Welcome to March's round-up of the most interesting new(ish) bands to catch my ears.
First off the bat are Lusts, an outfit led by Leicester brothers Andy and James Stone. Debut single "Temptation", out now on 1965 Records, is that very rare thing - a track that looks to the past for inspiration, gripping hold on to doomy guitars, eighties synths and post punk vocals, but still ends up sounding strangely of the moment. Insistent and catchy but with an icy, eerie undertow, "Temptation" is one of the most encouraging debuts I've heard so far this year, and we can only hope they've got more goodness up their sleeves.
Birmingham's Swim Deep, on the other hand, have already had one Top 20 LP out on Sony and can probably only be deemed a "new act" if we're being exceptionally liberal with the definition. Still though, while their earliest releases have done very little at all to impress me, new single "To My Brother" is an entirely different concoction, filled with old-school Acid House Roland squelches and an euphoric chorus which practically commands all listeners to raise their hands in the air without directly saying so. Delicate guitar riffs (and some monstrously buzzing ones) jockey for space with old-school grooves, and it is - to my immense shock and surprise - like a rallying cry for the indie-dance revival. This could happily sit on side two of "Happy Daze - Volume One" or Telstar's "Rave" compilation and nobody would be any the wiser.
For all the obvious retro-leanings, though, it's a staggeringly good single, and one capable of a far broader appeal than most of the music I've heard this month. They won't win any awards for breaking new ground, but "To My Brother" is proof positive that they can write songs which sound like indie club classics, albeit ones from a previous decade in another dimension.
Self-styled space-punks CuT from London, however, produce a monumental piece of modern psychedelia with "Time Traveller", which with its phasing, disconnected echoing vocals and soaring guitar lines resembles the best work of the greatest English sixties one-single wonders. Looking like a bunch of acid-addled bikers, there's also a rough dirtiness to their sound here which stops them from sounding too tripped out - and indeed, for possessing a group image that looks almost exactly as you'd expect, they deserve some respect.
It will be interesting to see if their music makes further inroads in 2015, or if they just end up on page 48 of Shindig magazine... though the vaguely psychy leanings of all the groups on offer in "Emerging" this month perhaps points towards something in the water supply.