Drunk is an impressive record which commands multiple listens as much by its quality as its complexity. It shows off Bruner at the height of his powers as an artist shapeshifting through genres but always leaving his scent in the air.
Listening to Not Even Happiness is like being wrapped up in blanket as a child; it gives you comfort and more than a little reassurance, whatever the future may have in store.
With Soft Sound From Another Planet, Michelle Zauner has moved beyond mourning to a solace far more celestial, communicating her grief through these poignant musical prayers aimed directly at the heavens and beyond.
SweetSexySavage is a powerfully optimistic record, and while it glances back to a pop/R&B heyday, Parrish has crafted something entirely of her own, refined by a canny approach to lyricism and unbridled intimacy.
Musically and lyrically, Music for People in Trouble retains the dark heart of the previous album, but the mood is more introspective, at least on the surface.
Blue Hawaii’s Tenderness explores the psychically isolating nature of online relationships in a seemingly ‘connected’ world.
The album captures a mixture of genres that come together to create a really vulnerable and organic sound. Kesha uses Rainbow to let her listeners into her struggles, thoughts and true personality, something missing from her previous releases.
The Weather Station is a model example of expanding an act’s sound without losing sight of what made them great to begin with.
Bereft of any shine or polish, Aromanticism is a piercing debut collection of songs of remarkable intensity.
Cameron's obscure blend of synth-pop and neo-electronica, along with his dark, lurking persona seem to fit the criteria of a background character of a David Lynch film.
Ultimately, MASSEDUCTION defies explanation and critique, rendering the critic a dead weight in the dust of its ever-accelerating sucker-punch of ideas.
With The Underside of Power, Algiers are providing a potent soundtrack to the modern uprising.
On Three Futures, Scott has cracked the shell of rage and resistance encasing her prior outings, emerging wiser and more mature in accepting, and even welcoming, that bad that comes with the good but, most importantly, she’s done festering and prepared to move forward.
The cool café-ready vibes have been replaced by weightier production that’s suited more for the club; techno-inspired beats intricately and lusciously built atop one another.
Baker’s lyrics have always been at the heart of proceedings, and this album is no different: it’s still confessional, honest and intensely personal in the same way Sprained Ankle was.
A Deeper Understanding doesn’t seem to arrive at any conclusions or answers to the questions of self and suffering that Lost in the Dream addressed, since they are inherently unanswerable. For The War On Drugs though, the importance has always lied in the journey, and this powerful record proves that the band has no signs of stopping along the way.
While Holiday Destination is arguably Shah's most open LP to date, with all of her cards laid bare on the table for listeners to analyse and evaluate, it is by no means vulnerable or naive. This is a well thought-out record and is clearly something that has taken several years to coalesce and construct.
Prisoner is an album filled with Adams reconciling his doubts and fears about life and love with his faith in music and the power of song. And ultimately – thankfully – music wins out over heartbreak in the end.
Each sophisticated melody and harmony may seem jarring and sometimes uncomfortable – as is the way with jazz music – but underneath the spiritual solos and out-there notes, there is a simple, familiar sound – and here lies the beauty of the Harmony Of Difference.
Despite the eclectic genre-hopping, all of Résistance ends up sounding unmistakably and thrillingly like Songhoy Blues.
It’s this invitation into her most confidential thoughts that makes the album equal parts sensual as it is unflinchingly confident, and it’s the ability to inhabit so many subtleties of the emotional turmoil of relationships that makes Take Me Apart such a memorable album.
Her pop sensibility reveals itself over time, while her contemplative guitar playing matches her yearning.
Its twelve tracks are an unflinching and unapologetic documentation of the LA trio's lives, and by extension the lives of so many queer women the world over.
Fin is a record of intimacy and confidence, a rare and sumptuous combination that Syd has pulled off quite remarkably.
On this record it is clear that Staples is making his own assertive artistic statement for these turbulent times, while also firmly establishing himself as one of the brash, singular voices that is going to be leading the music world into the chaotic, unpredictable future.
Process is an album built to take your breath away. From start to finish, it’s a display of Sampha’s mastery as a lyricist, a singer and a musician.
It’s concise and straight-to-the-point, with no signs of over-indulgence. In short, it’s the album fans of the New York rapper always knew he was capable of making. All hail King Joey.
Idles are one of the most exciting British bands right now and Brutalism is proof.
Rest, her fifth and latest album, sees her fully embrace her life, her music, her fame, and indeed her position.
Yesterday’s Gone is a jazz-inflected dream a world away from the bloated showbiz rap clogging up the airwaves – it’s not an exaggeration to claim that it is one the most honest, soulful and inspiring debut British rap albums since Roots Manuva’s Brand New Second Hand from 1999.
On Melodrama, Lorde invites all of us to join in her anguished party of the damned, convincing her believers that if we just keep on dancing the ills of the world won’t be able to catch up to us. And for now, that is a faith promising enough to get totally lost in.
With strident chords, spiralling melodies, and a shiver inducing delivery, No Shape might spend a lot of its time searching, but in being open about that the record presents Perfume Genius at his most realised.
City Music is, without fail, one of the most quintessential albums of the year so far.
A work of great craft, multifaceted charm, and, yes, an alluring marriage of the visceral to the gentle, this album feels like the opening chapter of a thrilling career.
As an independent artist he’s created a something that feels deliberately empowering and doesn’t revel in novelty. But then Omari’s not just one of the best lyricists in the UK right now, he’s also someone who packs his bars tightly with logic, values and humour.
From start to finish, it's nothing less than outstanding - the late arrival of a very important artist.