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Screaming Females - All At Once

Screaming Females – All At Once

Coming straight out of the depths of New Jersey, USA, Screaming Females return with their seventh full length record, All At Once. This trio are bringing with them a ferocious DIY sound which blends a great deal of punk, garage and edge in the form of 15 hard-hitting and fast-paced tracks Whether you’ve been with Screaming Females since the beginning or this is the first time you’ve heard of them, All At Once is a great place to start.

Marlon Williams - Make Way for Love

Marlon Williams – Make Way for Love

There's a great clip on the internet which features Marlon Williams duetting with his then lover Aldous Harding on the traditional folk song 'The Trees They Do Grow High'. Utterly at one with one another and sidled up as close as close can be around one mic, it's a stunning, mesmerising performance, pitch perfect and in perfect unison.

Insecure Men - Insecure Men

Insecure Men – Insecure Men

By now you’ll know that Insecure Men is the joint project of Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family and The Moonlandingz and Ben Romans-Hopcraft of Childhood. What you won’t know is that their eponymous debut album is like stepping into a middle-class satire, a surreal nightmare and a hallucinogenic celebrity lifestyle phantasm all at the same time. Recorded with an ancient Tascam at Sean Lennon’s studio in upstate New York inbetween working on The Moonlandingz’s album, it’s a record that feels both personal and utterly bombastic.

Belle and Sebastian – How To Solve Our Human Problems

Belle & Sebastian – How To Solve Our Human Problems

In the latest chapter of a musical story that has been going for 22 years, Belle & Sebastian return to bring a little bit of joy and a whole lot of sunshine into the world once more. How To Solve Our Human Problems sees them continuing to play by their own rules, just as they have always done since their 1996 debut Tigermilk. They quickly followed up on that with a trilogy of EPs, recorded and released at a rapid rate in case, as frontman Stuart Murdoch described it, “Someone took the keys to the studio away”. Thankfully that never happened, and this latest trilogy is now brought together as a compilation album and box set. It is absolutely the work of a band who no longer feel the need to do anything other than exactly what they want to do, even including how they release their music. Fans of their sunny disposition are in for a treat.

U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

Never has an album arrived with such prescient timing. Meg Remy’s sixth album as U.S. Girls (her second with 4AD), In A Poem Unlimited, is a record packed with character stories that capture a quiet, unquenchable rage at the world and will act as a rallying point for those abused by, and within, society. It is also packed with inventiveness and a high level of musical dexterity, containing some of the best pop moments of this, or any other, year. It is an unmissable record that all should hear.

Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy

Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy

Filled with insecurities, teenage love, weird sex, bruised shins and what Brian Eno would fondly term, “The sound of failure,” Twin Fantasy was always an unfinished concept for Will Toledo, frontman of the now-cultist Car Seat Headrest. Teens of Denial was 2016’s effort from the Seattle punk-rockers and, to an extent, began to put the fuel of commercial success into Toledo’s concept. Now 2018 brings Twin Fantasy: a re-working and upgrade of a 19-year-old Toledo. Now equipped with a recording mechanic stable enough to get across his tongue-in-cheek irony and hyper-aware lyricism, we are blessed again with his astute way with words and faculty for a contagious hook.

Loma - Loma

Loma – Loma

Like a curtain of ice swept from a forest cabin window, the debut album from Loma forms a beautifully glacial world full of songs and sounds in which to immerse yourself. The trio of Jonathan Meiburg (Shearwater), Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski (both from Cross Record) bonded over time spent crammed in the back of a van while Meiburg’s band toured the US in 2016. What they have created together is spellbinding, one of the most interesting and bewitching albums of recent years. Loma describe their sound as, “Uneasy listening”, an apt description for what transpires here as it wraps the listener in its cold grip and refuses to let go from the first note to the last.

Ought – Room Inside The World

Ought – Room Inside The World

Ought's third album is likely to divide fans on a first listen. On Room Inside The World Tim Darcy expels the sneeze that was brewing on 2015's Sun Coming Down and lets out a soulful bellow. Room Inside The World sees Ought's sound inverted in on itself going from the brittle and jagged to something thick and deep. The new wave-influenced sound is something which doesn't clone or pastiche. The songwriting remains familiar to Ought, only this time around it's in a new set of clothes.

MGMT – Little Dark Age

MGMT – Little Dark Age

It’s been five years since the last MGMT album, but you could be forgiven for thinking it has actually been eight, or even a decade. There’s has unfortunately been one of those careers of diminishing returns. Their début album, Oracular Spectacular, was a bit of a phenomenon. I’ve seen a lot of people mentioning those early, big hits when discussing this record: ‘Kids’, ‘Time To Pretend’, ‘Electric Feel’. Their first album had such an impact that it has cast the longest of shadows. I remember going to house parties in 2008 where, instead of a DJ, people would just put Oracular Spectacular on repeat, and people would get drunk and dance and singalong to it all night. The hits got so many sync placements, were covered and sampled so often, they started to get tiresome. The follow up, Congratulations, is criminally underrated. It has some great stuff on it, but it lacks the all pervading cool that the debut is seeped in. Perhaps in reaction to the lacklustre reception to the follow up, MGMT came along a few years later, and it’s a bit weird and inaccessible – if it’s designed to reward repeated listens I’m afraid I must confess I never got there.



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