jazz & instrumentals
One listen to opening track Oh, Louise underlines the range of Marina’s talent, it’s a filmic play on words, with an arrangement that’s like a Kate Bush dream sequence. It’s the perfect foil for the plaintive strum of Sleeper Train, a haunting, folky paean fit for Judee Sill brought up to date with some echoey electric guitar; or the conversational Believer; with a nod to Joni Mitchell in the lyrics it sounds every bit like Simon And Garfunkel at their Big Apple best listening to the ‘7 O’Clock News’ re-imagined on Sunset.
[ file under: pop & folk ]
"Love + light"
Daniel Avery returns with his third full-length album a surprise release out now, with ethereal artwork taken from an image by Avery’s tour photographer Keffer. Love + Light arrives unexpectedly, following Avery’s recent collaborations with Alessandro Cortini on the critically acclaimed Illusion of Time LP and alongside Roman Flügel under the alias of Noun. Avery’s previous solo album Song For Alpha was released in 2018 to similar acclaim.
[ file under: electronica ]
Cavalcade is a dynamic, hellacious, and inventive follow-up to 2019’s Schlagenheim, a labyrinth with hairpin-turn episodes and lyrics full of dourly corrosive observations (New York Times, Best Albums of 2019). It scales beautiful new heights, pulling widely from a plethora of genres and influences, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.
[ file under: alternative ]
"Days go by"
Cheval Sombre releases his fourth album, Days Go By, via Sonic Cathedral. It is his second album this year, and a companion piece to Time Waits for No One, which came out at the end of February to great acclaim. Like that album, it has been produced and mixed by Sonic Boom and features guests including Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman Dean Wareham.
[ file under: folk sonic boom ]
Home Video, the third album from Boygenius member Lucy Dacus, is like a Southern short story collection with an indie-rock soundtrack.
[ file under: american indie ]
BOBBY GILLESPIE AND JEHNNY BETH
Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the collaborative album Utopian Ashes. The collection draws on the tradition of country soul classics, such as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’s Grievous Angel and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s We Go Together, to deal with the heavy realities of love turning sour.
[ file under: indie pop ]
Bird Ambience brings several fresh changes for the artist. Until now, Fujita would separate his acoustic solo recordings, the electronic dub made under his El Fog alias, and his experimental improvisations with contemporaries such as Jan Jelinek. The new album sees him unite all these different facets for the first time into one singular vision. He also makes a lateral leap from his signature instrument the vibraphone to the marimba, which takes centre stage on his new record alongside drums, percussion, synths, effects and tape recorder.
[ file under: japan electronica ]
"Get up sequences part one"
The Go! Team has always had a knack for embracing 1970s and 1980s nostalgia without a hint of mockery or irony. It’s part of what has given their discography a particular kind of endurance. The latest album from the Ian Parton-headed project, Get Up Sequences Part One, is no different. These 10 songs, though at times more streamlined than most of their previous projects, never lack in enthusiasm.
[ file under: brighton indie ]
"Boy from Michigan"
John Grant arrived at the studio to begin recording his fifth solo record, Boy from Michigan, on 1st March 2020. For Grant, lockdown was largely academic. He is insular by nature and removed himself from his native America in 2011, decamping to Iceland. From afar, the US Presidential race loomed large, though, igniting potent memories of the country which shaped John Grant. 2020’s temporary destabilising of world order suits Boy from Michigan’s intent just fine.
[ file under: lockdown alt ]
LES FILLES DE ILLIGHADAD
"At pioneer works"
Les Filles de Illighadad (“daughters of Illighadad”) was founded in 2016 by solo guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni. In 2017 they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a force on the Agadez guitar scene, and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad. Les Filles’ music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar.
