- Band of Horses: Infinite Arms. More of the same from Band of Horses for their third album. Same high standards that we've come to expect from the Carolina quintet. This is heavily influenced by the American landscape - the band's native state as well as the Mojave Desert and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Highlights include Factory, NW Apt., and Compliments. 8.0/10.
- The Black Keys: Brothers. America's (second) finest blues influenced duo continue their high standards with this album. Distorted riffs, pounding drums and howling vocals are par for the course with these guys but the formula remains fresh. It has a fresh feel that indicates these guys are not happy to churn out the same record over and over (as seems to be the case with the Hold Steady). Highlights include Tighten Up, Next Girl and Ten Cent Pistol. 8.5/10.
- Cathy Davey: The Nameless. Davey returns with her third album, the follow up the fantastic Tales of Silversleeve. The album made it to number one in the Irish charts - on the back of the irresistible Little Red. The title track is also a highlight. You can listen to the album in its entirety on her official facebook page. A real gem - Irish album of the year? It's certainly in the running. 8.5/10.
- LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening. The third (and final) album from LCD Soundsystem follows a similar pattern to its predecessor - synth pop and electronica are in abundance here. There are some fantastic songs: typical danceable Murphy & co. A fine epitaph, Murphy unashamedly pays homage to his idols: Bowie, Talking Heads, the pop music of the 1980s. Highlights: You Wanted A Hit, I Can Change, All I Want. 8.5/10.
- Villagers: Becoming A Jackal. Coming on the back of a wave of hysteria [The Irish blogging community, audiences at SXSW, viewers of Jools Holland all raved...], Conor O'Brien was always going to have a difficult time matching up to the hype. Becoming A Jackal promises a lot, but you can't help but feel there is potential for more. A solid debut, there are some fantastic tracks and more that come to life in a live setting, album #2 from Villagers will hopefully deliver on this promise. Check out the title track as well as I Saw The Dead and Set The Tigers Free. Disappointing omission of Down, Under The Sea. 7.5/10.
Well there you have it...