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16 Horsepower

Woven Hand – Consider The Birds

A solo vehicle for 16 Horsepower leader David Eugene Edwards, Woven Hand sacrifices his other outfit's thunderous bombast but retains the glowering intensity. This follow-up to 2002's self-titled debut is a masterstroke of creeping gothic: spectral percussion, skeletal guitar and Edwards' ominous voice, lent added weight by the religious significance of the lyrics (especially the startling "To Make A Ring"). Of his contemporaries, only Nick Cave and Willard Grant Conspiracy's Robert Fisher sound as eerily portentous.

Paula Frazer – A Place Where I Know

The gothic country of Frazer's '90s band Tarnation shared much with 16 Horsepower and The Handsome Family—a Georgia-raised pastor's daughter, the South inspired Frazer's poetry. While we await the follow-up to 2001's Indoor Universe, these four-track rarities provide ample nourishment. Some of these songs appeared on Gentle Creatures ('95) and Mirador ('97), but not this nakedly beautiful. Frazer's voice has a metallic-folk edge which, allied to mariachi guitar, floods "An Awful Shade Of Blue" and "The Hand" with harsh desert light.

Woven Hand – Blush Music

16 Horsepower frontman's score for a Belgian dance company

John Grant on his best albums and finding his voice

Here, Grant talks us through his career – both band and solo. “One day, I’ll learn to separate the feelings from the music,” he says.

Archie Bronson Outfit – Fur

Debut from London-based trio offers a refreshingly catholic take on blues

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