It isn’t hyperbole to point out that what we’re dealing with on Heart’s Ease is something that reaches into the distant past of the rural labouring class. But that isn’t why it’s good; no, it’s the sheer enduring potency of the material, the magnificent austerity of the delivery and arrangements.
Contorting percussive grooves into meticulously crafted experimental pop arrangements, Room For The Moon is fluidly expressive.
You have to lean into Man Alive! to receive its message; it won’t come to you, but what lies in wait if you do is the dark, harsh truth. King Krule is one of the few artists ready to stare it in the eye.
There’s a dichotomy at the heart of records like this. RTJ4 is a stark reminder that the consumption of art as either entertainment or cultural document are two inseparable actions.
In reality, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately burns with passion – desirous of musical exploration at every turn, but more crucially, driven by a craving to wrestle with issues bigger than himself.
While such a bold departure in sound should be applauded, with Renegade Breakdown Marie Davidson has created an album that misses more times than it hits.
This record will earn the cultish acclaim coming its way.
An album that’s as complex and compelling as anything he’s ever made and while it doesn’t provide the instant gratification of its predecessors, Suddenly still has that intangible quality that’s characterised every Caribou album to date.
For a sophomore EP, Wicked City packs the oomph of a debut. It’s bold and declarative, while also retaining a sense of mystery.
Split into two parts, the intent is for us to explore the “grey” in-between songs, spaces and words. It’s the kind of artistic abstraction that’s easily dismissed, but with Sumney’s energy sparking throughout this meandering collection of tracks, it’s hard not to be a little suckered in.
Throughout, Crack Cloud delight. Pain Olympics is an incendiary snapshot of a real musical force.
There are too many simultaneous ideas, too much comfort in saturating the sound palette throughout Heaven to a Tortured Mind for it to have mass appeal, and yet it is that very freewheeling experimentation that makes it such an intoxicating listen.
With the British Asian point of view remaining among the most under-represented voices in contemporary music, someone of Ahmed’s profile being willing to write with this level of conscious clarity demands everyone’s attention.
The tumult and churn of Out in the Storm must now feel worth it: this stunningly pretty ode to recovery is Crutchfield’s finest work, and possibly her masterpiece.
Throughout, Clipping stun and shock with their most complete work to date, and Visions of Bodies Being Burned proves the group to be as dynamic as they are devastating.
This is an awkward record in places, but then, so is Bridgers; her sheer force of personality remains her greatest asset, and it’s more than enough to carry Punisher over the line.
Like all the best pop albums, it doesn’t concern itself with being too clever, too cool or too serious, and it conveys that intent brilliantly: raising smiles, moving limbs, hearts aching for something more.
Ultimate Success Today is thought-provoking, distinctive and testament to the boldness of post-punk in the present day.
Simply put, if Free Humans was a film, then it’d be The Goonies directed by Werner Herzog. It’s a surreal, heartwarming adventure through the hedges and hedgerows of Britain’s musical fringes – an absolute masterpiece.
It’s this independent mindset and unapologetic disposition that makes Maidza a magnetic personality, making Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2 an essential chapter in her musical career even as it still only begins to take proper shape.