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


With the sun shining and a Bank Holiday fast approaching, Recommends arrives with another bumper crop of brand new music. This week there are tracks from Florence + The Machine and Hooton Tennis Club, videos via Villagers and FFS, albums streaming from Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Onra and live dates from The Vaccines and Partisans.

Tracks: Florence + The Machine, Hooton Tennis Club, Jas Shaw, Jackson C. Frank


Videos: Villagers, FFS, Girlpool, Bilal


Albums: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Summer Camp, Onra, Kerrier District


Live: The Vaccines, Sun Kil Moon, Let's Wrestle, Partisans 

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    Jamie xx: Taking Shelter In Loud Places

    This week Jamie xx unveiled the latest single from his solo debut In Colour, in the process providing the oncoming summer with what will surely be one of its key tracks. Coinciding with the release of I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times), which features Atlanta rapper Young Thug and Dancehall star Popcaan, Pitchfork have published an extensive longform interview in which the ceaseless producer discusses his music and the people who inspire it.

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    Björk's DJ Set at Tri Angle's 5th Birthday Party

    Whilst ostensibly an underground imprint, Tri Angle Records has increasingly found itself the centre of attention over the past five years, with a number of high profile proponents supporting the cause. One of the label's best known fans is Björk, who not only attended a recent birthday bash in New York but took to the turntables, providing the party with an eclectic mix featuring Haxan Cloak, John Tavener, Kate Bush and Shut Up And Dance.

  • Florence + The Machine



    There’s been a steady flow of bold, stomping singles leading up to Florence’s pending fourth album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful though none have come as close to evoking the energy of her debut set Lungs as the dazzling Delilah. Unlike the slow-burning Ship To Wreck or the new record’s tense title track, this latest offering erupts within the minute mark, its euphoric pianos and swirling organs all courtesy of producer Markus Dravs whose previous collaborators include Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay.

  • Hooton Tennis Club

    Kathleen Sat On The Arm Of Her Favourite Chair

    Heavenly Records

    Though their songs arrive bathed in a similar fuzz as that favoured by Ariel Pink, Parquet Courts and a whole generation of Garage-loving American bands, Hooton Tennis Club’s Merseyside roots ensure there’s something a little separate about their own particular appropriation of Slacker-indebted Indie. After recording their earliest demos in their bedrooms the band have since hit the studio with fellow Wirral resident and former Coral man Bill Ryder-Jones, who adds just enough sheen to new single “Kathleen…’ 

  • Jas Shaw

    Sic Semper Tyrannis


    As a member of Simian Mobile Disco, Jas Shaw has had ample opportunity to play about with analogue synths; the duo’s last long player Whorl, for example, was recorded  live with Shaw and partner James Ford each using just one synthesiser and one sequencer. This love of sawtooth sounds will prevail when Shaw joins No Wave icons Swans at their imminent Roundhouse show, opening the evening with an entirely new set based on experimental recording techniques pioneered by Seventies synth specialist Allen Strange.

  • Jackson C. Frank

    China Blue

    Ba Da Bing

    Widespread acknowledgement proved elusive during Jackson C. Frank's troubled life despite luminaries like Bert Jansch, Nick Drake and Paul Simon - who produced his only studio album - all being staunch supporters. In recent years his music’s been covered by Laura Marling, Robin Pecknold and First Aid Kit, their love for Frank’s beautifully soft and sad take on Folk inspiring a new generation of new listeners to. A comprehensive compilation of otherwise unheard music arrives soon, featuring the delightful ballad China Blue.

  • Villagers

    Everything I Am Is Yours

    Directed by Jamie Thraves

    A young man wanders the streets of Shoreditch in the new Villagers video, and whilst he’s met with no small amount of resistance from a succession of disgruntled boyfriends and lairy late-night lads he continues to convey Conor O’Brien’s message of undiluted love. The clip is the brainchild of Jamie Thraves, who after making a name working with Blur and Radiohead went on to direct Treacle Jr, a heartbreaking feature starring Villagers fan Aiden Gillen.

  • FFS

    Johnny Delusional

    Directed by AB/CD/CD

    After announcing their arrival with a tantalisingly brief clip earlier in the year, FFS (the confluence of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) now unveil their first video proper ahead of next month’s self-titled album. The visual premiss for Johnny Delusional is simple but as members from both bands begin to blur together the video pays subtle reference to the many similarities they share, not least the arty intellectuality they each instill into bare-faced Pop.

