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Music - Album of the week

Gwenno Y Dydd Olaf Heavenly Recordings Mushroom

27th Jul 15

Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf

Heavenly Recordings/Mushroom Group Promotions

"Y Dydd Olaf" is the debut album from Gwenno Saunders, an accomplished producer, DJ, broadcaster and singer from Cardiff. The title references a 1976 dystopian science-fiction novel by Owain Owain, and the songs are all sung in Welsh, except the final track performed in Cornish. The songcraft is impressive, the melodies memorable and the performances strong. Each track expertly evokes the eerie analogue pop and psychedelic grooves of BBC radiophonic pioneers such as Delia Derbyshire - and more recent innovators Broadcast and Stereolab - while maintaining their own, unique, identity.


Past Albums of the Week

 


Tame Impala Currents Interscope Universal

20th Jul 15

Tame Impala - Currents

Interscope / Universal

"Currents" is the third album from acclaimed Perth band Tame Impala, and a striking evolution in style and sound. The ringing rock guitars, dusty beats and floating melodies that derfined earlier records are accompanied here by stronger synthesiers, heavier rhythms, and deeper grooves. Lyrically "Currents" is an introspective record from singer, songwriter and producer Kevin Parker, but sonically it's a more expansive one, showing new sides of this singular and powerful force in modern music.


13th Jul 15

The Internet - Ego Death

Columbia/Sony

The Internet is the music project formed by Syd Tha Kid and Matt Martians back in 2011. Strongly allied with the Odd Future collective that also featured Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler The Creator, The Internet draw strongly on a hip hop tradition, but also explore the new frontiers of soul, modern R&B and experimental pop. "Ego Death" - their third album - is perhaps the most refined and impressive of their acclaimed output to date, synthesising a range of moods and ideas into a cohesive whole.


Methyl Ethyl Oh Inhuman Spectacle Dot Dash Remote Control

6th Jul 15

Methyl Ethel - Oh Inhuman Spectacle

Dot Dash / Remote Control

"Oh Inhuman Spectacle" is the debut LP from West Australian outfit Methyl Ethel. It's an assured, and impressive full-length that covers a broad spectrum of styles. There's melodic garage rock, experimental pop and modern psychedelic production.


Fraser A Gorman Slow Gum Milk! Caroline

29th Jun 15

Fraser A Gorman - Slow Gum

Milk!/Caroline

"Slow Gum" is the debut from Melbourne-based Fraser A Gorman. Having already performed and recorded with artists including Courtney Barnett, King Gizzard, Jen Cloher and Davey Lane,  Fraser is an accomplished artist with a singular style and exceptional skill. His lyrics are poetic, poignant, and keenly observant. Some of the song arrangements are rich in detail - supported by an ensemble of musicians - and others strikingly sparse, guided by Fraser's memorable acoustic melodies and vocal delivery.


Leon Bridges Coming Home Columbia Sony

22nd Jun 15

Leon Bridges - Coming Home

Columbia/Sony

The debut album from Texan artist Leon Bridges feels like an unearthed gem from a former decade, perfectly preserved in time. Each song is impeccably constructed, drawing faithfully on traditional soul, boogie and blues. Leon's voice soars and dips through tales of heartache and redemption. There's a gentle, dusty vinyl crackle that seems to settle on the album, a subtle reminder of the vintage recordings that have inspired Leon Bridges in his songwriting.


On Mercy When We Talk About Love EMI

15th Jun 15

Oh Mercy - When We Talk About Love

EMI

"When We Talk About Love" is the latest chapter from Melbourne's celebrated band Oh Mercy. The title seems to refer to Raymond Carver's collection of short stories, and certainly it hints at the themes of the songs here: relationships, connections lost and gained, and an attempt to articulate this elusive subject. Oh Mercy excel in refined pop songcraft, and this is arguably their strongest work to date. The melodies are clear, and there's both a warm familiarity and a fresh invention to the arrangements. Alex Gow is questioning and comforting in his lyrics, as he offers more personal takes on the infinitely varied topic of love.


Ruby Boots Solitude Lost Highway Australia Records Universal

8th Jun 15

Ruby Boots - Solitude

Lost Highway Australia/Universal

"Solitude" is the debut LP from Ruby Boots, the recording alias of Perth’s accomplished singer songwriter and instrumentalist Bex Chilcott. The album demonstrates Ruby Boots' extraordinary versatility as an artist, spanning rock and roll, Gospel, country and folk music traditions to create a fresh and memorable collection of songs.


