Song: Another Life To Lose
Artist: Greg Laswell, San Diego
Album: Landline, 2012
Notes: Yet another first-rate pop-rock corker from the literate tunesmith's most recent epic. If you don't have 'Landline' your record collection is incomplete. Laswell wed top songstress, Ingrid Michaelson, last year.
Artist: Hudson Taylor, Ireland
Album: Battles, EP, 2012
Notes: A bustling nu-folk rumbler by the young brothers, Harry and Alfie who are based in Dublin. Quite a few Mumford copycats out there at the moment, but this duo are a cut above the rest. More at facebook.com/HudsonTayorMusic.
Song: Happiness Is Easy
Artist: Talk Talk, England
Album: The Colour of Spring, 1986
Notes: Progressive percussion, cunning atmospherics and a backing children's mini choir, all filtered through the musical mind of the great Mark Hollis, the enigmatic leader of the much-missed Talk Talk. A new instrumental by Hollis, 'ARB Section' - his first music in 14 years - recently featured on the ace Starz drama series, 'Boss'.
Song: Magic Smile
Artist: Rosie Vela, Galveston, TX
Album: Zazu, 1986
Notes: Breezy mellow groove from the only album the ex-model ever recorded. Fortunate to have both members of Steely Dan, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, providing the rhythm section at the suggestion of producer, Gary Katz.
Song: Take Me Back
Artist: Mindy Smith, Long Island, NY
Album: Mindy Smith, 2012
Notes: Sweet and simple with no saccharin, no added calories, no trans fats or artificial flavors - one of several Americana rubies on her recent eponymous album. Morte at www.mindysmithmusic.com.
Song: Strange Little Girl
Artist: Stranglers, England
Notes: An atypical, non-punk outing by the punk pioneers, originally written at the beginning of their career but only recorded eight years later in 1982. Lead singer, Hugh Cornwall quit the seminal lineup for a solo career in 1990.
Song: The Wonder
Artist: Kelli Scarr, Brooklyn, NY
Album: Piece, 2010
Notes: Plaintive gem tucked away on her maiden album, soft ethereal musings backed by a slow, music hall upright piano sound. Born in Monterey but now based in Brooklyn she composed an Emmy-winning soundtrack for the HBO documentary 'In A Dream' in 2005.
Artist: Ben Howard, England
Album: Not available
Notes: Inventive remix of a song first played in the US on L&F. Top new talent, his freshman set is brimming with literate evocative, rootsy gems. This unusual remix can be streamed at www.soundcloud.com/ianborg.
Song: What’s The Matter Here
Artist: 10,000 Maniacs, Jamestown, NY
Album: In My Tribe, 1987
Notes: Despite its obvious radio-ready groove, this nugget stalled at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100. Featuring Natalie Merchant on lead vocal - she memorably quit the lineup during an MTV appearance in August 1993 saying she no longer wanted to create 'art by committee'.
Artist: Belouis Some, England
Album: Some People, 1985
Notes: Synth-pop corker from the mid'80s in the tradition of Howard Jones and Duran Duran. Real name is Neville Keighley, the steamy (and at the time, controversial) video for 'Imagination' still available on Youtube - but with the naughty bits covered up.
Artist: SaturdaySun, England
Album: Seagull EP, 2012
Notes: Too good, a completely unknown, obscure A+ acoustic nu-folk ballad showcasing the vocal grit and instrumental craft of a new British quartet. More at facebook.com/saturdaysunmusic.
Artist: Alison Moyet, England
Album: Alf, 1984
Notes: A soul/pop belter from 1984 by the mighty Miss Moyet recorded four years before Adele was even born. Moyet was (still is) an equally down-to-earth, cockney blue-eyed soul queen. They should record a duet.
Song: Mind Made Up
Artist: Jillian Edwards, Waco, TX
Album: Headfirst EP, 2011
Notes: Sensational, a no-nonsense, beautifully-crafted ballad of a superior sensibility, just a cut above the rest. A Texan songstress based in Waco - more at facebook.com/jillianedwardsmusic.
Song: Remembrance Day
Artist: Mark Knopfler, England
Album: Get Lucky, 2009
Notes: Rightly lauded as a great guitarist and performer but his talent as an erudite and crafty wordsmith is often overlooked. Also check out his new two-disc set , 'Privateering'.
Song: It’s Amazing
Artist: Jem, Wales
Album: Down To Earth, 2008
Notes: Another gem from Jem, ten years of highly original self-penned tunes, a few deserved hits around Europe but not a sniff over here despite banner reviews in Rolling Stone. People and USA Today.
Song: On and On
Artist: Longpigs, England
Album: The Sun Is Often Out, 1997
Notes: Slipped through the cracks during the glory days of BritPop in the mid 1990s from a rock act briefly signed to U2's Mother label. Guitarist Richard Hawley went on to join Pulp before embarking on a sterling solo career, while frontman Crispin Hunt has eked out a successful career writing and producing the likes of Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and Ron Sexsmith.
Song: Caravan of Love
Artist: Isley Jasper Isley, Cincinnati, OH
Album: Caravan of Love, 1985
Notes: A mighty soul outing, the sweetest harmonies of cousin Chris Jasper and a pair of Isley brothers, Ernie and Marvin. The song subsequently became a British #1 when radically reinterpreted by the Housemartins a couple of years later.
