Every day we'll search the globe to find the most interesting new track to give to your ears. Exclusives, remixes, hidden gem album tracks, long-awaited returns and brand new buzz tracks hot and fresh out the kitchen: you'll find them all here.
Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist
Who is it?El Born
What's the story? We're always suckers for a bit of indie-with-ambition, and this stadium-ready track from London-based two piece El Born is right up our street. Their previous track, 1982, was picked up by Coldplay, who posted it on their website and helped it to debut at #19 on the iTunes chart. This new one, out July 7th, was co-produced by Urban Hymns man Chris Potter, and there's an element of the late 90s in there, when indie bands knew how to write anthems. Expect to hear this dominating the airwaves on XFM before too long.
For fans of: Feeder, Foo Fighters, My Vitriol
In Three Words: Anthemic Indie Rock
Who is it?Pacific State
What's the story? It's been a long time since we heard a bonafide balearic anthem but, finally, the wait is over. Pacific State (named, we assume, after the classic 808 State track) are a duo comprising Simon Marlin of Shapeshifters and singer Berri Farley. Coming Home has everything you want from a sunset track: horns, sweeping strings, filtered beats - you can almost feel the waves lapping at your feet. It's out August 4th - take a listen below.
For fans of: Groove Armada, Sia, The Beloved
In Three Words: Bonafide balearic bliss
Who is it?Raleigh Ritchie
What's the story? Jacob Anderson, aka Raleigh Ritchie has achieved fame with his acting over the past few years - most notably in Game Of Thrones - but it looks his musical achievements will soon take pole position. He's released 3 EPs so far, with Stronger Than Ever being a true sleeper hit (helped by appearing on a couple of adverts), picking up pace to sneak into the top 40 recently, a full sixth months after it was released. This new cut, apparently a previously unreleased track which was gathering dust in a studio, is perhaps less bombastic than that track, but no less impressive, featuring smooth synths, a shuffling beat and some nice guitar work too. His debut album, due later this year, promises to be a must-listen.
For fans of: Frank Ocean, Foals, Jessie Ware
In Three Words: Late Night Listen
What's the story? The two twin titans of pop dance show no signs of slowing down with both unveiling follow-ups to massive hits. In the blue corner, Calvin follows the number 1 smash Summer with C.U.B.A. - an instrumental monster of dance track taking cues from Martin Garrix but with a bit more substance behind it; this won't be a single, but will be huge in the clubs over the next couple of months. In the red corner, Duke Dumont follows his two number 1 hits with Won't Look Back, a track which borrows heavily from Ride On Time - and why not? If Duke's track isn't another chart-topper, we'll eat our glowsticks.
For fans of: Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Gorgon City
In Three Words: Monster Dance Tracks
Who is it?Coves
What's the story? A boy-girl duo from (Royal) Leamington Spa, Coves make doom-scuzz music that is suitably majestic. Their debut record, Soft Friday, released in March, was critically acclaimed and, ahead of festival appearances, including looks-like-it's-gonna-be-muddy Glastonbury, they release album closer Wake Up. We're delighted to premiere the beautifully lit and shot video, which showcases John and Beck in suitably dingy surroundings, here on The ShortListen - watch below and enjoy.
For fans of: The Kills, The Raveonettes, Mazzy Star
In Three Words: Dark Yet Glam
Who is it?Nick Hakim
What's the story? It might officially be summer now but melancholic soul singer Nick Hakim isn't feeling so hot. His new track Cold is a softly heartbreaking song about the horrible realisation that a lover is gone and won't be making a return. Hakim is just 23 but his voice and lyrics are full of experience, filling his music with raw emotion. Anyone wishing to mope over an ex in style, this will do quite perfectly. We impatiently wait for his debut album Where Will We Go.
For fans of: Citizen Cope, Maxwell, Ang Low
In Three Words: Soulful, sad, stirring
Who is it? A.K. Paul vs Nao
What's the story? It's been 7 years since Jai Paul was one of the UK's most talked-about artists; in the meantime he's had a few demo leaks, the odd guest appearance and not much else. But now his brother A.K. may be about to steal his thunder with the release of this track, a collaboration with London singer Nao. He's previously worked on some of Jai's tracks, as well as songs by Jessie Ware, Sam Smith and Big Boi, so the pedigree is there. This track is a short and sweet piece of futuristic R&B with some big retro synth stabs throughout.
