On this page you’ll find a semi-regular update on some of the albums we’ve got on regular rotation in store! If you like the sound of something and would like us to reserve you a copy, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and tell us if you want a CD or LP. We’ll get back to you with availability very quickly!
The most French album we’ve heard all year, ‘Magnifique’ by Juniore is a delectable collection of 60s style ye-ye pop mixed with swaggering post-punk rhythms and the classic, flat vocal style of Francoise Hardy or France Gall. The result is an album that condenses French pop history into a bite sized chunk of pop perfection. C’est très bon!
We’ve loved every album so far from Texas based singer-songwriter Israel Nash, and while it’s been 3 years since his last album, ‘Lifted’ is most definitely worth the wait! Recorded at his home studio in the exquisitely named town of Dripping Springs, this is an album of top drawer, big hearted, cosmic-country goodness, augmented with luscious string arrangements and cinematic sonic textures developed using the ‘I Ching’. Another instant classic from the Loose Records label.
Having started life under the name Viet Cong, Preoccupations return with some new material in the form of the album ‘New Material’. The austere album title reflective of the Canadian outfit’s icy post-punk sound which they’ve absolutely nailed yet again.
The ever evolving, incendiary Edinburgh based trio Young Fathers return with ‘Cocoa Sugar’, another raw and muscular album that throws numerous shapes into the knotty mix of rap, soul, gospel, electronica and pop: another thrilling album.
Phantastic Ferniture is the phantastically named band fronted by acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin. The Sydney based group came together casually in a drunken jam but soon coalesced into a semi-serious proposition that acted as a more fun counterpoint to Jacklin’s alt folk ‘day job’. This deceptively carefree record is a giddy joy from start to finish.
While over the years they’ve been accused of sounding like numerous post-punk bands of yore, New Yorkers Interpol remain one of the most distinctive sounding bands around. Album number 6, ‘Marauder’ is another fine example of the claustrophobic, noirish world they so effortlessly craft. Paul Banks’ ever haunted vocals soar over a set of songs which were recorded almost directly to tape, with producer Dave Friddman insisting on minimal overdubs and keeping the gnarly rawness intact.
Those in search of a summertime nostalgia trip could do a lot worse than the debut album from UK dance producer and DJ Felix Clary Weatherall, recording under the 90s-tastic moniker Ross From Friends. On debut ‘Family Portrait’ he weaves together fuzzy edged recycled house beats with more contemporary densely layered textures, crafting a sound that is both blissful and propulsive. Excellent stuff! FFO Gold Panda, Bicep, DJ Seinfeld.
Russian trio Pinkshinyultrablast are not only one of the best named bands around, they’re positively magic on the ears as well. They take dreamy shoegaze guitar sounds and fuse them with sparkling electronica and great swooshes of ambient loveliness. The resulting sound feels like a collaboration between My Bloody Valentine, The Cocteau Twins and Grimes!
‘Babelsberg’ is the new one by Super Furry-gone-solo Gruff Rhys. Don’t be fooled by its plush orchestral pop, crafted in collaboration with composer Stephen McNeff – the sonic whimsy is subverted lyrically, responding to a tense political landscape at home and across the pond. For a typically acerbic taster look no further than track one, side one: ‘On the frontier of delusion/ I’m your foremost frontier man’. Nonetheless it’s a genuinely pleasurable listen that showcases Rhys’s versatility, employing classic sounds that variously call to mind The Beatles, Dylan, and even Leonard Cohen, whilst never (unintentionally) straying into vulgar pastiche.
Serpentwithfeet, the man born Josiah Wise, has really hit his stride on ‘Soil’, his debut full length record. With a startling voice that he makes gossamer light or strong and sinous at will, Wise has drawn on his gospel roots, as well as the dark places he’s been to in dealing with his sexual identity, to weave a collection of beautiful, melancholic neo-soul compositions. Fans of Sampha, James Blake and Frank Ocean listen up!
