Reef Younis

60
Built on a foundation of crisp, sensual R&B, the rest of GRIP might not strike with the same overt carnal power but tracks such as ‘Black Air Force’, ‘Hummin’ and ‘Safe Word’ still find a supernatural blend of complexity, romanticism and evocation that ensure everything holds up.
80

Industrial electro glitches dance around traditional melodies. Heavy guitars dissolve into trip-hop breaks. Tracks loom and lurk then unexpectedly explode as Wolfe waits, wails, soars, shrieks, stalks and skulks, unburdened and uninhibited by the density.

80
A lightning bolt for a serial improviser like Jaar, the result is a compelling blend of Sethi’s desire to resurrect ancient poetic forms lilting over Jaar’s contemporary, already genre-bending production.
60

Instead of another full reset, Homo Anxietatem feels closer to 2020’s self-titled Shamir in its approach with poppy slacker rock (‘Appetizer), stripped back folk (‘Calloused’) and sliding blues (‘The Devil Said the Blues is All I Know’) keeping things esoteric enough to satisfy this accidental pop star.

70
At this point, Dixon isn’t just an increasingly vital lyricist, he’s a conductor, arranger, and vivid storyteller who wonders and wanders but locks in with an instant, metronomic click. He might have been more selective here but his stories aren’t diminished for it.
80

On Jam City Presents EFM there’s complete clarity: Latham set out to create an album for the club and absolutely nailed it.

80

Overmono’s confidence in their fidelity makes for a debut with few surprises but ensures expectations are meticulously met, and Good Lies is a measured, polished distillation of everything they’ve ever promised.

70

If previous Algiers albums were incendiary warning flares, Shook is more of a community firework display; there’s a little more joy and hope when the smoke clears.

70

Cherry feels more exploratory and experimental. With no grander narrative powering these 14 tracks, it’s a more disparate listen, closer to the variety of a Snaith DJ set than an album.

60
We know this wasn’t the album Injury Reserve set out to make, but as difficult second albums go, we should just celebrate the fact it’s here at all.
80

There’s catharsis in confrontation, and although this is primarily an album spent in the depths of uncomfortable, emotional reflection, Jaime is a beautiful thing for it.

60

There’s a lot to unpack in a 26-minute album that jams in 13-tracks, and Moolchan would probably be the first to admit that she doesn’t always get it right.

60
The result is an affirmation that MGMT don’t feel as electric as they once did, but even after a few dissident years, their sense of hope is no less diminished.
60
An album that’s solid if unspectacular, it does just enough to make you forget that those skinny jeans don’t fit any more (if they ever really did), those snake-hips are love handles, and that you weren’t really a proper indie band unless at least one of you had proper cheekbones.
80

Her debut as Fever Ray set the expectation for Dreijer’s solo venture but ‘Plunge’ is going to be another rich reward for committed listening.

70
‘Sleep Well Beast’ sticks to the idea that if you sit with a National album long enough, it’ll always reel you in – guitar solos and all.
80

While ‘Compassion’ isn’t an ode to the fissures and fallout of Brexit, Trump and the chaos in the Middle East, it captures the uncertainty and insecurity perfectly, manifesting itself as an incongruent collection of tracks that seep deep.

70

Still intimate, personal, and painfully relatable, Grandaddy’s observant indifference makes ‘Last Place’ as plaintively imperfect as we could have hoped for.

90

‘Trouble Will Find Me’ contains the same qualities that made 2005’s ‘Alligator’ and 2007’s ‘Boxer’ albums so vital and personal. This set of tracks will stand with their most masterful.

60
Sleek, polished and eminently listenable.
90
A heaving, breathing journey through the introspective and the bombastic, the ambitious and the seemingly-apocalyptic, this is the sound of triumph.
80
It’s dark and downbeat, smoky and soulful, and if you can get past the Duffy-esque intro, ‘Ritual Union’ is the rich vindication of Little Dragon’s slow burning upturn.
60

Things are a little different now but like many of their contemporaries, Cut Copy have had to adapt to the landscape and Zonoscope is a considered attempt at a more kaleidoscopic approach.

70
They stole the spirit of Steve Mason, borrowed a few Dirty Projectors and unleashed Jon Higgins to emphatically walk a fine falsetto line to rival Hayden Thorpe’s vocal dramatics.

February Playlist
AOTY Discord