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Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon - No Home Record (Album Review)

Photo: Natalia Mantini What are we to expect from a Kim Gordon solo album? Something that sounds like a reproduction of her old band, Sonic Youth? Unlikely. Pop songs? Same. ‘No Home Record’ is an intriguing answer, because it sounds like something Kim Gordon might make—surprising, unpredictable, difficult—but it’s been crafted from a palette that allows us to believe it’s actually nothing like something Kim Gordon might make. It is happy out there on its own.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Monday, 14 October 2019

Big Thief

Big Thief - Two Hands (Album Review)

Photo: Mikey Buishas Three years after putting out a debut album they winkingly dubbed ‘Masterpiece’, Big Thief might have written theirs. ‘Two Hands’ is the Brooklyn group’s second release of the year following the esoteric ‘U.F.O.F’ and it drags a pitch-perfect batch of indie-folk songs into the desert to watch them bleach under an unforgiving sun.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Saturday, 12 October 2019

Lightning Dust

Lightning Dust - Spectre (Album Review)

‘Spectre’ is Lightning Dust’s fourth album, and the first to arrive since singer-songwriter Amber Webber and founding member Josh Wells “retired their Black Mountain uniforms” in 2017 after over a decade as part of the Canadian collective.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Menzingers

The Menzingers - Hello Exile (Album Review)

Photo: Jess Flynn Since releasing ‘On The Impossible Past’ in 2012, the Menzingers have been gradually reinventing themselves. The changes have been subtle, perhaps barely discernible from a distance, but important: flecks of Americana, an injection of narrative songwriting, the confidence to let their classic rock flag fly.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 09 October 2019

DIIV

DIIV - Deceiver (Album Review)

Photo: Coley Brown After the brilliant dream-pop of 2016’s ‘Is The Is Are’, DIIV’s third album ‘Deceiver’ is anything but optimistically uplifting. They've had a tumultuous few years and the results are more visible—where ‘Is The Is Are’ seemed to almost dismissively sweep their problems under the rug with a shrug, here Zachary Cole Smith puts it all on the line.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 08 October 2019

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara - Hey, I'm Just Like You (Album Review)

‘Hey, I’m Just Like You’ is about four songwriters: Tegan and Sara Quin as teenagers pouring angst, love and hope into scrappy alt-rock songs, and Tegan and Sara Quin in their late 30s—important LGBT voices in a traditionally unfriendly industry with immaculate and influential pop records stacking up in their personal archive.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 08 October 2019

Moon Duo

Moon Duo - Stars Are The Light (Album Review)

Photo: Brett Johnson Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada, the husband and wife duo at the heart of Portland electro-psych act Moon Duo, wanted to reflect a multitude of changes on their seventh album ‘Stars Are The Light’.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 04 October 2019

Noel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - This Is The Place (Album Review)

Noel Gallagher’s penchant for a wig out is long-established. It’s been 23 years since he helped the Chemical Brothers to the outer reaches of ‘90s lad consciousness with Setting Sun, but of late he’s found other psychedelic avenues to wander along with a pair of EPs that have reshaped his solo sound.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 03 October 2019

Temples

Temples - Hot Motion (Album Review)

Temples gave themselves a mountainous obstacle to overcome when they released their 2014 debut ‘Sun Structures’. One of the best albums of the year, it was a welcome blast of glam-psych-pop that set a high benchmark for future releases and introduced frontman James Bagshaw’s enigmatic presence.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 02 October 2019

Girl Band

Girl Band - The Talkies (Album Review)

Girl Band make music that reflects an anxious existence. Far from being a space in which to retreat, their songs smash with a desolate rage, channelling inner torment and the desperation of their surroundings.

Written by: Craig Howieson | Date: Friday, 27 September 2019

The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers - In The Morse Code of Brake Lights (Album Review)

The New Pornographers are anything but idle, with the curiously-titled, self-produced ‘In the Morse Code of Brake Lights’, their eighth studio album since 2000’s ‘Mass Romantic’. Following 2017’s ‘Whiteout Conditions’ the Canadian power-pop collective have had plenty going on, with Neko Case’s excellent 2018 LP ‘Hell-On’ a prime example. Although, given the vocalist’s own successes, it should probably be noted that the New Pornographers are the ‘in between’ in her case.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 27 September 2019

Brittany Howard

Brittany Howard - Jaime (Album Review)

“The record is not about her,” Brittany Howard says of her late sister, whose name adorns the front cover of her debut solo album. “It’s about me.” Jaime taught Brittany, the frontwoman of Alabama Shakes, how to write poetry and play the piano before she died as a teenager from a rare form of cancer. In life and death, Jaime was a crucial influence for the singer-songwriter.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 27 September 2019

Blink 182

Blink-182 - NINE (Album Review)

Blink-182’s blend of juvenilia and earnest emoting has long been a high-wire act: one slip and the sense of balance is gone. But, given that they survived situating a song like Stay Together For The Kids at the heart of an album called ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’, it’s one that they might boast to have mastered.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 26 September 2019

Goo Goo Dolls

Goo Goo Dolls - Miracle Pill (Album Review)

Goo Goo Dolls have more than 30 years of touring, producing and releasing music behind them. Formed in Buffalo, New York back in 1986, the rock band have sold over 10 million albums to date. And on their new LP ‘Miracle Pill’, there is an epic mood of acceptance and relief running smoothly through the music.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Keane

Keane - Cause and Effect (Album Review)

While Keane frontman Tom Chaplin’s problems with drug addiction have been well publicised, it’s his bandmate Tim Rice-Oxley’s issues that form the backbone of ‘Cause and Effect’, the group’s comeback album seven years after the release of ‘Strangeland’.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not. (Album Review)

Liam Gallagher is in a particular group when it comes to British indie singers. Like Ian Brown, Pete Doherty and (decreasingly) Morrissey, his artistic output is relatively critic-proof: large audiences still go to see shows irrespective of the quality of new releases. 

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 23 September 2019

Sandy Alex G

(Sandy) Alex G - House of Sugar (Album Review)

Photo: Tonje Thilesen On ‘House of Sugar’, (Sandy) Alex G is more than happy to make us wait for our hit. A sprawling piece that slots endearing, wonky Americana songs between extended stretches of electronic navel-gazing, it is a record that must be appreciated as a whole if only for the deliberate nature of its construction.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 20 September 2019

Metronomy

Metronomy - Metronomy Forever (Album Review)

Joe Mount, the creative mastermind behind Metronomy, is thinking about his legacy. In the 10 plus years since the band’s ‘Nights Out’ era, he has grown up, had children and settled down in the Kent countryside. The music should have done the same, if it is to last as long as the title of their sixth LP, ‘Metronomy Forever’, suggests it might.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 20 September 2019

Charli XCX

Charli XCX - Charli (Album Review)

Photo: Marcus Cooper Charli XCX embarked on her career as a songwriter by creating generic pop music engineered to occupy the upper echelons of charts worldwide. Formulaic, channelling girl-power, her unfussy, straight-ahead songs landed in the hands of Icona Pop, Iggy Azalea and Selena Gomez while she figured out how she functioned as a solo artist.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Thursday, 19 September 2019

Pixies

Pixies - Beneath The Eyrie (Album Review)

How many reunions have really worked? So few that you had to stop and think about it, that’s how many. Since their resuscitation as a recording band in 2013 Pixies’ victory lap has been particularly divisive, with the exorbitantly cool Kim Deal choosing to sit it out, leaving a void that her former bandmates have struggled to fill.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 19 September 2019

 
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