‘Lavender’ is Half Waif on defiant form and using the full breadth of her songwriting talents. Versatile and precisely put together it’s both a funeral song for life before the chaos that seems to plague the world today and an attempt to inspire life within it.
Inspired by the physical and psychological landscape of dreams, they create a world that’s as surreal as their Dali-meets-Little-Shop-Of-Horrors sleeve design.
A staggering work of unbridled ambition, intelligent improvisation and, above all, profound soul.
Whether Frahm admits it or not, when it comes to playing with people’s feelings or trying to make sense of his own, he rarely gets it wrong.
Despite the heavy subject matters this is an unashamedly pop record, taking on the attitude of Le Tigre and the pop-dance of Katy Perry.
These six tracks are complex compositions, but Szun Waves write and perform with the freshness that could trick you into thinking it poured right out of their heads.
The album feels uneven, the result of too many sonic ideas with none taking precedence.
Anna Von Hausswolff has fashioned a truly immersive beast, where folklore runs free and where open fissures are as common as wild flowers growing. But you are invited in, and with such goodwill that to criticise the album is simply to criticise your place within it.
Gwenno effortlessly glides between styles on ‘Le Kov’ – the seamless transitions between forlorn piano and frosted beats (Aphex Twin was an inspiration) to pristine drums and discordant brass evoke a Cornwall that’s as easily accessible as it is steeped in tradition and folklore.
Following two EPs of promising if not revelatory garage-punk, Viagra Boys’ ‘Street Worms’ offers few surprises but comes armed with lashings of charisma and character.
Through all the eccentricities and quirks, it should be said that ‘I’m All Ears’ manages to be a gloriously readable pop album on first listen. For a band hailed as cult heroes one album in, this is the boldest statement they’ve made so far.
Gurnsey’s focus on capturing the moments of a night out gives ‘Physical’ a sense of menace and excitement, and his softer touch diminishes nothing.
‘Devotion’ is a bold statement of intent from a young artist who already sounds as if she’s carved out her own niche.