Those keen to hear an album unlike any other released this year could do a lot worse than this debut from Anglo-Greek musician Andy Dragazis.
Delving deep into the Greek part of his background, Dragazis has fashioned a largely instrumental album that is heavily influenced by that country's indigenous garage rock scene from the 1960s and 1970s. Think surf guitar, playful beats and retro-futurist sounds.
The Scantharies (it's the Greek word for beetle, in homage to The Beatles who spent time on Evia, the so-called Dream Island in the late 1960s) is clearly a labour of love for Dragazis. And although it's difficult to imagine that there will be a large audience for this sort album, the sense of joie de vivre that emanates from the organic instrumentation and vintage synths throughout is irrepressible.
In an age when a Korean pop song (Gangnam Style) can become a YouTube sensation in this part of the world, maybe the masses are more willing to look beyond their comfort zones every now and again?
KEY TRACKS Hip Messiah; The Bear