Jan 17, 2019
72
Apologies in advance for the upcoming metaphor but it’s hard not to pop the cherry of the new year and find the first record that everyone will be wanting to fawn over, it’s just part and parcel of wanting to be a trailblazer. In that sense, Forests are going to be the opening act of 2019 having dropped their sophomore release on New Year’s Day no less meaning that they’ll get a bit of a spotlight before the gold rush is over.

When it comes to most Midwestern emo music, ... read more
Dec 25, 2018
86
Going into this album, I assumed I had it all figured out: it's gonna be some sort of self-help record focussed solely on the artist in question with some meandering production to boot. While this cynical presumption would usually be on the money, I'm happy to see Sylvan LaCue has exceeded my expectations dramatically with an invigorating, captivating listen that has a low of powerful messages trapped within itself.

There's a multitude of wonderful quirks and behaviours Apologies in Advance ... read more
Dec 25, 2018
82
I'm having the best of luck with these recent new listens.

Title tracks (as in the name of songs) can serve multiple purposes: maybe it's to convey the message of a certain cut, maybe it's just choosing the catchiest word/phrase so the artist can call it a day or, in the case of Antarctigo Vespucci's Love In The Time Of E-Mail, it can weave a narrative on the surface level that the songs in question can flesh out.

The power-pop duo's third LP starts and ends with the songs Voicemail and ... read more
Dec 25, 2018
84
So, chillwave: I often don't give much of a reaction whenever the term is brought up and going into this record, I was sort of under the impression that this was one I'd have to fight my night-shift induced fatigue to sit through. Thankfully it was a lot easier than that as regardless of how backloaded this release feels, there's an undeniable charm that drives this record from start to finish. George's vocals have a certain quirk to them that makes it all the easier to let yourself lay back ... read more
Dec 25, 2018
42
So as someone who can see the appeal in emo/cloud rap (Yung Lean as well as Lil Peep appealing to me somewhat), I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring when it comes to discussing this record.

When it comes to vocals, it's kind of hard to defend Bladee. His pipes feel like they're made of marzipan, too fragile to carry the necessary emotion and unlike the aforementioned Lean, this Drain Gang honcho struggles to ride any autotune riddled wave to his benefit. It doesn't help that when it comes ... read more
Dec 18, 2018
86
I'm still not completely sure whether I think this release is front or backloaded, it may not be either, but this record is so nicely put together that it makes me envious knowing this was only the first project under Xzavier's belt.

Po It Up felt super Injury Reserve inspired, the playful incorporation of some phone dialing on XLYT was appreciated, and the vocal delivery on here, for an album that's usually barren of much singing, is always timed and utilised wonderfully. I think the record ... read more
Dec 18, 2018
76
The fact this release has been in existence for most of this year yet I'm only discovering it now is an early Christmas present of sorts. Antisocialites was a nice surprise, fighting to be one of the best pop releases of the year and succeeding in doing so by constructing some lush, dream-pop soundscapes that engage in genre traits but don't shy away behind them.

This EP is very much more of the same but that isn't a bad thing by any means, the only low point being Supine Equine which just ... read more
Dec 17, 2018
54
While my experience with death metal is fairly limited by most accounts (Behemoth and Cattle Decapitation are my only two reference points), I'm not incapable of deriding some enjoyment from the genre. With this EP, there's not much about the makings of it all that excites my palette besides some bleak lines such as Osmium-like density painting a nice harsh picture and some tiny production touches near the end of the first track. Besides that, not much grip - bit of a rusty bike with some neat ... read more
Dec 17, 2018
84
Having been an individual worth paying attention to both through his work in The Roots and solo endeavours, it was only a matter of time until his Streams of Thought series reached an entry that managed to rank amongst the strongest hip-hop outings of the year. Backed up by some wonderful fleshed out jazz/boom-bap production, Black Thought is finally working with some dressing that, while nothing mind-blowing (though that's a pretty shabby critique in of itself), means that the songwriting ... read more
Dec 17, 2018
86
I've been on a bit of a Stankonia high as of late and considering it's felt like a lifetime since we have heard from Outkast, I had a wee gander to see what the duo were up to. While I've always been a fan of the Big Boi's rapping style and impressive bars, the charisma that Outkast had more often than not spawned from Mr. Andre 3000 so I decided to check in with him first.

