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Noel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Black Star Dancing EP (Album Review)

Photo: Mitch Ikeda As one of Britpop’s most garlanded grandees, Noel Gallagher’s mid career with the High Flying Birds has been one of workmanlike craft: the explosive obnoxiousness of Oasis replaced by tidy, unremarkable indie-pop. It sometimes feels like his albums are released to publicise his latest batch of entertaining interviews.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 14 June 2019

The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy - Office Politics (Album Review)

Now on their 12th album, Neil Hannon’s Divine Comedy are proven musical survivors: a chamber pop act who flourished during Britpop’s heyday while maintaining their own distinctive sound despite a dizzyingly eclectic creative output.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Sinkane

Sinkane - Dépaysé (Album Review)

Photo: Daniel Dorsa ‘Dépaysé’ is a fantastical showcase of Afro-infused psychedelic indie-rock that demonstrates vaunting musical ambition, political awareness and immense talent in both its arrangement and composition.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 10 June 2019

Black Mountain

Black Mountain - Destroyer (Album Review)

Photo: Olivia Jaffe Black Mountain’s fifth studio album, ‘Destroyer’, comes in the wake of line-up changes that threw the band’s future into doubt. Following the amicable departure of founding drummer Josh Wells and vocalist Amber Webber, Stephen McBean and Jeremy Schmidt began working on new music that might have eventually fallen under a new name. But that wasn’t to be.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 07 June 2019

Frank Iero

Frank Iero and the Future Violents - Barriers (Album Review)

Photo: Mitchell Wojcik Six years on from the demise of My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero is back with the freshly minted Future Violents to deliver an emo odyssey through pantomime self-loathing and adolescent anxiety.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 05 June 2019

Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon - Reward (Album Review)

Photo: Ivana Kličković Cate Le Bon has never been easy to pin down. Having toured and collaborated with a diverse selection of musicians ranging from St. Vincent to Deerhunter, the Welsh musician and producer could loosely be described as trading in sprawling alt-folk, but that would only tell half the story. On her newest record, ‘Reward’, Le Bon creates a unique world indebted to new wave and jazz as much as it is to contemporary pop and folk acts—all with her own idiosyncratic twist.

Written by: Ben Gladman | Date: Tuesday, 04 June 2019

Tyler The Creator

Tyler, The Creator - IGOR (Album Review)

For Tyler, The Creator’s fifth album, the artistic polymath and Odd Future co-founder has leaned into chunky synths and drum-loops, painting a robust musical landscape of nebulous digital patterns and rapid fire, emotionally-charged lyrics.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 03 June 2019

The National

The National - I Am Easy To Find (Album Review)

As we’ve come to know the National over the last two decades, we’ve also become familiar with the different facets of Matt Berninger’s appeal. If we were to split the frontman’s charm into thirds, to one side we’d have his lackadaisical, sometimes off-kilter delivery, in the middle his all-hell-breaking-loose animalistic shrieks, and to the other side his highly visual lyrical style.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 31 May 2019

Rammstein

Rammstein - Rammstein (Album Review)

‘Rammstein by numbers’. The words of a chancer. It’s a phrase that, despite the German metallers’ signature sound, has no basis in reality. It has not a leg, nor a flame-throwing gimp mask, to stand on.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Thursday, 30 May 2019

Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus - Flamagra (Album Review)

Five years on from the fantastic ‘You’re Dead!’ comes Steven Ellison’s sixth studio album as Flyinf Lotus. It is an entertaining case study in versatile production that demonstrates the bandleader-producer’s magnificent talent for musical world-building, but one which occasionally stalls in terms of its melody writing.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples - We Get By (Album Review)

Photo: Myriam Santos Over nearly 70 (yes, 70!) years and dozens of studio albums, Mavis Staples has carved out a position as one of the most culturally significant identities in African-American music. Her role as a civil rights activist has given her music a high degree of relevance during a time of intense social flux for the United States, and her latest album ‘We Get By’ feels timely in a climate of increasing political polarisation and intolerance.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated (Album Review)

There aren’t many straight-up pop stars who also become cult heroes. If anything, those two states exist in complete opposition to one another. But Carly Rae Jepsen has long stood beyond the reach of received wisdom.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 24 May 2019

Mac Demarco

Mac DeMarco - Here Comes The Cowboy (Album Review)

Photo: Christine Lai ‘Here Comes the Cowboy’ finds Mac DeMarco relaxing into slower, more comfortable rhythms. Like a well worn leather saddle, rolling on top of an ambling horse, the Canadian singer-songwriter achieves a comfortable gait on his sixth album.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Interpol

Interpol - A Fine Mess EP (Album Review)

Photo: Kalpesh Lathigra When Interpol burst onto the scene with ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’ in 2002 their music felt incredibly fresh: melancholic New York indie-punk with a look and feel that screamed libido and intellectualism in equal parts.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Maps

Maps - Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss. (Album Review)

James Chapman’s fourth long player with his Maps project finds him steering into orchestration with the help of the Echo Collective and skills he developed in childhood as a violinist. “The orchestral instrumentation and addition of other musicians and singers played a huge part in finding the purer and more human emotion I was searching for,” he says.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 20 May 2019

Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss - Young Enough (Album Review)

Historically, second albums have been something of a stumbling block. So much so, in fact, that any real failings can usually be chalked up to a dog-eared stack of problems: truncated timeframes, outside pressure, road-weariness, the desire to try something too different too soon. Equally, brushing these problems off and declaring ‘not these guys!’ is one of the easiest, laziest critical tricks in the book.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 17 May 2019

Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - End of Suffering (Album Review)

Photo: Daniel Harris In deciding on a title for their third album, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes turned to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, which guide followers in acknowledging what is causing their suffering before setting them on a path to understanding and ending it. Carter heard the teachings from a fellow artist in Los Angeles when travelling and they took up residency in his brain, refusing to leave for several years.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 16 May 2019

Employed To Serve

Employed To Serve - Eternal Forward Motion (Album Review)

It’s a line that’s been repurposed a thousand times from ugly beginnings, but that doesn’t make it any less true: everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. It’s a sentiment that UK post-hardcore standard-bearers Employed To Serve have taken to heart on the brutal, life-affirming ‘Eternal Forward Motion’—you simply aren’t ready for what they have in store for you on album three.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids - Problems (Album Review)

Photo: Shawn Brackbill Certain records are millstones. They inspire such love in people that, eventually, it becomes weaponised as the law of diminishing returns takes over, or a band decide that they don’t want to retrace their steps.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Big Thief

Big Thief - U.F.O.F. (Album Review)

The big city can make you crazy, and everyone needs a bit of escapism now and then. For the four members of Brooklyn-based Big Thief, the greenery of rural Washington state came calling in time to play a huge role in the creation of ‘U.F.O.F’ (the final F standing for Friend), their third album. Here they look past grey skyscrapers, endless franchises and big lights in the city towards an idyllic image of the countryside.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2019

 
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