Barclaycard Mercury Prize Recommends brings you some of the week's most interesting online music from around the world...


There's lots of listening to do this week as Recommends features new music from Drenge, Death Cab For Cutie, The Phantom Band and All We Are. Your eyes are in for a treat too, thanks to brand new videos from Mike Skinner, Jam City and José González. As well as all this there's also news on live shows from Soko, Jay Electronica and Disclosure.

Tracks: Drenge, Kaytranada, Death Cab For Cutie, Petite Noir


Videos: José González, Mike Skinner, Will Butler, Jam City


Albums: The Phantom Band, Gaz Coombes, Aqualung, All We Are


Live: Wild Life Festival, Soko, Jay Electronica, Convergence


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    Jeff Bridges' Ambient Album

    Playing The Dude in endearing cult classic The Big Lebowski, Jeff Bridges was most likely to be found listening to the sun-dappled Southern Rock of Creedence Clearwater Revival whilst enjoying a couple of his trademark White Russians. It’s all set to get a little more ethereal now though as the actor, who’s always implied that his own lifestyle isn’t so far removed from that of The Dude’s, reprises the character for an album of ambient lullabies.

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    Father John Misty's Streaming Service

    Father John Misty, the alter ego of former Fleet Fox Josh Tillman, has made a tongue-in-cheek statement on streaming culture in the run up to the release of his new album I Love You, Honeybear. Having re-recorded the new album in MIDI Tillman is now streaming it through his own mock streaming site SAP (Streamline Audio Protocol), which uses "sophisticated algorithms [to] guarantee we never accidently discover anything we might not like".

  • Drenge

    We Can Do What We Want

    Infectious Music

    You’d never have filed Drenge’s eponymous debut under Quiet Listening, but even favourites like Bloodsports and Backwaters start to sound timid when held against returning single We Can Do What We Want. The Loveless brothers, now a full-time three piece following the addition of bass player Rob Graham, have spent much of the past few months in the studio working with Steel City stalwart Ross Orton and the results are hair-raising to say the least. New album Undertow and a supporting tour have been announced for April.

  • Kaytranada

    Drive Me Crazy feat. Vic Mensa

    XL Recordings

    Montreal’s breakout beatmaker Kaytranada has enjoyed an explosive rise to prominence, an endless stream of remixes for everyone from BadBadNotGood to Beyoncé igniting dances the world over and earning him a Radio 1 residency in the UK. Ahead of his eagerly anticipated debut the Canadian producer now unleashes a brand new track featuring bars from consistent collaborator Vic Mensa, who'll be among those joining Kaytranada when he hits London later in the year for a Brixton Academy headline show.

  • Death Cab For Cutie

    Black Sun


    Kintsugi, the eighth album from Death Cab For Cutie, takes its name from an ancient Japanese art form which employs golden lacquer to repair broken pottery, the repair eventually becoming an integral element of the reformed piece’s visual history; as a philosophy this connected with the band, who during recording parted company with founding member Chris Walla after seventeen years of service. Death Cab For Cutie mark Kintsugi’s release with a huge tour, hitting the UK for two shows at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in June.

  • Petite Noir


    Domino Recordings

    After enticing online arbiters and underground aficionados with a handful of low profile releases, Petite Noir's first substantial offering brings his rich mix of international flavours to a wider audience. Born in Brussels to Congolese and Angolan parents, Yannick Ilunga grew up in Cape Town obsessing over New Wave, Indie and the sub-Saharan sounds that surrounded him. These elements and more besides bubble slowly to the surface on the recently released King Of Anxiety EP, which features slow-burner Shadows.

  • Jose Gonazález

    Leaf Off / The Cave

    Directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson

    In the lead up to next month’s Vestiges & Claws, which amazingly will be his first solo set in almost eight years, José González offers an uplifting clip for Leaf Off / The Cave. Set amidst a joyous, clapping congregation the video was filmed at a Sunday Assembly, a non-religious gathering which replicates the communal feel of the traditional church. The movement first began in Bath in 2013 but already accomodates communities in 65 cities across the world.

  • Mike Skinner

    You Better Be

    With the dust still settling on this year’s Bugged Out Weekender, Mike Skinner has already put together a new video featuring footage from the event at the Butlin’s in Bognor Regis. The former Streets man hosted a pool party and played a heavyweight set of Dancehall and Garage, a stark contrast to the three hour show he hosted at 6Music the following weekend - also featured in the video - which consisted almost entirely of Country and classic Soul.