As I put on Look Ma No Hands, I hear some jazz kick things off which has me apprehensive due to the number of times jazz ... read more
Dec 13, 2018
96
As someone who spent a good chunk of their childhood participating in swimming lessons and competitions, I'll be damned if I don't get to bring it up in at least one review. While I could tell you of the many nostalgia rushing instances (whether that be the first time I attempted/failed at diving or taking part in a relay race), the fondest memories I have are of just simply laying back in the water before a race, the reality and hecticness of what surrounded me simply being background ... read more
Nov 28, 2018
66
Is it a decade-defining masterpiece? Far from it but what The 1975 manage to muster up on their third album is certainly more daring than most would have anticipated (with territory such as dance, ambient, and synthpop all being explored to varying levels of success). While it suffers from filler, this might be the record to convert those who previously disregarded the band as a fad.

Full review can be found on my channel via the link in my bio.
Nov 27, 2018
62
Young Sam Fender fits snuggly into the same camp as someone like Declan McKenna with his brand of conscious indie rock tunes that struggle for a balance of substance and style on his debut EP. Title track Dead Boys ensures it peaks with a compelling narrative about male suicide that feels genuine and compassionate, the production being fairly clean but busy enough to avoid putting the track off kilter. Sadly, other than Spice, Sam fails to impress all the way through though those last three ... read more
Nov 14, 2018
72
It's no secret that a) many people weren't big on Come Over When You're Sober due to the unfiltered angst that bordered on gratingly melodramatic and b) I was a fan of Peep's amateur yet impassioned delivery/lyrics as well as the cohesive sound palette that more often than not bordered on hypnotic.

Posthumous albums are so often hit or miss so when news of COWYS2 was announced, along with the first cut from the Peep vault being a collaboration with XXXTentacion, I was extremely wary of what ... read more
Nov 8, 2018
78
When you have three of the decade's most critically acclaimed singer-songwriters forming a supergroup, there's little reason not to get yourself hyped up and on this debut release, Boygenius mostly warrant such excitement. An EP does hinder the band's ability to really flex their muscles and come together as an unstoppable unit but when they do, such as the folk ballad closer Ketchum or the utterly evocative Bite the Hand, the trio truly warrant this venture.

Full review can be found on my ... read more
Nov 8, 2018
72
Sure, the bridge may be a tad weak but there's an undeniably catchy aura about this single - time (see: a few days) will only tell how this fits into the overall feel of COWYS2.
Nov 8, 2018
68
Vince's weakest effort still has its highlights.
Oct 22, 2018
NR
While it may not be the return to form that some would be anticipating, the slog of releases listeners have endured since Teenage Emotions will mean that 'Nuthin' 2 Prove will satisfy them to an extent. True, there aren't many standout moments but this album is fairly consistent in its mild entertainment.

There is Fall In Luv, though, which is home to some of the lushest craftsmanship on the record, the use of what I believe is either a harp or koto just immediately reminding me of something ... read more
Oct 22, 2018
82
After a less than stellar 2017 release, Cloud Nothings have returned with a "new" ethos: those quotation marks are necessary because while there are definitely moments, or well *a* moment, Last Building Burning shares a lot with Attack on Memory and Here & Nowhere Else. Using a familiar palette, Cloud Nothings paint with noisier strokes and, more often than not, utterly captivate as they lure you in with some delicious melodies and hooks.



Full review can be found via the link ... read more
Oct 14, 2018
72
Lastly, we’re going to be chatting about one of the most buzzed-about records of the month and probably the year, at least critically. There are a fair few gems on here, We Change being a particular highlight with its warbling synths and vocals as well as the Sophie idiosyncrasies.

That being said, I just find some of the songs on here kinda flawed, redundant or just not all that engaging, especially when a refrain from a previous song is brought back for seemingly no reason - you can ... read more
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