Dev Hynes has come so far from his first forays into music as part of Test Icicles that we only really mention it so we can write Test Icicles! His 4th album as Blood Orange, ‘Negro Swan’, continues in similar tone to his previous albums under the moniker, namely a loose, mixtape feel of melancholic 90s R&B put through a gauzy filter in which vocals from Hynes, guests and snatches of dialogue – here from trans rights activist Janet Mock – all swirl around like inner-city heat haze. Another deeply powerful work from an artist who has quietly become one of the most influential around.
Following up the unbeatable store favourite ‘Fading Love’ comes the new full length from UK dance producer George Fitzgerald. ‘All That Must Be’ continues to balance house beats with effervescent melodies and vocal samples, here with some great guest appearances, in particular from Tracey Thorn. Perfect for both dancefloor and home listening, this is another fine piece of work!
It’s been 3 years since the last Hookworms album but we’ve returned again and again to the Leeds outfit’s intense, motorik sound so anticipation for new album ‘Microshift’ was very high. It’s here, it looks lovely and it’s… well it’s different! First listen we were confused, second listen we were hooked (pun intended!). This is a more structured, song-based and less noisy version of the band, yet no less intense, and marks a significant evolution!
Originally coming to prominence as a founder of Engineers and more recently for his collaborations with Ulrich Schnauss, this is the solo debut from Mark Peters. Over 8 tracks of sublime instrumentals, inspired by specific places in Lancashire, Peters crafts a pastoral guitar ambience akin to Brian Eno, Talk Talk or even Public Service Broadcasting minus the samples.
Natalie Prass is the kind of artist Spacebomb (the label/studio that gave you Matthew E. White) was created for, as evidenced by her brilliantly confident return to the musical fray. She’s gone full on vintage with the arrangements on new album The Future And The Past, offering up a juicy slice of 80s infused disco soul interspersed with irresistible pop ballads. Think Diana Ross meets Karen Carpenter meets a sassier, quirkier Mariah Carey!
Former Everything But The Girl singer and celebrated author Tracey Thorn, the self-proclaimed ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’ has a new record called, um, ‘Record’ and it’s a doozy! It’s an album of brilliant ‘feminist bangers’ which own the dancefloor with witty lyrics and pulsating synthy melodies which also showcase that most distinctive of voices. Guest spots for Shura and Corinne Bailey Rae add a sense of female comradery to the album. Great stuff!
Believe the hype: South London newcomer Matt Maltese may just be your new favourite purveyor of wry piano ballads. Don’t be fooled by the smooth, soporific sounds of debut album ‘Bad Contestant’; these may seem like perfect ‘summer lazing’ tunes, but listen to the lyrics and you’ll find a writer seeing tragicomic humour in his own foibles, with a taste for the absurd akin to The Smiths era Morrissey. FFO Father John Misty, The Divine Comedy, Rufus Wainwright.
Loma is a collaboration between Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg and his former support act Cross/Record. The self titled album is a collection of translucent, absorbing songs (sung by Emily Cross) which emerge from the shifting sands of a sample-infused soundscape of subtly layered melodies and loops. It’s deep, organic, soulful and endlessly fascinating. Amazing stuff!
We can’t get enough of ‘Songs Of Praise,’ the debut album from soon-to-be-massive oiks Shame. Channelling all the best bits of punk and post-punk into a thrilling, caustic, seethingly angry yet deeply melodic set of songs that sum up austerity Britain better than most, this band will cross generations and are set to be one of the most talked about bands of the year.
The ever reliable First Aid Kit return with fourth album ‘Ruins’. The Swedish sisters have long mastered the sweetly perfect vocal harmonies and lilting Americana sound that has made them so beloved, yet here there’s a depth and maturity at work that is truly heart-wrenching. Another glorious album.
Fast becoming a new jazz icon, Kamasi Washington follows up the aptly named ‘The Epic’ with the equally monumental ‘Heaven & Earth’. The Californian saxophonist leads his incredible band through a set of songs (including a hidden bonus disc: look closely!) that encompass everything from Seventies style spiritual jazz, to sinuous funk, to Blaxploitation soundtrack strings with some rousing choral arrangements. There are twists and turns throughout this genuinely startling record which will appeal far beyond jazz aficionados.
