PROTO sounds both like and unlike the sum of its parts: impersonal but human, robotic but curiously beautiful.
While we’ve come to anticipate maverick innovation from TNP, ‘Inside The Rose’ is their most immediate and open-handed album to date.
It’s as varied and completely nuts as you’d expect.
Hoodies All Summer wants you to be angry, because if anything’s going to change we all need to be.
In an era of easy-listen playlists, Clipping should at least be applauded for creating a record so thoroughly demanding.
The audience that their work so far has amassed, and the goodwill that it has bought them, appear to have granted them real creative freedom, as this is their most stylistically ambitious record yet.
For all the giddy, unruly energy, each song on Bandana flows together to make a poetic, poignant body of work.
In its madcap polemicist playfulness and sincerity, there’s a record that starts with all the earnestness of Bobby Gillespie pining for a hit and ends with an exquisitely territorial ballad.
The Book of Traps and Lessons feels needed, not to make sense of the chaos, but to gain some comfort in knowing your fears are everyone else’s.
At Sleaford Mods’ most commercially successful and culturally influential moment to date, in ‘Eton Alive’ they have delivered one of their strongest records so far; a hellfire missive thrown down by a band still very much at the peak of their powers.
While the production ensures the edges are somewhat smoother that doesn’t serve to extract their potent sting but simply to make it a smidgeon more digestible.
You Can’t Steal My Joy is more than just a spiritual Mahavishnu marching band. As far as nu-jazz rising and jazz fusion will curtail, this is a pop album at its apex; a catchy and carefree excursion into joy.
More and more songs spill out, 17 of them in all, each tarnished with sharp distinctive hooks and the nasal jazz-pop tooting of Yanya’s voice. It’s full of intrigue and playfulness, a careful but bolshie response to any pressures of expectation.
For the most part, this is her biggest sounding release to date and it could have been given the alternative title All Ambition.
On ‘Titanic Rising’, her fourth release under the Weyes Blood moniker, the LA-based musician has drifted further away from the psych-folk and ’70s Laurel Canyon of her early years and towards soft rock.
A razor sharp and nonconformist debut, elevated by its playful self-awareness.
Offering an exhaustive catalogue of romantic disappointments and dramatic feelings, ‘Compliments Please’ is about as subtle as it sounds. But then that’s precisely the point.
Schlagenheim possesses a genuine sense of experimentalism – just for the wonderment of creating something that feels new, rather than simply for the sake of it.
Remarkably her first solo album, this is a record that surprises, despite its author’s truly enormous legacy.
Holding their gaze firmly on the worst of us, TFS deliver an essential second album of strange structures, strange topics, and a lot of ferocious noise.
Shabaka Hutchings, alongside keyboardist Dan Leavers and drummer Max Hallett, have conjured an album as much in love with grime, punk rock and G-funk as it is with the textural longing of classic spiritual jazz, and the result is a wonderfully bracing, forward-facing melting pot.
Whatever wavelength Shepherd is on, Crush is the almost untouchable proof that no-one else is anywhere near it.
‘Crushing’ is a strikingly candid exploration into the highs and lows of the end of a relationship and what comes next. On the surface it seems more like lows and lows, but the more you listen the more you get the full spectrum of what the word ‘crushing’ can mean.
Where Peasant was spidery, Beefheart-influenced avant-folk, 2020 is Dawson utilising pop at its most base iteration.
Ultimately, Purple Mountains, more than any other of his records, is his attempt to atone, to grow.
The ambition of the release is more subdued than its predecessor ... but its move towards a more fulsome sound is married to a newfound ease in her diction.
MAGDALENE is as holistically complete as any pop record released this decade ... an exceptional and empowering account of an artist in full control of their sound.