1. This is probably the most exciting Monday Miscellany for me for a long, long time as it heralds the return of two of my favourite acts - Owen Pallett and Mirah. Both make carefully constructed, baroque pop and Pallett in particular is coming back with a darker style. In addition, I’ll very much be looking out for the July release of Low Roar’s album as I’ll Keep Coming is a track that just keeps growing, both within the song and on repeated plays…

  2. A smooth, soulful set of songs in this week’s miscellanies with the Otis Redding-ian classic sound of St Paul and The Broken Bones, a slickly produced Gruff Rhys-featuring track from Tomas Barfod and the beautiful Vancouver Sleep Clinic.

  3. The glorious Timber Timbre return this week with a brand new album so we kick off this week’s miscellanies with the lead single from that record. Alongside that we have a great track from Cataldo who are adding a new sound to great affect, much like a surprisingly good tune from Bombay Bicycle Club.

    And some delightfully angry post-punk from Protomartyr.

  4. Another set in the SXSW hangover with new tracks from Palehound, Wye Oak and The Vacant Lots.  Happy Mondays.

  5. Unsurprisingly, we’re a little SXSW inspired (or should that be fatigued) this week with a selection of songs from some of the most interesting acts from this year’s festival. More will follow next week I’m sure but here’s a great eight for your perusal right now.

    Hat tip to NPR All Songs for their ever-quality coverage of the event (from which several of these cuts have been taken).

  6. HotSpotMusic’s Best Albums of 2013

    While it’s trendy for most blogs to be the first to make their mark on the great Listopia by publishing months before the year has ended, this blog believes in living unfashionably.  It also believes in relaxing over the Christmas and New Year period.  And most of January.  And February.  So, while the music keeps on flowing, now’s a good time to look back on the best releases of last year, which already seems long gone in the rear mirror.

    But wait, come back!  There were some great releases.  Do you remember when everyone got all excited about a re-release of a lo-fi punk band and some old dude who did some good stuff many years ago came back after many more years?  How about the mega-band that tried to pretend they weren’t really a mega-band but some Haitian-infused popsters or when two Johns put out equally heart-stultifying records for utterly different reasons?  You do?  Then you’ll remember 2013 was a good year for music.

    So, here we go, this is the HotSpotMusic rundown: 

    25. Wire - Change Becomes Us
    24. Pinkunoizu - The Drop
    23. Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
    22. Local Natives - Hummingbird
    21. Mikal Cronin - II
    20. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
    19. Baths - Obsidian
    18. David Bowie - The Next Day
    17. Bombino - Nomad
    16. Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
    15. Daughter - If You Leave
    14. Public Service Broadcasting - Inform Educate Entertain
    13. Bill Callahan - Dream River
    12. The Flaming Lips - The Terror
    11. Phosphorescent - Muchacho


    10. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

    Their catchiest songs ever only just held together the album


    9. Julia Holter - Loud City Song

    Ethereal, wispy and utterly transfixing

    image8. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

    The nineties are back and sounding as carelessly angsty as ever


    7. Arctic Monkeys - AM

    A return to form with a slightly new sound from the boys from Sheffield


    6. John Murry - The Graceless Age

    Almost every line on this record is heartwrenching.


    5. John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

    Morose, witty and engaging - a synth John Grant is a wonderful thing


    4. San Fermin - San Fermin

    Joyous cacophony never sounded so good (well, since Dirty Projectors at least)


    3. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

    The smarts of Pavement and the sound of the Modern Lovers


    2. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City

    Fulfilling potential with their sparkling magnum opus

    And finally, introducing HotSpotMusic’s favourite album of 2013:

    Savages - Silence Yourself


    At the time, this blog referred to this record as “a pivotal album for the times, encouraging listeners to refocus away from the disposable or ephemeral and towards music as a powerful medium and serious art.”  While time will tell whether or not that will be the case, one thing can be said for sure and that’s that there were fewer fresher sounds, fewer stronger messages and fewer compelling live acts in 2013 than Savages.

    So there you have it: 2013’s best releases in a nutshell.  And now here they are in a lovely playlist

    Here’s to 2014, as always….

  7. HotSpotMusic has been on planes, trains and plains this week so the miscellanies arrive a little later than Monday…. it’s probably Monday somewhere in the world right now though.

    Don’t miss this one - gorgeous new songs from Pure X, Bird and Slow Club alongside a killer kickoff from Perfect Pussy.

  8. An overwhelming amount of dark cover art is the theme for this week’s miscellanies with Nothing’s lead single being one of the darkest and most interesting.

  9. A long time in the making, the new HotSpotMixtape is ready to be released into the world.  And it’s quite something.

  10. Guazuncho is my favourite new find in this week’s miscellanies - trippy, psychedelic pop straight from Argentina anchoring a few other gems.  Enjoy your mondays.

  11. A mixed bag from this week’s miscellanies from a few discoveries from an actual, physical record shop in Brooklyn to those discovered via podcasts.  Discovery in the 21st century is not that different but a whole lot more spaceless than the 20th.  Enjoy Angel Olsen, Diane Coffee, Hatcham Social and more….

  12. Monday’s are back!  Welcome to 2014 with a bang from HotSpotMusic.

    This is a great collection (since it’s basically a best-of from the last four weeks) featuring a nostalgic sounding Damien Jurado, a shimmering beauty from Painted Palms, a new track from Beck (!) and the new collaboration from Serengeti, Son Lux, and Sufjan Stevens: Sisyphus.

    Take that Mondays.

  13. The last miscellanies of the year are in no way festive.  You have the earnest, stripped down beauty of Moonface’s latest, a new and interesting direction for Conveyer, a great tune from Cymbals and a rather epic Velvet Underground cover by Gap Dream from the ever-entertaining Burger Records.  

    Merry festivus one and all.

  14. It’s a female-fronted powerhouse of a miscellany mix this week with new tracks from I Break Horses, Warpaint and a glorious return from St. Vincent which bodes incredibly interestingly for her new record due in the Spring.

  15. Partially inspired by this DiS’s 14-for-14 blog post, here’s the 69th edition of Monday Miscellanies including my favourite new song by Los Angeles Police Dept (severely hoping that’s actually not a novelty band name), another stunning track by Temples and Thumpers, which you just need to hear for yourself.