First things first: don’t expect AM part 2! The 6th album from Arctic Monkeys sees them adopt a radically different but fascinating new sound. Largely composed on the piano, this new svelte, cinematic, twisted-lounge sound recalls all kinds of great artists: the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, ‘Pet Sounds’, Pulp circa ‘This Is Hardcore’, Timber Timbre, Nick Cave, Wild Beasts and Father John Misty all come to mind, along with the very strong belief that Alex Turner has at least one Bond theme in him!
It may not seem like five years since the last record from Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Ólafur Arnalds, mainly because in one sense it most certainly isn’t: since 2013’s studio album ‘For Now I Am Winter’ he’s kept very busy writing scores for TV and film, as well as working in collaboration with other artists including Nils Frahm and Alice Sara Ott. ‘Re:member’ is another refined, meditative collection fusing neoclassical piano and strings with electronica to beautiful effect, that’s somehow melancholic, warm and unsettling all at once: as The Line Of Best Fit put it, ‘Arnalds creates sound pictures that, like Edward Hopper’s paintings, convince through masterly understatement and suggestion rather than direct assertion’.
Following 2 store-favourite albums of rollicking rock n roll Chicago’s Ezra Furman returns with ‘Transangelic Exodus’, a gloriously unhinged ‘queer outlaw saga’ heavy on narrative, dense with character and utterly thrilling throughout.
Everything Is Recorded is a project helmed by XL Recordings main man Richard Russell and features a huge cast of singers and musicians drawn from the extended orbit of this most forward thinking label. With the likes of Sampha, IBEYI, Damon Albarn, Kamasi Washington and even Peter Gabriel involved this is a wonderful celebration of creative collaboration.
‘1, 2, Kung Fu!’ is the debut pick ‘n’ mix style album by Welsh songster Boy Azooga, who plays almost everything on the record himself (his dad’s on strings duty). The influence of krautrockers such as Can is evident, as is the melodic wonky pop of fellow Welshmen the Super Furries and even the experimental psych rock of label mates King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. A confident, eminently enjoyable creation.
The second album from otherworldly sophisti-pop duo Rhye is a worthy follow up to their sumptuous 2013 debut. ‘Blood’ is every bit as hauntingly beautiful with Mike Milosh’s androgynous vocals and deeply personal lyrics drawing you into their cocoon-like sound. If you dug last year’s Cigarettes After Sex album get this in your life!
Wussy are a grungey college rock leaning band from Cincinnati, with shades of Drive-By Truckers-esque gnarly Americana in the mix. They’re not exactly a household name, having been releasing albums since 2005 with very little profile, but around these parts they’re something close to royalty! Co-fronted by the bearlike former Ass Ponys singer Chuck Cleaver and his ex partner Lisa Walker: equally heavily tattooed and a perfect foil to Cleaver’s gruff bellow. Overall Wussy are a unique blend of hard working blue collar rock and something a little more edgy, incorporating droney guitar noise and tumultuous lyrics alongside killer hooks and melodies and oodles of charm.
On ‘Le Kov’, her second solo album, Gwenno presents a series of mesmeric psychedelic synth infused songs written entirely in Cornish, exploring her own identity and the region. Veering from hauntingly ethereal to enthusiastically poppy this is a joy from start to finish. The underused language lends everything here an otherworldly feel which is truly intoxicating. Highly recommended for fans of Jane Weaver, Cate Le Bon, C.Duncan and Broadcast…and of course fans of songs about cheese.
“Bark Your Head Off, Dog” the third studio album from American indie folk rock outfit Hop Along, features a bright and quirky take on pop music, with inspiration ranging from ELO to Elvis Costello. FFO Waxahatchee, Swearin’ and Frankie Cosmos.
Reinvented soul man Nathaniel Rateliff actually played in store here many years ago, back when he was peddling a husky, introspective Americana sound. Nowadays, with storming backing band The Night Sweats whipping up a frenzy behind him, he’d likely blow the windows out! His new record ‘Tearing At The Seams’ is another fantastic collection of heart-on-sleeve guttural soul numbers that bring in a big Van Morrison influence – no bad thing!
