The Barometer: S.C.U.M; SBTRKT; Nicola Roberts; Björk; Jamie xx; Beirut; Oupa; Blood Orange; Club Smith

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The Independent Culture



Amber Hands

Despite Underage Festival origins, S.C.U.M have a mature sound. Depeche Mode, PiL and Placebo are influences.



UK garage meets US hip-hop. The south London producer has recruited Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon to provide breathy vocals and added instrumentation.

Nicola Roberts

LOVE (Dance to the Beat of My Drum)

It could be the Justice vs Simian-inspired chorus, or maybe it's the Uffie-esque verses, but, however we try to justify it, we just can't help loving Roberts's debut single.



Previewed via a short Vimeo clip of the singer listening to the song on her car stereo, this is classic leftfield pop.

Jamie xx

Far Nearer

Steel pan drum bursts provide the hook on this ethereal, post-dubstep track.


East Harlem

This jaunty pop song is how Daniel Johnston might sound with his edges planed. Cute but lacking outsider art spirit.



A reverb-drenched slice of piano-led, rainy day melancholia from Yuck frontman Daniel Blumberg's side band.

Blood Orange

Sutphin Boulevard

Any projects by Dev Hynes are always worth a listen but Blood Orange may be his best yet. Chilled, hooky dream-pop.

Club Smith

No Friend of Mine

Heavy indie rock with a Marilyn Manson-esque vocalist.