For fans of: Jai Paul, Jessie Ware, Ben Khan
In Three Words: Funk Nu-R&B Soul
Who is it?Alt-J
What's the story? Well, clearly, a lot of artists got together and decided that this week would be the perfect one to give a taste of their hotly-anticipated second albums. Following on from Jessie Ware and Dry The River, Mercury winners Alt-J unveil Hunger Of The Pine, the first track to be taken from their forthcoming record This Is All Yours. It's a thoroughly unexpected delight, sounding bassier, and beefier than anything on their first album. A gentle, swung beginning suddenly shifts gear and meter to morph into a sinister, pulsing beast reminiscent of Massive Attack's most recent records. If that wasn't enough, they've even managed to work in a Miley Cyrus sample, and make it sound cool. Very exciting indeed.
For fans of: Massive Attack, Woodkid, Moby
In Three Words: An Unexpected Triumph
Who is it?Dry The River
What's the story? Tipped to proceed directly in the enormous slipstream of Mumford & Sons, it never quite materialised for East London's Dry The River on their debut album, 2012's Shallow Bed. However, perhaps this is no bad thing, as it's allowed them time to develop their sound away from the spotlight. They give the first taste of second record Alarms in the Heart, due out August 25th, and it's an intriguing listen with obtuse lyrics and a slow build to a crashing finale. Most importantly, there's not a banjo in sight; Dry The River may have found their niche.
For fans of: Wild Beasts, Elbow, The War On Drugs
In Three Words: Widescreen folk rock
Who is it?Jessie Ware
What's the story?Devotion was hands-down one of the best albums of 2012, with its laidback grooves and washes of sound the perfect backdrop for Ware's luxurious vocals. One of her main talents is the ability to never oversing anything and that continues with Tough Love, the first cut to emerge from her forthcoming second album. Produced by BenZel (Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco), it's a classy slice of restrained pop-soul. Having said all that, there's a couple of moments where we really wish it had exploded into an M83-style euphoria; maybe she's saving that for the album.
For fans of: Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Sade
In Three Words: Classy, restrained return
Who is it?The Dealer, featuring Damon C. Scott
What's the story? The garage and early 90s revival continues apace, but this track, by hotly-tipped producer The Dealer, manages to stay fresh and cutting edge at the same time as doffing a cap to his influences. Enlisting the vocal talents of Damon C. Scott, who featured on the smash Look Right Through by Storm Queen, is a smart move, as is the touch of deep house added into the production. This could be a sneaky summer crossover hit, so get on it right now.
For fans of: Storm Queen, Katy B, Disclosure
In Three Words: Classy Crossover Dance
Who is it?Mastodon
What's the story? The first two major festivals of the year are underway today - with the Isle of Wight festival kicking off in, erm, the Isle of Wight, and Download starting at Donington Park. The latter is still the spiritual Christmas for the UK's legions of rock and metal fans, so, while they're not playing this year, it's only appropriate that we feature the fantastic Mastodon for today's track. They've just released this amazing Karate Kid meets Game of Thrones video for the first song from their new album (Once More 'Round The Sun, due June 24), High Road - a great track featuring their usual intriguing mix of heavy riffs and bewitching melody. Watch this, get your devil horns out and get rocking this weekend.
For fans of: Lamb of God, Opeth
In Three Words: Progressive Rock Excellence
Who is it?Hudson Taylor
What's the story? Two brothers - Alfie and Harry - who hail from Dublin, Hudson Taylor managed to hit the top 20 of the iTunes chart while unsigned. A deal with Polydor followed and, in the build up to their debut album, due in September, they release the Battles II EP, out Friday in Ireland, and Monday everywhere else. We're delighted to be able to premiere one of the tracks from it, the euphoric blast of Throw Me A Line. Clocking in at under 3 minutes, it wastes no time getting going, showcasing their folk-pop sensibilities to the full and calling to mind the best moments of the Turin Brakes debut back in 2001. Glorious, uplifting and perfect for that summer barbecue you're throwing this weekend.
For fans of: Turin Brakes, Fleet Foxes, Crosby, Stills & Nash
In Three Words: Sunny acoustic fun
Who is it?Sébastien Tellier
What's the story? A true artistic maverick, Sébastien (who, brilliantly, represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008) releases his sixth full-length, L'Aventura,on July 14th - a record which is inspired by Brazil. The second track to be revealed from it, Aller vers le soleil, is a glorious sunkissed piece of music with an insistent groove, following up the bossa nova rhythms of the first track, L'adulte, nicely. Meanwhile, the video features Sébastien riding a horse and generally looking extremely cool. Well, what more could you ask for?
