• The Magic Numbers

    Shot In The Dark

    Caroline International

    More than four years have passed since the world last heard from The Magic Numbers, though listen to new single Shot In The Dark and you'll agree the hiatus seems to have done the familial foursome the world of good. The track pulses with an energy not usually associated with bands twelve years deep into their career, and it's largely attributable to a change in working practices; new album Alias will be the first record Romeo & Co have recorded in their own studio, the newfound self-sufficiency inspiring this reinvigorated return.

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


Dizzee Rascal teams up with newcomer Fekky in this week's Recommends - a bumper edition that also features new brand new tracks from Bat For Lashes, Paul White and Frankie & The Heartstrings. Videos from Woodkid and Simian Mobile Disco appear alongside freshly released albums from King Creosote and Hyperdub, whilst there's news on forthcoming live shows from Bombay Bicycle Club, Fat White Family and First Aid Kit.

Tracks: Bat For Lashes, Nautic, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Paul White, The Bug


Videos: Woodkid, Fekky x Dizzee Rascal, Simian Mobile Disco, 20,000 Days On Earth


Albums: Hyperdub, Freeman, King Creosote


Live:  Bombay Bicycle Club, First Aid Kit, Fat White Family, Off The Page

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    Wake Up With Jon Hopkins

    Radio 1's Rob Da Bank has invited a huge array of exciting artists to contribute to his Alarm Call series, an initiative that asks the stars to compose a short piece that's perfect for first thing in the morning. Following meditative moments from Wild Beasts and London Grammar, and more imposing wake-up calls from Roots Manuva, Diplo and Rudimental, the DJ now presents a beautifully crafted alarm call made by Jon Hopkins.

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    Resonance FM Hits The Highlands

    Pioneering Arts radio station Resonance FM has been broadcasting to its loyal listenership from its London offices since the early Nineties, first of all from a tiny studio in Soho and for the past seven years from its HQ, which is a stones throw from London Bridge. The station will be giving some of its presenters a much deserved breath of fresh air next month though, as it sets up in a specially designed treehouse studio at the foot of Ben Nevis in the Highlands.

  • Bat For Lashes

    Skin Song

    Body Of Songs

    A new project from the Wellcome Trust combines science and creativity in the most unusual manner, with artists commissioned to create original music inspired by the body's organs. The series starts with contributions from Goldie, Ghostpoet and Bat For Lashes, who all worked alongside scientists to gain a greater understanding of their organ of choice. Having spent time at King's Centre of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Natasha Khan now tells tale of an old lady who uses her skin to recount the her life story.

  • Nautic

    Freedom of the Floor

    DEEK Recordings

    The gang of three who make up Nautic - namely Young Turks A&R impresario Tic Zogson, beatmaker extraodinaire Bullion and Laura Groves, formerly of Blue Roses fame - call on an impressive cast of musical soulmates for their new Navy Blue EP. Owiny Sigoma Band's Jesse Hackett, British Jazz stalwart Shabaka Hutchings and SBTRKT's soulful conspirator Sampha all contribute along the way, though the sparse and underpopulated sensibility that echoes on Freedom of the Floor runs through the four track collection.

  • Frankie & The Heartstrings

    Stand On The Horizon

    Franz Ferdinand Cover

    Since opening their record shop in the centre of Sunderland last year, Frankie & The Heartstrings have hosted shows by Edwyn Collins, Badly Drawn Boy, The Cribs and fellow Mackems The Futureheads, but even with such an illustrious roll call of past guests it was still a huge personal triumph for the band to book Franz Ferdinand. The Indie icons, who played an intimate acoustic in-store set in March, now tap up the Wearsiders for a favour in return, asking them cover Right Words, Right Action's Stand On The Horizon.

  • Paul White

    Honey Cats

    R&S Records

    Up until now Paul White's name has been a stamp of assurance for fans of forward-facing Hip Hop and a safe bet for rappers like Danny Brown, Jehst and Trim, all of whom have jumped on the producer's off-centre instrumentals over the past couple of years. The scripts are flipped with Honey Cats though, as White reemerges as a modern-day Bluesman, replete with ghostly vocals, Delta-indebted guitar lines and shuffling drums, perhaps the only nod to his output of old. The single paves the way for new album Shaker Notes.

  • The Bug

    Function feat. Manga

    Ninja Tune

    When London Zoo emerged in 2008 it crystallised the then current state of Bass music in the UK, its furious amalgam of Dubstep and industrial strength Ragga sounding as stark and scintillating as the city that inspired it. Kevin Martin returns to The Bug alias and releases the long awaited follow up Angels & Devils, a double headed album that counters heavenly electronic Shoegaze with hellishly heavy Bass-led rhythms. Fact Magazine premiere a song from each side, the ferocious roller Function repping the record's darker half.

