I’d like to think it’s still Autumn but the calendar insists otherwise.

I am not sure if you have noticed but that is definitely Christmas hovering around the street corner, smoking fags and pretending it isn’t even cold….should we invite it in yet?

I‘d rather put it off.  I have the strangest feeling that we will come back after New Year and the Government will have quietly sold off the NHS to a consortium of concerned citizens and Mexican drug lords, itching to go legit.

Just kidding.

I doubt it will last as long as that.

2013 feels like it’s been an ever-so-slightly low key year, in some ways.   As low key as a year with a very good new record from Him can be, anyway.

We have done our best to shine a light and have brought you excellent new music from Holy Strays, Enjoyed, Night Engine, Madeline Mondrala and more…

….Also, I have spent a lot of the year writing writing writing and I am now halfway through My Book.  It’s about that period around 1982 when all the colourful expunks made a break from the Post Punk shadows and briefly took over the charts, grinning from the covers of Smash Hits and NME, sliding into Peel’s Festive Fifty and the Year End bestsellers.

ABC, Associates, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, OMD, Talk Talk, Dexys, Simple Minds, Orange Juice and Bauhaus all become proper pop stars.  “Ghosts” by Japan was in the Top Five.  How did this happen?

2013 was the year that SIC finally grew a publishing arm, Something In Construction Music.  A brand new partnership with Beggars, whose inspiring music I have grown up with.  Holy Strays is the debut signing to what is a very exciting new venture and we have our collective eye on a few more acts for next year.

A bit about the artists, then…

NIGHT ENGINE have toured their Talking Heads plays Bowie hooks and  ferociously tight live show up and down the land with The 1975, Kaisers, Electric Ghost and more and we released two fine singles which you can buy as one handy iTunes EP at a very Christmassy price or as two fine slabs of vinyl at the SIC Shop.  Their debut album will be out in 2014.

 NE single red logo rotated 45deg and MORE overlapping

HOLY STRAYS released his strongest work yet in the wonderful Chasm  EP.   Sounding like Sherwood getting jiggy with David Axelrod or Weatherall taking up some 60s Morricone soundtracks uptown, he’s been opening for The Field, Adult, Koreless, Suuns, Braids, and more all over Europe this year.  Pick up the beautiful 12” from Rough Trade or give Apple a few quid and it’s yours instantly.


Do have a gander at the extremely artful video, released today, for Chasm, set in a, um, chasm far beneath the streets of his hometown Paris

Holy Strays will release his debut album in 2014.

ENJOYED is Peter Evans Pritchard who records epic and lush electronic pop in a sleepy town in Hampshire.  You can have a listen to his P EP here.


Peter says “11.12.13 – I love doing remixes. And I love the holiday season. So here’s a holiday gift – Eight remixes of mine from the last year or so in one free collection. Enjoy…” …his takes on Hot Chip, TVOn The Radio, Tunng, Kisses, Mark Morrison HERE  If you are quick, you can download them.  His debut album is coming next year too and he has just finished the first blistering track, “Talahassee”.  It will pop up in January to blow out your cobwebs.

A few months back I was listening to Mary Ann Hobbs’ radio show on 6Music in bed and she played a song by this girl, MADELINE MONDRALA.  It was an amazing, kind of raw, sexy, piano song called Blood Brother.  I rang Mary Anne and she told me her producer had plucked the song at random from Bandcamp.  I am now managing her and went to NY to see her play the other day and she was everything I could hope for.  She played an amazing show. AMAZING.  Such a natural raw and FUN performer.  She made a video over the summer with her friends, which is GREAT.  Madeline is gigging around New York at the moment.  Have a go on the EP here.

Madeline Mondrala on chair lo res

Another new management client is BOSSY LOVE.  Based around London based Amandah, it’s a little like smart pop music, a little like Robyn or Santigold.  And you do like them, doncha?  Sure you do.  Have a listen to their debut You & Me EP if you like

 BossyLove2lo res

Next year will also see more from MEMORY TAPES and ANR and our new  secret project, which remains nameless but is going to knock your socks off.   So there was a few “debut album due out in 2014”s there, did you notice?  Next year is going to be neck deep in long players.   Thank heavens for that too.

