Their rapid growth is as head-spinning as the songs themselves, lending a triumphant air to Comfort to Me that keeps Amyl and the Sniffers primed and ready to conquer the world -- again.
A subtle triumph in the face of overwhelming pressure and expectations, Happier Than Ever is the sound of an artist coming into their own.
As the album alternates between candid whispers and raw catharsis, it is unmistakably the work of Brandi Carlile, who once again proves she's one of the best singer/songwriters of her generation.
Meticulously crafted and teeming with soul, El Madrileño represents the culmination of Tangana’s artistic development thus far, painting a world of rich cultures into his compellingly conflicted persona.
Her songwriting talent and willingness to experiment was already evident on 2017's Play 'til You Win, but the perfect balance of exploration and poignancy on Overview make it a significant step forward for her.
Not only is Screen Violence Chvrches’ finest work since The Bones of What You Believe, it’s also their most purposeful. It feels like they took stock of who they want to be and what they want to say, and these epic songs about letting go but holding onto the ability to feel make for a stunning creative rebirth.
Haunting and expertly crafted, Playground in a Lake takes its place alongside Bibio's Phantom Brickworks and Loscil's Monument Builders as a beautifully destroyed sonic environment that provokes a powerful emotional response.
Even at its most melodic ... Bloodmoon: I bristles with nervy unease. That particular brand of agitation is textbook Converge, but with Brodsky's inventive arrangements and Wolfe's ethereal soprano added to the arsenal, that innate disquiet is glorious to behold.
Unhurried and stark without being austere, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows seems suspended from time but not place: as misty and evocative as it is, the music is grounded in a specific location, which gives this elegiac, enveloping album an emotional weight.
They know exactly what they're doing, and the risks they take result in a debut album that brings a fresh energy to post-punk that's equally challenging and rewarding.
Full of smart nods to their pop inspirations, Field Music's Flat White Moon is a poetic and beautifully realized production.
Medicine at Midnight is a speedy, hooky, and efficient record, every bit the party album Grohl promised.
With its balance of eras, sounds, and short and extended songs, Shade has the depth of a career retrospective and the freshness of a new album, both of which make it especially appealing to new and longtime Grouper fans alike.
In a bold and unexpected move, Halsey seizes their artistic crown on the creative triumph If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power.
Tour de force might be too weighty a term for an album so seemingly effortless, but from its unhurried flow to its wealth of songs, Far In is a glorious showcase for all the aspects of Helado Negro's music.
Mood Valiant is intimate and romantic more than anything else.
His work is full of the messy energy and surprising turns of a life lived hard, and on The Horses and the Hounds, the music speaks as vividly as his excellent songs. Not many artists pushing 60 get to deliver as satisfying a breakthrough as this one.
Thankfully, just as with Crying in H Mart, Jubilee is an album that showcases Zauner's talents to their fullest and makes crushing on Japanese Breakfast hard to resist.
Batiste's genre-mashing reinforces the album's theme of intergenerational wisdom, and it's also wonderfully fun.
KG0516 establishes Karol G as a visionary; she pushes hard at urbano's boundaries, blending them into the pop multiverse, only to bring the album's many dimensions to heel under reggaeton's dominance.
Butterfly 3000 is the work of a band with a million ideas and the skills to make them all work like a dream. In this case, a shiny, happy dream that leaves the sleeper feeling refreshed and at peace upon awakening.
Montero delivers in droves, a powerful realization of self that boldly places sexuality, honesty, and vulnerability at the fore.
As on Grey Area, there are no dry spells or dips in quality, just a master class in modern songwriting with heaps of poise and a beating, soulful heart.
The appealing thing about Soberish is how it holds two thoughts (and sounds) simultaneously, a record that revives the spirit of Phair's earliest albums while casually leaning into her middle age.
With her ninth album, The Path of the Clouds, she finally tips the balance from indie folk to rock on a cinematic set largely inspired by watching reruns of Unsolved Mysteries during pandemic lockdown in 2020. What Nadler does with those inspirations is uniquely hers.
Musically, Mastodon illuminate the emotional heft of their subject matter in gorgeously architected compositions rendered with abundant creativity, massive power, and searing honesty.
Dynamic, but well-balanced, this collection is perhaps the most conclusive example of Moctar's multidimensional talents to date.
It may have taken Mogwai 25 years to open up like this, but it was well worth the wait: As the Love Continues is another peak in their long and influential career.
Rodrigo wants to be taken seriously as a songwriter, and she should be -- her combination of sweet melodies and bitter moods, her conversational flow, and her self-awareness are all skills many songwriters twice her age would love to call their own, and they make Sour a well-rounded emotional journey and strong debut album.
While losing some of the pop appeal of his previous work, Whole Lotta Red represents Playboi Carti coming into a new phase of his artistry, however jagged and disorienting the process may be.
On Sharecropper's Son, Finley, producer Dan Auerbach, and their all-star studio cast pull out all the stops; they present this remarkable singer with an expansive yet rootsy musical palette.
She bounces back on TOKiMONSTA's Young Art label with Play with the Changes, an album with greater vocal, lyrical, and sonic range than her previous releases.
It's rare for a band to have a new idea after being together for five years, let alone thirty. That Saint Etienne not only had a brilliant idea, but also made it come to life so fully and so beautifully, is nothing short of miraculous.
The music is busy, but rarely familiar, and certainly stimulating. Truly a band for the times, Squid feels like a wild jumble of thoughts come to life, effusing anger, confusion, humor, detachment, and even joyfulness in their pursuit of true creative freedom.
Aptly named, Ultrapop administers a constant barrage of sonic information that shows no delineation between discomfort, reassurance, pain, or pleasure.
Coral Island is the band at their best, effortlessly conjuring up the glorious ghosts of rock & roll's past and turning those sounds into something timeless and instantly rewarding at once.
By focusing on bringing light and shade into the margins, the Hold Steady wound up with an album that feels vivid and alive; it's as if the songs themselves have a life outside of the recording.
Uncommon Weather is focused and melodic, sounding like a greatest-hits collection as song after song digs deep below the surface of heartache to uncover yet another painful memory or feeling.
Ignorance is a major statement that never feels oversimplified. While she's growing so much with each album that it seems risky to call this Lindeman's best, it's safe to say this is another outstanding achievement from the Weather Station.
She's grown more comfortable within herself on each album, and Thirstier's confidence and optimism arrived when listeners in the early 2020s were hungry for both. If making her music as big and loud as it is here is what it takes to get people to realize what they've been missing with her music, then Thirstier is a wild success.
Both vital and respective of the listener's time at just under 35 minutes, Glow On rolls in like a violent, late-summer storm and pummels the power grid but mercifully leaves the lights on.
Tyler has every ounce of talent to square up with rap's greats, and he now has enough confidence to do so.
A standout among her already impressive catalog, The Moon and Stars is utterly beguiling with a luster that only deepens with repeated spins.
Blue Weekend never feels overwrought despite its ambition and lengthy creative process -- instead, it's the kind of big, unabashedly emotional album that people make memories to, and some of Wolf Alice's most confident and fully realized music.
Stand for Myself is a stunner with plenty of emotional firepower, but it can also feel soft as a wool blanket.