Music For People In Trouble will perhaps be a surprise for those who came to Sundfør via her last album, but they won’t be disappointed. This is an album full of hidden depths, stark emotion, and most importantly, absolutely beautiful songs.
This experimentation with styles and arrangements means that Life Will See You Now does feel a little jumbled, as though Lekman has failed to settle on a sound, but on the other hand it’s just about clear that this is sort of the point.
She may have lost the kooky melodrama and charm that she enveloped earlier on, but I’m Not Your Man feels strangely right, if quite startling in its shift in direction.
Yesterday’s Gone is one of the finest debuts you’ll hear for quite some time.
Transforming states and changing perspectives are once again the order of the day. Modern Kosmology marks another triumphant evolution.
The growth in popularity of the likes of Nils Frahm over recent years shows there’s a demand for this kind of music – Open is an album that deserves to elevate Grandbrothers to this level and to a much broader audience.
It’s just a shame that this only partly inspired slog isn’t a little more, well, entertaining.
The arrival of Occult Architecture Vol 2 later this year will mark another moment of judgement, when Vol. 1 can be assessed in its full context. But for now, it’s a worthy instalment in the Moon Duo canon and a fine record on its own terms.
This album deals with femininity in a nuanced and honest manner, with Marling never hiding behind a façade of characters or dealing in over-familiar observations. Few songwriters, let alone any still in their mid-20s, are able to illuminate such complex material with this degree of insight and personal experience.
This is not an exercise in parody ... but an appropriation of a sound closely aligned to cold-war politics, pop-excess, and cold, robotic emotions.
This is a joyous artistic rebirth, its creator shaking her tail feathers, pushing her own boundaries and immersed in emotion and whim brought out from within.
Such is the impressive scope, sound, and construction of this album, it’d take someone with genuine cloth ears and malfunctioning cloth ears at that, to find something to dislike about Thin Black Duke.
It’s a bizarre sensation: listening to something that’s clearly had a lot of time, love and attention poured into it, something obviously impressive in scale and ambition, made by artists admirably trying to push their sound forward – and it leaving you completely unmoved.
In a world where Ed Sheeran and Drake are pretty much sharing the entire Top 20 singles chart, an album as wildly experimental and as much damn fun as this one is should be required listening.
It may not quite measure up to the heights of 1989, but whether she’s Old Taylor or New Taylor, there’s enough here to demonstrate why she’s still one of pop’s brightest pop stars.
The Horrors have never been afraid to push their sound to new and interesting places. So it comes as no surprise to find that V continues that trend by matching their anthemic side with a desire to “get nasty” and make something “quite unsettling”.
The Underside Of Power is righteous, vicious and vital. If the world is a stage, then at the moment it’s hard to think of a better house band than Algiers.
It’s The War On Drugs doing what they always do so well, only on a more dramatic scale than ever before. There’s nothing quite as urgent and propulsive as Lost In The Dream’s Under Pressure or Red Eyes here, but arguably there is even greater depth in terms of texture.
With his third record he edged slowly towards the mainstream, but with No Shape, he might just have snuck in. Now sober and settled down, it feels like this is his natural home; his previous records were part of a cathartic process, almost medicinal, to help him reach this point.
Phoebe Bridgers is a 23 year old LA-based songwriter who early collaborator Ryan Adams has already compared to Bob Dylan and while that’s undoubtedly hyperbole at the moment, Stranger In The Alps is certainly one of those records that seem destined to herald a long-lasting career.
Sleep Well Beast is as sad a record as The National have ever made, and yet it also feels like their most hopeful.
MASSEDUCTION is a remarkable record, a certain contender for album of the year and demonstrable proof that Clark is an artist working at the height of her powers.
Melodrama delivers everything pop music should, but yet it manages to find more. As an album it is unlikely to be bettered in 2017.