Music Reviews

Kate Tempest - The Book of Traps and Lessons (Album Review)

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​ Photo: Julian Broad Will Kate Tempest be poet laureate at some point? It’s hard to identify a more prominent young poet in the UK, especially when one considers the fearlessness with which the Londoner broaches contemporary issues, political division and personal introspection.

Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars (Album Review)

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There has always been a restlessness to Bruce Springsteen’s music. As he ambled from bar to bar in Asbury Park, it manifested in thousand-words-a-minute flights of fancy. Soon, he was taken by the road and its promise of escape. Driven on by bombast and the communal spirit of his live shows, the real world sometimes felt like it was out of sight around the next bend.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Black Star Dancing EP (Album Review)

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Photo: Mitch Ikeda As one of Britpop’s most garlanded grandees, Noel Gallagher’s mid career with the High Flying Birds has been one of workmanlike craft: the explosive obnoxiousness of Oasis replaced by tidy, unremarkable indie-pop. It sometimes feels like his albums are released to publicise his latest batch of entertaining interviews.

The Divine Comedy - Office Politics (Album Review)

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Now on their 12th album, Neil Hannon’s Divine Comedy are proven musical survivors: a chamber pop act who flourished during Britpop’s heyday while maintaining their own distinctive sound despite a dizzyingly eclectic creative output.

Sinkane - Dépaysé (Album Review)

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Photo: Daniel Dorsa ‘Dépaysé’ is a fantastical showcase of Afro-infused psychedelic indie-rock that demonstrates vaunting musical ambition, political awareness and immense talent in both its arrangement and composition.

Black Mountain - Destroyer (Album Review)

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Photo: Olivia Jaffe Black Mountain’s fifth studio album, ‘Destroyer’, comes in the wake of line-up changes that threw the band’s future into doubt. Following the amicable departure of founding drummer Josh Wells and vocalist Amber Webber, Stephen McBean and Jeremy Schmidt began working on new music that might have eventually fallen under a new name. But that wasn’t to be.

Frank Iero and the Future Violents - Barriers (Album Review)

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Photo: Mitchell Wojcik Six years on from the demise of My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero is back with the freshly minted Future Violents to deliver an emo odyssey through pantomime self-loathing and adolescent anxiety.

Cate Le Bon - Reward (Album Review)

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Photo: Ivana Kličković Cate Le Bon has never been easy to pin down. Having toured and collaborated with a diverse selection of musicians ranging from St. Vincent to Deerhunter, the Welsh musician and producer could loosely be described as trading in sprawling alt-folk, but that would only tell half the story. On her newest record, ‘Reward’, Le Bon creates a unique world indebted to new wave and jazz as much as it is to contemporary pop and folk acts—all with her own idiosyncratic twist.

Tyler, The Creator - IGOR (Album Review)

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For Tyler, The Creator’s fifth album, the artistic polymath and Odd Future co-founder has leaned into chunky synths and drum-loops, painting a robust musical landscape of nebulous digital patterns and rapid fire, emotionally-charged lyrics.

The National - I Am Easy To Find (Album Review)

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As we’ve come to know the National over the last two decades, we’ve also become familiar with the different facets of Matt Berninger’s appeal. If we were to split the frontman’s charm into thirds, to one side we’d have his lackadaisical, sometimes off-kilter delivery, in the middle his all-hell-breaking-loose animalistic shrieks, and to the other side his highly visual lyrical style.

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