Ed Sheeran – Make It Rain

Verrr nice piece o’ the blues, this, penned by Irish rising star Foy Vance. Vance has supported Sheeran on tour lately and, on the strength of this number, why not more collaboration?

Vintage Thieves – Colucci Girl

Berkshire folk, they be and do. The conservatoire ménage à trois confounds expectations to some extent by looking like unshaven rockers. This one is a love tune mostly consisting of finger picking and light harmonies.

Hozier – Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene

Hozier’s back, digging a few things out from around his Irish roots to populate this dark nursery rhyme. Smooth with complexity and bite, a proper neat whiskey of an audiofable. Quality.

Michelle Grant – You Came Along

Middle of the road candy pop. A teeny bit country/folk but mostly just generic. Someone’s had a brave stab at adding some beef in the recording studio, but at its core, this is composed and arranged for a girl and her acoustic guitar playing in a middle America family restaurant.

Michael Schulte – Rock and Scissors

This offering from Schulte gets a little folk mixed in with its pop-rock. Despite the possibilities on offer, it’s underdone as a song and relies on repetition of hooks and distracting production tricks to elevate it above a couple of ideas hammered out on an acoustic guitar. And those lyrics!

Jodee – Emerald City

Comparisons to Dido and Norah Jones don’t seem too far off for this singer-songwriter from rural northeast USA. Studiously genre-free yet poppy and unsurprising, this track is mostly harmless although the drum machine and synthesiser sounds are annoyingly thoughtless. Lives in ‘an artistic community’ which tells you most of what you need to know

Gentle Bones – Until We Die

Double-jointed folk-pop with ctrl-v choral interludes. Clichéd and platitudinous in equal measure, the dim and credulous will love it for its all-purpose affirmation. I wonder who’s behind this 20-year-old singer and why.