Dutch indie label Snowstar Records are completely new to me, which is surprising as they're celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, and on the evidence of these nine tracks the music they release is very good indeed. I often worry that I'm too Anglocentric, and while I do often feature music from our American cousins, I very rarely explore music from Europe or the wider world. When such music does penetrate my insular listening bubble it generally turns out to be very good.
Snowstar Records have an eclectic selection on offer here; The Secret Love Parade play with synths and mechanical drum sounds, Lost Bear peddle solo-rich pub fare, and with their shuffle and fiddle Town of Saints make a good stab at bluegrass. Ultimately, though, while there's a veritable feast of different kinds of modern rock, it all runs in roughly the same direction. There's also a liberal sprinkling of what ten years ago would have been called ‘emo’, albeit a delicate and subtle take on the aesthetic. Where this collection really shines, however, is in its gentler, more acoustic moments. Kim Janssen's contribution, in particular, is simply stellar.
I'm ashamed I didn't get into this label sooner, but if you're feeling the same way then fear not. All is not lost, as Snowstar Records have kindly made this compilation available as a pay-what-you-like download through Bandcamp (which means that technically you can get it for free, but who's cheeky enough to do that? Not I, for sure). I'll certainly be keeping a keen eye on Snowstar from now on.