Who Is She: Kacey Musgraves(vocals/guitar)
What Does She Sound Like: Markedly softer than any of the bands mentioned above, but that’s no bad thing. Kacey Musgraves’ major label debut Same Trailer Different Park is about marrying the right combination of feather light acoustic strumming patterns to the perfect sun soaked electric accents. Gentle but pointed forward thinking melodies are the order of the day.
Why She Rocks: Kacey Musgraves is hardly a new artist, she’s just released her fourth album, but it’s her first on a major label. The mind boggles as to how this charming, witty and utterly endearing singer-songwriter had to wait this long for a major deal. She oozes star potential and the really rather good Same Trailer Different Park should break Kacey out of Nashville and onto the international stage.
The Essential Track: “Merry Go ‘Round”
What Next: Same Trailer Different Park is the perfect summer LP.
Who Are They: Mary Ann Hearst (vocals/drums) and Michael Trent (vocals/guitar)
Where Are They From: South Carolina, USA.
What Do They Sound Like: Shovels And Rope are tricky to categorise, in part because they’re so conventional. The minimalism of their sound and the raw under produced feel of their vocals and instrumentation recalls country in the truest sense, but then a rollicking electric guitar riff sneaks its way into the mix or a gospel side bar appears. Americana might be the best description as this duo sound earthy and thoroughly traditional even in their most inventive moments.
Why They Rock: Most married couples would end up strangling each other if they had to spend their every working day together, but Shovels And Rope make it look easy. Whether their vision of Americana roots music is too streamlined and unimaginative remains to be seen, but if you’re a fan of Johnny and June Cash or even Jack White, Shovels And Rope could be your ideal country tandem.
The Essential Track: “Birmingham”
Enter Shikari renew their archly political assault while expanding their sonic horizons on The Mindsweep.
Brutish, brazen and ungodly satisfying, Royal Blood rode a barrage of chugging bass grooves all the way to the top of the charts in 2014.
Opeth may preach exclusively to the converted, but to overlook the Swedes’ staggeringly consistent brilliance is foolhardy.
Soothing and sorrow-laden in equal measure, Lost In The Dream by The War On Drugs left Guitar Planet speechless.
Guitar Planet has had a love/hate relationship with Slash since Velvet Revolver split, but it remains impossible to deny his freewheeling riffs and slippery solos.