’s hope the new material – touted to be out soon – picks up the popularity that he deserves.
Artist Name: RM Hubbert
Correspondent: Rory Cargill
Glasweigan flamenco guitarist RM Hubbert is fast gaining some well deserved recognition, not only in Scotland but in the whole of Europe as a result of supporting post-rockers Mogwai on their current tour and also having supported Godspeed! You Black Emperor last winter. Hubbert himself started out in post-rock and is the ex-guitarist for El Hombre Trajeado, but his debut album First & Last takes a different direction as he experiments with instrumental acoustic music. His upcoming second album 'will be made up of a mix of solo guitar pieces and collaborations with some of my favourite musicians'; Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos being one of them. A brilliantly modest musician, Hubbert will perform a short set in your own home for the price of a cooked meal. Listening to this album will make you realise just how good value that is.
Artist Name: Bear’s Den
Correspondent: Liz Jones
It’s an interesting thing to see old favorites become new favorites. After a solid yearlong hiatus, former members of London alt-folk outfit Cherbourg have essentially re-formed under a different name. Bear’s Den, with frontman Andrew Davie back at the helm, are the newest addition to the informal roster of artists that falls under the Communion umbrella (a label and collective of which I am sure needs no introduction). The band is, as they like to say, “mysteriously absent” from the Internet, but keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Artist Name: Well Wisher
Correspondent: Chris McDonald
Coming across as the bastard offspring of emo legends Braid, early Minus The Bear and Brit darlings Dananananaykroyd (albeit with a singer who sounds like "Robert Smith with a bit of a sniffle"), Well Wisher are the current darlings of Manchester's DIY indie-punk scene. They've just self-released a split 7" with Canadians Polina, but the band's true selling point is their live show. Expect human pyramids, lots of twitching, gyrating limbs, and impenetrable in-jokes told in impossibly northern accents.
Artist Name: Sam James Hill
Correspondent: Alex Carson
Sam James Hill is a one-man lo-fi, folktronic, noise wonder from Norwich. Utilising loop pedals, mandolin, bass, drum machines and twin vocal harmonies provided by Lydia Walker. Think the Books meets Sigur Ros whilst having a love affair with John Martyn. His debut EP "Pictures of Frozen Water" was released early 2010 by Bare Feet Records - an independent record label based in Norwich.
Artist Name: The Cooling Pearls
Correspondent: Sebastian Reynolds
Something of a local super group, The Cooling Pearls feature members of We Aeronauts, Cat Matador and The Mountain Parade and is the brain child of Oxonian musician and artist Aiden Canaday. Their music falls halfway between The Velvet Underground's brittle lo-fi drone pop and the haunting, breathy indie folk of Akron/Family with a hint of classic british folk a la Nick Drake... Live they are a joy to behold and their debut self released album, the gorgeously packaged 'The Honoured Meal of The Stranger' is a beauty...TCP really are a band you can quickly fall in love with!