This Week’s New Releases: Khalid, Martha And PUP

This week has seen some long-awaited albums drop. Khalid’s sophomore LP has arrived, while Martha have released their third album, as have Canadian punks PUP.

In the mood for something else? Fill your boots below.

Bella Novela – ‘Incinerate’ (Bella Novela)

Bryce Dessner – ‘El Chan’ (Chester Music)

Circa Waves – ‘What’s It Like Over There?’ (Prolifica/PIAS)

Don Felder – ‘American Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (BMG)

The Drums – ‘Brutalism’ (Anti-)

Flying Steps – ‘Flying Pictures At An Exhibition’ (Sony)

Girli – ‘Odd One Out’ (Virgin EMI)

Idlewild – ‘Interview Music’ (Empty Word)

Ioanna Gika – ‘Thalassa’ (Sargent House)

Jai Wolf – ‘The Cure To Loneliness’ (Mom+Pop)

Khalid – ‘Free Spirit’ (Columbia)

Lee Fields and the Expressions – ‘It Rains Love’ (Big Crown Records)

Lissie – ‘When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective’ (Lionboy Records/Cooking Vinyl)

Martha – ‘Love Keeps Kicking’ (Big Scary Monsters/Dirtnap)

Meil De Botton – ‘Surrender To The Feeling’ (Miel Creation via Absolute)

Molly Tuttle – ‘When You’re Ready’ (Compass)

Periphery – ‘Periphery IV: Hail Stan’ (Periphery, LLC/eOne)

Priests – ‘The Seduction Of Kansas’ (Sister Polygon Records)

PUP – ‘Morbid Stuff’ (BMG/Rise/Little Dipper)

Reba McEntire – ‘Stronger Than The Truth’ (Big Machine)

Rozi Plain – ‘What A Boost’ (Memphis Industries)

Sara Bareilles – ‘Amidst The Chaos’ (RCA)

Sego – ‘Sego Sucks’ (Roll Call Records)

Tyler Ramsey – ‘For The Morning’ (Virgin EMI)

Weyes Blood – ‘Titanic Rising’ (Sub Pop)

W. H. Lung – ‘Incidental Music’ (Melodic)

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Staff Picks: Huw Baines

I’ve listened to a lot of records in the last 12 months, but there are two that have refused to wear out. After the year we’ve had, it’s perhaps not much of a surprise that they’re both fuelled by politics; one by the desire to highlight the day-to-day consequences of the racist, misogynistic, heteronormative, uber capitalist soup we swim in, the other by the need to take that anger and scream it in someone’s face. Also, given that it’s me doing the listening, it’s not a surprise that they’re both scrappy punk records heavy on the hooks.

They’re Martha’s ‘Blisters in the Pit of My Heart’ and the Lippies’ self-titled debut.

I caught on to Martha a bit late. I heard ‘Courting Strong’, their first LP, a few months after its release and it swiftly became one of my favourite albums. Ever, of all time etc. So, ‘Blisters…’ had a lot to live up to.  When Christine first came out (as part of Alcopop’s ‘Sensible Record Labels 2’ comp) I wondered aloud to the Twitter void if Martha were capable of writing a bad song. MJ, who produced ‘Blisters…’, replied that it wasn’t even in the top five on the record. He was right.

Once I had a copy of it in my grubby mitts, I listened to it straight through three times, marvelling at how the hits just kept coming. Over time, the specifics of each story – from anarchist detectives to precarious employment and soul-crushing Catholicism – became clearer, along with the intricacy of their harmonies. When I interviewed JC about it, we spent a good chunk of time talking about Paul Heaton’s ability to fuse social commentary with solid gold pop songs. Martha can do that, too. They’re a special band and I’m already looking forward to their next step.

Sadly, the opposite is true of the Lippies. Six weeks after putting out their full length bow they split. I never got to see them live, don’t own a physical copy of the record and due to my all-round tardiness didn’t write anything about them. Here’s to rectifying that bit here. The Lippies were the sort of punk band that played as though a single bolt might come loose with a second’s notice and send them crashing to the kerb. They had something of ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’-era Rancid about them. Every melody, every feminist lyric begged to be yelled along to. Tonia Broucek formed the band to get things off her chest and appropriately her vocal performance here was ridiculous. There are moments where her lungs should give out, but she won’t stop. I am gutted we won’t see what might have happened to the Lippies down the line, but I really love this record. That’s enough.

