For some god-only-knows reason, despite my love of Joy Divsion, the Smiths et al, the music that sounds most like Manchester to me is by folktronica (not my term i assure you)duo Its Jo and Danny, odd concidering they come from Aldershot. Maybe its because their label is called Double Snazzy. I dont know. What i do know is they invented the Green Man festival, so you can blame the current beard vogue on them.
Their music is odd, skewered folk, based on barmy samples and breezy melodies. 'Lank Haired Girl to Bearded Boy'(2000) is probably the best port of call to start with, them being at their 8-track, laid back best. But poppier, cleaner LPs 'but we have the music'(2003) and 'The Quickening' (2005) are well worth a look at. The tracks that typify them are probably 'Hippy Thinking', a laid back of wash of music, samples, strings and wispy vocals. Imagine a Beth Orton swimming after smoking too much pot, and youre halfway there, and 'It should have been me' a later, slightly more sophisticated sway of girl pop. Its a bit like Portishead made out of dandelions at sunset on a beach. But have a dig, they are the kind of band where everyone has a different favourite track. Triple snazzy.
It should have been me