The Bonus Track: A.J.Ellis, Lana Del Rey, Grace Jones, Martyn Bennett and Damon Albarn


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The Independent Culture

A hero is reborn

Brit-born former Five O’Clock Heroes frontman A. J. Ellis is launching a solo career. He moved to New York as a teenager in the mid-90s and his sound can best be described as a country version of The Strokes (Heroes toured with Albert Hammond Jr.) mixed with Elvis Costello. Listen to his debut single “Cheating The Czar”

Born to fly

Retro-sounding perma-pouter Lana Del Rey has released the first track off her tricky second album Ultraviolence (released 18 May). Titled “West Coast” and produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, it doesn’t stray far from her usual Twin Peaks-esque style, with a twangy guitar hook reminiscent of Blondie’s “Atomic”


Saving grace

What better excuse to revisit inimitable diva Grace Jones than a deluxe remastering of her 1981 album ­Nightclubbing? Featuring rare original sessions, including a cover of the Gary Numan/Tubeway Army classic “Me! I Disconnect From You!” and a smokingly cool cover shot, it’s a reminder of just how much she’s influenced today’s music scene. Watch Grace and Iggy Pop do “Nightclubbing”


True grit

An album by maverick Scottish ­musician Martyn Bennett, who died in 2005 aged just 33, is being reissued to coincide with the opening of a theatre production based on his life. His much-acclaimed Grit, which mixes traditional Scottish music with techno beats, will be re-released with new tracks on 19 May. Listen to “Move” (featuring Sheila Stewart)


Next week’s biggie ...

Kevin Harley reviews Damon Albarn’s debut solo album Everyday Robots, which features guest appearances from Brian Eno and Natasha Khan AKA Bat for Lashes. Listen to the title track