I reckon that many of the musicians currently releasing albums on cassette were barely born when the damn things were snapping and unspooling back in the day.

But there's a fad for this format at the moment, even if the tapes do come with a more contemporary digital download.

Take, for example, Magic Milk by Miracle Strip (Simply Thrilled Records), whose pop melodies and lo-fi Casio-style beats sound like they've travelled in a time machine from the 1980s, although the indie-twee lyrics and baritone vocals reach beyond the confines of that decade's electro-fare. Each of the seven songs has its own catchy dimension, while solo trumpet on Took A Running Jump and brass finale on Two Silhouettes prove there's more to this sibling duo than an obsession with electronica.

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Also on download and cassette (although the limited edition of the latter is already sold out) is This Life Is But A Passing Dream by Art Of The Memory Palace (Static Caravan), another twosome who have chiselled a nine-track album out of hours of jam sessions. Synthesisers oscillate wildly while songs settle into fantastically addictive grooves; it's like coming upon a cloister of monks who indulge their passion for Krautrock and John Carpenter soundtracks by folding them into Gregorian chants.

While we're still on the subject of musical pairs, Henry & Fleetwood (that's, respectively, Martin John of De Rosa and Gillian of State Broadcasters) have released an absolutely gorgeous four-track EP in On The Forest Floor (Olive Grove). Lovely little musical details are scattered throughout, from the busy sparkle of the harp that plays against the wide open synth chords on the title track, to the way their voices sit perfectly side by side on Forestry, as if they were made for each other.

Rolling lots of influences into a single package that's full of commercial potential, The Winter Tradition's self-released second album Lumi adds an electro (dare we say Chvrches-like?) element to the Scottish stable of Frightened Rabbit and Biffy Clyro anthems. The likes of Come Alive, Get It Wrong and new single Call beat hands down the blah-blah-blah output of any number of US bands who could fill the SSE Hydro. Indeed, this quartet from Edinburgh sound like they're metaphorically (possibly literally) ready to skip the unsigned tent and stake their claim on the main stage.

My top unexpected discovery of recent months is Lyle Christine, whose seventh - yes, seventh - album in eight years, The Landed Gentry, is available from download sites and his own website (www.lylechristine.com). Written, recorded and released through his own solo efforts in Glasgow, this is impressively complex but catchy music, not just in terms of the arrangements, which might set psych-folk vocals against rock guitar and hip hop beats, but in structure, as any given song might leap off in an entirely different direction without prior notice.

His sense of balance is tremendous: balance of acoustic and electric, of folksy waft and heavy rock distortion, of loose lyrics and tight beats. In local terms I'd count him in the cool crowd with Jonnie Common and Adam Stafford, but The Landed Gentry is so inventive in its capricious genre mix that Beck was the first name that came to mind.