[ file under: desert blues ]
THE GRID & ROBERT FRIPP
• New collaborative album from electronic duo The Grid (aka Richard Norris & Dave Ball) and Robert Fripp
• Combining Fripp Soundscapes with synth, drums, programming and effects by The Grid
• Available on Double disc CD/DVD-a, 2LP 200 gram super-heavyweight vinyl and Digital album ‘Robert (Fripp) turned up with a truck load of amps and effects, two great big stacks including delay units with a 76 second delay and played and played and played.’
[ file under: experimental ambience ]
Contrasting confessional lyricism with compelling and infectious synth pop, Pink Noise feels completely and uniquely Laura. Her artistic prowess knows no limits - take the neo-soul meets art pop of Remedy for example, or the darker, pulsating Conditional that injects bombastic funk into indietronica. She feels rejuvenated too, especially on electro pop stunners Magical and Before The Dawn. This is Laura Mvula at her most ambitious to date, leaving no stone left unturned in this cosmic new realm.
[ file under: pop & soul ]
KINGS OF CONVENIENCE
"Peace or love"
Kings of Convenience are back. The duo of Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye release Peace or Love, their fourth studio album and first new full-length work since releasing Declaration of Dependence back in 2009.
“Another classic Eirik composition that skilfully ignores the verse-chorus-verse blueprint,” Øye said of the new song in a press release. “It’s pop music, but not as we know it.”
[ file under: scando pop ]
"How much time it si between you and me?"
Perila, the moniker of Berlin-based electronic musician Aleksandra Zakharenko, announces her debut album, How Much Time it is Between You and Me?, out June 25th on Smalltown Supersound, and today presents its lead single, “Fallin Into Space,” a track full of levitating synth and pulses of organic noise. With a sound world so specific and transportive, Zakharenko’s ambient music is filled with detail and movement akin to hauntological musique concrète touched by song.
[ file under: ambient ]
As her name indicates LoneLady writes, performs and records all the components of her music, building up her own soundworlds in a solitary creative process. Whereas previous albums at least allowed the occasional appearance of another human - a drummer - with Former Things even that has now gone. This time, LoneLady has programmed all the beats and sequences, swapping her guitar for an eclectic selection of synthesisers and hardware, their limitless creative potential providing the foundations to take the album in a new direction.
[ file under: electro post-punk ]
"Love drips and gathers"
“If Brickbat was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” reckons vocalist/guitarist Miki Berenyi, formerly of Lush, a band that effortlessly bridged the two genres like no other. “It wasn’t intentional; we just wanted a different focus. I’ve always seen debut albums as capturing a band’s first moments, when you really have momentum, and then the second album is the chance for a more thoughtful approach.”
[ file under: dream pop ]
Liz Phair releases Soberish, her highly-anticipated new album and first collection of original material in eleven years. Produced by Phair’s longtime collaborator Brad Wood – known for helming Phair’s seminal albums Exile In Guyville, Whip-Smart, and whitechocolatespaceegg.
[ file under: alt american ]
ULRICH SCHNAUSS & JONAS MUNK
"Eight fragments of an illusion"
It's been over four years since there was last any new music from Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk. This time around the duo heads in a slightly different direction. On Eight Fragments Of An Illusion they bring their individual strengths to the table, yet it transcends their previous work conceptually. These eight tracks are much more ambient and introspective in nature, but with a kinetic, polyrhythmic energy pushing it forward.
[ file under: dream pop ]
Blue Weekend is the third studio album by English alternative rock band Wolf Alice, released through Dirty Hit. Blue Weekend was preceded by four singles, The Last Man on Earth, Smile, No Hard Feelings and How Can I Make It OK?. The album received universal critical acclaim from music critics, with many naming it the band's best work.
[ file under: alternative ]
Bandleader, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Emma-Jean Thackray was born and raised in Yorkshire but is today a resident of Catford, south-east London. Her 2020 EPs Um Yang ? ? and Rain Dance marked Thackray out as standard-bearer of a spiritually-minded, dancefloor-angled take on jazz that stood at a slight remove from the broader UK scene.
[ file under: nu-jazz ]