  • Will Butler


    With Arcade Fire currently taking time out after spending much of the last year touring Reflektor, founding member Will Butler is taking the opportunity and releasing his first solo album, Policy. Whilst first single Take My Side was a taut piece of Garage Rock, follow up Anna is a sharply observed piece of New Wave Pop that reveals an eccentric streak as it unfolds - much like many of the moves Butler makes for the song's accompanying video.

  • Jam City


    Directed by Canela Blue Roan & Jam City

    Having played such an important role in defining Night Slugs’ particular strain of forward facing Dance music it might come as a surprise to hear Jack Latham’s new Jam City material, which trades in high definition Bass for fuzzy, politically charged Pop. Latham previously eluded to a creative vision stretching far beyond the dance floor with debut set Classical Curves, but now establishes his own fully formed manifesto with follow up Dream A Garden.

  • The Phantom Band

    Fears Trending

    Chemikal Underground

    Arriving hot on the heels of Strange Friend comes Fears Trending, alleviating any concerns that there'd be another four year hiatus between records for The Phantom Band. The quick turnaround is largely attributable to half of the songs being recorded during the same sessions as Strange Friend, though their darker, more experimental flavour must have set them apart from the offset. Individually both albums are wildly enjoyable, but taken together they show a band with a real desire to keep pushing the aural envelope.

  • Gaz Coombes


    Caroline International

    If Here Come The Bombs served as a smooth transition from his life in Supergrass to Gaz Coombes’ new incarnation as a solo artist, Matador makes the transformation complete, throwing open the doors on a whole new world of sonic exploration. Leaning heavily towards analogue electronics and channelling the likes of Neu!, Eno and Low-era Bowie - not to mention the successive generations of artists they’ve inspired - Coombes finds a creative space in which he’s free to experiment with his timeless talent for songwriting.

  • Aqualung

    10 Futures


    In recent years Matt Hales has concentrated less on his Aqualung moniker, choosing to focus instead on his songwriting and studio work - most successfully with Liane La Havas, for whom he co-penned and produced the lion’s share of the songs on Is Your Love Big Enough? He now returns his attention to Aqualung, a move made entirely for his own ends, crafting ten songs that couldn’t sound more separate whilst still feeling so cohesive. Lianne repays the favour with a guest spot, as does Luke Sital-Singh.

  • All We Are

    All We Are

    Double Six

    The sense of momentum that propels All We Are’s joyous debut in many ways reflects the creative journey behind the record, a protracted passage that saw the trio travel from their respective homes in Ireland, Norway and Brazil to Liverpool, where they met at university. The three players then spent a lot of time writing in self-enforced seclusion - in cottages in rural Wales and cabins in Norwegian mountains - before bringing their aural expedition to a close in the South London studios of prolific producer Dan Carey. 

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    Wild Life Festival

    Brighton City Airport, Brighton

    Friday 6th - Saturday 7th June

    Up until now Disclosure’s Wild Life parties have been the reserve of stateside ravers, though the brothers Lawrence and co-headliners and promoters Rudimental have pulled out all the stops for the first big UK bash. Along with the team behind The Warehouse Project they’ve already secured spots from Sam Smith, Wu Tang Clan, Seth Troxler and Jamie xx, with even more artists to be announced. Pre-sale for tickets is set to start on Friday 30th January.

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    The Ruby Lounge, Manchester

    Wednesday 25th March

    Primarily known as an actress in her native France, Soko has still managed to accumulate armies of adoring fans all over world despite having always kept her musical career confined to very tight circles. It looks like 2015 may see her widening her horizons as she prepares for the release her Ariel Pink produced sophomore My Dreams Dictate Reality. Ahead of that she sets off on a European tour that culminates with shows in Manchester and London.

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    Jay Electronica

    Koko, London

    Friday 14th March

    When enigmatic rapper Jay Electronica last appeared live in the UK he played two sold-out nights at The Jazz Cafe in Camden, concerts which count amongst the most talked-about Hip Hop shows the Capital has ever hosted. Since then Jay’s become an internationally recognised artist, even if his much discussed album has still yet to see the light of day. Whether it'll arrive this year or not no one knows, but Jay will returns for a one-off show this spring.

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    Various Venues, London

    Wednesday 12th - Friday 21st March

    Convergence returns to the Capital, celebrating artists from across the stylistic spectrum who all embrace technology in innovative ways. This year’s festival spreads itself across some of East and Central London’s best loved venues and boasts an incredible line-up, with live performances from Tricky, Portico, Pantha Du Prince, Mouse On Mars, Gary Numan, Herbert, Rustie, Clark and a whole host of equally exciting electronic adventurers.