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Purity Ring

Purity Ring - Womb (Album Review)

Photo: Carson Davis Brown Conjuring a nostalgic world, Purity Ring's third LP, ‘Womb’, is home to the most intimate lyrics and sounds the Canadian duo have produced to date. In the five years since Corin Roddick and Megan James landed in the upper reaches of the Billboard charts with their second record ‘Another Eternity’, they have leaned into a more layered, ethereal style, and it’s a change that suits them.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 06 April 2020

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam - Gigaton (Album Review)

Photo: Danny Clinch  The sound of Pearl Jam’s engines roaring into life used to prick the ears of millions. Thirty years ago they soared on the cutting edge of grunge’s commercial explosion, riding the plaid wave to monster sales and similarly expansive live gatherings, but like so many of their peers they now exist in the crowded liminal space between nostalgia and creative restlessness.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 03 April 2020

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia (Album Review)

“You want what now looks like? Let me give you a taste,” Dua Lipa sings in a new wave drawl on the eponymous opener of her second album, ‘Future Nostalgia’. She then proceeds to deliver on that promise in style across a record that serves as a snapshot of the current pop landscape swathed in signifiers from previous eras.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 02 April 2020

Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud (Album Review)

Photo: Molly Matalon In the decade since she began performing as Waxahatchee, much of Katie Crutchfield’s catalogue has shied away from the country music that informed her childhood, assuming a darker, punkier sound more redolent of her former band P.S. Eliot.

Written by: Ben Gladman | Date: Wednesday, 01 April 2020

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens / Lowell Brams - Aporia (Album Review)

Dull is definitely not the word to use when describing ambient music. However, with no chorus hooks or poetic lyricism on hand, and an audience whose attention span is dwindling by the day, it’s sometimes a little too easy to get lost in the atmospheric noise and drift off into other, more focus-stealing thoughts.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Sorry

Sorry - 925 (Album Review)

Photo: Sam Hiscox Sorry’s debut album, ‘925’, stands as their first foray into more established means of music delivery after initially making their presence known via songs and mixtapes trickling out of their North London bedrooms. But that may also be where their brief flirtation with the norm ends, because Sorry are not a conventional rock band.

Written by: James Lawson | Date: Monday, 30 March 2020

Myrkur

Myrkur - Folkesange (Album Review)

Photo: Shawn Brackbill On ‘Folkesange’, Danish black metal crossover artist Myrkur has leant headfirst into folk music, delivering a 12-song collection of gentile Nordic storytelling. The result is oddly disconcerting, with the record's production completely mishandled amid the feeling that crushing metal chords are constantly waiting around the corner.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 27 March 2020

The Slow Readers Club

The Slow Readers Club - The Joy of the Return (Album Review)

Manchester’s Slow Readers Club have never quite reached the heights that their considerable potential might have propelled them to. One reason for that, perhaps, is that they’ve not yet managed to coin a killer signature tune.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 26 March 2020

Baxter Dury

Baxter Dury - The Night Chancers (Album Review)

Photo: Tom Beard Baxter Dury’s sixth studio album is also likely his best. Crisp bass grooves and ‘90s hip hop drums provide a satisfying backdrop to a performance persona that is getting better with age. At 48, he is a musician who has worked long and hard to find an audience and this album may broaden his appeal towards the levels seen by his late father, the new wave icon Ian Dury.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The Weeknd

The Weeknd - After Hours (Album Review)

With ‘After Hours’, Abel Tesfaye’s fourth studio album as the Weeknd, the Canadian superstar has delivered a pleasingly cohesive 14-track record that occupies itself with familiar themes of narcotic consumption and sexual endeavour. It’s a fun ride, but one that might leave you with a bit of shame and regret in the morning light.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Code Orange

Code Orange - Underneath (Album Review)

Every so often an album comes along that changes the conversation. Code Orange’s ‘Underneath’ is one of them. It’s a modern metal classic that reshapes what it means to be inventive within the realms of commercially-attuned heavy music, trading in unbridled power and complex, head-spinning electronics.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Monday, 23 March 2020

The Districts

The Districts - You Know I'm Not Going Anywhere (Album Review)

Photo: Shervin Lainez There’s something about the Districts’ fourth album ‘You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere’ that screams North American. Of course, being based near Philadelphia that’s exactly what they are, but the DNA here is shared with the likes of the Decemberists (a slightly quirky element) and also with their Canadian neighbours the New Pornographers (sugary pop) and even Arcade Fire (anthemic stylings).

