Song: I’ll Carry You
Artist: Left, Canada
Album: Cellophane EP, 2011
Notes: Completely overlooked, bang-on midtempo melodic rock belter by unheralded Canadian quintet of brothers and cousins who all grew up in Langley, BC. Why aren't they signed? New album called 'Cycles' due soon. More at www.theleft.ca.
Song: The World At Large
Artist: Modest Mouse, Portland, OR
Notes: A deliciously quirky number from the always inventive and wacky band from the North West. They're currently working on their seventh long-player - nothing from them since 2007.
Artist: MoZella, Detroit
Notes: A percolating shot of pop/soul pacey realism from Maureen McDonald aka MoZella who's incapable of recording boring music in virtually any style. An extraordinary, still undiscovered talent and L&F favorite.
Song: Hoot Owl
Artist: Rayland Baxter, Nashville
Album: Not available, 2011
Notes: The fourth track already spun on L&F from his upcoming album which is ace. Born in rural TN, now based in Nashville, describes his music as 'Tropical Folk'. Top new tunesmith, more at www.raylandbaxter.com.
Song: Fountain of Sorrow
Artist: Jackson Browne, Germany
Album: Late For The Sky, 1974
Notes: An old fan classic, never it (and him) never gets old. Described at the time of release in the '70s by Rolling Stone magazine as 'a masterpiece'.
Song: Kicking Stone
Artist: Kate York, Nashville
Album: Fly Away, 2011
Notes: What a ballad - and such a pure unaffected vocal style, Kate's like a Brita Water filter when she sings. Yet another sterling non-country performer who makes her home in Nashville, helping to make Music City less linear.
Song: Us Against The World
Artist: Coldplay, England
Album: Mylo Xyloto, 2011
Notes: Chris Martin and chums on top cliched form with yet another bed-sitter winner from their recent album. It's not in their DNA to abandon melody or perfectly execute their appealing brand of hook-filled pop-rock. A+ production.
Song: Helplessness Blues
Artist: Fleet Foxes, Seattle
Album: Helplessness Blues, 2011
Notes: Terrific rhythm changes in this lost nugget tucked away on their last album (though popular in Belgium!) Five-piece led by frontman and top harmonist, Robin Pecknold and signed to ever-hip Sub Pop label.
Artist: Nick Heyward, England
Album: From Sunday To Monday, 1993
Notes: Garnered a few modern rock spins back in the early '90s, a fine lost gem from melody-imbued former leader of British popsters, Haircut 100.
Song: Come Around
Artist: Rosi Golan, Brooklyn, NY
Notes: New York based, American-Israeli songstress who only picked up guitar and set her sights on a career in music at the age of 19. More at rosigolan.com.
Song: Pay Me
Artist: Tom Waits, Pomona, CA
Album: Bad As Me, 2011
Notes: The 62-year old master, back with yet another sterling collection of oddball chestnuts. Stephen Deusner of American Songwriter' (great mag) writes: 'Even as he enters his 60s Waits still sounds as lively and as cagey as ever - indulging both his most brazen and his most sentimental urges to upend all our expectations'.
Song: Always Spring
Artist: I'm From Barcelona, Sweden
Album: Forever Today, 2011
Notes: A fresh, optimistic song about ambition by the oddly named Swedish troupe, I'm From Barcelona - which is one of the largest rock bands in the world - comprising 29 members all led by their principal frontman and singer, Emanuel Lundgren.
Song: Do You Dream In Colour?
Artist: Bill Nelson, England
Notes: An oddball progressive collage of sound from British art rocker, Nelson - formerly of the British new wave combo, Be Bop Deluxe. Bill's recorded more than 100 albums since 1971, also a renowned guitarist, and a clever producer - he used to helm albums for Gary Numan.
Song: Some Kind of Wonderful
Artist: Ross Copperman, Nashville
Album: Not available
Notes: Top tunesmith, but this time on a cover version, written by the legendary songwriting partnership of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Originally a big hit for the Drifters in the early '60s.
Song: Like Sister and Brother
Artist: Drifters, New York
Album: The Drifters Now, 1973
Notes: Sensational, simple, soulful - the sitar and horns-fused R&B pop stirrer from the early '70s by the longest-lasting group of any kind in the popular music era - they started in 1953 and still perform today.
Song: The Time Comes
Artist: Nina Gordon, Chicago
Notes: A beautiful secret song from the former lead singer of alternative rockers, Veruca Salt (she left in 1998). Nina is married to Jeff Russo, guitarist with Tonic.
Song: The Longer I Run
Artist: Peter Bradley Adams, Birmingham, AL
Album: Leavetaking, 2008
Notes: The unheralded prince of top-drawer folk-singer-songwriting who can't make bad music. You could be blindfolded and throw a dart at a list of all his songs - no matter which one you hit, it'll be a cracker.
Song: Every Beat of My Heart
Artist: Railway Children, England
Album: Gentle Sound, 1990
Notes: Originally signed to indie rock impresario, Tony Wilson's seminal Factory Records label which also spawned Joy Division and New Order, a college rock nugget recorded just before they split in 1991.
Song: I Love You
Artist: Sarah McLachlan, Canada
Album: Surfacing, 1997
Notes: Too pure, too melodic, too perfect - just too good. At her balladic best the effortless beauty of a single which completely flew under the radar. Even better than 'Angel'.
