It would be hard to argue that Interpol are as vital as they once were - even with such an accomplished new work under their belts - but, fifth time round, they're proving there's still plenty of value in their elegantly downtrodden aesthetic.
The model lovechild of Jim Morrison, Marc Bolan, John Hassall and Timothy Leary, singer James Edward Bagshaw is a true cosmic dancer, but he’s no fool either, with one keen eye on dragging the psych revival chartward.
The hullaballoo over these guerrilla releases can often detract from the music itself, making it appear secondary to the circumstances of its release. ... ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’, thankfully, does not.
Kozelek has a novelist’s eye for detail, and right from languid opener ‘Carissa’ – a song about his second cousin – he paints a vivid world and invites you to see it through his eyes.
The result is an LP that feels more in sync with contemporary music than ever before. There are notes here of Oneohtrix Point Never, Clams Casino, and Tim Hecker. Crucially, though, ‘Present Tense’ roams a landscape which couldn’t have been charted by anyone else.
Although there is the occasional overwrought lyric, and nothing ground-breaking here in terms of song structure or instrumentation, the emotion in the delivery makes up for it.
Like Morrissey’s last grand return from hiatus, 2004’s ‘You Are The Quarry’, there’s that same undefeatable spirit, the sense that he thrives on being the fly in the ointment.
The line between self-aware irony and tragically conforming to type is thin, though, her knowing winks getting stuck in a tangle of false eyelashes, and ultimately undermining what had the potential to be a powerful artistic statement.
Its title is a biblically bold declaration accompanied by 11 songs that put the 27-year-old’s worldview in no uncertain terms: disinterested in the attentions of others and steadfastly committed to honouring her own intentions and experience.
'To Be Kind' is not easy or pleasant; it will probably repel and confuse as much as it inspires. It’s a Hieronymous Bosch painting come to life, impossible to tear your eyes away from despite the grotesque atrocities it depicts.
... a varied album that lacks any monster riffs like the ones White used to write for The White Stripes, but includes enough intrigue, originality and plain weirdness to delight and, in some places, appal.
As a performance poet, Tempest is good, in a sort of ‘on before Robin Ince in the Latitude literary tent’ kind of way. As a rapper, though, she’s excellent, balancing deft flow and dense storytelling to the detriment of neither.
This, then, is Iceage gleefully torching their legacy and dancing in the ashes. And expanding their horizons hasn’t mellowed them, but made them even more discomforting.
For all the ugliness that spills out of Eagulls, they’re never anything less than vital; these are anthems for a doomed youth determined to kick against the pricks rather than mope forlornly and fruitlessly.
Cranking the urgency and confrontation of last year's self-titled debut to neck-breaking levels of intensity, 'RTJ2' is an urgent, paranoid album for a violent, panicked time.
The seductive music, with its Bon Iver found-sound creaks and crackles of static, its colliery laments, its gothic calypsos and its full-on Magnetic Fields alt-showtunes invite intimacy and the slow picking away of its layers. Albarn pulls you close and whispers the codes of his life into your ear.
Get past the initial jolt of weirdness and you'll find in his delivery a soul-puncturing cry from the very frontlines of life, able to evoke both desperate tragedy and skyscraping joy all at once.
'Rips' draws skilfully from the twang of CBGB-era punk, glam's robust swagger and Go-Gos pop-punk, imbuing the likes of small-town howl 'New Kid' with the assurance that comes from two decades spent playing in bands
‘Carry On The Grudge’ is an inspired modern breakdown album in the vein of such cathartic classics as the Manic Street Preachers' ‘The Holy Bible’. It’s London low-life viewed from the other end of the telescope, and the view is dejected but divine.
This fourth Caribou record encapsulates his whole career. Unwrap its rainbow artwork and you’ll find the plush harmonics of 2007’s ‘Andorra’ (‘Second Chance’), ‘Swim’’s cold, oscillating synths (‘Dive’) and Daphni’s strict beats (‘Mars’).
Sweet, soulful little man that he is, Mac knows better than to let his bellyaching get in the way of everyone else's good time — instead, he’s simply dialled down the quirk and written his best record yet.