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


Florence + The Machine unveil another striking video in this week's Recommends, which also boasts visuals from Kindness and Young Fathers. Tracks from Swim Deep and Tracey Thorn feature, whilst albums from Nai Harvest and Alabama Shakes are streaming online. Elsewhere there's news on a forthcoming tour from Everything Everything and two unique Newcastle shows courtesy of The Unthanks and Field Music. 

Tracks: Swim Deep, The Tallest Man On Earth, Tracey Thorn, 

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman


Videos: Florence + The Machine, Young Fathers, Kindness, Cornelia


Albums: Alabama Shakes, Nai Harvest, Calexico, Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld


Live: Everything Everything, Field Music, D'Angelo, Home Gathering

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    Inside Abbey Road

    A new interactive project from Google not only takes you inside one of the world’s most famous recording studios, it also lets you explore at your own leisurely pace and uncover more than three hours of content. Inside Abbey Road offers tours around all three studios with a number of different guides, a wealth of archive videos and images and even a working virtual J37, the four-track recorder The Beatles used on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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    Shake The Dust

    Fresh from the success of his own documentary Time Is Illmatic, Nas seems keen to keep a hand in the film game, having recently acted as executive producer on a globetrotting film which explores Hip Hop’s global influence and follows DJs, MCs and B-Boys across Uganda, Yemen, Colombia and Cambodia. Shake The Dust, directed by Adam Sjöberg and narrated by a Ugandan breakdancer called Karim, premiered online earlier this week.

  • Swim Deep

    Hotel California

    Sony Music

    After making a splash with their Baggy-indebted infusion of Nineties Indie and slacker Pop, Swim Deep have taken a brave step in completely reimagining themselves, the catalyst being the permanent addition of James Balmont on keyboards and synthesisers. A recent run of small shows gave the new quintet a chance to introduce their adventurous new sound, a self-confessed confluence of Kanye West, Fleetwood Mac and Acid House which also rings true on Hotel California. The track features on new 7” To My Brother.

  • Tracey Thorn

    Let Me In

    Strange Feeling

    When Carol Morley’s latest feature The Falling premiered at last year’s BFI London Film Festival critics were unified in their celebration of the score, a tender collection of songs penned by Tracey Thorn. The Everything But The Girl singer recorded the music at home with bandmate Ben Watt, confining herself to just a piano, a guitar and a box of school instruments used in one of The Falling’s key scenes. Whilst integral to the film the songs also play out perfectly on their own on a new EP which closes with the beautiful Let Me In.

  • The Tallest Man on Earth

    Dark Bird Is Home

    Dead Oceans

    Kristian Matsson’s three previous albums have been emotive affairs, the Swedish songsmith calling on his careworn delivery and and deftly picked acoustic guitar to tell plaintive tales of love and loss. Delving to the depths of  his own personal experience on forthcoming long-player The Dark Bird Is Home, Matsson masters his inner demons, the emotional weight of his lyrics echoed by the record's soaring orchestral arrangements. This bold addition is clear to hear on the album's title track, which premiered this week. 

  • The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

    Dirty Blonde

    Nonesuch Recordings

    For 20 years or more The Bad Plus have played as a three piece, inverting expectations of the piano trio and in the process instilling an instinctive energy that’s helped redefine the US Jazz scene. With their eleventh album they look to push the boundaries of their distinctive sound even further, welcoming a fourth member to the floor for the very first time. As perennial a presence as his new bandmates, saxophonist Joshua Redman proves the perfect fit, especially on this lyrical overhaul of Bad Plus favourite Dirty Blonde.

  • Florence + The Machine

    Ship To Wreck

    Directed by Vincent Haycock

    In the same week she enraptured Coachella crowds with a performance so powerful she left the stage with broken foot, Florence Welch also uploaded the third chapter in a suite of Vincent Haycock directed videos that lead towards the release of How Big How Blue How Beautiful. As with the similarly stunning shorts that accompanied What Kind of Man and St Jude, Ship To Wreck employs filmic poise in its exploration of duality and self-destruction. 

  • Young Fathers


    Directed by Jeremy Cole

    A bloodstained young man cuts a menacing figure as he strides around an anonymous industrial estate in this video for Shame, the latest cut to be lifted from Young Father’s sophomore set White Men Are Black Men Too. The mysterious protagonist eventually finds his anger assuaged as the track’s incessant tempo, minimalist production and abundant energy all combine to inspire an eruption of unfettered - and unexpected - dance moves.