 What else happened this year?  I bought lots of records.  Lots though.  The BOOK was an excellent “reason” to go and buy Kate Bush, Psychedelic Furs, Fun Boy Three and Clash remasters but there were soooo many inspiring new ones too.   My tastes are broadening as I get older.  There is so much music these days, probably way too much and it seems a full time job sifting through it all.

Our office favourite record of last year is the Stay/True EP by a kid based in London, recording as Fort Romeau.  Smooth poppy techno, touched with a little Moroder and magic; and it always sounds magical, whether it’s 3am or 9am.

Probably the album I’ve spent most time with this year is Daniel Avery’s “Drone Logic”, whose hypnotic and super-streamlined, tripped out Chemical Brothers-y tunes bury their way further and further into your brain with each listen.

Our biggest earworm single this year was “Pressure” by Until The Ribbon Breaks.  The internet and the charts being a strange place, I can’t tell if it was a “hit” of even if it was “released” but oh my word, it’s a super strong MassiveAttacky soul anthem, with ridiculously, um, massive hooks and riddims.

That, or mebbe ceo’s “Whorehouse”, which is the best bit of Swedish balearic joy I have heard in a minute; a thumpingly good pop song from the ice cool Air France affiliates.

Against the laws that tightly govern such things, Suede turned in a really strong album in “BloodSports”, which you should get if you like, say, “Coming Up” annnnnnnd against all the laws of everything Mr David Bowie came back from His exile with well, you know what…It’s a really strong album and you should buy it.  Glastonbury next year, Mr Jones?

Here’s a fuller list of the releases that have been lighting up the SIC offices this year.

Top “10” of 2013



Arcade Fire:                         Reflektor                               throbby

Arctic Monkeys                   Do I Wanna Know?           sleazy

Beck:                                      I Won’t Be Long                  zippy

Blue Hawaii:                         Try To Be                                woozy

ceo:                                       Whorehouse                        happy

Freddie Dickson:                 Shut Us Down                      hurty

Elephant:                              Shapeshifter                         chiffony

Empress Of:                          Hat Trick                                sexy

Daft Punk:                            Instant Crush                       catchy

Milky Edwards:                    Starman                                phoney

Enjoyed:                               Dreamboat Lover              groovy

fSpot:                                     Locust                                    twisty

Jacco Gardner:                 Clear The Air                        Zombiesy

Gentlemen:                         Sailor                                      yachty

Glass Gang:                         The Fall                                  weirdly

Haerts:                                   All The Days                         hooky

Jagwar Ma:                         Save Me                               baggy

Kanye:                                   Black Skinhead                   deathgripsy

Kelela:                                    Enemy                                   steely

Kelis:                                       Jerk Ribs                                perky

Kriget:                                    Sleeping With Buddha      industrially

Leverage Models:              Night Falls On The General Assembly sumnery

Miguel:                                  The Thrill                                 slinky

Connan Mockasin:           Do I Make You Feel Shy? sugary

Night Engine:                       Young + Carefree             swaggery

Pixies:                                     Bag Boy                                staggery

Rick Ross:                              100 Black Coffins                slavey

Salt Cathedral:                    Take Me To The Sea          dainty

Solange:                               Losing You                           2012y

Bruce Springsteen:             Dream Baby Dream          Suicidey

SZA:                                        Bed                                         trippy

Tame Impala:                      Elephant (Todd Rundgren rmx) grindy

Twigs:                                     Weak Spot                           bjorky

Two Sunsets:                                    Venetian Skies                     pretty

UTRB:                                      Pressure                                hugely

Warpaint:                             Love Is To Die                       sultry

Chelsea Wolfe:                   The Waves Have Come   stormy

Yukka:                                   Cities                                      sinewy



