The sun is out and it’s the bank holiday weekend, perfect. This week’s Essential Listening showcases three, as always, very different tracks – that we think should be on your iPod playlist.

The Tamborines – Black and Blue


Black and Blue is a burst of vibrant lo-fi pop from The Tamborines. The currently unsigned, London based outfit have hit the nail on the head with this record — it’s summery, dreamy and spirited. The gloomy artwork gives off somewhat of an odd impression. Black and Blue is London’s attempt at recreating the surf-pop trends of America’s west coast – and they’ve done a pretty good job, too.

tUnE-yArDs – Gangsta

Okay, it’s been pretty hard to ignore this record – it’s been ambushed by pretty much every new music publication, but for good reason. Unlike those majority, I’m not going to claim that this album, or indeed this track by the horrifically stylised tUnE-yArDs is one of the best records of the year – but there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most interesting. Combining influences of rock, pop, R&B and reggae, tUnE-yArDs, or by her real name Merrill Garbus, has attempted to create something completely unique.

Icicle – Arrows

In a rather dramatic switch of style, this is Icicle with Arrows from the new ‘Under The Ice’ LP. Icicle is one of the greatest producers of the ‘deep’ drum & bass style. Arrows and indeed the whole LP takes a fairly minimal approach, which admittedly may not appeal to all, but there’s no question that the production is sublime. The less familiar styles of drum & bass always seem to be overshadowed by the more dance-floor friendly records, but Icicle proves that as we’re seeing ever-more so with dubstep, drum & bass can also be enjoyed in more than one form.

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