28/30 experimental folk revisited review

exuma – exuma (1970)

This is a spiritual odyssey steeped in Bahamian tradition.

10/30 hip-hop

BROCKHAMPTON – the family / tm

Hip-hop boyband BROCKHAMPTON put themselves out of their contractual misery with a two-project dump.  ‘The Family’ is an uncomfortable tell-all from Kevin Abstract, with the rest of the group virtually nowhere to be seen. Intimate details about the demise of their friendships are spilled over chipmunk-soul beats of varying quality. Meanwhile, Kevin checks his watch, […]

26/30 folk hip-hop

quadeca – i didn’t mean to haunt you

Quadeca is a YouTube rapper who made his name through clickbaity disstracks at fellow streamers. That should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of this record, but “I Didn’t Mean to Haunt You” defies all expectations. The grandiose, genre-spanning concept-album is written from Quadeca’s own purgatory, where a lifetime’s worth of […]

21/30 indie/alternative rock

drugdealer – hiding in plain sight

Drugdealer makes no secret of his musical influences, jokingly describing his brand as ‘Derivative Rock’. The multi-instrumentalist toes the line between tasteful pastiche and total plagiarism of 70s soft rock, but comes with enough charm to make ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ a joy. His third record brings a funkier edge to his psychedelic sound and […]

13/30 pop singer-songwriter

taylor swift – midnights

Midnights is centred around late-night contemplation. It ends up with the lucidity of Taylor bolting up at night to frantically scribe her thoughts, only to realise in the morning that she had actually written “sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby”. Yes, that line made the cut—it is one of the many strained […]

14/30 experimental hip-hop

dälek – precipice

Veteran industrial hip-hop group Dälek breaks a five-year silence with an album that fails to recapture the bite of their earlier work. At the turn of the century, the duo were pioneers within the underground experimental scene, as MC Dälek fought valiantly to be heard over a wall of abrasive, distorted beats. ‘Precipice’, however, is […]

20/30 country indie/alternative rock

camp cope – running with the hurricane

The Australian all-female rock group returns after a Covid-induced hiatus with a reflective new sound. Lead singer Maq’s previously biting, angsty style that focused heavily on industry sexism has shifted towards introspective lyrics and 00s pop-country pastiche. The sonic experimentation pays off on highlights such as ‘Blue’, where band-backed vocal harmonies and intensely vulnerable lyrics […]

24/30 pop synth

caroline loveglow – strawberry

The atmosphere of isolation on Loveglow’s dreampop debut LP manages to feel distinctly ‘covid-y,’ hinting that she exists entirely inside of her own world. On ‘Strawberry’, the LA singer invites us inside to an ethereal wall of luscious synths and hazy guitars that mask her longing vocals. The LP sits over you like a weighted […]

21/30 blues rock

etran de l’aïr – agadez

25 years of experience in getting the crowd dancing at local parties in the middle of the Sahara is the base for ‘Agadez’. Call-and-response vocals take backstage to a tapestry of trebley guitar solos and relentless drums. Meanwhile, staples of desert blues permeate throughout, with reflective lyrics tied to their hometown’s (Agadez) place at the […]