Arts and Entertainment Jake Bugg burst onto the scene aged 18

The success of Jake Bugg and Ben Howard has given rise to a new wave of male singer-songwriters who are queueing up to show off their sensitive sides

Album: Bill Frisell, Sign of Life (Savoy)

Guitarist Frisell has been straddling the gap between bluegrass-picking and the plinky-plonk avant garde for years but this latest recording, the second with his 858 string quartet, marks a return to peak form. All 17 tunes are Frisell compositions but the band's extempore arrangements deliver intricately worked variations on fiddle and guitar breakdowns and big-vista American pastoralism, as well as a little bit of squeaky-gate improv. The sound sparkles like springwater.

Album: Carl Coxaii, Roads Lead to the Dancefloor (Intec Digital)

The medium is increasingly the message in modern music.

Album: Vintage Trouble, The Bomb Shelter Sessions (VintageTrouble)

Vintage Trouble's music harks back to the erotically-charged blues-rock of the 1970s, but with a funky edge that recalls The Black Crowes.

Album: Danny & the Champions of the World, Hearts & Arrows (SO)

Last year's Streets of Our Time was an attractive enough hash of Slim Chancey folk breeze and bird imagery.

Album: Avalon Trio, Forlana (Marquetry)

Great idea: an improvising trio takes off from the English pastoral tradition on tunes by Delius, Finzi and Vaughan Williams plus two originals.

Scouting for Girls plan concept album

The 'She's So Lovely' rockers have started working on their third album and frontman Roy Stride is planning to have a concept running through it.

The Word On... Black up, Shabazz Palaces

"Shabazz Palaces sound like no one else and that is where the beauty lies. They'll be compared to a fleet of other 'avant' hip-hop artists, but the comparisons will be ultimately flawed, 'Black Up' is gloriously refreshing. The only complaint I feel one can level against it is that it's just too short at 36 minutes."

Album: Ricardo Villalobos, Max Loderbauer, Re: (ECM)

With two techno-heads unleashed on the archive of ECM, you might expect at least the ghost of a groove.

Album: Junior Boys, It's All True (Domino)

Scratch beneath the surface sheen of It's All True and all kinds of depths emerge.

Album: Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams (Warner)

The caprine warble of solo Steve Nicks has broken its silence after 10 years to explore the idea that nothing lasts forever, especially in affairs of the heart.

World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries (18)

This catchily titled genre piece envisages – ho-hum – another apocalypse in which England is overrun by now-familiar legions of the living dead.

Album: Tania Chen, John Cage: Music of Changes (Knitted)

The solo piano piece Music of Changes is one of John Cage's most exacting works, for performer and listener alike.

Album: Charlie Dore, Cheapskate Lullabies (Black Ink Music)

Knowing, worldly, delicate but mordant pop born out of wisdom, mostly, and the desire to share it.

Album: Monteverdi / Scelsi, Vita – Sonia Wieder-Atherton (Naive)

Wieder-Atherton's recital with fellow cellists Sarah Lancu and Matthieu Lejeune fashions an elegaic narrative from music by "two geniuses outside their own times": Claudio Monteverdi and Giacinto Scelsi.

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