  • Kindness

    Iíll Be Back

    Directed by Daniel Brereton

    The uplifting pianos and synthesised handclaps of I’ll Be Back may recall the halcyon days of Chicago House, but it’s the motorways that criss-cross the Midlands that provide the setting for the track’s new video shot by repeat Kindness collaborator Daniel Brereton. A pair of strangers set off on a cryptic road trip, leaving the lights of London behind them as they drive through the night before parting ways on the back streets of Stoke on Trent.

  • Cornelia


    Directed by Cornelia

    Scandinavian chanteuse Cornelia has long been a feature of London’s leftfield musical community, linking with the likes of Kwes and Portico Quartet on a handful of her own releases and guesting with Bonobo on The North Borders' stunning closing track. Portico lynchpin Duncan Bellamy lends his assistance once again as he helps with production on the singer’s latest single Trust, an emotive piece of electronica that precedes new album Balun.

  • Alabama Shakes

    Sound & Color

    Rough Trade

    When Girls & Boys arrived, announcing Alabama Shakes as the new torchbearers for down-home driving Rock, listeners were left in little doubt that here was a band happy to disregard contemporary trends and make the music that they themselves wanted hear. This streak of self-assertion runs deeper still on their accomplished second set Sound & Color, a rambunctious record that sees the quartet expanding on the easy-to-spot Southern Rock formula and incorporating elements of Jazz, Blues and Gospel.

  • Nai Harvest


    Topshelf Records

    Nai Harvest’s Lew Currie and Ben Thompson have fast progressed since the release of their Emo-leaning debut album, 2013’s Whatever, proving their Garage Punk credentials with a series of low-level releases and winning over a die-hard army of acolytes with an succession of amp-melting live shows. The twosome from Sheffield now show their mettle with sophomore offering Hairball, an addictive outing that, like many of Indie’s endearing favourites, succeeds in applying a highly polished sheen to the duo’s lo-fi ferocity.

  • Calexico

    Edge Of The Sun


    When recording 2012’s Algiers, Caleixco’s principle members Joey Burns and John Convertino left the comfort of their Arizonan home and headed for New Orleans, the spirit of Big Easy imbuing the subsequent the record and broadening the band’s musical horizons after fifteen years of solid releases. They relocated once again for ninth album Edge Of The Sun and made a base in Mexico City where they revisited the mariachi-infused Americana of Feast Of Wire with guests Neko Case and Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell.

  • Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld

    Never Were The Way She Was


    Most often associated with the likes of Bon Iver and Arcade Fire, saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld explore a much more primal form of expression on their stunning shared album, Never Were The Way She Was. The collection builds on protracted periods of repeated motifs, though the sheer emotion and breadth of texture the pair summon with their inseparable performances transcend any minimalist principles, ensuring a listening experience that greatly exceeds the sum of its compositional parts.

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    Everything Everything

    The Great Hall, Cardiff

    Saturday 7th November

    Hot on the heels of a homecoming show in Manchester this week, where fans were the first to hear pending third album Get To Heaven, Everything Everything have just announced a huge UK tour for November. There's still a wait until the album’s June arrival but frontman Jonathan Higgs has already forewarned of its uncomfortable themes, stating that “People are not going to know what to do with it, but I don't care because I think it's awesome".

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    Field Music

    Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

    Friday 24th April

    A commission from the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in 2013 led to Field Music composing an original score for the seminal silent documentary Drifters, a film cited as the foundation of British narrative filmmaking. The Brothers Brewis are now set to release the instrumental work as an album, and to mark Music For Drifters' release they’re plotting a tour of cinemas and arts centres around the UK and Ireland, starting with a show close to home. 

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    Roundhouse, London

    Monday 13th July

    Following the fever pitch reception which greeted his two shows in London this February, D’Angelo has just announced another date in the Capital. This time round the Neo-Soul icon, whose surprise Black Messiah album proved him to be every bit the Renaissance Man, will take to the stage of North London’s iconic Roundhouse for an “up close and personal” performance with his all-star band. Tickets go on sale Friday 17th April and are sure to sell fast.

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    Home Gathering

    The Stephenson Boiler Shop, Newcastle

    Saturday 22nd August

    Following a celebrated return with new album Mount The Air, The Unthanks have been busy curating Home Gathering, a one-day festival taking place this summer. Calling on a host of musical acquaintances including The Baghdaddies, Alasdair Roberts and Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, the sisters will also lead their 150-strong orchestra The Unthanks Singing Weekenders through a series of flash-mob performances during the day.