On top of all that, we should all agree that Mitski’s Your Best American Girl is the song of the year and just move on with our lives. Also, see below for a big old list (in no discernible order) of other stuff I’ve really liked and head here for bits I enjoyed reading/writing. See you in 2017.

  • The Falcon – Gather Up The Chaps
  • Sheer Mag – III EP
  • Jeff Rosenstock – WORRY
  • Cymbals Eat Guitars – Pretty Years
  • White Lung – Paradise
  • Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  • Touché Amoré – Stage Four
  • Solange – A Seat At The Table
  • Mitski – Puberty 2
  • A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
  • The Hotelier – Goodness
  • Chris Farren – Can’t Die
  • Super Unison – Auto
  • Planes Mistaken For Stars – Prey
  • Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death
  • Domo Genesis – Genesis
  • PUP – The Dream Is Over
  • Kevin Devine – Instigator
  • Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
  • Joyce Manor – Cody
  • The Dirty Nil – Higher Power
  • Case/Lang/Veirs – Case/Lang/Veirs
  • Basia Bulat – Good Advice
  • Mikey Erg – Tentative Decisions
  • Mount Moriah – How To Dance
  • Andy Shauf – The Party
  • Big Eyes – Stake My Claim
  • Doe – Some Things Last Longer Than You
  • Tender Defender – Tender Defender
  • Slowcoaches – Nothing Gives
  • Swanning – Swanning EP
  • Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
  • The Thermals – We Disappear
  • Naked Hour – Always on the Weekend
  • Oathbreaker – Rheia
  • Angel Olsen – My Woman
  • Cayetana – Tired Eyes
  • Dead To Me – I Wanna Die in Los Angeles
  • Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate
  • Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
  • John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
  • Beyoncé – Lemonade
  • AJJ – The Bible 2
  • Direct Hit! – Wasted Mind
  • PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  • Camp Cope – Camp Cope
  • Vince Staples – Prima Donna
  • La Bella – Ides
  • Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp
  • Shura – Nothing’s Real
  • Happy Diving – Electric Soul Unity
  • Crying – Beyond The Fleeting Gales
  • Katy Goodman and Greta Morgan – Take It, It’s Yours
  • Tancred – Out Of The Garden
  • PKEW PKEW PKEW – PKEW PKEW PKEW
  • Wussy – Forever Sounds
  • Trust Fund – We Have Always Lived In The Harolds
  • Gouge Away – , Dies
  • Savages – Adore Life
  • Sad13 – Slugger

A look ahead to…

  • That Dillinger Four record has to come out at some point, right? Right?
  • Paint It Black in the UK.
  • New Menzingers. New Captain, We’re Sinking too, maybe.

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Staff Picks: Huw Baines

huw

The whole end of year list thing is stressful. I set some basic rules for these blogs to make sure we got the big things covered, but I’ve broken pretty much all of them because I’m a nightmare and can’t make decisions. One thing that’s certain, though, is that all of the lists below contain great music that I’ve revisited time and time again throughout 2015.

So, that’s something at least. They’re not in any real order because that would mean another set of (arbitrary) decisions altogether and fuck that.

You can shout at me about any of this on Twitter here.

Albums:

  • Grimes – ‘Art Angels’ [Listen] [Read]
  • Worriers – ‘Imaginary Life’ [Listen]
  • Torres – ‘Sprinter’ [Listen]
  • Hop Along – ‘Painted Shut’ [Listen]
  • The Wonder Years – ‘No Closer To Heaven’ [Listen]
  • Trust Fund – ‘Seems Unfair’ [Listen]
  • Vacation – ‘Non Person’ [Listen]
  • Terrible Feelings – ‘Tremors’ [Listen]
  • Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ [Listen]
  • Deafheaven – ‘New Bermuda’ [Listen]
  • Joanna Gruesome – ‘Peanut Butter’ [Listen]
  • Ghostpoet – ‘Shedding Skin’ [Listen]
  • Waxahatchee – ‘Ivy Tripp’ [Listen]
  • Rolo Tomassi – ‘Grievances’ [Listen]
  • California X – ‘Nights in the Dark’ [Listen]
  • Loma Prieta – ‘Self Portrait’ [Listen]
  • Young Guv – ‘Ripe 4 Luv’ [Listen]
  • Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room – ‘Party Adjacent’ [Listen]
  • Laura Stevenson – ‘Cocksure’ [Listen]
  • Screaming Females – ‘Rose Mountain’ [Listen]

