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Caught in the net: Portishead chase forth

Given the three-year gap between Portishead's first record and their second, and the 11 years between album two and their third LP of new material, the emergence of new music a little over a year after 'Third' was released, displays admirable productivity for the band. OK, it's only a single song, not a full album, but still.

Album: The Horrors, Primary Colours (XL)

When The Horrors' debut Strange House was released in 2007, I described it as sounding like something you might end up with if you were to hold a Goth Idol talent contest.

Album: Malakai, Ugly Side of Love, (Invada)

Loved by Lily Allen, signed to Geoff (Portishead) Barrow’s record label and described as “the b-boy Syd Barrett”, the debut album by Bristol two-piece Malakai would be irritating if it wasn’t such a work of wonder.

Caught in the Net by Elisa Bray

Prince, and his label NPG Records, may have made a fuss about fans' YouTube clips of his version of Radiohead's "Creep" performed at Coachella, claiming copyright infringement and asking for them to be removed, but Radiohead has no such qualms about website exposure. As Thom Yorke says: "Well, tell him to unblock it. It's our song". Since then, the band's new song, "Super Collider", performed at their 6 June show in Dublin, can be seen on YouTube, albeit with a very shaky picture.

Album: Martina Topley Bird, The Blue God (Independiente)

Martina Topley Bird's CV of former collaborators is one of the more impressively varied in modern pop: since she was discovered by Tricky way back in the mid-Nineties, her vocals have appeared on records by David Holmes, Mark Lanegan, Primus, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Gorillaz, to name but a few.

Album: Portishead, Third (Island)

Say what you like about Portishead; you can't accuse them of being in it for the money. The easy thing to do, a decade-plus since their much-adored debut, would be to play it safe and offer up 'Dummy' redux.

Ones to watch: Five of the best new acts


Named after She-Ra’s pad in He- Man, this boy-girl Toronto duo state their influences, via their Myspace page, as murder, blank looks on girls and knives. However true that may be, it’s possibly more helpful to say that their sound is an amalgam of Suicide, Kid 606 and Klaxons, while their employment of Atari soundchips in their keyboards also allies them with the currently voguish chiptunes movement.