Listen Up: A Karate Body Records playlist

Louisville label Karate Body Records's Mat Herron curates a playlist especially for The G-Man blog...

For the second instalment of Listen Up, a new regular post which invites some super knowledgeable music folks to select ten tunes for the good of our impressionable little ears, we slingshot across the Atlantic to the bluegrass state to Kentucky-based independent label Karate Body Records. Home to sublime talents such as Shipping News, Shipping News, Rachel Grimes and The Fervor, their more-than-respectable roster also boasts the formidable Seluah in their ranks, who slid in at #10 on the recent G-Man album of the year rundown (click here to recap).

Enough of the chitter-chatter, here's Mat to walk us through his selections.

Wax Fang - 'Mirror Mirror'
This one, which kicks off their new EP, Mirror Mirror, is a guitar-driven mini-opera. An eerie, unnerving introduction gives way to skewed pop madness. Pavement asked them to play its All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in 2010 and with any luck, they’ll be back across the pond very soon. One of the finest bands working, in any genre.

The Midnight Ghost Train - 'Foxhole'
Deep down, singer-guitarist Steve Moss is a blues guy who doesn't listen to that much heavy music. Their record Buffalo, was cut in one take, and this is the first single from that. Pulverizing blues topped off by Moss' fire-and-brimstone roar. They're playing Roadburn Festival in April, so if you're anywhere near Tilburg, Holland: watch them.

Seluah - 'Sail Straight Into The Bombs'
As débuts go, Seluah's Red Parole is impossible to ignore. The band's interpretation of rock atmospherics is three dimensional in the best way possible.

Whistle Peak - 'Play The Ghost'
Whistle Peak crafts mini-universes within each song; which nudges you down a rabbit hole of electro-folk wonder. You're left stranded, without a rope or ladder, and that's quite alright.

Silver Tongues - 'Hope For'
This started as the solo project of David Cronin, who now has a killer band. This track leans singer-songwriter, but where many of that ilk either have the chops or the voice but not necessarily both, David is an exception. Fans of Nick Drake will feel at home inside this intimate snapshot.

The Big Eyes Family Players - 'Bunny'
The most slept-on record of 2011, James Green lives in Sheffield, UK, but with the type of chamber folk he writes he might as well be Kentuckian. This gem, off their retrospective LP, Family Favourites, is serenity in song form. The record also has an awesome cover of Dirty Three's 'Three Wheels'.

Shipping News - 'Antebellum'
Last year the music world lost a great one in the death of Jason Noble, whose influence will reverberate forever. This song finds the band more ferocious and calculating than ever.

The Ravenna Colt - 'According to the Matador'
Slight Spell, Johnny Quaid's solo début after his amicable departure from My Morning Jacket, doesn't disrobe on the first date, so to speak. Johnny's message here is a hopeful one about dancing amid life's hurdles and living each day to the fullest. There’s a killer payoff at the end, too.

Phantom Family Halo - 'Alive And Well'
They’re lumped in, for better or worse, with the psychedelic genre, but for all Dominic Cipolla's experimental tendencies, he never sacrifices the “song” in songwriting.

The Fervor - 'Arise Great Warrior'
This is a lot of fun to play live. A mesmerizing call to action. Honoured to be in a band with these folks.

Stream the Karate Body Records playlist in full by clicking play below:

For more on Karate Body Records visit:

- For past editions of 'Listen Up' click here
- To listen to the playlist on Spotify click here

Follow The G-Man on: Facebook -- Twitter -- Pinterest -- Mixcloud -- This Is My Jam -- exfm