Various - Rough Trade Shops: 15 Years Of Bella Union Records

Since it was established in 1997, British label Bella Union has grown into one of our most formidable independents. Gifting the UK with critically successful contemporary bands like Midlake and Fleet Foxes (who both inevitably appear here), its ear for talent and fresh, innovative artists means it has remained a crucial part of the indie landscape throughout the decade-and-a-half this compilation seeks to celebrate. Presented by Rough Trade Shops (which means this could possibly be the indiest indie compilation ever), it may be a glorified mix tape, portfolio showcase, whatever you want to call it - but, when the songs and artists featured are of such a fantastic calibre, that doesn't stop it from being a wise purchase this week.

It's sensibly eclectic, considering it spans 34 tracks, with more recognisable names sharing disc space with the unsung. So, you have old-timer Van Dyke Parks alongside Zooey's mate M. Ward, the irresistibly dreamy Beach House across from the scratchily soulful folk of The Acorn, and glorious chanteuses Stephanie Dosen and Our Broken Garden's Anna Brønsted for anyone bored of Florence's pomp. Highlights abound but maybe start with the second disc's six exclusive tracks from the likes of The Walkmen and The Low Anthem, while Marques Toliver's 'Magic Look' is a further tease to that elusive full-length album. Despite omissions from the likes of sometime signings Howling Bells and Fionn Regan, this is a mix that should take you right up to Bella's sweet sixteenth.



out of 10

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