Where a slow-burning, word of mouth campaign was hugely beneficial to Jon Allen – his debut album, 2009’s Dead Man’s Suit, was given a sizeable leg-up by one track’s use in a Land Rover campaign, while champions included Jo Whiley, Jools Holland and Emmylou Harris – second album Sweet Defeat not only has the task of matching this, but is also burdened with the albatross of assumed instant impact. But it seems as though that’s the last thing Allen is worried about. While his passport may substantiate the on-paper Britishness of this Hampshire-born artist, his yarns and philosophies paint a picture of a grizzled American folk musician, decades of abandon behind him. Sweet Defeat, in this vein, employs good honest rock'n'roll ideals, actioned via a collection of simple, folksy melodies.
A two part collection of twenty acoustic covers done by Jon Crosby, of VAST, as a tribute to some of his favorite musicians who have passed away, and their music.
Influenced by artists as diverse as Django Reinhardt and Daft Punk, Caravan Palace is the self-titled debut album from the French six-piece that combines big-band swing and Gypsy jazz with modern electro and hip-hop beats. Produced by Loïc Barrouk, the 2008 release includes the singles "Jolie Coquine" and "Suzy".