The playlist: indie – Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Swim Deep, Gaz Coombes and more

The Guardian-5 years before

Staunch Supergrass fans gave a collective sigh of relief on hearing Coombes’s second solo album. Richly soulful and deeply soul-searching, Matador is a candid exploration of the great indie frontman’s mind. Its highlight is Detroit, a song that swerves from slacker rock to soaring gospel, and has provided listeners with an emotional crutch during the laboriously long slog of January. There’s such a warmth and familiarity to Coombes’s voice, that to hear him grapple with the darkness...within – “the poison, the powder and the lights” – is at times difficult to hear, but the addition of the choir during the chorus lifts his melancholy from despair into hope. One of the best songs he’s ever written.

great indie frontman Facebook Twitter Pinterest Birmingham bohemians Swim Deep have taken their dreamy indie on a diversion to another decade. The band’s new single – their first in almost two years – is indebted to acid house, both sonically and spiritually. According to frontman Austin Williams, his generation have more in common with the 80s youth revolution than you’d imagine: “It feels like there are a lot of parallels with what we have today, that sort of determination to dance whilst everything falls apart around you.” Whether or not you believe him, it’s a refreshingly optimistic alternative to the emotionless manifesto of the EDM scene, and while on paper this has all the markings of a cringe-inducing disaster, the group manage to pull off a beautifully freewheeling, transportive return.

Taken from the Canadian musician’s forthcoming new album, Starling’s troubled tale of the shamed bloke making his way home after a “weekend with the boys gone wrong” is a Costello-tinged piece of easy-listening pop. The nimble lounge muzak that accompanies his narrative exacerbates the sense of hungover wooziness; a traumatised glaze that follows the post-drunk fug, distant memories distracting from the gravitas of last night’s events. The middle-aged man walking across Finsbury Park while drinking a Yazoo in yesterday’s work suit now has his official anthem.

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