Welcome, welcome, welcome once again to My Four, where we pick out four of the artists that I, Mark Sharpley, think you need to have awareness of. And indeed if you are reading this, it means I have a working laptop again. So let us begin this week’s picks, starting with…..


After 12 long years since Think Tank, indie music pioneers Blur return this week with the release of their brand new album, The Magic Whip. Reunited once again with Graham Coxon, the band have done various bits outside of their day job. Damon Albarn continued with Gorillaz and released his debut solo album, Everyday Robots. Coxon released more of his solo albums to critical reward while drummer Dave Rowntree trained to be a lawyer and bassist Alex James made, and continues to make, award winning cheese…and it is very nice indeed. Let us hope that they stick around long enough to make a few more Blur albums though. Available on the Parlophone Records label, this is a cut off the album called, “There Are Too Many Of Us”.


Second pick this week comes in the shape of English punk ska outfit, Shooze, and their new release, Shooze E.P. The band are described as ‘Bassline Punk’, but have a huge ska influence. This hasn’t stood in the way of the likes of Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard describing them as having ‘a pumping groove and a great direction’. They have been on tour with Adam Ant for the third time over the last month, and as I can testify after watching them last week, they are certainly worthy of their own headlining tour. Keep an eye on these fellas. Available on the Gospel Oak Records label, this is a track from the E.P called, “Animal City”.


Third choice this week is Danish alternative rockers, Mew, and the release of their new album, +-. Hailing from the Danish town of Hellerup, they have been active since 1994 and this is their sixth studio album. They were the top dogs of the Danish indie music scene, along with the likes of Carpark North, Swan Lee and Saybia. But it was 2003 when the band came to commercial attention, not only in Denmark but in mainland Europe and America. So much so that the likes of R.E.M and Nine Inch Nails took them on tour. And this year has seen them play the South By South West festival in Texas, so chances are you may have come across them already in some capacity. If you haven’t, do so! Available on the Play It Again Sam Records label, this is the first single from  the album called, “Satellites”.


And finally this week, it’s the inclusion of one of the legends of the electronic-pop scene, Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, and the release of his new solo album, MG. This isn’t the first solo album that Gore has released, 2003 was the first time he ventured into the solo album stratosphere with Counterfeit. And in 2012, he reunited with original Mode member, Vince Clarke, to make the Ssss album, their first music together since 1981. So while fans of the Mode are chomping at the bit for new material, they will be easily satisfied and entertained by Mr Gore and his excellent new stuff. Available on the Mute Records label, this is the video for, “Europa Hymn”.

And that is that for this week, please do join us again for four more artists that you indeed need to know about. Keep on keeping on

Mark Sharpley

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