Another month flashes before my eyes and before I know it Glastonbury was in full swing. For the first time since 2004, I wasn't there. I've reached an age when friends weddings take precedence over antics in a field with an obligatory cup of Somerset cider in my hand. On the plus side I've avoided hayfever and losing my mind/wellies in a quagmire near the long drops. You win some you lose some eh?!

My month in music has been characterised by extremes. I was sad to witness the final Manchester show from a band that I've followed with admiration for near on three years, Trophy Wife. Their inspired debut album was released in a low key fashion alongside an announcement that the band would be splitting after one final tour. Ambitionless office disco will never sound as good again. I shall miss you, thanks for the music.

A spectacular double bill of Wichita Recordings fresh releases attracted me to the Deaf Institute to witness Spectrals Sob Story followed by Frankie & The Heartstrings The Days Run Away live in action. Alongside the live show I also gained animated interview insights which ended with F&THS shocking me to silence and Dave offering to cook me some pasta. If he did it would be good, he's a bit 'gourmet' you know?!

I returned to the scene of the crime a few days later to get my groove on alongside Jagwar Ma - a band I've been dying to see live since their Sheffield debut a few months ago. I can honestly say I've never noticed the spring in the Deaf Institutes floor until that night, so much dancing, so many good vibes, the show was a complete joy. The show confirmed them as a definite must see on this summer's festival circuit, and this was despite Jono playing the set up to the eyeballs in jetlag. Howlin' is a must hear and not just for baggy fans.


There are some great pockets of music in Australia at the moment, and I'm not just talking Tame Impala and Pond (or even Jagwar Ma!). There is definitely something in the water in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, which Lower Plenty, Blank Realm, Husky, Oliver Tank and Scott and Charlene's Wedding testify to. But it's the genre busting Valentiine - an all girl trio signed to Integrity Records - that I checked out when they played a slew of shows across the UK recently in support of their debut album. It was loud, raucous and packed with potential.


In last month's piece I mentioned Kiran Leonard. This month I had the pleasure, as it were. He played an intimate solo show in the back room of the Castle Hotel which gave an insight into an exceptionally talented and intelligent mind. On one hand he offers an intense fragility that I've not witnessed since first hearing Jeff Buckley and on the other a raw edge no doubt characterised by his love of bands like The Fall. A charming introduction.

Those five tips for this month?

1. Tear Talk: Another band, another genre: 'slowcore' is a new one to me, but it's quite fitting to Liverpool's Tear Talk who have released on California cult label Bleeding Gold Records. Their stripped back intensity is rather pleasant.

2. Motherhood: Despite his Soundcloud detailing his location as Birmingham, there is more than one Oxford connection for Motherhood who is managed by Kit from Trophy Wife and who's debut Murdering EP was released on Blessing Force Records. This brand of electronica channelling an R&B and hip-hop beats is one to check out for sure

3. F.U.R.S: The London three piece first hit my ears with the retro shaded pop gem 'Striptease' but after touring in support of Johnny Marr, they're back with a new single 'Going Nowhere' that shows a darker verging on psychedelic sound. LOVE. (Editors Note: 'Going Nowhere' is currently not available on Souncloud, so the playlist features an acos=ustic version of 'Striptease')

4. KINS: I fell hook line and sinker for their EP last week, it's the kind of grower that at first seems slight on the ears, until it embeds itself in your consciousness after a handful of plays with its understated brilliance. The Brighton four piece have a distinctive and recognisable brand of dark melodica and you just have to hear it.

5. Moko: London popstrel Moko is a soul star in the making. If I'd have been at Glastonbury, I'd have been front row at her show. I spied online that Dave from The Invisible was at her show recently and if such a musical hook up was to happen then it would make me mega excited to see Moko following in the hallowed footsteps of Jessie Ware and Lulu James.