After last year’s glorious Offa Rex side project we have a new album from The Decemberists called ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’. This album finds the Portland veterans in playful mood, throwing some unexpected twists into their established sound, including some fine synth lines and stomping, almost glam rock rhythms – this is a lot of fun!
Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett gets personal on second solo album ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’. Firmly established as one of the best lyricists around, her ability to capture a generational sense of ennui through witty, unvarnished observations is matched here by unflinching self reflection and some impeccably well expressed musings on such well-worn themes as anonymous online critics and the life of a touring musician. And for those more interested in the tunes, don’t worry: the instantly catchy riffs and choruses are all still present and correct!
New York post-punkers Parquet Courts have seemingly been building to this record, ‘Wide Awake!’ for a while now, with an increasingly brilliant selection of work. This Danger Mouse produced record is an instant classic which loses none of the wired energy of previous albums and is, if anything, more immediate and consistent, maintaining the band’s unique cerebral/visceral mix and bringing even more groove to their special kind of scratchy, disenchanted dance party.
British singer and one-time Slits member (when stil a teenager) Hollie Cook is back with ‘Vessel of Love’, her 3rd album of sun-baked reggae vibes which sees her take inspiration from the lovers rock era.
Much like the colourfully lit cave formations on the cover, ‘Old Rockhounds Never Die’, the second album from New Yorker Odetta Hartman is an album which utilises a combination of the ancient and the modern to generate a strange sense of otherworldly wonder. In this case Hartman, along with producer Jack Inslee, combines Alan Lomax-inspired folk songs with percussion crafted using foley techniques (i.e. home recordings of kitchen utensils) to craft an intimate and timeless sound. Check this out if you dig Jolie Holland, Cat Power, Daughn Gibson or Alela Diane.
We’re not sure how many times we’ve written the following words: “The new album from Ty Segall”… That’s right, the prolific Californian garage rock freak is back with another sprawling slab of glorious madness in ‘Freedom’s Goblin’, a 19 track trawl through twisted folk jams, stomping glam and even an audacious Hot Chocolate cover that has to be heard to be believed!
The debut album from London based, Brighton formed trio Our Girl, fronted by The Big Moon’s Soph Nathan, is further proof that brilliant guitar music isn’t dead! ‘Stranger Today’ is an album of thrilling contrasts: huge crunching riffs and some more introspective shoegazey moments which should appeal to fans of The Orielles, Honeyblood or spiritual godmothers The Breeders.
Luke Winslow-King hails from Cadillac, Michigan and seemingly also from another era! His wholesome, sincere and deeply authentic sound mixes numerous strands of country and blues history together with understated panache. Along with the likes of William Elliott Whitmore , CW Stoneking and Pokey Lafarge, Winslow-King is doing his bit to keep the candle burning.
Hailing from various West Coast cities in the US (and Norway), Cinder Well play a spine tingling gothic folk based around twin violins, deep drones and Amelia Baker’s mournful, moving vocals. The result is at times minimalist but with poise and aching drama in every note. Absolutely incredible stuff.
‘Childqueen’ is the debut full length album by Californian artist Kadhja Bonet, and utilises her trademarked psychedelic, dreamlike soul entwined with lush orchestration to build an otherworldly atmosphere. Performed, produced and mixed by Bonet, its technicolour strangeness is enhanced by her easefully elastic voice, which recalls Minnie Riperton’s sensuality combined with the sweetness and feel for a groove of Natalie Prass’s recent work. Listen to this record from start to finish in one go for full transportational effect!
Seemingly striking with the heat from her sublime 2017 record as part of folk rock outfit Offa Rex, Chaney returns with her second solo album. A beguiling, sparsely arranged affair, it mostly comprises original compositions peppered with successful reworkings of traditional and classical pieces. The simplicity of the arrangements allows her incredibly pure voice and insightful but never overwrought lyrics to shine through. FFO Maz O’Connor, Sandy Denny.
After losing a couple of key members and taking a near 5 year hiatus, veterans of the indie scene The Coral gave us a comeback album in 2014 that saw them hone their craft to a pop perfection, which new album ‘Move Through The Dawn’, despite the garish artwork, continues with aplomb. This sees the band at their most sunny and harmonious, at times channelling ELO or the classic Nuggets garage rock they brought to the table early on with swaggering, charming confidence.
