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Fever Ray - Plunge

Fever Ray – Plunge

Now receiving a physical release a few months after its surprise digital arrival, Plunge is the second solo album from The Knife’s Karin Dreijer, otherwise known as Fever Ray. In the eight years between her self-titled debut and Plunge, Dreijer’s personal life underwent seismic changes as she got divorced from her husband after many years together. Recently describing herself as, “Gender-fluid”, there are definite hints within much of the album of a new-found sexual exploration and freedom. Especially considering her previous reticence about discussing personal matters in interviews or in song, it is a noticeable shift in openness. By dwelling on that too much, however, there is a risk in missing just how cutting-edge and progressive this album is musically.

Anna Birch - Quit the Curse

Anna Birch – Quit the Curse

Anna Burch has finally made her steps into the solo world with the complex pop of Quit the Curse. The Detroit singer/songwriter has been visible for the better part of her years-long career singing in Frontier Ruckus, or more recently co-fronting Failed Flowers. Yet, within all this, a vibrant collection of solo material began taking form. The result is a collection of deeply personal snapshots into her life which show the vulnerability but also the marvellous songwriting knack she possesses. It still has some of her folkier leanings but there is also an affiliation to some early 90s indie-pop.

Public Access T.V. - Street Safari

Public Access T.V. – Street Safari

High school friends drop out of school and catch a New York City bound bus with dreams of starting a band. Frenzied press hype soon follows, along with label bidding wars, a debut album, and a global tour. The story of Public Access T.V. is one from the music industry of yesteryear and not this current digital age. Yet this is what makes it even more remarkable and enthralling.

Table Scraps - Autonomy

Table Scraps – Autonomy

A rising name who have already had quite the musical journey, Table Scraps are one Birmingham trio who have found themselves in the very midst of rock’n’roll. Having turned down label requests and continuously facing the struggles of being an upcoming name in the music industry, this band are certainly generating a buzz around themselves like few others and have now returned with their second, aptly named record, Autonomy.

Screaming Females - All At Once

Screaming Females – All At Once

Coming straight out of the depths of New Jersey, USA, Screaming Females return with their seventh full length record, All At Once. This trio are bringing with them a ferocious DIY sound which blends a great deal of punk, garage and edge in the form of 15 hard-hitting and fast-paced tracks Whether you’ve been with Screaming Females since the beginning or this is the first time you’ve heard of them, All At Once is a great place to start.

Marlon Williams - Make Way for Love

Marlon Williams – Make Way for Love

There's a great clip on the internet which features Marlon Williams duetting with his then lover Aldous Harding on the traditional folk song 'The Trees They Do Grow High'. Utterly at one with one another and sidled up as close as close can be around one mic, it's a stunning, mesmerising performance, pitch perfect and in perfect unison.

Insecure Men - Insecure Men

Insecure Men – Insecure Men

By now you’ll know that Insecure Men is the joint project of Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family and The Moonlandingz and Ben Romans-Hopcraft of Childhood. What you won’t know is that their eponymous debut album is like stepping into a middle-class satire, a surreal nightmare and a hallucinogenic celebrity lifestyle phantasm all at the same time. Recorded with an ancient Tascam at Sean Lennon’s studio in upstate New York inbetween working on The Moonlandingz’s album, it’s a record that feels both personal and utterly bombastic.

Belle and Sebastian – How To Solve Our Human Problems

Belle & Sebastian – How To Solve Our Human Problems

In the latest chapter of a musical story that has been going for 22 years, Belle & Sebastian return to bring a little bit of joy and a whole lot of sunshine into the world once more. How To Solve Our Human Problems sees them continuing to play by their own rules, just as they have always done since their 1996 debut Tigermilk. They quickly followed up on that with a trilogy of EPs, recorded and released at a rapid rate in case, as frontman Stuart Murdoch described it, “Someone took the keys to the studio away”. Thankfully that never happened, and this latest trilogy is now brought together as a compilation album and box set. It is absolutely the work of a band who no longer feel the need to do anything other than exactly what they want to do, even including how they release their music. Fans of their sunny disposition are in for a treat.

U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

Never has an album arrived with such prescient timing. Meg Remy’s sixth album as U.S. Girls (her second with 4AD), In A Poem Unlimited, is a record packed with character stories that capture a quiet, unquenchable rage at the world and will act as a rallying point for those abused by, and within, society. It is also packed with inventiveness and a high level of musical dexterity, containing some of the best pop moments of this, or any other, year. It is an unmissable record that all should hear.

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