Johnny Sharp

80
It may not be fuelled by as many immediate hooks and gnarly grooves as The Overload, but it's a bold progression both musically and lyrically.
90

It's a modern masterclass in psych pop.

80

Prog-leaning art rockers The Pineapple Thief self-edit in style on punchy 15th album It Leads To This.

70

Darkly fixated Californian goes back to bleak on seventh album.

80

Black Bayou is a showcase for Finley the storyteller, an artist who can convincingly inhabit narratives that may not be entirely based on his own experiences, lifestyle or even beliefs.

70
There’s a mournful stripe of melodic sadcore informing Invisible Hand, while Ghost Ride taps into Massive Attack’s brand of claustrophobic technoir soul, and although the guest appearance of rapper El-P on Big Youth shows you can take the boy out of nu metal, etc, as the title track shuffles somnambulantly into the sunset, a seductively sombre mood is retained.
70
Irish songwriter’s well-crafted, eclectic return.
50

There’s an alluringly atmospheric feel to the six-minute “Epilogue”, but these remain cute sketches in need of more colour to fully draw us in.

80
South Londoners strike a balance between anthemic and cacophonous on third LP.
50

Food For Worms sometimes sounds like the work of a band running on fumes.

80

Coruscating post-punk guitars, gnarly bass, gutsy soul vocal licks and infectious funk grooves elbow each other around.

70
Although his dabblings in bluegrass pastiche are less convincing elsewhere, it’s all shot through with characteristic, likeable idiosyncrasy.
70

As the title suggests, Brooklyn-based Sarah Beth Tomberlin's second long-player seems to semi-consciously urge you to move along – nothing to hear here. Yet it creates its own slow-burning allure on repeated listens.

80

Stereophonics keep up the good work on Oochya!, with a few surprises.


February Playlist
AOTY Discord