Since its first release some two-and-a-half years ago, Leeds independent label Dance To The Radio has gone from strength to strength, along with many of the acts it has spawned from its roster. Initially set up by Sam Nicholls (aka Whiskas) in order to put his own band's records out, the label is now as vital in budding A&R circles of the noughties as Creation and Warp were in the eighties and nineties.
Out Of The Woods And Trees is their fourth compilation thus far, and amongst its 20 tracks are songs by the usual suspects (¡Forward Russia!, The Pigeon Detectives), several as-yet undiscovered local gems (i concur, Vessels) and the odd surprise guest appearance (Howling Bells) hinting at potential label signings of the future, perhaps.
Of course, since The Pigeon Detectives became almost permanent fixtures on daytime television and radio (not to mention the upper end of the sales chart), DTTR has had the opportunity to re-invest some of that money in releasing records by the third wave of Leeds talent, and two of those artists, Grammatics and Sky Larkin, fare well here. The former's pretentious-but-loveable pop of 'The Manageress' and the latter's Napoleon IIIrd-assisted squiggle pop 'Keepsakes' stand out from the pack quite noticeably.
Elsewhere, watch out for electro three-piece Kotki Dwa, who make simple, catchy songs like Gary Numan fronting a-ha, and the epic post-rock of Held By Hands, whose closing memento Trading On Past Treasures seemingly holds no boundaries.
All in all then, Dance To The Radio have come up trumps once more. Expect to see a trail of scrawny music industry bods, cheque books at the ready, heading up the M1 as you read this.
8Dom Gourlay's Score