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. […]

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 […]

6/30 pop

charlie puth – CHARLIE

Charlie wants every listener to feel like they wrote this album with him, but instead of a collective effort, CHARLIE sounds like a gaggle of dilettante lovers fumbling their various shots at getting the guurl. What would an attempt at turning someone on ‘like a light switch’ look like? This record is suspended in a […]

23/30 album of the week electronic idm pop synth

monica rypma – classifieds (1985, reissue)

The finances for ‘Classifieds’ are explained by its front cover, which is plastered with real advertisements. Like similar disco-electronic musicians of the time (think Arthur Russell) there’s an off-kilter structure to Rypma’s beats that could only have been produced by an artist whose vision has yet to be corrupted and obscured. The interludes are suffused […]

24/30 album of the week hip-hop pop r&b soul

yaya bey – remember your north star

On a hugely satisfying LP, Yaya dances precisely between a lo-fi mixtape and shoomping R&B. The light vocals and delicate production might sink into one another were it not for a sharpness to the writing; especially in its explicit moments, Bey’s lyrics split through the seamless beats with a bite. ‘RYNS’ is not content with […]

21/30 pop synth

natalia lacunza – tiene que ser para mí

Spanish talent show finalist and Guitarricadelafuente collaborator Natalia Lacunza is an unmistakable talent. Despite regularly putting out work since 2019, this is her first full-length LP. It’s a smooth display of bedroom synth-pop that is at once dreamlike and concise. The mistier elements of the record—soporific vocals and washy production—do however nudge it in an […]

25/30 classic review electronic pop r&b synth

jessy lanza – pull my hair back (2013)

Jessy Lanza’s Hyperdub debut is a harmonious electronic display of synth-pop and R&B. The Canadian singer/songwriter/producer/DJ’s soprano vocals take flight above ethereal melodies and drums, refusing to be drowned out by stacked production. Where the rhythm and synth lines are stripped back, Lanza’s voice is granted a narrative agency. A rare drop into the middle […]

28/30 art pop classic review pop

julia holter – have you in my wilderness (2015)

On her magnificent fourth LP, Julia Holter wrote in fragments that continue to capture intrigue despite rarely arriving anywhere definite. Destinations are simply not the object of this record: it is a heavenly, drifting journey that weaves elegantly through elements of art and dream pop. The beautifully judged production enables the instrumentation to take on […]

22/30 pop synth

let’s eat grandma – two ribbons

The novelty of Let’s Eat Grandma’s pop chic was shredded on 2018’s ‘I’m All Ears’, which emphasised futuristic glitchiness and nuanced melodies. Four years on, the duo are caught reminiscing about a neater, synthier past—not enveloped in the utopian future they threatened to launch. In the context of their discography, this record doesn’t thrill with […]