This week some old(ish) favourites have returned with either a new album or a new band. It's a nervous time: what if I don't like them? Will it affect the things of theirs I once believed to be great and reduce them to rubbish?
Each piece of music should surely stand on its own. I like it when a band I don't like make a record I do, even be it by accident. I also like it when I find one great track on a terrible album.
This is how one should try and listen to music, I think, and therefore you shouldn't assume you're going to like a new record or try and force yourself when you don't. As a side note, this is why I find it so irritating when new records by famous bands make it on to radio playlists without anyone questioning whether or not they are actually any good. (I'll refrain from making a list.)
So, this week Josh from Shit Horse, who in a recent telephone interview told me to "eat shit and ride", has an album out with his new band Americans in France. Listen to it here.
French Quarter, the work of Steven Steinbrink, who has for many years now been sun-bleaching my heart with Californian love, also has a new album and there is a new EP from Starving Weirdos, a band with a name so great that at some point they surely have to disappoint.
I have yet to listen to any of these new releases and will try and go in without any preconceptions. But I bet they are all going to be brilliant, perhaps the best thing ever. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say they are three of my favourite records so far this year.
Tom Ravenscroft's radio show is on BBC 6 Music every Friday at 9pm. He writes a monthly music column for the New Statesman magazine