Music Reviews

Mac DeMarco - Here Comes The Cowboy (Album Review)

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Photo: Christine Lai ‘Here Comes the Cowboy’ finds Mac DeMarco relaxing into slower, more comfortable rhythms. Like a well worn leather saddle, rolling on top of an ambling horse, the Canadian singer-songwriter achieves a comfortable gait on his sixth album.

Interpol - A Fine Mess EP (Album Review)

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Photo: Kalpesh Lathigra When Interpol burst onto the scene with ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’ in 2002 their music felt incredibly fresh: melancholic New York indie-punk with a look and feel that screamed libido and intellectualism in equal parts.

Maps - Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss. (Album Review)

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James Chapman’s fourth long player with his Maps project finds him steering into orchestration with the help of the Echo Collective and skills he developed in childhood as a violinist. “The orchestral instrumentation and addition of other musicians and singers played a huge part in finding the purer and more human emotion I was searching for,” he says.

Charly Bliss - Young Enough (Album Review)

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Historically, second albums have been something of a stumbling block. So much so, in fact, that any real failings can usually be chalked up to a dog-eared stack of problems: truncated timeframes, outside pressure, road-weariness, the desire to try something too different too soon. Equally, brushing these problems off and declaring ‘not these guys!’ is one of the easiest, laziest critical tricks in the book.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - End of Suffering (Album Review)

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Photo: Daniel Harris In deciding on a title for their third album, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes turned to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, which guide followers in acknowledging what is causing their suffering before setting them on a path to understanding and ending it. Carter heard the teachings from a fellow artist in Los Angeles when travelling and they took up residency in his brain, refusing to leave for several years.

Employed To Serve - Eternal Forward Motion (Album Review)

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It’s a line that’s been repurposed a thousand times from ugly beginnings, but that doesn’t make it any less true: everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. It’s a sentiment that UK post-hardcore standard-bearers Employed To Serve have taken to heart on the brutal, life-affirming ‘Eternal Forward Motion’—you simply aren’t ready for what they have in store for you on album three.

The Get Up Kids - Problems (Album Review)

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Photo: Shawn Brackbill Certain records are millstones. They inspire such love in people that, eventually, it becomes weaponised as the law of diminishing returns takes over, or a band decide that they don’t want to retrace their steps.

Big Thief - U.F.O.F. (Album Review)

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The big city can make you crazy, and everyone needs a bit of escapism now and then. For the four members of Brooklyn-based Big Thief, the greenery of rural Washington state came calling in time to play a huge role in the creation of ‘U.F.O.F’ (the final F standing for Friend), their third album. Here they look past grey skyscrapers, endless franchises and big lights in the city towards an idyllic image of the countryside.

Matthew and the Atlas - Morning Dancer (Album Review)

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Three albums in and Matthew and the Atlas seem to be in a position to capitalise on all aspects of their previous work. Matt Hegarty’s adventure started with some folky EPs, followed by the synth-based 2014 debut album ‘Other Rivers’. ‘Temple’ then retreated to a more stripped down approach, but with ‘Morning Dancer’ we’re treated to a more eclectic collection.

Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride (Album Review)

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‘Father of the Bride’, the fourth album by Vampire Weekend, reinstates the New Yorkers as kings of cult indie. A quintessential millennial act, alternately brimming with metaphorical nonsense and intensely philosophical lyrical content, they have again worked to build diligent music for easy listening.

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