TWICE are in a position in which they know exactly what they’re worth – and exactly what they want. Having topped themselves yet again with Formula of Love: O+T=<3, it’s all theirs for the taking.
Gas Lit is an important record from an important band. It doesn’t attempt to make things palatable for you, and nor should it. The record is a provocation to a difficult conversation, one that in all honesty shouldn’t really still have to take place in 2021.
Infinite Granite feels less like an abandonment, and more like a new era – a rebirth that fans can either jump on or off for.
Injury Reserve could very well call it quits today, and everyone would be devastated. But there’d also be an understanding that, because they’ve released what is arguably their definitive record, they wouldn’t have any obligation to release anything else.
Yet another impressive and experimental addition to Dawn’s discography, Second Line proves that this prolific artist is not running out of steam or fresh ideas any time soon.
A Common Turn is at its best when Savage is purely focused on herself, plumbing the depths of her psyche and existential angst.
Although this is an album about oneness, we are here for Peng, and these moments where we feel closest to her as a person are some of the most rewarding.
It never bursts, like Lush did, but stumbles and swings, begs and borrows. Nothing about it is ironic, because it anxiously glances over its shoulder to, somehow, find something in the past that has been lost and maybe never existed.
On Reflection, we truly see the breadth of her resourcefulness as an artist: both as translator and purveyor of gut feeling. The elemental building blocks are all you need to shape something completely new.
Slap as many abstract adjectives and kitschy references you want on it, you’re not going to pin The Turning Wheel down. Its ineffability can be its greatest strength.
Carnage is the bedroom record that we never expected from Cave. He and Warren Ellis have assembled a minimal record that still sounds like a full Bad Seeds album. It’s a testament to both of their abilities that at this juncture in their careers these two can still write powerful music.
Seek Shelter isn’t the big, era-defining statement, but a transitional album for the quintet, opening up the possibility of rock’n’roll in their arsenal. While this stylistic choice doesn’t fit 2021’s overarching trends, it proves just how good Iceage are at transforming their sonic interests into full-blown epics.
This record evades categorization. It’s a strange beast, like a sphinx: you can’t tell where one animal begins and where the other ends.
Maybe that’s what makes Jubilee so special: only Zauner could have fashioned these songs both as tenderly bright and violently sad as they’ve become. Not one colour: an entire spectrum of female experience, struggle and fulfilment.
Vince Staples is certainly not an easy album to tap into, nor a particularly fun one, but for those interested in a piece of art in which the barrier between the creator and onlooker is veritably nonexistent, to the point of shared claustrophobia, look no further.
Yes, I Lie Here Buried… is an angry album, but it’s one that inspires empathy, solidarity and rueful sadness. In a compassionate and just world, Ashanti wouldn’t be judged for how she self-identifies and presents; she wouldn’t have to pit herself against her family, against society, and against God.
Esfandiari hones the persona explored on prior releases, channeling the aspirations and ambivalences of the mystic. With Celestial Blues, she presents herself as one of the chief proponents of metal informed by spiritual inquiry, yearning for emancipation from the habituated self, and the complex desire that exceeds convention.
For those in a rut over the seemingly endless absence of Kendrick Lamar, you need look no further for boundlessly creative and irresistibly unique hip hop than GUMBO’!.
For all its horror trappings and flat-out aggression, We Are Always Alone is a deeply emotional record. It is catharsis writ large; a writhing, wailing, violent resistance against the injustice of a cruel world full of self-serving people.
As Wise’s voice and music continues to impressively dart, elude, and shapeshift through listening ears, its emotional magnitude has remained a constant. It’s effortlessly buoyant, especially now that he’s reclaimed his image; he’s not the sad and desperate crooner he was once made out to be.
The Ramble ... sums up the themes of Phenomenal Nature with ease; it’s an album about our fractured self conception and the ways we try to put it all back together.
There’s a lot of comfort and warmth to Lange’s albums. He’s a beacon of hope in almost every instance, a rarity these days.
Dry Cleaning seem a working-class band, but they are not a political band in that same sense. This concept is mimicked across many post-punk bands past and present, but instead of trying to stay firmly between those politically-charged guardrails they have stepped outside of them and created their own scenic route.
Over the course of the album, we seem to hear Fohr coming to terms with the vastness of mortality, and realising that it is in itself beautiful – it is what makes life precious.
A Martyr’s Reward feels like the most complete Ka album yet, from the brighter production to the ever-evolving wordplay.
He’s displaying lessons learned here – the fact that he can legitimately sing, that he can tell narrate without insulting a demographic, and that, most importantly, Flower Boy wasn’t a fluke.
Prioritise Pleasure is such an impacting album precisely because it wields that power of being too much – of Taylor being entirely herself.
Haram is a tremendous success, largely due to the powerful lyrics by its antiheroes. It is built to make you uncomfortable, from its harsh cover art to its incendiary lyrics.
The band’s shape-shifting compositions create a forward momentum well suited to a journey through different levels of Hell on Earth.
Every moment of Jade 玉观音 has been carefully thought out and constructed, painstakingly aimed in its fatalistic aims: it only desires to leave you ever more vulnerable, ever more at risk.
The tremors from the encounter between Sanders and Shepherd resonating out into the infinitude. It leaves us in no doubt that we have just witnessed a meeting of monolithic proportions.
These nine songs will still speak to those willing to listen, speak of the arrogance of those claiming superiority, of the delusion of lovers and anger of those left by the wayside; of the loneliness of the mortally confused, and of the jealousy of those left behind.
Cavalcade is an experience album, one that lingers long after it’s over. It calls to you from the basement.
Low’s thirteenth album HEY WHAT is both crushing and crushingly beautiful at the same time.