Albums due out after this list is published that rule:

  • Baroness – ‘Purple’ [Listen]

EPs and Splits:

  • Martha x Radiator Hospital – Split [Listen]
  • Sheer Mag – ‘II’ [Listen]
  • Touché Amore x Self Defense Family – ‘Self Love’ [Listen]
  • Low Culture x Iron Chic – Split [Listen]
  • FKA Twigs – ‘M3LL155X’ [Listen]
  • Martha x Benny The Jet Rodriguez – Split [Listen]
  • Shit Present – ‘Shit Present’ [Listen]
  • G.L.O.S.S – Demo [Listen]
  • Basement Benders – ‘Basement Benders’ [Listen]
  • Drug Church – ‘Swell’ [Listen]
  • The All Brights – ‘Wild for the Night’ [Listen]
  • Fake Problems – ‘Strange Emotions: Holy Attitude’ [Listen]
  • Sharon Van Etten – ‘I Don’t Want To Let You Down’ [Listen]

Songs:

  • Vacation – Yin-Yang Smile [Listen]
  • Waxahatchee – Under a Rock [Listen]
  • Martha – Chekhov’s Hangnail [Listen]
  • Shearwater – Quiet Americans [Listen]
  • Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room – Plain Old Whiskey [Listen]
  • Trust Fund – Big Asda  [Listen]
  • Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta [Listen]
  • Grimes – REALiTi [Listen]
  • Chvrches – Leave A Trace [Listen]
  • Worriers – Most Space [Listen]
  • Rolo Tomassi – The Embers [Listen]
  • Ghostpoet – X Marks The Spot [Listen]
  • The Wonder Years – I Don’t Like Who I Was Then [Listen]
  • Hop Along – Powerful Man [Listen]
  • Young Guv – Crawling Back To You [Listen]
  • Years & Years – Shine [Listen]
  • Donnie Trumpet/Chance The Rapper/The Social Experiment – Sunday Candy [Listen]

Live:

  • The Menzingers – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
  • Craig Finn – Slaughtered Lamb, London
  • Torres – Rough Trade East, London
  • The Hotelier – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
  • Rolo Tomassi – The Waiting Room, London
  • Faith No More – Roundhouse, London
  • La Roux – KOKO, London
  • Alkaline Trio – O2 Academy, Bristol
  • The Sidekicks – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
  • Sweet Baboo – St. Giles’, Wrexham

Labels that have had a good year:

  • Don Giovanni (Worriers, Vacation, Screaming Females, Tenement) [Listen]
  • Dirt Cult (Earth Girls/Iron Chic/Crow Bait) [Listen]
  • Specialist Subject (Martha/Shit Present/Bangers/Twisted/Personal Best) [Listen]
  • Tiny Engines (Adult Mom/Annabel/Runaway Brother) [Listen]
  • Fortuna Pop! (Joanna Gruesome/The Spook School) [Listen]
  • Partisan (Torres/Pure Bathing Culture/Craig Finn) [Listen]

Moments:

Stuff that I missed the first time around but have worn out this year:

  • This Billy Thermal album [Listen]
  • Kylesa in general [Listen]
  • Pears – ‘Go To Prison’ [Listen]
  • One Reason in general [Listen]
  • Feral Trash – ‘Trashfiction’ [Listen]

Fond farewells:

Distros that I’d be fucking miserable without:

Next year will be tolerable due to:

  • Possible new Dillinger Four
  • A new Falcon record
  • This band (Paint it Black x Bridge and Tunnel)
  • That Barnett Brothers tour
  • New Savages
  • Grimes at Brixton Academy

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