As the Dutch songstress Annelotte De Graaf returns with Amber Arcades for their second full-length release, European Heartbreak, we’re introduced to a far more mature level of musicianship from the band. Amber Arcades have not only discovered their sound, but managed to perfect a brilliant level of finesse and charisma within each song, all coated in the melancholic themes of political uncertainty and the general instability which can be found across this modern world.
Yet another album which protests Donald Trump’s America, but in an incredibly different way. Low have returned with their 12th studio album across a 25-year career and let me assure you now, Double Negative is no typical listen. Instead, it is a record which cleverly captures the band’s journey against modern society and does so by surrounding themselves in a constant whirring of fresh harrowing sound.
The quirky natured New Yorkers fronted by the wonderful Darwin Smith are back, bringing with them a delightful narrative-led record which depicts exactly what it says on the tin. 10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart could not be more literal, this is an album of love, loss and a rekindling heart; if you were a fan of the Darwin Deez debut back in 2010, you’ll certainly find some familiar territory here.
Pennsylvanian rockers, Nothing, return to the scene with their third studio-length record, Dance On The Blacktop. A record that attempts to break the rules of sound in its own way by flooding each track from start to finish with intense and dreary atmospherics, all encased in a tidal wave of fuzz and ferocity.
Punk is back. It’s brutal, insane and filled with more angst than ever before. Bristol legends IDLES have returned with their second full length release, Joy As An Act Of Resistance, a record which I’m already willing to call, with little to no hesitation, album of the year.
In a time where political corruption, mass austerity and a general sense of disgust towards the majority of humanity has taken over, punk has long needed a figurehead to take the reins and capture the emotion of an entire nation. IDLES have not only stepped up to that role, but have done so with flying colours. Whilst their last album, Brutalism, was able to spark the new punk movement to rally the masses, just one year on, it already feels like the flames of revolution have started to rise.
For the classic recipe of a Slaves album you’ll need: punchy riffs, political narrative and two lunatics flying around a studio. The return of the Kent two-piece with their third full length record, Acts of Fear and Love, has certainly brought all the ingredients to create one hell of a sound.
With festival season well underway, London’s Finsbury Park has become hope to this year’s Community Festival, a day-long event with arguably one of the best line-ups for any indie lover across the entire country this year. As the punters descend onto the burnt-out field, there are sweet tunes being carried in the air and we’re all invited.
Blistering heat, big tunes and one of rock’s biggest icons on the planet today, Queens of the Stone Age enlivened a London crowd for a day that many won’t be forgetting anytime soon for a variety of reasons.
Before we delve into the bands, the lack of organisation behind this event has to be addressed. With 30 degree sun scorching down on the park field, 45,000 people will need hydrating. Almost every bar in this event had queues easily in excess of one to two hours just for a simple beer, leaving many missing their favourite artists and unwilling to even stick around for the headline set. Organisers, Festival Republic, say this was due to over 40% of their designated bar staff not turning up. However, it does have to be questioned that with even a little more organisation, this could have easily been avoided. Likewise, an incredible level of admiration for the shorthanded staff who were constantly working throughout the day.
The revival of a sound which has been long since lost from the rock and roll world, Loa Loa have brought forth a truly colossal debut which will be sure to shake the very foundations of the Brighton music scene. Keep their name in mind as this is one Brighton three-piece who are definitely onto something big.
Back with his third solo release, My Morning Jacket vocalist Jim James returns with Uniform Distortion, an 11-piece record which sees the artist once again triumphantly breaking the barriers of being in a band in order to successfully explore their own musical desires. The album touches on everything from the portrayals of modern news coverage to ecstatic guitar solos which send this album into a pure state of euphoria. Sit back, relax and delve into Jim James’ distorted world.