‘Carrie & Lowell‘ wasn’t created to be boomed over loud speakers, it was a chance for us to feel something real and to be alone with these thoughts. sometimes “it is so revealing and delicate, it hurts.
Jabes framed it as “one of the most depressing but beautiful albums” while Ledewitt was left in awe of the “songwriting and narrative depth”.
T.R. Wicks mused that “remarkably, through all of Stevens‘ breathtaking creativity and work rate, this is probably the subtlest and low-key record, yet the hardest hitting other than maybe ‘Seven Swans‘. What sets this album apart is this achingly beautiful tribute to his childhood. It is sensitive, haunting and above all deep. There is nowhere Sufjan Stevens is afraid to go thematically, but where he has chosen to go this time around, he has approached with an intimacy and awareness that makes Carrie & Lowell both heartbreaking to listen to, and masterful in it’s execution”.
Following his respectful and intelligent work on the late Gil Scott-Heron‘s “We’re New Here”, Jamie XX finally delivered what we had all been waiting for; his debut solo album. Our gal Ledewitt praised the “variety and nuance”.
Jabes mused that the artist had “Stepped slightly outside the perfect dream-like box he displays on past singles and remixes, Jamie XX brought a little more to the party with ‘In Colour‘. Jamie Xx‘s signature sound sweeps through every track, with a dash of Jamaican steelpan here, and the familiar vocals from fellow member of The XX‘s Romy Madley Croft there, the album is a perfect culmination of his career and the exact package fans wanted and expected”.
“Electronica albums are seldom this genuinely evocative. ALL THE FEELS as the kids would say” injected Roger.
T.R. Wicks wanted the final word stating “Without a doubt, the highlight on Jamie XX debut solo record was ‘Loud Places‘. It showcases a song that not only reminds us of Jamie Smith‘s impact and innovation on modern dance (specifically post-dub) genres, but crosses that bridge of solid songwriting arrangement mixed with eclectic samples and exciting beat making. Jamie Smith’s evolution, in and out of The XX is a joy to watch. ‘Sleep Sound‘ and ‘Obvs‘ re-enforce Smith’s originality, in this sleek, chameleonic and utterly creative dance record.”
Filled with the reverberated and mischievous doo-wop of ‘Wounded Rhymes‘ and the beautifully creative and shy debut ‘Youth Novels‘, ‘I Never Learn‘ is Lykke Li‘s most definitive statement to date. ‘No rest for the wicked’ is simply a perfect ballad.
It’s hard to believe this is Todd Terje‘s debut given how prolific he has become. ‘It’s Album Time’ combines a unique take on modern dance music, and most importantly, an infectious playfulness that makes this both an entirely unpredictable but joyous album.
I’ve been waiting for a band as good as Jungle for about a decade. A band that’s 1 part concise and avante garde pop and 2 parts pure groove. It could be used as reference to a history of the best and sexiest basslines, whilst being one of the catchiest and slick of all pop packages.
FKA Twigs ‘LP1‘ was probably the most intelligent and tender record of year. A smooth Delivery of avant-garde art as intimate as the recorded sound can get and heartbreakingly vunerable. This is a perfect modern record to which many artists could learn valuable lessons from. ‘Water Me‘ was so soul bearing it hurt.
The musical partnership between Joe Henson and Alexis Smith aka The Flight have produced something impressive dating back to their coming together in 2005. Since then, their creative production hub in East London has worked with some of the biggest names in music such as Lana Del Rey, Bjork and Elbow.
Their latest EP ‘The Sinner Inside‘ sees talented American singer/songwriter Alana Stewart, an artist we have been following for some time, taking on vocal duties may just be their most wondrous and exciting project to date.
‘The Idol and the Idle‘, the 2nd track from the EP is everything British music should be proud of. Understated is a word that is thrown around in this post-XX time, but moody, patient production cooks at the bottom of a pot of brooding vocal sass and beautiful analogue synths. The fact that the song is immediately so iconic without an obvious chorus only strengthens their case.
The lyric “God gets muddy in the glass” is the stuff of Twain, and conjures up a revelation of a world stuck between false promises, filling our voids with frivolous and carnal passions. This is combined with a stark and gritty video accompaniment that asks whether it is better to drink, dance and lay my way into middle age, or to actually think outside the box. Or look up from the box. Or remove my face from someone’s box. Either way I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.