Song: All The Way From Italy
Artist: Greencards, Austin, TX
Album: Viridian, 2007
Notes: organic, delicious harmonies and instrumental dexterity from one of Austin's finest combos - who, back then, were a progressive bluegrass trio comprising two Aussies and a Brit (despite being based in Texas). Highly regarded by fellow musicians including Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan.
Song: All The Way From America
Artist: Joan Armatrading, St. Kitts
Album: Me Myself I, 1980
Notes: An old-school Duane Eddy-ish twang guitar hallmarking an A+ oldie from the hugely under-appreciated Armatrading. An intensely private person who lets her music speak for her: 20 albums over a 40 year career - and not a bad one among them.
Song: Staring At The Stars
Artist: Passenger, England
Album: All The Little Lights, 2012
Notes: Quirky upbeat winner about living in working-class doldrums through a British winter, featuring lovely intermingling banjo and horns. If you like Ed Sheeran you may enjoy Passenger (real name, Michael Rosenberg).
Song: Behind Closed Doors
Artist: Charlie Rich, Colt, AR
Album: Behind Closed Doors, 1973
Notes: Rich, corn-filled Country at its very best with a fabulous simple piano roll. A multiple Grammy winner, Charlie was born on a cotton farm in Arkansas during the Great Depression and originally recorded some demos for the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis.
Song: Psycho Killer
Artist: Talking Heads, New York
Album: Talking Heads: 77, 1977
Notes: Despite subsequently becoming one of their most iconic songs it only reached #92 on the Billboard Hot 100 (perhaps it was the French lyrics in the bridge). The legendary New Waver's first single.
Song: This World
Artist: Bill Fay, England
Album: Life Is People, 2012
Notes: Lovely strummer from Fay's first new studio album in 40 years. Bill is an obscure English singer-songwriter/pianist who cut two overlooked LPs for Decca Records in the 1970s and then disappeared. Rediscovered by a longtime fan, Joshua Henry, who asked an initially reluctant Fay to return to the studio. Wilco's Jeff Tweedy is also an admirer.
Song: All To Yourself
Artist: All To Yourself, Detroit
Notes: Delicious ballad by the talented songstress, unsurprising that it has a lovely, breezy '60s arrangement courtesy of the great Motown architect, Brian Holland with whom she collaborated on the entire album.
Song: First Steps
Artist: Elbow, England
Album: Not available, 2012
Notes: Instrumental my dear Watson, the final bars of an epic recording they custom-made for the summer Olympic Games. A Lost & Found exclusive.
Song: When I Grow Up
Artist: First Aid Kit, Sweden
Album: Ghost Town single, 2010
Notes: A winning lost pearl by the sister act duo of Johanna and Klara Soderberg. A neat cover version of a song originally written and recorded by another Swedish act, Fever Ray.
Song: Travelling Down
Artist: Keith Christmas, England
Album: Timeless & Strange, 2004
Notes: Extremely obscure lost ballad treasure by an old English folkie and falsetto hippie - who performed at the very first Glastonbury Festival in the UK which back then was little more than a few hippies sharing a fire, some strong cider and a ripped tent in a muddy field. Christmas opened for the likes of The Who, Frank Zappa and Roxy Music in the 1970s.
Song: Space Oddity
Artist: David Bowie, England
Album: David Bowie, 1969
Notes: The classic beginnings of the Major Tom odyssey, hard to believe that was recorded 43 years ago in June 1969. Bowie now semi-retired since undergoing heart surgery in 2004 (and no new recordings released by him in 10 years and counting).
Artist: Vertical Horizon, Washington, DC
Album: Go, 2002
Notes: Better known for their 1999 chart-topping smash, 'Everything You Want', this is one of several quality melodic rock nuggets by Vertical Horizon which have mostly flown under radar. Based out of DC they've been together over 20 years fronted by lead singer-guitarist, Matt Scannell.
Song: Follow The Arrow
Artist: Rosi Golan & Human, New York
Notes: A delightful folk outing combining the talents of the Israeli-born songstress with a sound design company headquartered in New York who specialize in creating music for film and commercials.
Artist: Regina Spektor, Russia
Notes: Too sad for words, about someone trying to come to terms with losing her dearest love, unable to even consider finding a new one - and a standout track from the latest offering from the always creative and unexpected Spektor.
Artist: Sparks, Los Angeles
Album: Kimono My House, 1974
Notes: Highly unusual cinematic rock number which was groundbreaking when first released in 1974 . Sparks were - and still are - the eccentric LA-based brothers of Ron and Russell Mael. Influenced many musicians and bands including Kurt Cobain, Bjork, Duran Duran, Morrissey and the Pixies.
Song: Another Day
Artist: Lene Marlin, Norway
Album: Another Day, 2003
Notes: Too good for prime time, the title track to the second album by the much-overlooked Norwegian singer-songwriter.
Artist: Acid House Kings, Sweden
Notes: Effortless and easy-flowing indie pop showcasing the split vocals of Niklas Angergard and Julia Lannerheim. The jangly Swedish trio recently celebrated 20 years together.