Song: Burslem Normals
Artist: Robbie Williams, England
Album: Rude Box, 2006
Notes: Cheeky chappy, Williams, the hugely popular English performer who's never made it over here. Curious song was titled after a bit of graffiti Robbie saw in his home town of Burslem (in the north of England) where his parents used to run a pub. Includes a reference to 'chavs' (look up 'chav').
Song: Rip It Up
Artist: Orange Juice, Scotland
Album: Rip It Up, 1982
Notes: Before he embarked on a successful solo career, Scottish rocker Edwyn Collins served a post-punk apprenticeship in this band which squeezed out this delightful new wave bubbler.
Song: Someone Like You
Artist: Van Morrison, N. Ireland
Notes: An exquisite, immortal ballad (maybe his best) about a man lost in mid-life who's finally found the woman of his dreams. Now (sadly) overused at weddings etc.
Song: Chit Chat
Artist: Hannah Georgas, Canada
Album: This Is Good, 2010
Notes: A rather perky and engaging bubbler which should be picked up for a cell-phone tv commercial. Hannah was nominated for Best New Artist at last year's Juno Music awards north of the border. She'll be touring around the US with the wonderful Kathleen Edwards early next year.
Song: Hummingbird (live)
Artist: John Mayer, Bridgeport, CT
Album: As/Is, 2004
Notes: Little heard but A+ live number which Mayer has yet to record for a studio album. Wishing John - and indeed Adele - successful recovery from their recent throat operations.
Song: Next Time
Artist: Meredith Bragg, Virginia
Album: Nest, 2011
Notes: Excellent low-fi Chamber pop from undiscovered indie singer-songwriter who performs with his cellist wife, Elizabeth. They went down very well at this year's SXSW music festival.
Song: It Should’ve Been Me
Artist: Yvonne Fair, Richmond, VA
Album: The Bitch Is Black, 1975
Notes: The most bitter and twisted wedding song ever, an R&B corker by the late Fair (who died in 1994 at 51) who was formerly a singer in James Brown's backing band. Big influence on Adele.
Artist: John Cale, Wales
Notes: The definitive version of Leonard Cohen's classic composition - which has been otherwise completely over-recorded and ruined by muppet, Simon Cowell, by an array of his below-par 'X Factor' contestants and machine-fed artists including Susan Boyle and the dreadful Il Divo.
Song: I Live Alone
Artist: Sky Sailing, Owatonna, MN
Notes: Simple, melodic, easy-flowing nugget from Adam Young, better known as the chap behind Owl City. One of a number of recordings made under his previous project name, Sky Sailing. Lovely melodic album.
Song: Oh Very Young
Artist: Cat Stevens, England
Notes: A popular hart song in the US, though never charted in his native UK. Born Steven Demetre Georgiou, performed as Cat Stevens before switching again to his preferred Yusef Islam moniker.
Song: Hello In There
Artist: Bette Midler, Hawaii
Album: The Divine Miss M, 1972
Notes: Too sad for words, the divine Miss M's take on an outstanding John Prine composition tucked away on her maiden album (which was co-produced by? - Barry Manilow (sorry).
Song: Sunshine On My Mind
Artist: Roz Bell, Canada
Album: No available
Notes: Breezy and delightful outing from Kevin Rosaire Bellemare, aka Roz Bell who's based in Toronto. More at myspace.com/rozbell.
Artist: Moby, Harlem, NY
Album: Play, 1999
Notes: No other album in rock history has yielded so many songs subsequently used on film soundtracks and in tv commercials around the world than Moby's 'Play' - and yet not one of them made the Billboard Hot 100. Heavenly vocal contributions from the Shining Light Gospel Choir.
Song: Good Fire Goin’
Artist: Don Williams, Floydada, TX
Album: New Moves, 1996
Notes: Too good for prime time, an absolute pearl, simple country ballad written by Dave Loggins ('Please Come Home To Boston)., perfectly executed by the veteran gentle giant of Country music.
Song: The Flying Dutchman
Artist: Curly Giraffe, Japan
Album: New Order, 2009
Notes: Surprisingly west-coast sounding melodic folk-pop from Japanese tunesmith, Kiyoshi Takakuwa who goes by the performing name, Curly Giraffe. Worthwhile, mellow, calm catalog recorded over the past ten years.
Artist: Ocean Blue, Hershey, PA
Album: The Ocean Blue, 1989
Notes: Solid slice of old school modern rock, very British indie-pop/rock sound despite being an American band. At the dawn of their career they were signed to Sire Record by legendary label owner, Seymour Stein.
Song: This One’s For You
Artist: Ed Harcourt, England
Album: Strangers, 2004
Notes: Lovely horn work on an easy-flowing love gem from a horribly underrated artist from Wimbledon in London. Formerly in a band called Snug - began his solo career ten years ago which has yielded six good albums.
Song: The Way It Goes
Artist: Gillian Welch, Nashville
Notes: Organic, authentic, blues-tinged Americana by the wonderful Welch and her longtime collaborator, guitarist Dave Rawlings from her strong recent album.
Song: Annie You Save Me
Artist: Graffiti 6, England
Album: Colours, 2010
Notes: Superb track released as a single earlier this year but largely ignored. Promising UK duo of Tommy D and Jamie Scott who have previously worked behind the scenes with the likes of Jay Z, KT Tunstall and Alicia Keys.
Song: Push and Pull
Artist: Nikka Costa, Los Angeles
Notes: Sterling, sultry groove from under-appreciated artiste who blends brawny soul, blues, funk and folk, a lovely stew. Daughter of Frank Sinatra's longtime musical arranger, Don Costa.