Stags Sunbleached Baby
Stags might look like pretty indie boys, but they rock like early-to-mid-era Rival Sons, with a touch of The Doors in the background. Sunbleached Baby is a model example of this, steadily building soulful tension before bursting into a riff that’ll have you fist-pumping for weeks.
Aaron Keylock Against The Grain
If you’re good enough, as they say, you’re old enough. And this precocious slide-driven title track confirmed Oxfordshire wonderboy Keylock as a big talent. “That song is my life story, really,” he explained, “about going against the grain to normal people my age.”
Joe Bonamassa This Train
Written alongside Nashville’s James House, this piston-pumping opener from Blues Of Desperation wasn’t exactly rocket science, but it reminded us that Joe Bonamassa is sometimes at his best when he keeps it route-one. “It just felt energetic and alive,” the bluesman noted. “It was a total no-brainer.”
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Mojo Workin’
The grinding riff was pure strip-club fodder, and better still was a grizzled vocal that offered a smart inversion of the Muddy Waters classic (‘Got my mojo workin’/but it just don’t work on you’). A song so filthy you’ll need to shower afterwards.
White Miles In The Mirror
The Austrian odd couple described their sound as “dirty pole-dance stoner blues-rock”, and they proved it on this savage off-cut from second album The Duel, with a vocal from shit-kicking frontwoman Medina Rekic that suggested she’d eat rock’s alpha males for breakfast.
Kaleo Way Down We Go
Iceland’s negligible contribution to the blues looked a little healthier after this chilling single. The sparse piano and strings conjured real atmosphere, and the clincher was JJ Julius Son’s otherworldly vocals.