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Ditto Music Staff Picks: January 2014

Courtney Barnett

Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett must be sitting pretty comfortably this year. ‘Avant Gardener’, a highlight from the excellent double EP ‘A Sea of Split Peas’, crept its way into NME’s top ten songs of 2013, as her deadpan drawl floated confidently across the world from her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Her debut single ‘History Eraser’, released last summer through her own Milk Records, would be idiosyncratic if it wasn’t so expertly crafted, taking us through a day where she ‘wrote the best song she’s ever written’ in a dream but forgot it as soon as she awoke. The irony is, despite the self-reliant indifference, you are hooked right from the start. You kill us, Courtney.

All We Are

All We Are, a three piece from Liverpool, occupy the more experimental, funk driven corners of pop music. ‘Utmost Good’, the excellent single from earlier last year, was an undisputed champion of 2013’s North East summer anthem sweepstakes, pricking the ears of national blogs as that woozy falsetto meandered over a funkier-than-thou accompaniment. The trio are support Warpaint on their NME Awards tour show at the end of February, kicking off what will surely be a huge year for one of the best bands in the North of England right now.


Oberhofer are an alternative band based in Brooklyn, New York. With memorable hooks drenched in in fuzzy low-fi guitar. The five piece, releasing through the excellent White Iris Records, already have an appearance on the Lettermen show under their belt, as they step into a crucial group of bands keeping the Brooklyn guitar scene as relevant as ever.

Two Cow Garage

Two Cow Garage are a loud, deadly rock and roll trio from Columbus, Ohio. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Micah Schnabel, bassist/vocalist Shane Sweeney and drummer David Murphy (affectionately known as "Muprh"), TCG released "The Death of the Self Preservation Society" back in October through Ditto Music, and it is easily one of my favourite releases of the year. The songwriting is unchallenged, coming to terms with adulthood and surviving as a touring band just under the radar. ‘Hey Cinderella’, with gutting lines like "cause all my friends are settling down with a white picket fence, little/big house, I'm living next to a Chinese restaurant, dodging my landlord and scraping up change" that make you almost feel like you're bleeding too. What makes them so special though, is that their live show will prove to you that the mean every single word.