  • Woodkid

    The Golden Age feat. Max Richter

    Directed by Yoann Lemoine

    Recognised as a bright prospect amid a fresh generation of filmmakers, Yoann Lemoine's most affecting works most often accompanies the music he makes himself as Woodkid, and the stunning short film he's created for The Golden Age is certainly no exception. In merging the title track of his debut album with Max Richter's beautiful piece Embers, Lemoine extends the song to ten minutes, giving him a greater canvas on which to work his visual magic.

  • Fekky x Dizzee Rascal

    Still Sittin' Here

    Whilst still a relative newcomer Fekky has stamped his authority on the Grime scene, forging a club-orientated sound that still feels intrinsically linked to the streets. This mix of accessibility and raw energy draws immediate parallels with forebear Dizzee Rascal, who leaves the bright lights of Miami behind for a minute and joins the South London native on a nostalgic trip. Together the pair breathe new fire into Boy In Da Corner's ominous opener Sittin' Here.

  • Simian Mobile Disco


    Directed by Jack Featherstone & Hans Lo

    Despite making music that's utterly of the moment, James Ford and Jas Shaw's shared love of early synthesisers and archaic drum machines has always informed the sound they've pioneered as Simian Mobile Disco. This passion for positioning analogue technology within a very modern context inspires the new video for Tangents, a technicolour treat that was created when live generated digital content was fed into an old school oscilloscope.

  • 20,000 Days On Earth

    Directed by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

    The directorial duo responsible for some of the most interesting music films of recent times team up with longterm collaborator Nick Cave for a truly original piece of filmmaking. In this first trailer for new feature 20,000 Days On Earth Forsyth and Pollard hint towards a film that's as darkly distinctive as its protagonist, blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, constructed narrative and improvised conversation, concert film and biographical study.

  • Various Artists

    Hyperdub 10.2


    There's no questioning the influence Hyperdub has had on experimental electronic music since its inception, and now as it celebrates a decade in the game the imprint takes stock with two anniversary compilations. The first instalment arrived last month and over the course of thirty tracks summed up the shadowy and claustrophobic sound that's been constant since the label's early days. This second chapter offers a lighter touch, focussing on the songwriters and singers who are helping maintain a forward momentum.

  • Freeman


    Partisan Records

    Over the course of their 25 year long career Ween's brazenly eclectic approach earned the kind of acclaim reserved for true totems of the underground. This wasn't enough to keep the band going forever though, and in 2012 founding member Gene Ween suddenly disbanded the group after a very public meltdown. Since then Aaron Freeman has returned to his given name, and having got himself sober in upstate New York now releases an album of off-kilter classic Rock that feels like one of his most accessible.

  • King Creosote

    From Scotland With Love


    As host of this year's Commonwealth Games, Glasgow ensured the incredible vein of culture that runs through the very core of the city was as integral to proceedings as the sport itself. One of the many projects prompted by the Games is From Scotland With Love, a feature length film edited together from over a century of Scottish film archive. Director Virginia Heath turned to Scottish troubadour King Creosote to provide the score, his poetic turn of phrase instantly bringing the otherwise silent film to life.

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    Bombay Bicycle Club

    Earls Court, London

    Saturday 13th December

    Earl's Court, a venue that's long loomed large on the Capital's music scene, will bow out at the end of the year, but before it's cleared the Art Deco landmark hosts a series of huge shows, including a concert from Bombay Bicycle Club. To mark the announcement of their largest ever concert the band have put together a spoof documentary, exploring the impact of this first arena show and finding out what happened to them in the decades after.

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    First Aid Kit

    Royal Albert Hall, London

    Wednesday 24th September

    The Söderberg sisters' popularity has grown exponentially over the past year, with perfectly conceived third album Stay Gold introducing even more new fans to their contemporary take on the classic Country sound. The album's broad instrumentation helped emphasise the orchestral depth of First Aid Kit's music, something that'll no doubt stand out when the girls take to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall for the very first time this September.

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    Fat White Family

    The Kazimier, Liverpool

    Monday 18th August

    Nonconformist squat rockers Fat White Family have been enjoying a very successful summer so far, with packed-out appearances at Glastonbury and Field Day showing just how popular their message is proving with the people. The band embark on a huge international tour in September, but in between all their festival appointments they find time for a show at Liverpool's bastion of free thought The Kazimier with Californian counterparts The Growlers.

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    Off The Page

    Arnolfini, Bristol

    Friday 26th - Sunday 28th September

    The Wire Magazine and Bristol's Arnolfini come together to present Off The Page, a literary festival dedicated to contemporary sound and experimental music. Highlights include: a conversation with Robert Wyatt, Dean Blunt reading Black Metal, a discussion between music historian Paul Gilroy and Wire editor Tony Herrington and talks on the anatomy of a sound system, the inherent transgression of Industrial music and melancholia in modern Rap.