  • Girlpool

    Before The World Was Big

    Directed by Allyssa Yohana

    When listening to fast-rising duo Girlpool it’s almost impossible to separate their music from the indelible friendship that binds Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, their sisterly affection one of the most integral ingredients to their infectious, stripped-back Indie. The girls visit the UK next month in support of forthcoming debut set Before The World Was Big, but ahead of that they're currently streaming the title track’s grainy new video.

  • Bilal


    A perennial presence amid Neo Soul's upper circles returns with a new album this year, and as with so much of his brilliant back catalogue Bilal calls on a host of creative associates to help realise his music. New set In Another Life features dusty productions from Soul saviour Adrian Younge, Southern Rap stalwart Big K.R.I.T.T and Kendrick Lamar, who returns a favour after Bilal’s numerous contributions to the epic To Pimp A Butterfly.

  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra



    Over the course of two UMO albums Reuben Nielson has pieced together a patchwork of Psych, Folk, Garage and Soul, his ear for an unrelenting melody more than making up for any studio shine that may have been left lacking. Third set Multi-Love marks something of a sea change as the Kiwi and his band create a record that not only sounds incredibly sophisticated but also stretches his innate gift for songwriting, each of the tracks' inherently personal narratives all belying the album's easy-going feel and addictive energy.

  • Summer Camp

    Bad Love

    Moshi Moshi

    After working with Steve Mackey and Stephen Street on previous records Summer Camp manned the desks themselves on Bad Love. The decision seems to have paid creative dividends as the set sounds like one of the most engaging outings partners Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley have enjoyed since they first started anonymously releasing music together. As is to be expected the album is unabashed in its interest in Pop but despite the sparkles it never holds its punches, which punctuate pleasingly throughout.

  • Onra


    All City

    On his Chinoseries albums Onra looked to his Vietnamese roots, building two immersive and largely instrumental Hip Hop albums from samples sourced during record digging trips across the Orient. The Parisian producer explores another part of his heritage with Fundamentals, this time turning an ear to the Nineties Hip Hop and RnB that first inspired him to make music. Working exclusively on an MPC sampler, Onra succeeds in evoking the Golden Age without losing the futuristic edge that’s always been a calling card.

  • Kerrier District



    Kerrier District mightn’t be a name you’d most readily associate with pseudonym-loving Luke Vibert, though it was one of the the first things Hypercolour asked about after releasing his Acid-spiked Ridmik last year. On discovering Vibert had carried on making asymmetrical Dance music under the moniker long after issuing an overlooked album in 2004, the Bristol-based Bass specialists began prepping towards 4, a new collection which finds the Cornish producer adding a pinch of the usual aural anarchy to proceedings.

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    The Vaccines

    The Hippodrome, Kingston Upon Thames

    Thursday 28th May

    With new album English Graffiti ready for release The Vaccines are gearing themselves up for another massive set of dates, with a tour taking in the US, Canada and Australia as well as any number of festival appearances during the summer. Before they embark on this gargantuan run the band start with an unusually intimate show courtesy of promoters New Slang, who’ve arranged a one-off show at their current home at Kingston’s Hippodrome. 

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    Sun Kil Moon

    Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

    Sunday 19th July

    A dark sense of humour and a seemingly insaitable appetite for angered onstage outbursts have seen Mark Kozelek the subject of much online reportage over the past eighteen months, though at no point has any of the attention served to overshadow the bleak beauty of his sixth album Benji. The former Red House Painter is now plotting towards his next set Universal Themes, its release coinciding with an intermittent string of UK dates.

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    Let’s Wrestle

    The 100 Club, London

    Friday 20th December

    Let’s Wrestle have squeezed a lot into seven years: after forming in a garden shed in Muswell Hill during the mid-Noughties they went on to release three perfectly formed albums of imperfect Indie, played alongside comrades like Yuck and Bo Ningen, recored with Steve Albini and even met Bill Murray. Despite these many highs the trio are now calling it day, though leaving on a high they play with one last London show with the original line-up.

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    The Vortex, London

    Friday 26th June

    Partisans arrival in the mid-Nineties served as a precursor to a subsequent explosion in free thinking British Jazz, their eclectic amalgam of Hard Bop, electric-era Miles, P-Funk and Post Rock setting the tone for a whole generation of artists who still hold co-leaders Phil Robson and Julien Siegel in the highest regard. The quartet reconvene for a string of festival shows over the summer, but kick off with this celebratory spot at The Vortex in Dalston.