The Bonus Track: The Staves, The British Collective, George Ezra, Antony and the Johnsons'


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The Independent Culture

Bloody marvel

Watford sisters The Staves have featured in this column before. And while some acts struggle under “difficult second album” syndrome, if the first tracks to be made public from their forthcoming follow-up are to be trusted, there will be no such difficulties here. This ­blossoming of the band’s sound might have ­something to do with their choice of producer: none other than Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. It’s a musical match made in heaven. Watch the video for “Blood I Bleed”

Just an illusion?

“Mama Used to Say”, “Bodytalk”, “There’s Nothing Like This” … If you’re old enough to remember these Brit-soul classics, you might be keen to know that the men behind them (Junior, Leee John and Omar, respectively) have joined forces with two Don-E and Noel McCoy to form a collective called, er, the British ­Collective. They play their first show – for Children in Need – at London’s Koko on Tuesday night. See “Romantic”

Lord of the sings

What’s this? A pop video that can’t fail to raise a smile? Say what you like about George Ezra but the promo for his new single “Listen to the Man” features the best actor cameo since Chevy Chase met Paul Simon or Christopher Walken danced to Fatboy Slim. Sir Ian McKellen, take another bow.

Star turn

The curse of the Mercury Prize? Not likely. Antony and the ­Johnsons' latest release, Turning, is an incredible ­documentary based around the band'ss 2006 tour and the 13 transsexual women who accompanied them and gave new meaning to the music.