As with her 2012 breakthrough album Tramp, these revelations feel intimate and shocking, and gain further power when Van Etten appears to fall back under her lover's spell. If only the songwriting – which so often conforms to accomplished but trad indie-rock norms – was as brave.
Singles is an album overwrought with emotion. And like anything that thrusts itself at you in such a sincere way, you may either want to embrace its theatricality, or retreat from it.
On 1989 the reasons she’s afforded the kind of respect denied to her peers are abundantly obvious.
Salad Days isn't the stuff of mainstream success, but it strongly suggests his cult is only going to get bigger.
There’s always been a sense that Ellison was stretching for a new musical vernacular, one that would continue the lineage of free jazz. This album suggests he might have found it.
Their style is also a fusion – of El-P’s abrasive, experimental New York styling with Mike’s smooth, almost laconic, Atlanta flow.
Syro is still utterly engrossing and remains, somewhat unbelievably, on a completely different planet to almost anything else that’s been released over the last decade and a half.
When the tunes match the invention of the production, LP1 is genuinely brilliant.
The decaying guitars and analogue synthesisers create a crepuscular melancholy. These are impassioned songs, but they steer clear of Bruce's bombast or lighters-aloft choruses.
The music here feels taut and meticulous, devoid of self-indulgence.