Hot Vestry – Dust

There seems to have been a huge boost in both the quantity and quality of home-grown Manchester bands over the past year or so, and Hot Vestry are yet another to stick on that ‘Ones To Watch’ list. Dust is a raw-sounding indie track, and there’s no doubt that Hot Vestry have gone for that typically Manchester epic rock vibe. The vocal slurs, layered guitars and pulsating drums share similarities to neighboring bands Where’s Strutter and City Reign. Both of those bands are enjoying a rise in publicity at the moment; and there’s no reason for Hot Vestry not to follow suit.

How To Dress Well – Decisions

It was never going to be easy for How To Dress Well to follow up last year’s brilliant Love Remains, but they’ve done a pretty good job of it with the Just Once EP. And by a long way, the highlight is Decisions – a beautiful composition that captures everything that is musically extraordinary of Tom Krell. The religious, gospel-like mood of Decisions gives the track an all-round feeling of divinity. Krell’s outstanding vocals and crucial inclusion of violins fits beautifully. It’s impossible not to appreciate this record.

Arrange – Tiny Little Boy

Malcolm Lacey, better known as Arrange is an exciting, experimental approach to electronic music. With Tiny Little Boy, Lacey interweaves lucid drums and tranquil strings behind hazy vocals to create an orb of sound that screams out originality. It’d be unjust to suggest Tiny Little Boy is the most forward-thinking track of the decade, or even the year, but it is a relaxed and enjoyable piece of musical experimentation. Too often musicians express their creative style too overtly – but Lacey has got the balance just right here. Both listenable and inspiring.