Banks:                                    London

Bossy Love:                           You + Me

Enjoyed:                               P

Forest:                                    Caramel Arms

Fort Romeau:                      Stay / True

Albert Hammond Jr:         AHJ

Holy Strays:                           Chasm

Ryan Hemsworth:              Still Awake

Milo:                                       Things That Happen At Night/Day

Madeline Mondrala:         Cloud

Phoria:                                   Bloodworks EP

Rainer                                    Hope Satin Glass Dreams EP



Arcade Fire:                         Reflektor

Asphodells:                          Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust

Autre Ne Veut                     Anxiety

Daniel Avery:                      Drone Logic

David Bowie:                       The Next Day

Fidlar                                      Fidlar

Forest Swords:                     Engraving

Haxan Cloak:                      Excavations

Ryan Hemsworth:              Guilt Trips

Julia Holter:                          Loud City Song

Hookworms:                        Pearl Mystic

Hundred Waters:                Hundred Waters

Jensen Sportag:                 Stealth Of Days

Leverage Models:              Leverage Models

Lorde:                                    Pure Heroine

Janelle Monae:                  The Electric Lady

Moonface:                          Julia With Blue Jeans On

Suede:                                   Bloodsports

Son Lux:                                 Lanterns

Suuns:                                    Images Du Future

These New Puritans:          Field Of Reeds

Unkle Acid & The DeadBeats: Mind Control

Matthew E White:               Big Inner

Chelsea Wolfe:                   Pain Is Beauty

Hans Zimmer:                       Man Of Steel

Various:                                 After Dark 2

Various:                                 Django Soundtrack

Various:                                 Psychemagik presents Magik Sunrise

Yeah cheers, whatever: Atoms For Peace, Flaming Lips, Haim, QOTSA

Shut Up About: Kanye.  Srsly, pls.


Well, there were lots, obviously, from Kraftwerk to The Cribs, MBV to Courtney Barnett, Jacco Gardner to Empress Of but the Massive Attack v Adam Curtis v Liz Fraser thing in Manchester was an amazing sensory overload on the topic of selfishness, the police state and held a mirror up to society in a way that few do as well.   And to hear Liz sing “The Look Of Love” alone was…..stunnning.

massive curtis 1


TV: less and less but will “set the video” for: University Challenge, Justified, American Horror Story: Coven, Sons Of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire and The Mentalist (which has really raised its game this series)

Annnnnnnnnd there’s new Justified and Sherlock after Xmas.

Old Gold: Community.  Damn that is some deranged meta-comedy. Mind blowingly funny

Shut Up About: Breaking Bad. It’s really not that great


Django                      QT’s grand opera

Gravity                      Yep

Man Of Steel           An original take on the original origin story

Wreck-It Ralph        This is all kinds of sugary fun

Robot & Frank         This is a really cute little film about being old

Elyzium                      Pretty much District 9 again, only bigger and better

Silver Linings Playbook   takes all kinds of odd angles into the heat

Pain & Gain             Deeply black stuff, Bay has is bang-cake and eats it

Stoker                                   Chan-wook Park’s creepy American Vacation

The Iceman             Strong turn from Shannon as the dad/hitman

Captain Philips        Nails were bitten, time wooshed by

Iron Man 3               RD Jr owns the screen in this epic

Thor 2                         Well, it was a really fun 2 hours. We laughed.

Cloud Atlas              A mess, ultimately but a gloriously inspired one

World War Z             I liked it

To see: Upstream Colour, The Conjuring, Anchorman2, Place Beyond The Pines, Frances Ha, Filth, Mud, Rush

Thoughts on 2013: I have never been disappointed by so many films in one year.  What happened:  KickAss2, Only God Forgives, Now You See Me, Pacific Rim, World’s End and even worse This Is The End

Shut Up About: A Field In England

And finally…

MPs get a payrise that is over FIVE TIMES the rate of inflation and we are letting them do it.  All of us.  So…

…It finally happened this year.  A V For Vendetta march on Parliament on Guy Fawkes Night.   Let’s all show up next year.  You could do that, yes?


Have a good holiday 

David and the SIC Family