It seems the spirit of DIY is well and truly alive still, at least in the wilds of Essex, UK. A region previously most notable for dog racing and some of the worst seaside resorts England has to offer, it's becoming something of a hub for lo-fi eccentric pop, as exemplified by the thoroughly wonderful Tumbledryer Babies. Taking equal inspiration from their generic forebear Darren Hayman and the impressionistic pop of Phil Spector, this is a peculiarly English mix, and one that we can all experience for free. The band's (surprisingly large) back-catalogue is available for free download from their Bandcamp page (http://thetumbledryerbabies.bandcamp.com/).
Made up of hubby-and-wife Andrew and Emma Louise Moore alongside bassist (and occasional thingy-hitter) Daryl Worthington, they've managed to court the interest of ex-Butthole Surfers Kramer and Paul Leary, who have mixed and produced 7-inches by the band. They're travelling to SXSW in March so that sunny Austin can have a taste of dank, dreary Southend-on-Sea, so make sure you try to catch them if you're going. They've also got a new record out, again available for free download.