Will Scotland change the course of British (and world) history on September 18 and vote for independence? Or will its progressive populace choose to remain in the United Kingdom? Whatever the complex political and economic ramifications of the vote, the fate of the referendum on independence offers a fine (albeit superficial) opportunity to devote tonight's UKNY at 11 to Scottish artists and bands, stretching from Glasgow to Fife to the Isle of Eigg. Expect new releases from Simple Minds, Owl John, Law and Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, whose film "God Help The Girl" was released Stateside last week, as well as more vintage selections from Primal Scream (rest in peace, Robert "Throb" Young) and Cocteau Twins.
Tonight's UKNY at 11 focuses on some veteran artists and bands with new—and radiant—albums and EPs out this month, like Robert Plant (whose splendid Lullaby and ... The Ceaseless Roar is easily one of the best recordings of 2014) The June Brides, Groove Armada and Tricky. Also, just-released singles from fresher faces, like Bristol's tender-but tough Rozi Plain and the charismatic, Mercury Prize-nominated Jessie Ware (pictured) who returns with her second album in October.
There are many roads leading into tonight's UKNY at 11. In addition to new releases from Joanna Gruesome, Allo Darlin' (pictured), Alt-J and Zero 7, expect a set inspired by the legendary, late BBC Radio 1 presenter John Peel who would have turned 75 today, August 30. Also, more music from Kate Bush, who began her residency at London's Hammersmith Apollo earlier this week, a farewell to summer and perhaps the most heartbreaking song of 2014, as exquisitely delivered by Slow Club.
Kate Bush fans once believed that they had a better chance of spotting a unicorn cantering down the street than ever seeing their beloved siren perform live again (her one and only outing had been 1979's six-week "Tour of Life.") So the return of Kate Bush this Tuesday, August 26, as she kicks off the first of 22 very sold-out shows at London's Hammersmith Apollo, is truly astonishing. The residency, christened "Before The Dawn," stretches for six weeks until October 1 and promises much to make her acolytes go weak at the knees, like the rumored inclusion of "The Ninth Wave" suite from 1985's Hounds of Love in her set. So on UKNY tonight at 11, the music of Kate Bush (and her admirers) steps to the forefront. In addition, new music from Kele Okereke, Deptford Goth, Eaux and Manchester's—or Madchester's—Inspiral Carpets, on the brink of releasing their first single in 20 years.
On UKNY at 11 tonight, cool new British releases from a diverse batch of artists, like Scottish luminaries and Nirvana favorites The Vaselines; French-warbling, Glasgow-based chanteuse Ella the Bird (pictured); Birmingham's Laura Mvula, backed by a 52-piece Dutch orchestra; and London's Grumbling Fur, a duo that's neither tetchy or hirsute—but definitely psychedelic.