Please excuse a brief promotional post on behalf of a friend. I first met Claire Tchaikowski almost exactly a year ago after she agreed to give a response to my talk at the RSA. I gave her a copy of my book; she gave me a copy of her still unmastered first album. Claire was originally signed to Sony-BMG, and has had 'interest' from two other major labels. But for now she's going it alone, and her album is released today on iTunes (256 kbps, no DRM) via Artists Without a Label. You can also hear one of the tracks in full on Last.fm. I'm not under any illusions that this blog is on the radar of music tastemakers, but am just chipping in my personal recommendation to anyone who might lend an ear. Quote me on this: you'll like Claire more than Dido. And if you're in London, she's supporting Luka Bloom in three weeks' time.