Alternative Friday

helping to spread the word about impressive new & under the radar musicians

Photo by Dan Bridge

Michael Jablonka is a London based singer, songwriter, and guitarist. I first saw him perform live a few years ago when he was with his previous band The Dark Tides, and went home raving about his mesmerising guitar skills. In recent years he’s released a few singles and EPs under his own name, the latest being the fuzzy lo-fi blues rock EP Go-Go, which came out in May. I’m obviously not the only person to have been hugely impressed by his guitar work, as in recent years he’s also been part of Michael Kiwanuka’s band, and so it was a real treat to meet Michael and see him perform again last weekend at Glastonbury. Before he headed for the festival however, he took part in this Q&A, so read on to find out more about the EP, drum machines, and banana cake!
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Here’s another monthly mixtape of impressive new music from emerging and under-the-radar artists, so have a wander through an energetic array of alt rock & indie, plus a warm sprinkling of urban-pop, psych, and even some tomato based trance dirge! Enjoy…


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Photos by Cameron Craggs

Newcastle Upon Tyne 3-piece Motel Carnation are a new band, with just one track released to date. Dig deeper though, and you find it’s collective of some of the finest CV’s from the local music scene as, from left to right (above), we have Austin Tweddle (vox, guitar, & Scalesia), Conor McBride (drums, Deep.Sleep, & Casual Threats), and Alexander Soper (vox, guitar, & Coquin Migale). That teaser track, Saul, hints at both a moody-psychedelic and indie-dance sound for the band, so read on as we chat to Alex about the formation of the trio, their first release, Ozzy Osbourne’s driving potential, and chicken wings!
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I hate reducing the monthly mixtape longlist down to 10 tracks, as the quality of outstanding music from under-the-radar artists never dips or disappoints. So here’s May’s 10, and it’s another eclectic array, so I hope you enjoy browsing a bit of grunge rock, indie pop, alt-folk, orchestral drum n bass, psych & dream pop… & er, some burning zips!


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Plastic Mermaids are a 5-piece experimental & indie synthpop band from the Isle of Wight, comprising of brothers Jamie and Douglas Richards (vocals, synths & samples), Chris Newnham (guitar), Tom Farren (bass), and Chris Jones (drums). They’ve already released a few EPs but their first full LP, the self-produced Suddenly Everyone Explodes, is released on May 24th.

The outstanding 1996 was the first taster of a hugely promising album, but the release of I Still Like Kelis takes the anticipation to a whole new level. It’s a superbly produced 3 1/2 minutes of distorted dancefloor shoegaze brilliance, while the self-made video must have taken light years to make, given that it mixes quantum theory and plasticine!


I’ll spin the same as you…


Bandcamp | Spotify | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Songkick | YouTube

Do also check this Emerging article on the band.


Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Songkick

When Scouse meets Spaghetti Western! That’s what I wrote when Liverpool 6-piece Red Rum Club won an Alternative Friday award in 2018. Mixing a wonderful array of anthemic indie rock & Americana, full of lively melodies and driving choruses, the added blast of a solitary trumpet really creates an infectious wild west vibe. They released their debut album Matador in January, which just confirmed the strength of the band’s songwriting over ten tracks.

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The new music scene is so impressive at the moment I was again forced to whittle down an encouragingly strong shortlist in order to limit this month’s mixtape to ten tracks! That’s a good thing I hope, and as usual the selection is an eclectic array too, so jump in and explore a bit of alternative & indie, soul, blues Americana, chamber pop, piano jazz fusion, & a largely instrumental hip-hop track. Enjoy…


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Sinkane, aka Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab, is a London born Sudanese-American musician who makes a vibrant, rhythmic, and funky mix of Afro-Latin & electronica. Ahead of his upcoming album Dépaysé has been the release of Everybody, which I fell in love with on first listen!

Creating a truly carnival atmosphere, the song is a colourful anthem of inclusion, and is gets a Showreel post because the video, by director Bruno Ferreira, and filmed at the Escola de Samba Paraíso do Tuiuti school in Rio de Janeiro, captures the feel of the song just perfectly. Get ready to dance!

It’s a brand new day…


Official | Spotify | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Liverpool 4-piece The Cheap Thrills are made up of (left to right above) Callum Fitzpatrick (bass), Anton Eager (drums), Lewis Pike (guitar & vocals), & Terry Eaves (keys & guitar). They’ve already appeared here numerous times given my love of their catchy blend of indie, psych, & synth sounds, mixed with witty wordplay and sing-along choruses, and I can vouch that their live sets are excellent too. They’re touring the UK this month, but here they face a Q&A, so read on to find out more about the band, their latest track, Saint or Sinner, and what happens after a Coronation Street Omnibus marathon!
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