Album: Julian Plenti is… Skyscraper

So Interpol’s frontman Paul Banks has joined the growing ranks of blokes in bands releasing solo records, but does the world need another outlet for his creative juices?

On first listen, and particularly on first track Only If You Run, you’d have to say a big fat ‘no’. It plods, it whines, and it lacks any of the tense energy of Interpol at their best.

Daniel Johnston to release first new album in six years.

Lo-fi legend Daniel Johnston has turned his back on his traditional homemade recordings and teamed up with Beck and Paul McCartney producer Jason Falkner for his forthcoming album Is And Always Was.

The album, which will be released 6th October, has high-level production and features Falkner on guitar, bass and keyboards.

On the back of the success of 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Daniel has also signed independent filmmakers Regererate to make a feature length film about his life.

Brian’s Monday Playlist #3: Imitation and Flattery

Brian’s been a bit of a lazy owl this morning after a rather hard night on the acorn juice. But here, better late than never, is his third Monday playlist — with a lovely bit of Ane Brun, Dolly Parton, The Decemberists and Jenny Lewis – to make the start of the week that little bit brighter.

Q&A with Schmercuries nominee Roddy Woomble

Over the coming weeks FFS will be submitting the same set of questions to the Schmercury nominees. Today, Roddy Woomble answers on behalf of Drever McCusker and Woomble, who are nominated for their album Before the Ruin.

The Schmercuries is FFS’s best album prize (apart from there is no prize other than the glory of being deemed brill, ace AND skill by our lovely readers). You can see the nominated albums and vote for your favourite to win here.

Jeremy Warmsley announces various projects and tour

Jeremy Warmsley’s never been one to rest on his laurels, but the man’s really excelling himself in the next few months. Not only is he debuting his new band, Acres, Acres, this week at two London venues, producing lovely covers with the Little Words, and taking himself off to the big apple, he’s also putting together a tour for October. Fwooft.

Album: Sam Baker – Cotton

In 1986 Sam Baker was blown up Peruvian terrorists. He spent days in hospital unable to move, he underwent weeks of surgery including on his brain and treatment for shrapnel and gangrene. After the explosion Sam had to learn to walk and talk again. He’s deaf in one ear and the loudest sound in the other is ringing.

St Vincent Live Session and Tour

Schmercury nominee and undeniable genius Annie Clark (or St Vincent, to her fans) has recorded a live performance with Fever Lake Sessions, which incorporates tracks from her stupendous album, Actor.

Q&A with Schmercuries nominee Alessi’s Ark

Over the coming weeks FFS will be submitting the same set of questions to the Schmercury nominees. Today, Alessi’s Ark’s Alessi Laurent-Marke addresses us by name, tells us about the importance of firsts and that she’d like to have a picnic with all of of our readers.

The Schmercuries is FFS’s best album prize (apart from there is no prize other than the glory of being deemed brill, ace AND skill by our lovely readers). You can see the nominated albums and vote for your favourite to win here.

Brian’s Monday Playlist #2: Brian’s Pick of the Scmercuries

Brian’s been agonising over our Schmercuries shortlist this weekend, trying to work out which of the wonderful albums to vote for in our poll. Sadly, FFS’s resident owl is quite the procrastinator, so what he’s actually done is pick his favourite song from each album. Whilst this hasn’t helped him make his mind up, it has produced a lovely little playlist to be shared with his friends on the interweb.

Q&A with Schmercuries nominee Darren Hayman

Over the coming weeks FFS will be submitting the same set of questions to the Schmercury nominees. Today, Darren Hayman – who is nominated for his amazing album Pram Town – questions our motives, says he wants La Roux to win the Mercuries and that Emmy the Great is his favourite artist on our shortlist.

Telegraph.co.uk’s Laura Marling review remarkably similar to Wears The Trousers’ write-up

Parts of a write up of Laura Marling’s excellent show on Tuesday night appearing on the Telegraph’s website have been shown to be remarkably similar to a review posted online earlier by our friends at Wears The Trousers.

WTT’s article was written by Richard Steele, a frequent contributor for the magazine who’s reviewed such FFS favourites as Blue Roses, Slow Club and Emmy the Great.

The Telegraph.co.uk article is attributed to Jack Arnhold.

Guest Blog: The Dufflefolks’ Louis

Hi, my name is Louis and I play guitar, bass, and occasionally the glockenspiel in the band The Dufflefolks. Last night, we played a gig for Old Inverted World promotions that are far by the loveliest promoters we have ever had the grace to meet. They made us feel at home straight away and even with my diva requests about the sun shining in my eyes, they assured me that the sun would go by the time we had to play. We were to play with the highly and rightly lauded band She Keeps Bees and Babe Shadow.

Noah and the Whale tour and free downloads

Back from an epic journey that apparently covered 1140 land miles, Noah and the Whale are plunging into the promotion for their second album, First Days of Spring, with more vigour than you can shake a ukulele at. Without even a moment taken for resting upon laurels, the gents will be releasing their album on 31st August, before pulling on their travelling shoes once more.