Texan post-rock mainstays Explosions In The Sky play their biggest UK show to date at Brixton Academy on Friday in support of last year's fine Take Care, Take Care, Take Care album (with support from Lanterns On The Lake and Blanck Mass).
2011 also saw Will Oldham release Wolfroy Goes To Town, the 11th album under his Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy guise. It is arguably his best album for several years, characteristically stripped down, confessional and intimate and he plays from it at Hackney Empire on Wednesday.
Seattle singer-songwriter Damien Jurado returns to London to play a small show at the Enterprise on Monday ahead of forthcoming release Maraqopa. Later in the week Franco-Finnish outfit The Dø play Bush Hall on Thursday. They have been compared to Vashti Bunyan, The Cardigans and Björk and play ahead of the release of their second album, Both Ways Open Jaws. A show at XOYO on Tuesday showcases two of the most hotly-tipped emerging talents, namely Scottish R&B songwriter and BRITs Critics Choice winner Emeli Sandé and BBC Sound Of 2012 winner Michael Kiwanuka. Elsewhere, electronica pioneers 808 State play a rare live show at the Village Underground on Friday.
One of the more experimental/leftfield gigs of the week takes place at the Bishopsgate Institute on Friday as part of their ongoing Vortex City Session series. King Midas Sound, Raime and Leyland James Kirby provide an evening of esoteric electronic soundworlds and darkly abstact noisescapes. Meanwhile, over at the Vortex in Dalston hosts a week long series of shows that celebrate Anglo-German musical collaborations (curated by avant-jazz legend Evan Parker). Finally, reggae/dub maverick Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry plays a pair of shows at the Jazz Café on Friday and Saturday.
Jason McNiff – Borderline – 23rd January
Casiokids – Cargo – 24th January
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – Cargo – 24th January
Francois & The Atlas Mountains – Slaughtered Lamb – 25th January
Toy – Shacklewell Arms – 25th January
Madison Violet – Borderline – 25th January
Josh Rouse – Union Chapel – 28th January
Pulled Apart By Horses – Barfly – 28th January
The Shins – Kentish Town Forum – 22nd March
Laura Gibson – Lexington – 10th April
The Apple Cart Festival – Victoria Park – 3rd June (the first set of bands announced to play “London’s boutique festival of music, comedy, art, cabaret and magic) include Billy Bragg, Jeffrey Lewis, Penguin Café, Neneh Cherry, Stornoway and Noah & The Whale.