Caught in the Net: Jarvis Cocker and co's cockle-warming gift


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The Independent Culture

A few weeks ago, Pulp played a reunion homecoming show in Sheffield – and as a parting shot left a Christmas card to all the attendees which contained a code to download a gift from the band's website on Christmas day.

The gift turned out to be a new song of sorts: the track "After You" is a re-recording of an unreleased demo from the sessions for their final, underappreciated 2001 album, We Love Life. The new track is a slinky swift number with a disco feel, closer in tone to their earlier work than the lush sounds of We Love Life. It's a fine late entry to Pulp's canon and can be heard at

Unchained melody? Not for Frank

While Frank Ocean pretty much ruled 2012, sweeping all before him with his acclaimed album, Channel Orange, the R&B star had one late setback. Ocean was commissioned by Quentin Tarantino to contribute a song to the director's new violent western film, Django Unchained, released in the UK later this month. Tarantino, however dropped the song from the soundtrack – not, he claimed, because he didn't like it, but because he couldn't find a scene to suit the track. It seems there are no hard feelings, as Ocean posted the song, "Wise Man", on his website, with the words "Django was ill without it". Hear the sparse ballad at

Why we should faun over Marnie...

American singer-songwriter and guitar shredder Marnie Stern is making an early break for album title of the year, with her March-released record, The Chronicles of Marnia. The LP's wild but pun-free opening track, "Year of the Glad", can be found on Bandcamp through her label Kill Rock Stars at

Twenty years on, Low are still aiming high

In March, the US alt-rock trio Low will release their tenth album in their 20th year as a band (though some of the members have changed). The new record, Invisible Way, is produced by Wilco frontman and fellow art-rock explorer, Jeff Tweedy. On a recent edition of NPR's All Songs Considered music podcast, a new, gorgeous song from the record, "Plastic Cup", was previewed. Hear it at