26/30 album of the week pop singer-songwriter

weyes blood – and in the darkness, hearts aglow

Weyes Blood began life as a DIY, acoustic venture, where Natalie Mering’s voice fluttered above a sound collage of tape recorders, saws, bells, and whistles. This is Natalie’s fifth album performing under the moniker. The opener could be on a spacier version of Bowie’s Station to Station: it’s not just that well-produced, it’s that sweeping. […]

25/30 album of the week experimental punk rock

the cool greenhouse – sod’s toastie

Tom Greenhouse sounds like the coworker you never know beyond the timesheet; or the man who takes your details while setting up a council tax account; or the guy who accidentally drops his satchel on your feet on a crowded bus. This is an account of a soul-sucked eyeline and it’s hope for spiritual revival. […]

25/30 album of the week ambient idm techno

daniel avery – ultra truth

I wondered when I saw this title if Daniel Avery might attempt to transmit something superhuman, insinuating that he knows something unknowable. Ultra Truth is nothing like that. It’s a swirling, pounding album of immense proportions, but Avery holds a deep cordiality with the listener. The structure is neither forced nor feigned, developing lightly with […]

26/30 album of the week folk singer-songwriter

natalia lafourcade – de todas las flores

It will surprise no one that Natalia Lafourcade has made a beautiful album. It might surprise some that she has made this beautiful album. De Todas Las Flores is more muffled in essence than her previous records. It has a quiet, life-affirming warmth that cuddles the narrative maturation through love and love lost, taking into […]

23/30 album of the week techno

dj bone – black market (EP)

DJ Bone holds that unusual position of an underground legend—the deep love for his work is concentrated, but confined to a very lucky scene. Having been present at and involved in the inception of Detroit techno, the DJ, producer, and record label owner remains 100% independent. It works in favour of his innovative club architecture, […]

25/30 album of the week folk rock singer-songwriter

bill callahan – YTILAER

Bill Callahan has exposed a lot of his soul, but ceaseless in his songwriting lives a perpetually roaming orientation. Each track here sounds as though he has momentarily halted a horseback journey to take in the view of a mountain range. YTILAER is reflective, but its greatest quality is in the rousing intimacy of each […]

24/30 album of the week indie/alternative pop

alvvays – blue rev

Yes, I’m aware it’s obvious, but the change we have collectively experienced post-1999 really is extraordinary. That said, since The Strokes released Is This It? and published a timeless recipe for guitar-heavy goodness, quality indie-pop has remained on its path like an arrow in a sandstorm. Alvvays know the formula so intimately that the colourful […]

23/30 album of the week ambient electronic experimental

loraine james – building something beautiful for me

Among her remarkable qualities, Loraine James has added prolificacy. Her first full-length project of the year, Whatever the Weather, emphasised a profound respect for tone and sensation. This follow-up, arriving as the beauty of WTW has been digested, is a work of parallel depth, but the focus has shifted from the process of an album, […]

26/30 album of the week r&b soul

gabriels – angels and queens part I

Anohni and Billie Holiday seem, in a brilliant scientific experiment, to have been welded together and strategically placed inside Jacob Lusk. The charismatic, warm instrumentation from Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope coats the extraordinary vocals like a weighted blanket. Rather than shifting errantly, the tracks glide between flight paths in motions so smooth they’d force […]