I'm writing this prior to the Oscars tonight, so in the interests of gossip and up to date journalism, I'm delighted to announce that this week we've got an exclusive interview with George Clooney, whilst we're thrilled to not be offering an exclusive sneak peek of 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Instead, we can offer great singles from the likes of Tom Williams & The Boat, as excitement builds for their much-anticipated sophomore album, and Shearwater look to redefine indefinable. Handshakes all round.


Tom Williams & The Boat – 'My Bones'

I'm a massive fan of Tom Williams and his hugely talented Boat; as a fellow citizen of the impossibly middle class Tunbridge Wells it is fantastic to see a band who have jumped out of an overlooked music scene to firmly establish themselves as a nationally popular band, without ever forgetting their home. As recently as August they played a free show on the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, taking important strides in asserting the relevance of Kent to the touring circuit and as a tastemaker for the wider country. Alongside the Forum, which was recently voted the best venue in the South East courtesy of NME they are flying the flag for the South-East, in an area largely forgotten as the wastelands between London and Brighton. 'My Bones' follows on from the rich honesty of Too Slow, celebrating the modern poetry of Tom Williams in his appraisal that "I love you with the marrow of my bones," recounting a desperate longing that combines wonderfully with the insurgent acoustic guitar and careful, sweeping strings. This bodes very well for an album which has a lot of pressure to live up to.



The Mary Onettes – ‘Love's Taking Strange Ways’

Coming in somewhere between the Mystery Jets and Good Books, but shrugging off their influences to carve their own little niche, this is sounding surprisingly fresh for a sound that has been played and manipulated nearly to death over the past year or two. Though utlising synths and echoed harmonies to effect, 'Love's Taking Strange Ways' comes across as far more classical than the sum of its parts.



Mint Julep – ‘To the Sea’


As Grimes and Zola Jesus have shown, a disparate female vocal and loped, distorted electronica turns out to be bloody incredible when done properly, with no real middle ground between spectacular and naff. hankfully, here's the definition of the generical purgatory, with 'To The Sea' coming in as a very decent song, without ever amounting to anything groundbreaking. This is a good song in its own right, without ever challenging the listener.



Shearwater – ‘Breaking The Yearlings’


Following acts such as Kankouran and Backyards in creating big, big atmospheric noises, brimming with menace is Shearwater, the five-piece from Austin, Texas. Initially DIY in its production before growing and exploding across a howling, pleading vocal that suggests Cold War Kids before tearing up the comparisons book in a flush of jealous anger. This is cracking, especially for a miserable, rainy Sunday evening.