There's a wonderful irony that the dawn of this new year, music-wise, seems to be the time for legends dropping new material and old bands coming back.
Old is the new NEW, it would seem.
But still there's plenty of brand-spanking new acts pushing through the cracks to give us some hope that new talent is worth pitting against the old guard.
Regardless you'll find something to satisfy your ears in these week's pick of tunes:
Pet Crow – Shake It Out
Less than a year after their first gig, Derby-based garage-rock jesters Pet Crow are set to release their debut album next month. If you like your riffs punky and your rhythms funky, this quartet could be your new favourite band.
Drawing a line from classic garage-rock, through post punk and riot grrl they condense the best bits of rock history. Taster 'Shake it Out' is a punk-funk classic dragged straight from the noughties indie dancefloor and transported back to a 60s Sonics gig.
DYVE – Half Awake
DYVE has turned solitude into pop music on debut single 'Half Awake' (out 20th January). Tender vocals weave in and out of the electronic soundscapes, it's downbeat and comforting.
Elliot Smith – I Figured You Out
To mark the 20th anniversary of the legendary singer-songwriter's seminal Either/Or album, it is getting an welcome expanded reissue. With this we get a batch of previously unreleased material from one of the most underrated artists of the 90s. 'I Figured You Out' is another achingly gorgeous acoustic ode to pull at the heard strings.
Harlea – You Don't Get It
Birmingham-born, London-based Harlea is the perfect pop artist for our modern pick n mix approach to music listening, blending classic influences into her pop sounds. 'You Don't Get It' echoes the blues of the past but is firmly a modern pop offering.
All Them Witches – 3-5-7
Big fuzz, deep grooves, cosmic vision - All Them Witches are leaders of a new psych cult. New single '3-5-7' sounds like Dr John jamming with Kyuss in the desert. This new material echoes like it is from another plain of existence.
Consuumer – shattered fruit
Hereford noise-rock, tag team Consuumer drip with raw energy and pure sleaze. Disperate and desperate new track 'shattered fruit' (taken from the forthcoming EP of the same name) is a rock shake-up for even the most apathetic listener. The slower moments stalk like a serial killer and the big riffs pummel your ears with pleasure. This is pure dirty rock.
The Shins – Name For You
After postponement of release we are finally getting a new Shins album in the form of Heartworms soon. Second single 'Name For You' is distinctly The Shins but with a disco edge making it both joyous and danceable.
Bonobo - No Reason (feat. Nick Murphy)
Simon Green aka Bonobo drops his latest long-player Migration on 13th January, and new single 'No Reason' (a collaboration with Nick Murphy previously known as Chet Faker) is probably the album's quintessential tune. It's house music at it's deepest, built on fragile melodies underpinned by a tough-edged groove and razor-sharp arpeggio.
David Bowie – No Plan
It's a whole year since we lost the Thin White Duke, but his artistic output is not done yet. On what would have been his 70th birthday a new EP dropped complete with a new video for 'No Plan'. Recorded for musical Lazarus around the time of the Blackstar recordings this new material mark Bowie's final even recording. 'No Plan' is a haunting and bittersweet full-stop on a unique artist's life.
Half Japanese – Attack of the Giant Leeches
Jad Fair's lo-fi punk legends are returning to the fray once more to smash perceptions of guitar music once more. 'Attack Of The Giant Leeches' is culled from their eighteenth album Hear The Lions Roar (out 13th January). This new track is noisey, eccentric and humourous. Half Japanese still fully encompass the term 'alternative' rock and no band quite sounds like them.
Goddesses vs Si Tew – You & I
While Goddesses weave new guitar tapestries for release in the near future, their dreamy, shoegaze sounds have been given the electronic treatment by Si Tew. Subtle beats and synth surges compliment rather than change the original intention of the tune. Like the original it washes over you like a wave of comforting bliss.