On follow up album Fast Food she draws from a similar musical palette, but the intervening years have helped her sound bolder and more confident (not that she’s ever been particularly lacking in that department).
Asunder… is a focused distillation of a composition that is one of the band’s most affecting pieces.
With Platform, her strongest and most reputation enhancing statement to date ... she stands together with Matthew Herbert as a radical, intelligent artist exploring how, as Daniel Barenboim put it, “everything is connected”.
In the press release for Bleeds, Smith says he called the album so because he is ready to bleed for his art. There is little doubt he has done that here, and that he holds this nation close to his heart – a heart so firmly on his sleeve we can see it there, beating. It’s what makes him so important to British music today.
Throughout all the songs here, there is a pervading, unsettling sense of the supernatural, as if the music is being used to channel a connection with spirits from beyond the earthly realm, but also an underlying wild sensuality.
It all means that Sometimes I Sit… is a likeable, enjoyable album rather than a great one. Barnett has written half a masterpiece: let’s hope that, next time round, she can complete the job.
Anthems For Doomed Youth is a triumphant return; defying pretty much all the odds ... their songwriting prowess has ensured that the decade-long wait between albums has been more than worth it.
Girl Band possess enormous potential and big, big things look to be lying just around the corner for the Dubliners. Whilst this often only remains as potential for this first step, Holding Hands With Jamie is a refreshing change and welcome one-fingered salute to the mundane and safe rock music of today.
The Grant of 2015 has grown, and found happiness in love ... This version is older, happier maybe – while still possessing the same mordant wit, rich baritone and disarming, even angry honesty – and ready to face the hidden surprises of middle age.
Ten Love Songs is an enormously creative, endlessly surprising album. While Sundfør may still be seen as a bit too left-field to break into the mainstream, if you somehow miss this album you’re seriously missing out.
It is arguable that Ones And Sixes is their most fully integrated album to date – a richly satisfying and coherent work drawing together many of the different strands of their career so far.
Emotion succeeds on its own terms, arguably remaining truer to the spirit of the era, not to mention Jepsen’s stated aim of taking the time to craft an album rather than rushing to cash in on a YouTube sensation.
In many ways, Newsom’s new record is a distillation of all the differing qualities that have made her albums to date so distinctive, combining the childlike simplicity of The Milk Eyed Mender, the ambitious, almost symphonic arrangements of Ys and the stylistic variations of Have One On Me.
Carrie And Lowell is an introspective, deeply thoughtful album but it deftly avoids self-indulgence. It feels like a healing process, not just for its creator, but for its audience too.
Somehow, from nothing, they’ve pulled off a surprising but oh so welcome return, and this record plays like a triumphant middle finger salute, coolly showing everyone how its done… and writing the first line on a thousand ‘album of the year’ lists before January’s even out.
It’s the sort of album that even repeated listenings can throw up a myriad of surprises: you never really get to know who the character of Father John Misty is ... but it’s clear that Josh Tillman has slowly turned into one of the most talented songwriters of our age.