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 19 March 2020

The Shires

The Shires - Good Years (Album Review)

Before venturing any further, let’s address the stylistic elephant in the room shall we? The Shires are already the UK’s most successful country act of all time, but are they really a country act? In the traditional sense, no, and purists who worship Waylon, Willie and Cash should definitely give them a wide berth. But anyone who enjoys Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum, timeless pop acts who employ a scattering of country textures, will lap up ‘Good Years’ in the same way selfish people stockpile toilet rolls.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed - The Long Goodbye (Album Review)

Photo: Sharif Hamza Riz Ahmed’s 'The Long Goodbye' is a deeply personal exploration of his attachment to home and heritage as part of a British-Pakistani family. The first album to be released under his name, as opposed to the moniker by which he is better known, Riz MC, or as one half of duo Swet Shop Boys, this nine track concept LP opens with Riz delivering the immortal line, “Britain's broken up with me.”

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Niall Horan

Niall Horan - Heartbreak Weather (Album Review)

The quietly satisfying second album from One Direction graduate Niall Horan moves him towards a more highly charged sort of artistry. On ‘Heartbreak Weather’ he ignites his music through maturity and confidence, speaking diectly to the object of his desire with absolute conviction.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 16 March 2020

Paul Heaton And Jacqui Abbott

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott - Manchester Calling (Album Review)

Photo: Paul Husband Bulging at the waistline with perfectly shaped poppy rock ‘n’ soul diamonds, ‘Manchester Calling’ is a rollicking ride that instantly shuttles listeners back into the Heatonverse. A more enlightened reality where the Beautiful South’s former leader is rightly regarded as one of the finest songwriters of all time, it’s a wondrous place you’ll never want to leave.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 12 March 2020

Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy - Color Theory (Album Review)

Photo: Brian Ziff Sophie Allison’s second LP as Soccer Mommy is a nuanced, exciting expansion on a sound that had already made the Nashville musician one of indie-rock’s most arresting new voices. Throughout ‘Color Theory’ she finds fresh pockets of space, filling them with disintegrating synths, washes of reverb and spidery lead guitar lines. Her voice snakes between these outposts, dispensing melodies that land on a sliding scale between exuberant and weary.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Christine and the Queens

Christine and the Queens - La Vita Nuova (Album Review)

Photo: Camille Vivier Eighteen months on from ‘Chris’, Héloïse Letissier’s slightly underwhelming second album, we have ‘La Vita Nuova’, a six track EP of stunningly accomplished electro pop that revisits the quality, grooves and originality of her first record, ‘Chaleur Humaine’.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 09 March 2020

Caribou

Caribou - Suddenly (Album Review)

‘Suddenly’ is a nod towards the unexpected changes that life throws at you. Where Caribou’s 2014 album ‘Our Love’ took a deep dive into thoughts of settling down with family, children and idyllic domesticity, sharpening Dan Snaith’s style and use of melody into comprehensible thoughts, here on his fifth LP we are faced with more abstract notions of how life can, and will, change around you to lead you where you need to be.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 06 March 2020

King Krule

King Krule - Man Alive! (Album Review)

On his third album as King Krule, south London musician Archy Marshall has delivered a treatise of intense darkness and of ghastly drudgery, with spiky, arachnid guitar accompanying boxy drums and vocals that sound laconic, spontaneous and shitfaced.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 05 March 2020

 
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