Ed Harcourt has always had a continuous output of releases since his Mercury-nominated debut Here Be Monsters, with six studio albums and two EPs to his name this century. None of his back catalogue is quite as adventurous as this new record, however, with Beyond The End a purely instrumental record which adds another string to his vast bow.
Emo’s not had the best PR of late, with the musical output of the genre not exactly breaking any boundaries either. However, Itoldyouiwouldeatyou have arrived with a record which fuses thought-provoking issues together with a sound for those craving the nostalgic instrumentation of the old era.
IFrameSix songs and 20 minutes is not even close to enough for one of this year’s finest releases. Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus’ self-titled EP brings together all of their positive facets and turns it into something brilliant.
Bakers’ Turn Out the Lights, Bridgers’ Stranger in The Alps and Dacus’ Historian have each been met with critical acclaim in the past 12 months. Although there was a risk of bringing all of their characteristics together, it’s created the perfect storm.
With roughly 17 LPs already under his belt, Mark Kozelek has been involved with a multitude of different styles; folk rock, slowcore and alternative indie just to name a few. However, the one constant throughout his career has been his ability to capture his personal outlook on life at that time, through a variety of lyricisms relating to experiences and opinions he feels about the world.
Cloud Nothings have always been a terrific live act but, despite having a number of good albums, they’ve never truly managed to capture the beauty of their on-stage performances into recorded form. However, Last Building Burning is a record which finally emits the frantic energy of their gigs and a culmination of the Cleveland band’s development.
Returning for the first time since 2016, Only Now Forever feels like a new chapter for The Kvb. The pair chose to produce the album themselves this time around, with that decision coinciding with a newly found liberal attitude towards instrumentation.
Three quarters of Tokyo Police Club thought they were dead and buried until a couple of years ago. Greg Alsop was living and working in LA, whilst Graham Wright and Josh Hook had remained in Canada.
After some initial communications via email as they tried to make the band work, it felt as though it had run to its natural conclusion. However, when they asked singer-bassist and chief songwriter Dave Monks, who had settled into life in New York City and made a solo record, he disagreed and went on a mission to convince the Ontario group to make another LP.
Jordan Lee, the only constant member in Mutual Benefit, has again pulled together a variety of musicians to make what is the most intimate record of his career. Creating intricate, emotive soundscapes; Lee has used a multitude of instrumentation and sound recordings for an intensely deep listen, which takes time to fully appreciate each intricate detail.
The first album to be released on their own Seradom label, AAARTH finds The Joy Formidable at their most comfortable. Their newfound freedom has clearly benefited them on a creative level. The Welsh group’s fourth record places them at the forefront of aggressive, yet still intelligent sounding, guitar-based music, as they manage to evolve with each release and explore new territory. Undoubtedly their finest record since their debut, The Big Roar, AAARTH is a sonic assortment of interesting lyrics, psych instrumentation, crushing riffs and intense rhythms, the title referring to ‘arth’ the welsh word for bear.
Teleman arrived in 2012 with a penchant for a more electronic-inspired sound compared to their previous indie-rock incarnation Pete & The Pirates. They’ve since managed to mature this sound on a production and sonic level with each release and have achieved this feat once again with Family of Aliens.