Jamie xx In Colour XL Recordings Remote Control

1st Jun 15

Jamie xx - In Colour

XL Recordings/Remote Control

Jamie xx is well known as one third of London group The xx, but has also earned a strong following for his solo output as a producer.  A few years ago his album of Gil Scott Heron remixes was widely praised, and his DJ sets and remixes have also been critically acclaimed for their inventiveness. "In Colour" is his debut full length, and covers a broad spectrum of modern dance music. Inspired heavily by the history of the UK club scene and pirate radio, the album spans underground beats, modern soul, R&B and electronic pop styles.


Ella Thompson Janus HUB Caroline Higher Plains

25th May 15

Ella Thompson - Janus

HUB/Caroline

"Janus" is the debut solo album from the extradinarily talented and extremely prolific Ella Thompson, well known for her other projects including GL, Dorsal Fins, Axolotl and The Bamboos. "Janus", named for the Roman god of beginnings, is indeed something of a new start, but also builds on Ella Thompson's extensive catalogue, blending soul, synth-pop, ballads, electro, and boogie styles.


Unknown Mortal Orchestra UMO Multi-Love Jagjaguwar Inertia

18th May 15

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love

Jagjaguwar/Inertia

"Multi-Love" is the third album from Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra; a characteriscally vibrant mix that represents a new stage in the artist's evolution. There's the lo-fi breakbeats, affecting vocal performances and fuzzed out guitars that marked the earlier records, and there's also the addition of more instruments and a richer range of pop, prog and soul songwriting. Serving as something of a new blueprint for psychedelic funk, "Multi-Love" is an expansive record that's equally introspective in its explorations of life and relationships.


Hiatus Kaiyote Choose Your Weapon Flying Buddha Sony

11th May 15

Hiatus Kaiyote - Choose Your Weapon

Flying Buddha/Sony

Melbourne outfit Hiatus Kaiyote continue to innovate and captivate with their second album. Having already impressed local and global audiences with their Tawk Tomahaw album and extensive touring, Hiatus Kaiyote demonstrate once more their extraordinary strength and versatility as performers on record. The music presented covers a wide spectrum of styles, blending soul, jazz, funk, electronic, beats and even arcade game soundeffects amongst other hybrid forms.


Blur The Magic Whip Parlophone Warner

4th May 15

Blur - The Magic Whip

Parlophone/Warner

"The Magic Whip" marks the anticipated return of Blur. The iconic English group rose to prominence during the Britpop era of the 1990s, but remain a vital force in contemporary music. These new songs serve as a reminder of Blur's unique skill for pop and rock writing, and also demonstrate the band's continued drive toward experimentation in their arrangements.


Marlon Williams Marlon Williams Caroline Universal

27th Apr 15

Marlon Williams - Marlon Williams

Caroline/Universal

The self-titled debut from Marlon Williams is an exceptional album of soaring soul and rock and roll. The New Zealand born, Melbourne-based artist has earned a reputation for his captivating live shows, and the same emotive vocal delivery and skilful balladry are on full display across this collection of songs.


Alabama Shakes Sound Color Rough Trade Remote Control

20th Apr 15

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Rough Trade/Remote Control

A kaleidoscopic rock and psychedelic soul record from the American outfit led by Brittany Howard. Heavy rhythms, soaring vocals and rich instrumentation combine to produce a compelling, and unique listening experience.


Totally Mild Down Time Bedroom Suck Records

13th Apr 15

Totally Mild - Down Time

Bedroom Suck Records

Down Time is the debut LP from Melbourne four-piece Totally Mild, led by Elizabeth Mitchell; a captivating album of blues-inflected rock and atmospheric pop that draws on classic songwriting yet feels completely new. Down Time transports the listener with its impressive performances and spacious production, creating a rich listening experience of vivid melodies, crisp percussion, hazy textures and beautiful harmonies. The songs linger like a blissful daydream.


Sufjan Stevens Carrie Lowell Asthmatic Kitty Inertia

6th Apr 15

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Asthmatic Kitty/Inertia

"Carrie & Lowell" is a softly spoken album with immense emotional impact. Over his career Sufjan has demonstrated great versatility, capable of producing grand orchestral compositions as well as more intimate folk recordings. This record returns to those sparse acoustic sounds, offering an affecting backdrop to Stevens' lyrics. The songs themselves are a deeply personal exploration of grief, relationships, family, love and loss.


Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly Universal

30th Mar 15

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

Universal

The third album from hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar has already been acclaimed as a masterpiece and instant classic. To Pimp A Butterfly is a detailed narrative journey and meditation on contemporary American society and history; it’s a personal and universal account, covering politics, race, and religion. Musically the record is also complex, drawing from numerous sources including P-Funk, jazz, spoken word and soul.


Ibeyi Ibeyi XL Recordings Remote Control

23rd Mar 15

Ibeyi - Ibeyi

XL Recordings/Remote Control

Ibeyi is the recording project of French-Cuban fraternal twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díazan. Their debut self-titled album is a fascinating hybrid, filled with music that draws upon their Yoruban heritage as well as their love of hip hop, electronic pop, soul and jazz. The result is a collection that's beautiful, haunting, personal and powerful.


Courtnet Barnett Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit Marathon Remote Control

16th Mar 15

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit

Marathon / Remote Control

Courtney Barnett is a unique voice in modern rock; a master lyricist and musician who draws from every aspect of life to compose songs that are as playful as they are profound.  Previous EPs and singles have all become cult classics, and this album - filled with more eloquent observations and subversive garage rock, blues and pop jams - is destined for the same status.


Dick Diver Melbourne Florida Chapter Music

9th Mar 15

Dick Diver - Melbourne, Florida

Chapter Music

Dick Diver return on their third album with another show of inspired songwriting. The Melbourne band's inimitable style of classic guitar pop is on full display, a musical backdrop to musings and deep lyrical reflections on life, memory, place and relationships. There's some subtle, and also some dramatic shifts from previous records here as well;  contemplative ballads and bold rock arrangements filling the album with varied pace and sonic texture.


Pearls Pretend You're Mine Dot Dash Remote Control

2nd Mar 15

Pearls - Pretend You're Mine

Dot Dash / Remote Control

Pretend You're Mine is the anticipated debut album from Melbourne three-piece Pearls. Formed in 2011, the group have spent the past few years refining their distinct musical identity in the studio and on the stage, drawing from and building upon a number of rock traditions. The result is a collection of bold musical arrangements as well as subtle and seductive melodies, combining elements of glam, shoegaze, psych and classic guitar pop.


Jessica Pratt On Your Own Love Again Spunk caroline

23rd Feb 15

Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again

Spunk/Caroline

Jessica Pratt's debut album was a pure revelation when it arrived in 2012. Like an undiscovered folk masterpiece of the late '60s or early '70s, the record was a perfect showcase for Jessica's compelling voice, acoustic melodies and melancholic stories. The recordings were homemade, and exhibited an uncommon warmth and intimacy in their gently faded, tapeworn state. Jessica's second album On Your Own Love Again is eagerly anticipated, and provides another glimpse into her unique songwriting world. Plaintive, contemplative, uplifting and inspiring, the album shows how very much can still be produced with the essential elements of songcraft and a subtle ear for melody and atmosphere. 


Panda Bear Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper Domino EMI

16th Feb 15

Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

Domino/EMI

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is a vivid showcase of the distinctive psychedelic sound that Noah Lennox has pioneered and perfected during his career. It's a unique musical experience with layered and looping melodies, percussion, synths and vocals. As always there are elements of rock, folk, hip hop, electronic and abstract pop, as well as undefined and unexplored styles. It is also a philosophical experience, as Panda Bear shares reflections on life, mortality and identity.



sleater-kinney no cities to love

9th Feb 15

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love

Sub Pop/Inertia

Riot-grrrl legends Sleater-Kinney surprised all with the sudden release of their first studio album in ten years. It's a passionate, powerful and concise set by songwriting pair Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, along with drummer Janet Weiss. No Cities To Love is full of the bristling energy, complex post-punk melodies, and searing lyrics that made the Olympia, Washington trio an icon of '90s alternative rock.



twerps range anxiety album art

2nd Feb 15

Twerps - Range Anxiety

Chapter Music/Merge Records

Twerps' second full-length is laced with seemingly effortless melodies and some of their most immediate pop hooks to date. Range Anxiety, the band's follow-up to their 2011 self-titled debut and first release since signing to US label Merge Records, is a deceptively simple guitar-pop record, which sees the Melbourne band further refine their jangly and familiar sound. With this album, recorded in 2013 before last year’s Underlay EP, Twerps continue to expand their repertoire of timeless Australian pop songs.


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