We’ve always got time for some African desert blues here and ‘Temet’, the second album from the Algerian Tuareg outfit Imarhan, is something really special. The band have been touring hard since their self titled debut and it really shows: they’re hitting a stride of funk and blues-infused grooves which have just the right balance between the traditional and the contemporary. This record hits the sweet spot frequently.
Japanese American singer-songwriter Mitski returns with the breathtaking follow up to 2016’s breakout album ‘Puberty 2’. That record saw a bold new voice emerge and ‘Be The Cowboy’ builds on that. This complex album packs 14 songs into just over 30 minutes, with many of these numbers getting their point across succinctly and poignantly before making way for a completely different tone and sound, all the while packing a solid emotional punch as Mitski explores loneliness, love and vulnerability. Even the seemingly light, disco tinged numbers suggest dancing through the pain on this most astonishing set.
Moving away from the bombast of 2017’s ‘Pure Comedy’, the Archbishop of arch observations Father John Misty’s new record, ‘God’s Favorite Customer,’ mines a more raw and intimate emotional seam, albeit more self centred than ever: this is first and foremost a chronicle of Josh Tillman’s recent heartache, poured into soft rock piano ballads largely unbuttressed by the more grandiose arrangements of yore, whilst still laced with the tar black humour we know and love.
The emergence in recent years of bands like Alvvays, Girl Ray and The Big Moon has seen something of a revival of pure indie pop joy and ‘Silver Dollar Moment’, the Heavenly Records debut from Halifax trio The Orielles needs to be added to that illustrious list with its classic jangly sound winning on multiple levels!
Baltimore dreampop duo Beach House have such a distinctive sound – a seductive, billowy shoegaze built on a sea of reverb and haunting vocals – that any changes over the course of their previous 6 albums have been so subtle as to be almost imperceptible. However with ‘7’ they’ve branched out a little more than usual by abandoning a band rule to only include things they can play live and have thrown in some wonderful new textures and layers, while still sounding exactly like Beach House!
‘The Return’ is the debut album from keyboard wizard Kamaal Williams AKA Henry Wu, whom you may have heard on the wonderful Yussef Kamaal album ‘Black Focus’ back in 2016. ‘The Return’ has the smooth jazz-fusion element that ‘Black Focus’ succeeded so well at, but with an even funkier overtone. There is a strong hint of Herbie Hancock’s classic ‘Headhunters’ here. FFO: Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal.
The ever reliable Tuscon, Arizona outfit Calexico have released their 9th album ‘The Thread That Keeps Us’, once again proving themselves to be one of the finest bands operating on the Americana spectrum, their sound effortlessly moving from hauntingly beautiful ballads to widescreen anthems.
After a number of side projects, collaborations and soundtracks, German composer Nils Frahm is back with new album ‘All Melody’, another striking opus in which his neo-classical style marries effortlessly with contemporary production techniques to deeply absorbing effect.
The new album from Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, ‘Sleepwalkers’, is an unashamedly romantic look back over American heartland rock’s glory days, infused with huge doses of soul and some wonderful vintage keyboard sounds. It’s hard to resist the husky voiced troubadour and we love this!
Nurtured by Alan Wills, the sadly now deceased founder of Liverpudlian label Deltasonic who set it up as a vehicle for The Coral to release their music, The Vryll Society are a young band emerging with a fully formed sound on debut ‘Course Of The Satellite’ that speaks to the support of those around them as well as their own vision and work ethic. Of course Liverpool is well known for the psychedelic flavour of its pop and rock outfits, and The Vryll Society confidently continues the lineage. Known as a particularly exciting live act, they’ve done a pretty great job of capturing that energy and variety on record, with shimmering, layered soundscapes that, underpinned by tight grooves that evidence their love of krautrock, manage to sound simultaneously fluid and focused. We’re getting shades of Tame Impala, Mew and Mansun vibes in places!
