Sleater-Kinney – Surface Envy

There has been precisely zero dimming of the light in the considerable time since Sleater-Kinney’s glory days as grrrly rock pioneers. Searing guitars, pounding skins and proper goddamn wailing up front. Smashing.

Miss Mix – Miracle

Loose, naive, grrly pop-rock. Reference Shonen Knife, but replace Tokyo with Beijing, whimsy with strut, and eccentric costuming with the Hot Topic catalogue. Three glammy girls plus a bloke who’s unsurprisingly omitted from most of the publicity shots.

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.

Dolls – Pedestal

Dark and funky electropop with sultry grrl vocal. Dolls is to Garbage what Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight is to Tim Burton’s Batman. Radio friendly.

The War on Drugs – Under the Pressure

Smooth, rolling, pop-rock soundtrack to urban detachment. Mood and instrumentation echo Echo and the Bunnymen. The female voice brings up the mood a little, although personally I could live without the slight country twang.

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

Louise Latham – Erase Me

Enter, girl with guitar. This item starts out as pretty bland cafe angst – lukewarm Blend 43, if you will – before the toastier, more richly blended chorus arrives. In fact, verse, chorus and bridge could be from completely different songs, making the overall effect a little uneven. But there are strong moments and it ends well, whispering potential.