Once upon a time, Gabriel Stebbing’s musical success seemed intrinsically linked to Metronomy’s but, just as the band’s star began to really rise, so did his solo conviction. A fresh foray as Your Twenties (with Michael Lovett aka NCZA/Lines) proved pretty forgetful, and where Lovett gave us one of last year’s most sublime cuts of sighing electro-pop, Night Works is the sultry contender for this year’s gossamer gong. All fragile melodies, delicate emotional wisps and hazy R&B ballads, there’s an awful lot to love about ‘Urban Heat Island’. Taking the fleeting waft of sumptuous disco on ‘Tried So Hard’, the effortless Chromeo-esque grooves of ‘Share the Weather’, and the crisp, minimal funk and tumbling guitar lick of ‘Long Forgotten Boy’, Stebbing’s current work slips neatly between blissful pretension and retro ’80s revivalism. Upbeat and offbeat, it’s an album that wriggles with the energy and ingenuity you’d expect from a Metronomy mind. This time, though, ‘Urban Heat Island’ feels very much like his own.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in this month’s Loud And Quiet

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