Saddleworth’s remarkable Kiran Leonard follows up 2017’s sonic detour ‘Derevaun Seraun’ with new record, ‘Western Culture,’ continuing the trajectory begun on his earlier releases, albeit with the benefit of recording with his live band in a professional studio for the first time. Compelling throughout, the album veers between dissonant acoustic rock (at times recalling a more abrasive, experimental Jeff Buckley) and melodic, mathy freak folk. Its lyrics read like poetry on the page (Leonard’s literary influences are many) yet take on a fluid, restless phrasing when sung, especially given Leonard’s enthusiastic use of his voice as instrument. There are traces of influences such as Richard Dawson, but the overall feeling this record creates is of a thrilling rollercoaster ride with one of contemporary music’s most genuinely unique artists.
We’re loving ‘Ecstatic Arrow’, the latest album by Manchester duo Virginia Wing, creators of gloriously odd synth pop. The experimentation with gear is never self indulgent, instead serving to texturise their insistent, earworm creations, which capture an air of breezy positivity without sounding jarring or trivial. Comparisons with Broadcast are inevitable, and deserved, but the vocals are Nico-esque in places and the coherence of their sonic landscape also calls to mind Jane Weaver’s work, if one sprinkled it with Stealing Sheep’s playfulness and energy.
LUMP is the no longer secret collaboration between Tunng founder Mike Lindsay and nu-folk royalty Laura Marling. Lindsay’s slightly surreal take on folktronica opens up space for Marling to bring genuine experimentation to her always remarkable vocals, entering adventurous new territory in a set of gracefully strange songs possessing plenty of melodic beauty and a lovely sense of overall balance and cohesion, with production that in places recalls Kate Bush’s masterpiece Hounds Of Love!
Carpark Records presents the debut album from New Zealand outfit The Beths. The brilliantly titled ‘Future Me Hates Me’ is a super addictive rush of giddy power pop fun, full of perky riffs and winningly melodic hooks. While everything may initially seem light and fluffy, there’s an effortless craft in the writing here that makes these songs instant earworms. The Beths are another great Antipodean indie band that fans of Phantastic Ferniture, Alex Lahey, Crepes or Courtney Barnett should check out… all uniquely themselves but all uniquely brilliant!
Get ready to choogle all over again! White Denim from Austin Texas have lost and gained a couple of members and moved to a new label but it doesn’t appear to have impacted their sinuous, slinky 70s grooves one iota! ‘Performance’ is another loose-limbed, southern boogie infused, virtuoso yet accessible instant classic, with every song a twisty-turny triumphant joy that packs a hell of a lot into every moment! Glad to have ‘em back.
You can fairly feel the Melbourne sunshine on your skin when you listen to anything these guys make; we were fans of the previous two records and this debut full length LP hangs together nicely. The compositions are spacious and unforced, yet shot through with a unique kind of nervous energy, and although theirs is a sound fashioned on a bedrock of numerous indie guitar outfits before them, the vivid, frequently wistful lyrics imbue their material with a depth often absent from those of lesser bands working in the genre.
Ambient techno maestro Jon Hopkins has returned with a more introspective album of widescreen electronica soundscapes, as suited to headphone listening as it is to the dancefloor. Lovers of the new Rival Consoles, Simian Mobile Disco and Daniel Avery albums are sure to find much to love here, as are fans of Boards of Canada and even Brian Eno.
Apparently competing for the accolade of most-difficult-to-say-correctly-aloud album title, ‘The Much Much How How And I’ – the gloriously playful debut from British singer-songwriter Cosmo Sheldrake – is really a joy! Operating within the same ecosystem as Johnny Flynn or Beirut, there are countless twists and turns here and charm aplenty! Heartily recommended.
Like many born in Nashville, Rayland Baxter has the music in his DNA and on ‘Wide Awake’, his third album, he’s channelled it into one of the year’s best records! Very much inspired by the classic late 60s sound of the Beatles, Nilsson and The Kinks, this album is packed with solid gold songwriting played with wit and panache. Featuring members of Dr Dog and Cage The Elephant, plus producer Butch Walker and Baxter’s father Bucky (who played on Ryan Adams’s Gold, and Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind), this is a timeless record which fans of Michael Rault, The Shins, Tobias Jesso Jr or Andrew Combs will dig!