For fans of: Super Furry Animals, Serge Gainsbourg, Air
In Three Words: Laidback summer groove
Who is it?#1 Dads
What's the story? #1 Dads (formerly just plain old Dads) is the side project of acclaimed Australian band Big Scary's frontman Tom Iansek, and his second album under this moniker - About Face, released August 8th - has been building for two years. However, you don't need to know any background to appreciate that this song is a stunning work of art. Featuring the guest vocals of Lowlake's Tom Snowden, this piano ballad gently builds and pulses - the arrival of the bass on each chorus is a proper hairs-stand-up moment. Wonderful.
For fans of: The Album Leaf, James Blake, Jonsi
In Three Words: Simple, elegant & beautiful
Who is it?Giorgio Moroder
What's the story? When the man who composed the Scarface soundtrack, the living legend that is Giorgio Moroder, decides to write a quasi-cinematic track entitled Giorgio's Theme, then you have to stop and listen. And, luckily, it's an epic seven and a half minute electronic stomper that is begging to be used in some kind of futuristic movie. Not only that, as part of of the Adult Swim single series , it'll be available as a free download from here later today. Could you ask for a better start to the week?
For fans of: Pet Shop Boys, Cerrone, Kraftwerk
In Three Words: Futuristic Electro Stomper
Who is it?Deadmau5
What's the story? The rise and rise of Deadmau5, aka Canadian producer Joel Zimmerman, is something few could have predicted a few years ago. His first two albums were fantastic works of minimal, progressive dance music but were very much introspective in nature. However, with the release of the more bombastic Ghosts N Stuff timing perfectly with the explosion of EDM in America, Deadmau5 became, literally, a figurehead for the scene. His new record, While (1<2), is due on June 17th and will be a double album lasting well over two hours; one would assume that there'd be enough space for both of his characters to come out, and if this fantastic taster track is anything to go by, then we'll be OK. Beautiful, 2001: A Space Odyssey breakdowns give way to a chunky main beat on the brilliantly-titled Infra Turbo Pigcart Racer - listen below and see what you think.
For fans of: Leftfield, Armin van Buuren, EDX
In Three Words: Progressive Dance Journey
Who is it?Luke Pickett
What's the story? We featured Paul Carter, aka Benbrick, on The ShortListen recently (May 14th) - now he turns his hand to production on this sumptuous R&B track from up-and-coming UK artist Luke Pickett. It's smooth as silk but also gently melancholic, with some gorgeous icy synths underpinning the whole effort. His debut album is on the way and could offer a genuine UK R&B artist to compete with the Americans.
For fans of: Drake, Usher, Banks
In Three Words: Smooth yet sad
Who is it?Jess Glynne
What's the story? It seems strange to say given that she's sung on two of the biggest recent hits in memory - namely Clean Bandit's Rather Be and Route 94's My Love - but Jess Glynne is probably still relatively unknown to the general public. This track, produced by Gorgon City, is her first solo release and is an understated slab of classy pop-dance which gives her 90s-esque diva vocals plenty of room to breathe. This reminds us of a less-frenetic version of De'Lacy's early 90s classic Hideaway, and that is surely a very good thing.
For fans of: Disclosure, Katy B, Kiesza
In Three Words: Back to (the) 90s
What's the story? Blackpool singer Rae Morris has been on the scene for a while now, but this is her standout moment so far. A duet with Lily Allen and Patrick Wolf collaborator Fryars, this is a lyrical battle full of hurt and accusations, taking place over a suitably, well, cold backing. Morris' long-awaited debut album is due soon, a few more tracks of this standard and we'll be very excited indeed.
For fans of: Hurts, Katy B, Jessie Ware
In Three Words: Icy, Classy Excellence
Who is it?These Ghosts
What's the story? London-based 3 piece These Ghosts return with their second album, Still The Waves, which is pencilled for a September release. The first taste from the new record comes via this dreamy, delicate track, which calls to mind the early days of much-missed Mo Wax band South. Soft, hushed vocals are underpinned by an insistent guitar hook, which threatens to unleash but, pleasingly, never does. They play this year's prestigious Meltdown festival, which is curated by Mo Wax founder James Lavelle - clearly he hears the same good things that we do.
For fans of: UNKLE, Animal Collective, Foals
In Three Words: Dreamy, fragile indie
For more top tunes, check out our previous choices below - just click on the link:
(Image: Flickr/Steven Snodgrass)